The Piast Hotel, known before the war as the Kronprinz Hotel, regained its former splendor after the 2014 reconstruction. It was built in 1908 and designed by Waldemar Milbradt, and was the most elegant hotel in the city, with a distinctive, semi-circular tower, where the most elegant rooms with large windows are located today. Together with the adjoining Grand Hotel (formerly Nord), it was a historical “town gate”, through which ran the shortest route from the train station to the historic center.
Development of this part of świdnickie suburbs fostered construction of new buildings. The first building constructed within the property Am Oberschlesischen Banhof 26-27 was the State Archive built in 1876 according to the design of Colmar Grünhagen. The premises started to be non-functional and too small very soon. In 1906 the institution was moved to the newly constructed building at ul. Szczytnicka (currently, it does not exist). The property was bought by Wrocławski Bank Budowlany (Wrocław Construction Bank) (Breslauer Baubank) which in 1908, after tearing down the former archive, built the most elegant hotel in the city according to the design of Waldemar Mildbradt. Constructed in the classicistic style, the five-storey building with a usable attic was very successfully incorporated into the surrounding buildings at the junction of two main streets of this region. The most characteristic element, making it easier to identify the hotel, is the semicircular tower located in the corner and slightly backwards in comparison with the building’s face; it is covered with a conical roof and comprises a staircase lighted with large windows. It overlooks two five-storey wings covered with a mansard roof. The five-bay northern wing was moved backwards from the line of ul. Kołłątaja buildings and the nine-bay western one located on the side of ul. Piłsudskiego was in the buildings line. The simple facade was complemented with balconies situated on the second floor, garlands made of stone under the windows of the third floor, banded rustication and pilaster strips spreading from the second to the fourth floor. On the ground floor, the front premises were designated for trade activity and the ones further in the building – for a restaurant. In the 1930s on the side of ul. Ogrodowa, the hotel was occupied by Deutsche Bank, hairdresser’s, florist’s and a travel agency. On the side of ul. Kołłątaja one of the four ‘Residenz Drogerie Oskar Sabiers’ was situated. Subsequent floors housed offices, club premises, a breakfast room, a reading room and 56 guest rooms. Kronprinz Hotel together with the neighbouring Du Nord Hotel formed a characteristic gate leading to the historical city centre.
Hostilities spared the hotel, which – after its adaptation and receiving a new name, “PIAST” – began accommodating guests, who arrived in large numbers thanks to the close proximity of the railway station. During the Exhibition of the Reclaimed Territories the hotel was advertised as the 1st-category hotel for 140 guests and together with the neighbouring Grand Hotel constituted an information and tourist centre for the exhibition visitors. Until the end of the 1990s, the Hotel was owned by the Odra Tourist company.
By the end of July 2013, the Piast Hotel operated as a Travel Lodge, offering 184 beds in dormitory rooms.
In 2014, the Piast Travel Lodge underwent a thorough renovation, which brought back the splendor and former magnificence to the listed building. Today, combining tradition and modernity, it offers 92 air-conditioned rooms, a restaurant Bistro Station and 2 meeting rooms. The Piast Hotel and the adjacent European Hotel and Polonia Hotel are managed by Cohm Management Ltd.
Hotel Polonia known before the war as ”Four Seasons” (”Vier Jahreszeiten”) hotel, was built in 1911 and according to the design architect Paul Rother, it was one of the biggest, the most elegant and most extensive hotels of that era in Wrocław. The first building existing in this place was the suburban classicistic villa most probably dating back to the 1830s (the oldest one in the northern frontage of Gartenstrasse) which belonged to F. Brüchner and then Lippmann. From the 1870s it was owned by Julius Heymann from whom the company bought the land and the real property. In 1906 the mansion shared the fate of the majority of the 19th-century buildings in this region and was pulled down, and the area was designated for the construction of a tenement house which, after all, was not built. In the same year a decision was made on the construction of a hotel according to the plans of the architect Paul Rother. In 1911 one of the biggest, most elegant and most expensive hotels in Wrocław of that time was opened. The building comprised the front part and side and back wings which formed an internal yard. The most elegant front facade referred to a Baroque palace. Attention was attracted by the large windows on the ground floor and semicircularly headed windows on the first floor together with balconies situated above them, forming a kind of a balustrade decorated with vases made of stone. In the centre there was a seven-axial pseudorisalit topped with a mansard roof and an additional storey – a belvedere with an observation deck. On the lowest floor there were shops which one could enter from the street level. On the first floor there were: a two-storey ballroom with galleries and a lacunar, restaurants, cafes decorated with various paintings and a beautiful fireplace, a billiard hall and club premises which housed the elite English-styled ‘Schlesischer Klub’. In the remaining part there were 120 rooms to which 5 staircases led.
