Unitas Hotel and its compelling history


18th Century

The Jesuit order commissioned the construction of the Church of Saint Bartholomew, along with a monastery, library, and two expansive gardens at what is now Bartolomejska 9. Renowned architect Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer, noted for his work on structures like the Church of Saint Nicholas and the Church of Saint Cyril and Methodius, designed the complex.

Following Maria Theresa's dissolution of the Jesuit order in 1773, the monastery was sold to the town and repurposed for storage. Later, it underwent transformation into a concert hall, welcoming world-renowned composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner, and Antonín Dvořák.

19th Century

  • In the mid-nineteenth century, the Church of Saint Bartholomew underwent restoration and was entrusted to the care of the Congregation of the Grey Sisters of the Order of Saint Francis. They utilized the space to provide social assistance and care for the disadvantaged and ill. During this period, the Grey Sisters numbered nearly five hundred


In May 1945, following the official conclusion of the Second World War, the Prague Uprising erupted. The adjacent building operated as the field headquarters "Bartos" for the Czechoslovakian resistance, serving as the command center from which battles against the Nazi occupiers were coordinated.


Following the 1948 general election, the Communist Party assumed control of Czechoslovakia. In 1950, one evening, the convent and the adjacent church were seized by the State Secret Police. The Grey Sisters were forcibly loaded into vans and transported to detention camps. The Church of Saint Bartholomew was repurposed as a shooting range.

Second Half of the 20th Century

For the subsequent 39 years, the building housed a prison where adversaries of the regime underwent interrogations, including Vaclav Havel, the inaugural president of the independent Czech Republic.


Following the revolution, in 1990, the building was returned to the Congregation of the Grey Sisters in a dilapidated state. To secure funds for its restoration, it was decided to operate a portion of the property as an accommodation facility under the name Pension Unitas. This venture soon became the primary source of funding for the crucial reconstruction efforts.


On December 22nd 1992, Pension Unitas received a visit from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, whose Prague Heritage Fund contributed to the ongoing reconstruction efforts. He was accompanied through the building by none other than Vaclav Havel himself.


On April 18th, 1998, the Church of Saint Bartholomew was re-consecrated by His Eminence Cardinal Vlk. After nearly five decades, it was restored to its original state, thanks to the generous contributions of various donors, including the Prince of Wales Foundation, the City of Prague, and notably, Pension Unitas.


On November 17th, 2004, Pension Unitas welcomed a visit from the former president, Vaclav Havel, who was filming a documentary about his resistance against the communist regime. It was in cell number 6 where he endured some of the most challenging moments of his life.

2006 - 2008

On October 30th, 2006, the doors of Pension Unitas were shut, paving the way for a two-year reconstruction project that transformed it into the Unitas Hotel Prague in its present form. The hotel welcomed its inaugural guests in April 2008.


On October 14th, 2021, a new segment of the building was unveiled, hosting the newly inaugurated 3-star accommodation known as Unitas Residence Prague. Shortly thereafter, in March 2022, amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Unitas Residence offered shelter to a few dozen Ukrainian women and children.

Historical Photos