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Hotel Slavia


SOLNIČNÍ 17


The Art Nouveau Hotel Slavia was opened in 1899 by the patriot Karel Moravec, and this Czech enterprise quickly became the celebrated centre of Czech cultural life. In the National Café on the first floor, visitors had access to a great number of Czech publications, important Czech figures met here, as well as the members of various Czech societies, for example, National Unity, the Society of Czech Travelling Salesmen and the Skiers' Association (whose chairman was the writer Jiří Mahen). Leoš Janáček also visited the Hotel Slavia for the meetings of the Russian Circle, of which he was co-founder and an enthusiastic member. Other active society members included Janáček's daughter, Olga, and the bookseller Josef Barvič.

Hotel Slavia in 1931   © Brno City Archive
Hotel Slavia in 1931 © Brno City Archive

Dear Friend!

Some Russian - a magician approached me yesterday and pleaded for a recommendation. He's doing badly. Please be so kind as to write a recommendation saying that he has performed for the Russian Circle and the whole group was greatly entertained. For the signature of the recommendation just write "The Russian Circle in Brno".

From a letter from Leoš Janáček to Vladimír Zach, director of the postal service in Brno who was on the committee of the Russian Circle (no date)


Leoš Janáček in front of the Hotel Slavia during a visit by the orchestra of the Prague National Theatre on 22. 6. 1917 (from the left, Leoš Janáček, Karel Kovařovic, František Svěntý, Jan Buchtele, Jan Kunc, František Mareš) © Moravian Museum
Leoš Janáček in front of the Hotel Slavia during a visit by the orchestra of the Prague National Theatre on 22. 6. 1917 (from the left, Leoš Janáček, Karel Kovařovic, František Svěntý, Jan Buchtele, Jan Kunc, František Mareš) © Moravian Museum
Leoš Janáček with members of the Russian Circle around 1910 © Moravian Museum
Leoš Janáček with members of the Russian Circle around 1910 © Moravian Museum
Hotel Slavia before 1918, historical postcard © Josef Filip Publishers
Hotel Slavia before 1918, historical postcard © Josef Filip Publishers