The Historic Old Town Hotel


What made Smetana Hotel (formerly Pachtuv Palace) the favorite lodging for Mozart and other luminaries?

Pachtuv Palace: A history of the 17th century Baroque palace and the noble Pachta family who called it home


Postcard from 1906 with Pachtuv Palace on the right

The original, old Baroque Pachta’s Palace and house of Earl Hubert Karel Pachta from Rajov number 208 in Old Prague Town belongs to a group of cultural and architectural monuments. It was built in the 18th century according to the design of architect Jan Josef Wirch. The Pachta family were of noble origin and had received their coat of arms from Emperor Franz Ferdinand in 1628, which can still be seen today at the head of the original entrance of the palace on Anenske Namesti.

Jan Josef Pachta was known to be a big music lover and a great supporter of the music life and culture in Prague. He even had his own orchestra and regularly hosted concerts and dances. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his wife Konstanze were regular guests of the Count, this was due to the fact that Mozart believed that he had finally found his orchestra in Prague, and thus travelled there often in his later years. He said ..my Czechs understand my music. Where his opera Le nozze di Figaro received a tepid reception in Vienna, it's December of 1786 presentation at Prague's Nosticz Theater (now the Estates Theater) was a huge hit. This turn of events brought Mozart to Prague for the first time in January of 1787 to conduct Le nozze di Figaro himself. Later that month he presented his Symphony No. 38 in D major, popularly known under the alias The Prague Symphony. Other pieces that premiered Prague in the years that followed include Don Giovanni, La clemenza di Tito, and The Magic Flute.

During a stay at the Pachtuv Palace, Mozart was symbolically imprisoned in what is today our Mozart Suite in room 212 for a couple of hours by the Count, because he had promised on several occasions to compose a few dance pieces for him. Left only with a few sheets of parchment and ink, Mozart finally completed his 6 German Dances, K. 509, and handed them to the Count, inquiring whether his prison sentence had come to an end.

The front part of the hotel which is known as Jirásek House was built in the early 19th century. It was named Jirasek House after the well known and respected Czech neurosurgeon Arnold Jirasek who lived in the original part of the palace with his wife for some years.

Among many other famous personalities who have visited Pachtuv Palace were composers Ludwig Van Beethoven and Richard Wagner.

In 2002 Pachtuv Palace underwent extensive rehabilitations to bring all its glory back to this unique landmark property.

Rebranded as a luxury boutique hotel in 2015 the Pachtuv Palace hotel is now owned and operated by Ott family.

 

Pachtuv Palace archive between 1914 and 1917