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.
In 1908, King Peter I of Serbia presided over the opening ceremony for the new Hotel Moskva in Belgrade. Citizens had been gathering daily to witness its construction, from the digging of the foundation to the laying of the last emerald tiles on the roof.
After World War I, Hotel Moskva’s kafana, or café, became a center of the Serbian literary scene. In war-torn Belgrade, where electricity was scarce, novelists came to the hotel because, as writer Miloš Crnjanski explained, “It was the only place with light.” Crnjanski formed a collective of artists and creators, “Grupa Umetnika,” who were determined to bring new art and culture to their beloved city. Escaping the devastation of Belgrade, the group spent evenings in Hotel Moskva’s finely decorated kafana, engaging in passionate discussions and enjoying the luxury of artificial light.
Such intellectuals dominated the scene at the hotel in the interwar years, but by the summer of 1941, Nazi Germany had invaded not only Belgrade but Hotel Moskva as well. The establishment became a Gestapo headquarters. However, the post–World War II period saw writers and artists cautiously but happily returning to the hotel for coffee and reinvigorating discourse. Nobel laureate Ivo Andrić had a permanent table of his own, where he might have nodded to poet Vasko Popa, another regular.
Hotel Moskva continues to attract elite guests, including famous actors, politicians, and other luminaries. Everyone from Albert Einstein to Indira Gandhi to Alfred Hitchcock (who all have suites that were subsequently named after them) has graced its halls, though nobody ever stayed in room 13, because the hotel doesn’t have one.
AWA Community Insights:
nerini88 Presidential suite has original pieces of furniture from Royal residence of the Obrenović dynasty.
ammklerken It also has the best cakes in town! Definitely worth your visit
tor.ventures Stayed here & it was fabulous! Each lobby floor has different decor and the furniture is on point
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