Prague, Czech Republic
A hot-pink confection of Bohemian Neo-Renaissance style, the Hotel Opera stands in the less touristy Nové Město, or “New Town,” quarter of storied Prague.
Apafi Manor in Transylvania, Romania was built by the royal Apafi family. It is a unique structure to the area in that it’s uncommon to see a manor house in a Saxon village in Romania.
Built in several phases, the first house was erected in the 15th century. The current structure was built 200 years later, and rebuilt around the 19th century. Rare and extensive documentation on the history of this property exists due to the status of its former owner: Michael Apafi, the prince of Transylvania.
This documentation includes alterations made in and around the house over the course of a century, and reveals the structure, decoration, furniture, as well as the condition of the buildings, gardens and farm. Detailed lists of locks, doors, paintings, tools and crops are also included.
When the Apafi family passed on, their manor was acquired by the noble Bethlen family, and was eventually purchased by a Hungarian commoner. The local Evangelical community then owned the manor until it was taken over by the Communist party in Transylvania from 1947 to 1989.
In 2000, The Mihai Eminescu Trust helped the Evangelical community regain the manor. Derelict and dilapidated, it was sold back to the trust, which restored the property in partnership with architect Jan Hulsemann and British interior designer David Mlinaric.
Today, Apafi Manor is fully restored to its 18th-century glory. Since 2007, it has offered accommodations for travelers visiting the nearby village of Malancrav.
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