The reference of three centuries
The Grandhotel Pupp boasts such a fascinating history as few other hotels in the world. Historical twists, revolutions, wars and disputes of ancient owners have failed to break the thread of a unique story that has been going on for more than three centuries.
The beginning of its history:
the creation of the Saxon Hall
The mayor of Karlovy Vary, Anton Deiml, built a ballroom for the noble clientele of Karlovy Vary, the so-called Salle de l’Assemblée. Saxon Elector Friedrich August contributed to his construction, and the operating staff always arrived from Leipzig for the season, making it the Saxon Hall.
Construction of the Czech Hall
Another of the Karlovy Vary mayors, Andreas Wenzel Becher, a competing company Becheres Lusthaus built on the opposite plot. The seasonal staff here came mostly from Prague, so the name Czech Hall soon established itself.
Both halls, which were perpendicular to each other in the bend of the valley of the Teplá River, together with the later built House U Božího oka, became the basis of today's Grandhotel Pupp, whose current building has replaced them all.
The wooden theater of the Elector
The Elector of Saxony, August Silný, had the so-called Comödien Haus built next to the Saxon Hall, a wooden building that hosted theatrical performances, concerts and many other type sof entertainment.
Building the House of God's Eye
This house, wedged between the Czech and Saxon Hall, belonged to the Deiml family for many years and was bought for the hotel's needs two centuries later.
Great Fire of Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary suffered a devastating fire that hit the then Karlovy Vary City Hall. Therefore, the City Council's meetings took place in the Czech Hall for the following years. At that time, very little was happening and the monastery could have been a hotel instead. The Order of the Merciful Brothers showed interest in buying the Czech Hall and its reconstruction, which fortunately the owners and Karlovy Vary councilors refused.
The beginning of the Pupp dynasty
Mitterbacher, a renowned confectioner, employed a young confectioner in his business, who had previously worked for Count Chotek. Jan Jiří Pop (1743 - 1810), a native of Central Bohemia, settled in Karlovy Vary, and when he was 32 years old he married Mitterbach's daughter Franziska. Because the Carlsbad honor was exclusively German at that time, he used the German variation of his name, and he signed it as Johann Georg Pupp.
The family and the place join: The Czech Hall is buying the Pupp
Mr. and Mrs. Pupp became the owners of the Czech Hall. First, in 1775, Franziska bought Anna Becher's third, a year later she bought Josefa Becher's third, and in 1778 Johann Georg Pupp bought the remaining stake from Marie Ihl. The new owners trasformed the park landscape with Linden trees, the so-called Pupp's Alley, which quickly became a popular spa promenade.
Opening the first restaurant
in Karlovy Vary
Philipp Valentin Keil opened the first publicly accessible restaurant in Karlovy Vary, the so-called Freitafel, in the Saxon Hall. He did so in response to the successful operation of the Czech Hall under the baton of the Pupps, which by its popularity, completely overshadowed the older Saxon Hall.
The biggest Karlovy Vary flood
in the 19th centu
The night of the 10 th of September was hit by a devastating flood in Karlovy Vary. The Teplá River, engorged by heavy rains, flooded and completely destroyed the ground floor of the Czech and Saxon Halls. The beautiful linden alley, which was the pride and joy of the park for almost a century, was hit with a severe blow. The trees began to gradually die, and the entire alley had to be cut down.
The removal of the flood damage, required extensive repairs to both the Saxon and the Czech Halls, which despite their proximity still represented competitive business. Both halls quickly recovered from the element's rampage and once again became the center of spa entertainment.
The Czech Hall temporarily out of the control of the Pupp family
The protracted dispute among Johann Georg Pupp's descendants meant a disaster. Although the court eventually ruled in favor of Barbara, his daughter-in-law, she was in debt because of the dispute and had to sell the Czech Hall. Fortunately, it was purchased by related families.
The first major reconstruction
of the Czech Hall
The more than 100-year-old building required renovation and new equipment.
Czech Hall again in the hands of the Pupps
The brothers Anton, Julius and Heinrich, members of the fourth generation of the Pupp family, together with their mother, become full owners of the Czech Hall after 40 years. Through sophisticated purchases, they gradually acquire strategic homes and land around it.
New owners of the Saxon Hall
The Saxon Hall was bought by the Heidinger family, the owners of a prosperous porcelain factory in nearby Loket.
Building the Parkhotel
The Pupp brothers started construction of the Parkhotel building, the first section of today's Pupp. Because of its great success, it expanded with another wing in the coming years.
Purchase of the Saxon Hall
The Pupp family purchased the Saxon Hall, a competing enterprise. In the meantime, they prepared to radically rebuild the entire complex which was already quite outdated.
