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hotel Besídka

Hotel Besídka

Besídka is a meeting place, restaurant, hotel, club and a café but also a place to rest, get inspired, it is a home, sanctuary and a source of energy.


This house was bought on 27 June 1988 by the so called ‚magnificent seven‘ from theatre Sklep and our friends dubbed the ‚mother of the nations‘. In 1988 the totalitarian régime in this country was still so deep we could barely see the tips of our noses and the furthest we’ve travelled was our pantry.


Quote from the times when Besidka existed purely as a theatrical concept, before it materialised into its current form – the restaurant and bar functioning as the metaphorical head, the kitchen as a stomach, the cellar as a liver-focused pit stop and the heart of it all in the renaissance hall (which is not even really from the Renaissance) and is now presided over by Ferdinand Vaněk.



The accommodation in Besidka provides us with great joy and we believe that you, our guests, will feel the same.

You can choose from nineteen unique rooms named after our patrons, co-founders and people without whom Besidka would not be what it is but also after heroes of theatre Sklep’s plays in our newest ‚theatre wing‘.

Our rooms will be prepared for you at 14:00 at the latest. We would be very greatful if you could vacate your room by 11:00 on your departure date, so we can prepare the room for our next visitors. All rooms are non-smoking only.

hotel Besídka
hotel Besídka
hotel Besídka
hotel Besídka
hotel Besídka
maříž keramika

Entertainment and Leisure

Accommodated guests can enjoy cycling on nearby cycling tracks. Guests can also go hiking during their stay at the hotel. They can choose from many trails in the area. Children will have a great time in the playground located by the accommodation facility. To while the time away, guests can visit the cinema located within 238 m from the hotel or Maříž ceramic.



Guests can park their car in the unguarded car park directly by the hotel for free. The closest bus stop is a mere 400 m away from the hotel. Trains stop 700 m from the hotel.

The closest airport is 99,1 km away from the hotel.


Pre Sklep

When we talk about this house, we should also mention the history of the town. It was founded by Přemysl Otakar II., also known as the King of Iron and Gold, close to an existing Slavic settlement, in the 13th century. The king invited German colonists to improve the demographic situation of this frontier area. He had no idea that this was to determine the history of the town well into the 21st century. Shortly before his death at the Marchfeld battleground in 1278, he ordered the fortification of the new settlement. In 1359, his no less famous grandson Charles IV. granted town status and privileges to the community. The fortifications proved useful many times, first against the Hussites who burned down the suburbs but didn't take the town in 1423, then during the thirty year war when the Imperial army repeatedly tried to take this Protestant stronghold. Only in 1645, the Swedes occupied and sacked the town without resistance. It just so happened that with the above exceptions, these were the salad days of Slavonice. In 1560, a stagecoach station on the Prague-Vienna route was built here, bringing money and prosperity until the route was changed to pass though Znojmo.

What followed was a long term decline with a short reversal during the first half of the 20th century, and then the dark age of post-war displacement and the sleepy isolation of a totalitarian frontier. And how about Besídka? It’s birth certificate reads: Date of birth – unknown. Unfortunately, most of the documents in the town archives were lost during World War II and shortly afterwards. The beginnings may be guessed at from building history research and the town history. The oldest part certainly are the cellars, probably from as early as the 13th century. When you wander through the underground fountain and toilets area, remember that 700 years ago, somebody else was already looking at the vaulting over your head. The perimeter walls of the house are probably Gothic. A proof is the Gothic frame of the small window between the kitchen windows in the courtyard. Then comes the Renaissance and the year 1547 when the house was reconstructed. The original, probably wooden, ceilings were replaced by cross vaulting supported by stone pillars. The facade was also renovated and decorated by sgraffito. The only sgraffito decoration older than this one is in Prague, the difference a mere two years.

For some time, the present-day restaurant and carriageway were the largest vaulted space in Slavonice. Very early, though, still in the 16th century, they were separated by a wall. There are fragments of frescoes with German lettering on it. The owner, probably a thankful subject of Zachariáš of Hradec and his wife Kateřina of Valdštejn, had the coats of his lords painted. The sgraffito scenes on the street facade are almost exact copies of woodcut illustrations of Luther’s Wartburg Bible of 1534. Among the Old Testament scenes are the sacrifice of Cain and Abel on top of the gable. Below the windows is Samson tearing a lion apart in the left field; the large field shows Samson slaying the Philistines, drinking from the spring of Ramath-lehi (notice the jawbone of an ass), and carrying the gates of Gaza; in the next field, Delilah is shearing Samson’s locks. The last field on the right shows the drapers’ guild coat of arms with the letters P. P., perhaps the owner’s initials. In the semicircular attic gable above the windows are the ten stages of life from birth to death. The lunettes between the stone corbels show the Old Testament characters Sarah, Job, Aaron, Jacob, Joshua, and Saul.

In 1992, a part of a depiction of Moses holding the Ten Commandments was discovered on the left side wall. As we pass through to the first courtyard, we will notice a Venetian semicircular gable with a large Renaissance window, restored in 2004. Gothic circumference walls with cross vaulting added in the 16th century are predominant in the back part of the house as well. At that time, the builders didn't pay much attention to the stability of the house, so the vaults were simply stuck on to the circumference walls, without joining them to the original construction. After a few centuries, the resulting cracks were two inches or wider, so the house is nowadays held together with a number of pull rods. As we walk up the two arm staircase to the first floor, we enter an anteroom with a wooden Renaissance ceiling and a restored window to the inner courtyard. An identical Renaissance ceiling construction is hidden under the Rococo and Baroque stucco in the main hall to the right of the staircase and in the room on the left. Somebody blocked a stone framed iron Gothic door within the body of the staircase that was only constructed in mid-19th century.It’s a mystery how the second floor and the attic were accessed before that.

