Unitas Hotel Prague
The Unitas Hotel, located in Prague 1, which is now a hotel is home to multiple organizations. Built in the 1800s, this building was occupied by the Saint Bartholomew Monastery. It was later given to the Congregation of the Grey Sisters of the Order of Saint Francis. In the years after World War II, the Communist took over this building to serve as a building for the State Secret Police.
Backstory and Context
The Unitas hotel was built in the 18th century, not as a hotel, but as a monastery. This building was built by Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer. Maria Theresa closed this monastery in 1773 and the building was used for storage. It even became a place for concerts that Ludwig van Beethoven visited to perform in.
It was not until the 19th century that the Congregation of the Grey Sisters of the Order of Saint Francis took over the building. Their congregation grew to be 500 members. The Grey Sisters inhabited the building until the end of World War II. In 1948 Czechoslovakia was taken over by the Communist Party. The Grey Sisters were sent away in 1950 and the building became home to the State Secret Police.
When the building was taken over by the State Secret Police, a prison was added to the building. This prison housed people who were being interrogated, including former president, Vaclav Havel, of the Czech Republic.
The Congregation of the Grey Sisters was given back their building in 1990 after the revolution. The building was not in great shape, so the Grey Sisters converted part of the building into a hotel so that they could earn money to fix up the building. This building became popular and had celebrity visitors including the Prince of Wales and former president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, visit. The whole building became a hotel after this and is now named, Unitas Hotel.