THE DILAPIDATED national historical monument in the historical centre in Banská Štiavnica known as Hell House has a real chance for salvation. Its current owner, Bratislava-based company Hedo, wants to rebuild it into a four-star hotel. It has already submitted its project for renovation of the historical edifice to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the SITA newswire wrote in early July.
The company wants by reconstruction and extension of the existing facility by a new wellness and fitness centre and conference premises in the neglected garden to preserve and salvage as far as possible the building and its atmosphere in combination with modern, but not too dominant, new buildings and thus to provide clients pleasant and environment for relaxation in Banská Štiavnica, a UNESCO-listed town. The new hotel should have 29 rooms with a total of 58 beds. The hotel restaurant is projected to have 70 seats. The hotel should employ 50 people in total. Hedo plans to start the reconstruction in October 2011 and complete it by November 2013. The total investment is projected to be €1.76 million. Through the reconstruction the edifice could return to its former function when it used to serve as an inn in the long past. A post office existed here from the 17th century until 1873. Later it was rebuilt and consisted of apartments and stores. In 1980 the building was emptied due to structural problems and an overall reconstruction was planned. After the fall of the communist regime in 1989 it was returned to its original owners, the Hell family as part of the restitution processes. Since this time it has changed hands several times, but has continued to deteriorate. At the end of the last century it was inscribed in the New-York-based World Monuments Fund’s list of the 100 most endangered cultural monuments in the world.
The history of Hell House dates back to the early 16th century when an early Gothic house occupied the site. At the turn of the 16th and the 17th century it underwent an extensive reconstruction in Renaissance style, during which the building was extended and got precious architectonic details in the form of stone portals, window lining and vaults decorated by ornaments.
Banská Štiavnica is an old medieval mining town with Renaissance palaces, 16th-century churches, elegant squares and castles. The urban centre blends into the surrounding landscape, which contains vital relics of the mining and metallurgical activities of the past. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993.
9. Aug 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff