The owner of the former Benedictine monastery of St. Gabriel in Prague’s Smíchov district, the Cimex Group, is planning what to do with the site next. The reconstruction will be started in a few years, CEO Miroslav Kosnar told SZ Byznys.
“It will definitely take a few more years before we can start implementing any project or reconstruction of this space, because the building cannot remain in this state,” explains Miroslav Kosnar, CEO of Cimex Group. “It’s pretty much devastated after many years of not investing in it, so the events that take place here and the commercial leases help us to overcome this period.”
A former convent of the Benedictine women’s order in Prague’s Smíchov district.
The building is located in close proximity to the Kinský Garden and is built in the Neo-Romanesque style, including the Church of the Annunciation.
Since 1919 the premises were owned by the state and used by postal organizations, most recently the Czech Post. Since 2020 it has been owned by Cimex Group.
The final word on what will happen to the monastery has not yet been given. When Cimex bought the former monastery from Česká pošta for CZK 353 million, it talked about rebuilding it as a luxury hotel. But that was before the pandemic of covid-19, which froze the hotel market for many months and drove tourists out of Prague.
“There were certainly more considerations about what to do with the property. But for us, the best consideration is still the hotel, but we are calculating and thinking about how to use it, because it is a large space and a unique place,” Miroslav Kosnar told Seznam Zprávy.
It is the latter model that the company is testing in another project in Senovážné Street in the centre of Prague. In the summer, it opened its first apartments under the name Orea Place Seno, which combine guest privacy with hotel service and other services.
How much will it cost?
“It would be nice if it wasn’t a two-billion-dollar project,” the Cimex boss says with exaggeration about the question of the future budget for the reconstruction. The original plans were for a billion. “We would definitely do it again, we fell in love with the place,” he adds. He says he sees the pandemic, which is sharply increasing the price of construction work and materials, as a very unpleasant but only temporary period.