Laying the foundation stone of a new building
This was the year of the birth of the modern Grandhotel Pupp. In November, the demolition of the Czech and Saxon Halls were launched, replaced by a new building, designed by the Viennese architects Robert Příhoda and Josef Němeček. It was built roughly on the same spot as the halls, and it still maintains the same face and layout till this day. For an idea, the Festive Hall stands on the site of the original Pupp's Alley, Café Pupp occupies the space of the original House of God, the Czech Hall, perpendicular to the Saxon Hall, are on the site of today's Riverside Building. On the site of historic houses adjacent to the Saxon Hall, you will find the Harp building.
New grand opening
The grand opening of the newly completed hotel was held on May 13 th coinciding with the opening of the spa season. The Grandhotel Pupp immediately became the pride of Karlovy Vary, and soon began to host the most important personalities from around the world.
The Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer, the designers of the Zurich Opera, the Salzburg Theater and the original Hot Spring Colonnade, unified the hotel's facades in a monumental Neo-Baroque style. The entire reconstruction took almost three years.
Bathroom in every room
An extensive alteration of the hotel's accommodation area was completed. Each room was upgraded to the highest standards of the day, and equipped with a toilet and a bathroom with hot water.
Buying the house of God's Eye
The family bought the house of God Eye at auction, which all previous generations of Pupps tried without success. The house was torn down, and an additional hotel was built in its place, with the Café Pupp located on the ground floor.
Karlovy Vary connected to Germany
A year after the last pre-war repairs to the hotel, the Czechoslovakian border area, the so-called Sudetenland, was annexed to Germany in the Munich Agreement. During this time the hotel was presented as the Grand- und Park- Hotel Pupp.
The consequences of the war
With the deteriorating military situation in Germany, Karlovy Vary became a hospital town, where the officers' hospital took up most of Pupp. The then director Heinrich Gerlach, was taken by the army, and in addition to managing the hotel, whose operation was already severely limited, he worked as an ambulance officer in nearby Dvory. The German army also confiscated 5 tons of coffee for the Luftwaffe pilots and submarines sailors.
Nationalization of the hotel and the end
of the Pupp dynasty in Karlovy Vary
The Grandhotel Pupp and most of the spa part of the city survived the war without much damage. At the end of the war, the demarcation line between the Allied and Soviet troops led through the city, with the troops leaving the city in November. The farewell ceremony was held at Pupp, already nationalized. The nationalization and removal of the German population in 1945 also marked the end of the Pupp dynasty in Karlovy Vary.
Karlovy Vary Film Festival
In 1950 Karlovy Vary became the venue for the festival, which was previously shared with Mariánské Lázně. The Grandhotel Pupp has since been used to accommodate the most important festival guests.
The symbolic point behind the Pupp family was renaming the Grandhotel Moscow. The clientele changed, the hotel was filled with recuperating workers, peasants and Czechoslovakian army generals, and the luxury suites were enjoyed by communists.
Flashing for better times
The need for hard currency and the partial release of international tensions led to the gradual return of traditional clientele. Again, visitors from outside the Eastern Bloc started to dominate, as did gastronomy and cultural offerings.
The largest accommodation capacity
in the history of the hotel
The Grandhotel Moskva with all its dependencies had a capacity of 1080 beds, and during the ball season held more than 20 balls. However, there was a lack of maintenance and investment and it began to show.
Return to the top
The extensive reconstruction started in 1964 lasting 4 years and returning the hotel to its former glory and fame. The level of accommodation and gastronomy was comparetive to the world's best hotels of that time.
Occupation of Czechoslovakia
The further development of Karlovy Vary and the Grandhotel was hampered by the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact troops, after which relations with the West again cooled significantly. Although the hotel continued to focus on solvent foreign clientele, but the important guests decreased.
Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia
The end of 1989 brought the fall of communism throughout Eastern Europe. Already in November, a few days after the beginning of the Czechoslovakian Velvet Revolution, the name of the Grandhotel Pupp returned to the hotel facade.
After the transformation of the state hotel into a joint stock company, it was settled with the Pupp family and an agreement on the use of the traditional trademark Grandhotel Pupp was concluded.
Hotel movie stars
Czech actor Jiří Bartoška becomes the president of the film festival and launches his most famous era. Although the Grandhotel Pupp has always been the home of the most important festival guests, only the stars of the world have come regularly since that year. Hundreds of actors, directors and other famous filmmakers have gone through the hotel corridors over the years, including Renee Zellweger, Jamie Dornan, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Milos Forman and Robert Redford.
"Last holiday" straring Queen Latifah with Gérard Dépardieu and the Bond series- Casino Royale staring Daniel Craig and Eva Green took place at the hotel, which is connected with the film thanks to the Karlovy Vary festival.
Own top-quality balneo center
and swimming pool
The Pupp Royal Spa, a unique luxury wellness and balneo center, was opened, thanks to which the Grandhotel Pupp can provide its own spa treatment.
Start of gradual reconstruction
of all rooms.
The author of the new design is the Prague architect Boris Drbal, who is also the new designer of Becher's Bar.