In the 1920s and 1930s minor renovations and reconstructions of the hotel were conducted which were to improve its functionality and better adjust it to the guests’ needs. Moreover, for this purpose adjacent plots were purchased: the square behind the hotel in which a cafe and a wine bar with porches, and a ballroom with a podium for bands and an extensive deck and a dance floor were located, and the real property situated at ul. Nowoświdnicka 16. In 1939, according to the design of Otto Schenderlein, general reconstruction of the hotel took place, due to which it gained its simplified form typical of the Third Reich architecture. The most noticeable change was depriving the hotel of its original Art Nouveau and Baroque features and liquidation of the ave-bell on the roof. Slightly damaged during the Festung Breslau siege, the hotel soon started to function among the smoldering ruins of the devastated city, but under the new name ‘POLONIA’. In the 1950s, after the ruined tenement houses were pulled down, next to the hotel the eastern wing of Kościuszkowska Dzielnica Mieszkaniowa [KDM] (Kościuszko Housing District) was built. As one of few hotels in the city in the first postwar years it included garages for passenger cars and lorries. In the 1960s it offered 54 single rooom, 54 bathrooms, 35 suites, a TV club, telephones in all the rooms, express laundry service and hairdresser’s services. On the ground floor of the hotel there was ‘Tempo Bar’ which gained popularity very quickly and, over time, became a cult bar of this hotel. ‘Tempo’ was a Czech-kind bar characterized by isolated stands; it was the second most profitable bar in Poland (following the Warsaw ‘Praha’). The bar comprised two rooms. In the first one, which was the front one, desserts, coffee and beer were served, and in the second one dinners and delicatessen goods, also takeaway ones, were sold.
In 1991 it was changed into the first burger joint in Wrocław – Mr. Beef. Until the year 2000, the hotel had a restaurant named Polonia that contained a big hall for 120 people and with dance parties and Sezam cafeteria, which later became home to the first Wrocław casino – Casino Polonia. In 2000, it became the elegant restaurant Galicja.
One of the scenes of the crime story ‘Dżuma w Breslau’ (The Plague in Breslau) by Marek Krajewski published in 2007 is laid in the hotel’s billiard hall.
The Europejski Hotel, known before the war as Hotel Hohenzollern – Hof (until 1945), was built in the years 1876-1877 by the company “Nawroth i s-ka” to a design of a construction master named Pollack. Originally, the hotel consisted of one corner building. In 1907, the hotel was joined by a neighbouring tenement house located at ul. Stawowa 18/20. The renovation works performed in 1910 allowed to merge the interiors and gave the two properties a uniform façade with classical and baroque elements. From the side of the then Gartenstrasse Street, there was the hotel’s entrance, where the remaining part of the ground floor comprised of a store with silverware and goldware run by Otto Stammwitz.
After the war, which inflicted only minor damage to the building, the hotel soon started to serve guests again under the name “Europejski” (Polish for “European“). Modernization works performed at that time moved the main entrance from the side of the then Świerczewskiego Street to the newly-build arcade. Until the end of the 1990s, the hotel was owned by the company Odra Tourist. Currently, Hotel Europejski and the neighbouring Piast and Polonia hotels are managed by the company Cohm Sp. z o.o.
Europejski Hotel was visited by many famous actors, musicians and athletes as well as VIPs. Among others, we hosted actors and the crews of famous Polish film series, and in 1992 the president of Czech Republic Vaclaw Havel. Europejski Hotel is still enjoyed by artists. It regularly hosts the stars of Stage Song Contest and recently – Emilia Krakowska, Michał Żebrowski, Artur Andrus, Krzysztof Daukszewicz, Natalia Kukulska, and “Metro” musical stars with Natasza Urbańska.
As it was written by a satirist Krzysztof Piasecki “No sea, even Aegean, is as fun as Hotel European”.
The Europejski Hotel offers 96 comfortable and air-conditioned rooms, 2 conference rooms, elegant restaurant and Cafe Europejska.