Another mystery is an underground passage on the second level of the cellar. Nowadays, it is partially flooded and the end is closed up by rubble. Perhaps it was a part of the Slavonice underground labyrinth that is being rediscovered now. Baroque gave stucco ceilings to the house and, according to the prevailing fashion, whitewashed the sgraffito decoration and reshaped the gable cornices. The sgrafitto had to wait for uncovering until the mid-twentieth century. The house faced the greatest danger early in the 20th century when its owner, a hatter named Ferdinand Zimmer, wanted to open a hat salon in the carriageway. As he needed a larger and lighter shop window, he wanted to replace the stone consoles supporting the second floor by steel beams. Fortunately, the house was already on the protected heritage building list and the change was not approved. After the German occupation of the frontier area, Mr. Zimmer was deported to a concentration camp because he was a Jew. He died in 1942 in Majdanek. Mrs. Zimmer later remarried and lived in the house for some time with her husband Mr. Kostroun. They later moved to a housing project and the house stayed uninhabited for 16 years. And then a new chapter began.




In 1988, the Sklep Theatre discovered Slavonice. One of the impossible to overlook Sklep personalities, life artist Zdeněk Žampa, a.k.a. Žampič, invited his fellow actors to the Barchan feast in nearby Jemnice. This rites of summer festival goes back to the 14th century and reminds us of the stay of Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia in this corner of the country. It also brought all of us to Slavonice where we spent the night in the house where Žampič was born. The next morning, Jan Boháč saw the rays of the afternoon sun light upon an abandoned ruin across the street. He had no idea that this house would become his destiny for the rest of his life. The idea of purchasing a ruin of a house in a forgotten frontier town just a few yards from the Iron Curtain was so downright stupid it was immediately adopted by the other seven enthusiasts. Within a year, they owned the house. Soon, though, the classic Neruda question “What to do with it?", surfaced. Fortunately, the Velvet Revolution soon opened new options. Both Mr. Boháč a Mr. Žampa were delighted to leave their engineering jobs and devote themselves to higher aims, that is, the opening of their own Sklep restaurant.

Armed with 20,000 Crowns of their personal savings, no experience of the other side of the bar, and naive ideas or early capitalism, they laid the foundation stone of Besídka in early January. Nobody knows how it happened that the house was given the name of the oldest and most famous of Sklep Theatre shows. Less than six months later, on June 15, 1990, a bus brought the rest of the Sklep Theatre to Besídka. The band started to play and Lenka Vychodilová and Tomáš Hanák baptized the house with the ritual song "The Sklep Besídka Starting". While everybody was making merry in the pub, the artist Kryštof Trubáček was busy chopping wood in the courtyard in order to have everything ready for the first yearly “International Summer School of Theory and Reality of Spiritual Experiment”. This was the ephemeral name we gave to the project that far surpassed our expectations. The first students from Italy, Germany and Austria who managed to overcome their fear of visiting a country that just woke up from a totalitarian sleep were rewarded by unforgettable fireworks of ideas, gags, and pure joy that emanated from all the instructors.

David Vávra did mimic collage, Aleš Najbrt was in charge of calligraphic dance, and Čestmír Suška carved wood, while Martina Riedelbauchová and Tereza Kučerová performed dainty decoration of the walls and doors. In this way, Besídka kept changing every summer for a full ten years. The euphoria of the first Besídka summer inspired Jan Boháč to write the semi-autobiographic novel "And then you’ll see...", published by Maťa in 2000. While the enthusiasm and bustling activity managed to stay high through this entire time, the house started showing signs of wear and tear. The expectations for standard of accommodation increased and what was perceived as entertaining and quaint during the first post-revolution years became a stumbling block for a higher quality of enjoyment. The hasty reconstruction of 1990 needed to be completed and improved. The time came in 2003 when Mr. & Mrs. Boháč, by then the sole operators of Besídka, had accummulated enough money and energy to finish the job. They joined with Roman Koucký’s architectural firm to breathe new energy into Besídka. This choice was no accident, it was a conscious decision because the house needed somebody who knew it well, yet was outside the Besídka-Sklep mainstream.

It was not an easy job, though, because the house already had a life of its own that had to be maintained, yet taken to a higher level at the same time. Today, the original bar with Kryštof Trubáček’s painted tiles stands next to Martin Ceplecha’s ventilating sniffer. In the restaurant itself, though, a visitor sees no substantial changes. This, however, does not apply to the rest of the house. The accommodation provides comforts of a three-, and in places even a four-star, hotel; it is not just a place to rest your head for the night but rather a soul-enriching aesthetic experience. The hotel rooms are not numbered – rooms in the front part of the hotel are named after the eight original founders of Besidka. Each room, through its design and décor, captures something of the multifaceted personality of the founder. This can, under close observation, reveal unexpected twists. Through these eight rooms in Besidka, all of the founders remain ever-present, for you to explore. Out the back of the hotel – originally an old barn – the rooms are named after people who have, in some meaningful way, helped to create the ‘new’ Besidka: for example Roman Koucký or Martin Ceplecha. In the newest part – the adjoining house – rooms are named after theatre Sklep’s roles: for example Vivienne Hathfield from the play ‘Smart Philip’. Lastly, our newest addition is the presidential suite of Ferdinand Vaňek. The suite, originally a rococo hall, is almost 100 square meters in size and is truly presidential. Only our visitors, however, will ultimately be able to say whether the original spirit of Besidka lives on, and if the words of the legendary song "Besidka begins, forever the same, but always different" ring true today.

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