History of the Adria Hotel
House No. 784, in which the Adria Hotel is located, is a part of the terraced development at the bottom section of Wenceslas Square. According to the available records this whole side and the block behind it as well as the Church of Our Lady of Snow was owned by the White Friars’ Monastery. At the end of the 14th century in pursuit of acquiring the means to finance their very costly building programme the monastery divided this land into plots for construction of several burger houses liable to tax. At first what is today’s plot was occupied by two structures. However, records show that the property sold in 1540 was a single house No. 784 with a garden.
Throughout the centuries the building was owned by several owners and underwent various adaptations. In 1911 the “Blue Shoe” House was bought by the hotelier Emil Ročák, who made a general reconstruction of the building converting it into hotel and restaurant facilities. During the reconstruction a restaurant hall was built in the basement and it also contained a mezzanine floor with a gallery including a stage for cabaret and other similar show productions. The whole house under the title of “NEPTUN” was approved for operation in 1912.
At that time the building was used by several outstanding performers, such as Emil Artur Longen, Saša Rašilov and Jaroslav Marvan. In December 1918 the house was purchased by the Municipal Savings Bank, which on Oct. 24, 1919 sold it to František Tichý, grandfather of the current owners. Apart from being a hotelier and owner of Building No. 784, František Tichý was also a founder of Czech Cinematography and from 1918 he held the position of its Chairman.
In the subsequent reconstruction of 1927 the hall was named after the “Prince” of Czech comedians and was called “Burian’s Theatre”. Vlasta Burian and his company performed here until 1928 and the basement of a small hotel on Wenceslas Square was often frequented by an audience yearning to see a legendary duo of Czech theatre – Voskovec & Werich. When their show moved a little further, into Vodičkova Street, the theatre was converted into the “Hollywood” cinema, which was in operation until 1930. In 1940 the State Heritage Office issued a certificate proclaiming House No. 784 a listed building and in 1951 it went under national administration and the entrance hall was changed into a Mechanika Co-operative workshop. In 1974 the basement premises of the front building were adapted into the Adria Student Club.
After the restitution and return of the structure to the Tichý family in 1991 the ADRIA-NEPTUN company was set up and plans for the general reconstruction were prepared. The reconstruction itself started in 1992 and reached the astronomical figure of CZK 150, 000,000.00. The financing was arranged solely by own Czech capital.
Therefore, the Adria Hotel can continue satisfying the wishes of its guests and fulfil the legacy of František Tichý, the grandfather of the current owners. He used to run his hotel in the same way we want to run it – bringing a good life not only to him and his family, but also to employees, people around the hotel as well as hotel guests.