History of the Clarion Grandhotel Zlatý Lev

Grandhotel Zlatý Lev, designed and built by architect Anton Worf of Liberec between 1904 - 1905, is an excellent example of construction from the early 20th century, not only for its exquisite Art Nouveau architecture, but also for its interesting design, harmonising the building with its surroundings.

The central point of the building's façade is the stucco finish with motifs of stylised lions' bodies and heads supplemented by the floral décor, so popular in the Art Nouveau period. The original hotel has been enlarged by making use of an adjacent building dating to 1896, very pleasantly complementing the original hotel building.

Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef I himself launched hotel operations on the occasion of the Bohemian-German Exhibition of 1906.

Since 2007, the hotel has operated the hotel has been operated by the CPI Hotels, a.s. group which added it to the international Clarion Hotels brand. The hotel is now known under the name, Clarion Grandhotel Zlatý Lev.

The hotel's oldest forebear, Hostinec U zlatého lva (Gold Lion Inn), stood on the site of today's town hall as long ago as the 16th century.

This description from the year 1682, when the inn fell into the hands of the parish after the 30 Years' War, reads as follows: the house was built of wood, and on the ground floor was the inn's dinning room with two tables and benches and a green tiled stove. Guests were accommodated in two rooms on the first floor and the inn also had its own stables. At the end of the 18th century, the inn underwent conversion and was enlarged gradually. In 1799, the famous actor, Václav Thám, and his company of travelling players performed in the newly built hall.

In 1853, Emperor Ferdinand I himself with his entourage stayed at the Gold Lion. Famed journalist and poet, Jan Neruda, visited Liberec in 1865, mentioning the elegant atmosphere of the Gold Lion in one of his topical articles. With the Liberec Exhibition looming, hotel owner Raimund Haskche, aware that the hotel could no longer keep up with the needs of the expanding city, built a new hotel in the setting of the chateau park in Gutenberg St. The result was a beautiful, four-storey building containing 100 guest rooms, including extravagantly furnished suites, which meant that the hotel was considered to be the best equipped in the whole country. In addition to a writing room and reading room, the ground floor of the hotel housed a dining room, restaurant, cloakrooms, a ballroom and a restaurant terrace. In those days, the kitchen was equipped with such state-of-the-art appliances as an electric dishwasher and a refrigerator. The hotel had not only an electric lift, but also several bathrooms, a dark room, a barber's shop and a telephone booth. The public spaces in the hotel were fitted with electric fans and gaslight. The guest rooms has hot running water, electric light and carpets which were cleaned using an American vacuum cleaner. In addition to stables, the courtyard contained garages for the new invention - automobiles. During the years 1956-1959, the hotel underwent extensive renovation, during which an extension was built for a new hotel café, all rooms were fitted with hot and cold running water, telephone and radio. Over the subsequent decades, the Grandhotel Zlatý Lev was considered to be one of the best establishments of its type in this country and was part of the former Interhotel chain. Over the years, the history and noblesse was combined with modern improvements and everything that guests expect from a 4* hotel. The end product of this blend means preservation of one of the gems of the city of Liberec with 4* quality of the Clarion brand.