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Žižkovo nám. 3, 506 01 Jičín
tel: +420 493 532 750
tel: +420 720 997 605
tel: +420 602 544 975

The name of the capital city of France is the hotel’s name these days. Once upon a time it used to be a coaching inn which stood in Žižkovo square in front of Valdická gate in Jičín. It is probably the oldest, continuously serving restaurant in the city.Hotel Paříž is a large building which includes not only the restaurant, bowling alley, café and grocery shop, but also a buffet which is popular with people in Jičín.

hotel paříž jičín

At the beginning of the coaching inn’s history there was a large fire

Vladimir Úlehla, a grammar school teacher and a fan of the history of Jičín best knows the history of the Paříž Hotel. Such names as T.G. Masaryk, Jaroslav Vrchlický and Antonín Dvořák are connected to this building.On the place where hotel now stands there used to be (until 22nd April 1836) the house of a gingerbread-maker named Mrs. Saalová. One day, however, a fire broke out in the house and soon spread to the other houses on the south side of Žižka Square and destroyed them. The fire was the beginning of the history of the future inn. The burned and destroyed place was taken over by the gingerbread-maker’s husband, Augustin Just from Hostinné. He established a new inn with one floor. It was available to traders who travelled from nearby places to the regular markets in the square.

The inn was given a splendid name, “At the city of Hamburg”. But the building was not very spectacular. It featured only basic construction; the roofing and floors were barely equipped for the purposes of business operation. "The building was badly built and soon began to expand. It caused a lot of problems for the owner. The vaulting of the passage for horses into the courtyard of the inn was so poor that, according to historians, it fell down twice before 1870" says an article focused on the history of the hotel which was printed in the 80s in local newspapers.

In 1870 the inn was taken over by Eduard Pompe, a brewer from Vokšice. He transformed the passage of the inn into a hangout. In 1876 the inn was acquired by the Earl Ervin Schlick. At that time, the hotel was the centre of Jičín’s social life. Schlick also added an extra part with more rooms on the site of the burnt barn in 1892. A pub called Batalion was established in the basement.

Antonín Dvořák played in the hall and T. G. Masaryk lectured there.

The reputation of Hamburg hotel was supported mainly by the hall touching the first and second floor of the building. There were a lot of lectures, theatre performances, balls and other types of entertainment. In 1892 even Antonín Dvořák sat down at the piano and performed together with his trio. Antonín Dvořák was on the tour on which he parted with the Czechs before starting his contract in the U.S. Jaroslav Vrchlický, a popular translator, poet and author of the timeless classic “Night at Karlštejn” also liked the hotel and held his lectures there.In 1905 the hotel hosted a series of three lectures given by T. G. Masaryk. "They took place in January, every week. Every time Masaryk came to the lecture by train and the same day he took the train back to Prague. He insisted on at least one hour long break after the debate peace" Úlehla describes.

The former Hamburg hotel was the first building in Jičín from which all the German inscriptions disappeared during ethnic riots in 1897. Then Czech nationalists from Jičín, who wanted to promote equality of the Czech language and wanted to use it for internal relations for official purposes, fought against German and Jewish traders. They also gathered in front of the Hamburg hotel. They had stones in their hands and they had been planning to throw them in the windows. Earl Ervin Schlick, however, was prescient, and he’d had the German inscriptions removed. The crowd of Jičín’s Czech nationalists therefore went to other companies and institutions. For example, many windows were smashed in a Jewish school.

The history of the names of the inn is also very interesting. The name “At the city of Hamburg” and later “Hamburg” only, were names used for the original inn. After the establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918 the building, which had been greatly expanded, was given the name Paříž and during the German occupation it was changed back to Hamburg hotel.

And what was it called after the war? The hotel was named Stalingrad! "However, even this name did not stand as the hotel’s name forever. And, after all the revelations of atrocities of the Soviet dictator, former bosses of the nationalized hotel did not bother with finding a completely new name. The letters of the name Stalingrad were rearranged to form the name Astra. The name remained until 1990, when its new owners returned to the name of the capital of France, "says the expert Vladimir Úlehla.

In 1993 the hotel, which had been heavily stigmatized by socialism, was bought by Karel Formánek and Jaroslav Červený. They started reconstruction, which, for practical purposes, was only finished recently. They extended the pub called Batalion into the former coal depot. “During the reconstruction we found incredible things in the building. For example, there was a meter wide vent. I thought that someone had been stuck in it. We also found water pipes that went nowhere. And half of the ceiling was destroyed. None of the rooms had a bathroom," says Karel Formánek.Jiří Hnízdo, the renter of Batalion pub agrees. "What we found when clearing out the attic was incredible. The cleaners there sifted through all the litter, then they did not want to go with a basket down into the bin, "says the man, who now operates a pub at Paříž. It was created in 1937 from the former stables.

The hotel is now like new. It has thirty-three rooms and more than half of them have their own bathroom and toilet. Come and see for yourself what the reconstructed hotel looks like.