Location: In Třída T. G. Masaryka (T. G. Masaryk Avenue) in the northern part of the centre of Karlovy Vary
Period of construction: Between 1899 and 1901
Architect: Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer
Official opening: 23 February 1901
Accessibility: hotel guests and cultural events
How to get there
Route 1: You may reach the National House if you walk from the Hot Spring in the spa centre along the Teplá River and the Thermal Hotel. After you reach the Main Post Office, continue up T. G. Masaryk Avenue all the way to the building. This route, which offers a pleasant walk through the city centre, is approximately 1.5 kilometres long and it will take you about half an hour.
Route 2: If you decide for the second route, take Bus No. 2 from Divadelní náměstí (Theatre Square) in the spa centre to the "Tržnice" (Market) city bus terminal. From the bus terminal, walk up Zeyerova Street directly to the National House.
History of the structure
The ostentatious Art Nouveau club house and hotel was constructed between the years 1899 and 1901 according to the design of Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer in the then Franz Joseph Street in the northern part of Karlovy Vary upon the order of the local Imperial and Royal Shooters Society. The construction work was carried out by local builder Emanuel Grimm under the supervision of the Director of the Municipal Building Office, Eduard Oert. The grand opening and the launch of operations of the completed building, which was initially named Grandhotel Střelecký dům (Grandhotel Shooters House), took place on 23 February 1901.
As a cultural and social centre of the newly developed business district, the hotel was to relieve the overcrowded hotel facilities in spa district of the town.
The hotel building was also home to a club centre with a café, four restaurants offering 400 seats, a museum of the local shooters society, a bar with a hundred seats, and a modern hall suitable for concerts, theatre performances and balls with a seating capacity for 900 people. It also became the birthplace of the world-famous Orfeum Variety Theatre. Over the course of the seventy years of its existence, hundreds of artists, dancers, singers, as well as animal trainers and clowns performed at the variety theatre. Moreover, performing animals, dogs, parrots, pigeons, as well as bears, baboons and even an elephant could be seen on its stage.
Following its unsuccessful privatization in the early 1990s, the National House was closed down and gradually fell into disrepair. After many long years of disputes and litigations, the dilapidated building has been undergoing much-needed overall reconstruction over the past few years. We may only hope that the renovated National House will regain its world repute and that it will once again become the social centre of Karlovy Vary.
T. G. Masaryka 1088/24
T. G. Masaryka 1088/24