Encyclopedia > Town Český Krumlov > Buildings in the Historical Center of Český Krumlov > Horní Street

Horní No. 153

Horní no. 153, overview Location:
Horni No. 153, former Jesuit theatre

Description of the Building:
This massive, oblong, two-story, corner building was built on the southern slope of Horni Street, that overlooks the Vltava River. Bossage stone work can be seen at the corners of the building and the entire level of the first floor. The main facade is Classical, from the third quarter of the 18th century and at the first and second floors are divided up by cornices. On the upper part of the facade there is an emblem of the guild of butchers--two intersecting axes above the Rosemberg five-petalled rose. The building is covered by a high pitched roof. The front entrance to the interior of the building is marked by a molded, pointed arched portal. In the ground floor there is a wide, central hallway with staircase that contains barrel vaults with triangular segments. Decorative vaults remain in both the left and right side spaces of the two tracts of the building. A hall with flat ceilings, known as the Jesuit hall which remains in the upper part of the building belongs to the Hotel Růže complex. The cellars are barrel-vaulted.

Architectural and Historical Development:
The building can be dated to the Gothic era, to the same time when the town fortifications and the Horni gate were built. The 200 centimeter thick periphery walls and the entrance portal remain well preserved from this period. An emblem from the butchers´ guild is located on the facade of the building. The building was adapted by the Jesuit´s to be used as a theatre after the year 1639. The vaulting on the ground and first floors were also built at this time. The upper part of the building and the facade were added in 1783-1810. Further alterations were made in 1925, when the building was remodelled into the town theatre. The theatre part of the building was irrevocably destroyed in the 1970s when the building became part of the hotel.

Significant Architectural Features:

  • Gothic entrance portal
  • Emblem of the butchers guild on the facade

Horní no. 153, detail of the main facade, coat-of-arms of the butchers' guild History of the House Residents:
For many years, it was thought that the original Gothic structure had been used as a Jewish synagogue before it was owned by the Jesuits. This claim was not, however, based in fact and the archives proved this incorrect. The first documented owner of the building was butcher Jan Tancl in the beginning of the 16th century. After his death in 1529, the building and Tancl´s butcher business were taken over by Tancl´s son Vojtech. Tancl´s other son Matej became a priest. Vojtech Tancl held a seat in the town council, was rather well-educated and actually had his own small library. He and his wife had five children. The oldest of the children, a craftsman named Martin, took the building over when he bought it out from his siblings after their father´s death in 1563. Martin was married three times. His last wife, Apolena, was the widow of the cobbler Pavel Mares of Horni Street. The three generations of butchers that lived here are remember to today in the emblem of the butcher´s guild that is painted on the facade of the building. In 1590 the building was purchase by the town hall for 450 three-scores of groschen at the request of Wilhelm von Rosenberg and was it was dedicated to the Jesuits. Martin Tancl moved to Horni no. 151. A shed which was used for storage, for sorting goods and for working with silver and gold was located on the land that presently connects this building and the Hotel Ruze,. This shed belonged to gold metallurgist Rehor Singerspiler who bought the shed from Martin Tancl in 1567. Before that time, this plot of land with shed was rented by Rehor´s father Linhart. When the Jesuit´s first got hold of the building, they bought it with the intention of turning it into a college chapel. They abandoned this idea in 1613 when they decided to build a theatre instead. The theatre was the first to be equipped with wooden machinery that was used to change the sets. It is claimed that this is the oldest stone theatre building in all of Central Europe. The theatre was repaired in 1639 and 1655. According to Jesuit chronicles, Jesuit seminary classrooms were located in four of the rooms on the first floor and in two of the rooms on the second floor. The rest of the first floor was used as the theatre hall. Students from all over southern Czech came here predominately to learn German. At the beginning of the 1760s the building began to be used for the purposes of philosophical education, but Empress Maria Theresa eliminated this program from the curriculum in 1762. In 1760 a large crack in the entire circumference of the wall was discovered and a general renovation project was deemed necessary. During this work the town fortification wall that was adjacent to the building was shortened so that more sunlight could enter into the classrooms. After the dissolution of the Jesuit seminary in 1773, the building was supposed to be converted into an army barrack or a hospital but these plans were not carried through because the building was too damp to be used for either of these purposes. Instead, the building was designated to be used as a school which would have three classes. The school, which was large enough for an enrollment of 360 students, was opened in 1783. Until 1787, when the girl\'s school opened across the street in building no. 152, this school was coeducational. Due to a decline in enrollment after 1871, part of the building was used as offices of the town school system and by a local theatre school. The theatre production in this building was somewhat stagnant in the last quarter of the 18th century. In 1788, the town took the building over and rented it out to various amateur actors and travelling theatre groups up until the second half of the 19th century. But for many of these years it was also out of use. In 1925 the building was updated to suit the needs of the of the town theatre. In the 1960s, when the theatre was in a state of disrepair, the building was connected to the Hotel Ruze.

Stories And Other Interesting Information:
Today\'s Hotel Růže is situated in the facilities of the former Jesuit college. Wilhelm von Rosenberg had to buy several houses, so that he could build the college in their places. None of the owners wanted to sell for cheap, except for Pavel Dorozský, who didn\'t care about anything. He refused his daughter\'s request to marry with a horse-groom, as he had already found someone else, rich. He gave her a choice: either you take the one I\'ve chosen, or you join the convent. Poor Elsa chose death in the waves of the Vltava. Even today, her soul has found no peace in eternity, and occasionally she appears to people and condemns them to a difficult fate with a look.

Present Use:
Hotel Růže Český Krumlov