Saturday, 13 February 2010

The Hotel Avion

It's not every day you find that you've inadvertently stayed in an historical monument but my friend Alex (see Vrsovice Daily blog link just over there) has pointed out that the Hotel Avion in Brno in the Czech Republic has just been listed as one. This is where we stayed, with him, en route by rail to Transylvania in 2007. At the time, the hotel staff didn't seem to be particularly used to having guests, several floors housing dining rooms, ballrooms etc were unused and the interior decor (complete with rather ominous-looking leatherclad doors) clearly hadn't been changed since the communist era. Breakfast was served in the pizza parlour next door.

Brno is proud of its Austro-Hungarian, cubist and communist architectural heritage: the avant-garde architect Jiri Kroha (who, amongst other things, designed a 'perfect socialist town' and a new waterfront development for Prague - neither of which were built) is amongst its most famous former residents, while even the ring of dense communist-era towerblocks around the city inspired the tourist office to come up with the slogan 'Brno welcomes you with new constructions'.
The original plans for the Hotel Avion along with several photographs of it in its 1920s heyday are on display in the museum of Brno inside Castle Spilberk - the museum requires considerable stamina as it is, to say the least, extensive.

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