Grand Hotel hotel and casino, Sopot
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Grand Hotel hotel and casino

Sopot

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The Grand Hotel is an example of the interwar-period resort architecture. It is distinguishable by its extraordinarily large size and Baroque-Classical architectural form, reminiscent of Baroque palaces, which were, in the period when the building was erected, associated with luxury, comfort, and elegance. When erected, the building, functioning as a hotel and casino, was one of the most elegant, luxurious, and modern buildings of that type in Europe, winning Sopot a reputation of one of the most valued resorts. Currently, it is one of the most recognisable structures in Sopot. It is a symbol of the leisure profile of the city, and expresses both its former glory as well as current aspirations of the city to be a successfully prospering resort. The building, situated immediately by the beach, is perfectly highlighted from the side of the walking pier and the sea. It is one of the dominant features in the townscape.

History

In the late 19th century, Sopot became a popular and flourishing resort, by the contemporaries called Pearl of the Baltic Sea and Monte Carlo of the North. World War I brought economic depression, and therefore the city authorities, in order to increase income, introduced gambling. The first gambling room was established in the Spa House in Sopot in 1920. In 1927, the Casino Hotel was opened; a large, modern, and luxurious building, which was intended to be the pride of the city that would give Sopot an equal status with the most valued European resorts. The building was designed by Otto Kloeppel and Richard Kohnke. Apart from hotel rooms, the building had also restaurants, cafés, banquet halls, a ballroom, as well as an exclusive casino, only for selected guests. After the war, the casino was closed and the name of the hotel was changed into Grand Hotel Sopot. In 1950, the building was taken over by Orbis. In the post-war period, a lot of eminent guests stayed in the hotel. In the 1960s, it was the seat of the winter stage of the Non-Stop music club. Czerwone Gitary debuted here, and in 1971, the first disco in Poland, Musicorama, was opened. The Grand Hotel was also the centre of social live during the festivals held in the Forest Opera. In 1989, a casino was reopened in the hotel. In 2006, the building underwent a full-scale renovation, which raised its standard to five stars. Currently, it functions as Sofitel Grand Sopot.

Description

The hotel is situated in the centre of the resort part of the city, on the northern side of the main communication axis running along the Bohaterów Monte Cassino street - Spa Square - pier line. The hotel plot is located immediately by the beach. From the south, it neighbours the modern Sheraton Hotel and the Spa Square, from the west - Powstańców Warszawskich street, from the north - the greenery of the Northern Park, and from the east - the beach. It is situated parallel to the sea shore, from the east it is preceded by an arranged garden, and from the west - by a spectacular porte-cochère.

The building is made of brick, and has a reinforced concrete structure. It was erected on a flattened H-shaped floor plan, consisting of a rectangular corps de logis, two rectangular side avant-corps and a polygonal avant-corps on the axis of the building on the side of the sea (the eastern façade). It is a compact structure with four storeys and a two-storey attic. The corps de logis and the side avant-corps are covered with mansard roofs. The middle avant-corps is one storey higher than other parts of the building and is topped with a bulbous tented roof with a spire. On the axis of the eastern façade, there is a two-storey porch. Above the porch, there is a terrace. In the southern façade, there is a two-storey avant-corps, also topped with a terrace. The ground floor of the building is low and rusticated, and forms a visual plinth that carries the other storeys. On the axis of the western façade, there is a three-axial portico in the giant order, supported by four columns, framed with a pair of pilasters on its sides, and topped with a triangular pediment. In the eastern façade and side avant-corps of the building, there are portre-fenetre windows preceded by semi-circular balconies. The portre-fenetre windows and window openings are topped with segmental arches and framed with keystone surrounds. The interior follows a three-bay layout, typical for a hotel. On the first floor, there are fine rooms. On the higher floors, there are hotel rooms, and on the ground floor and partly in the attic - utility rooms. On the axis of the first floor, there is a square reception hall and an octagonal restaurant room. Above the hall, there is three-storey-high round empty space, with a decorative, brass balustrade with the motif of lily. On both sides of the hall there are two fine staircases. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th storey are hotel storeys.

The building is accessible; www.accorhotels.com

compiled by Beata Dygulska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 30-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Górska-Karpińska M., Grand Hotel Sopot, Warszawa 2005;
  • Dzieje Sopotu do roku 1945, pod red. B. Śliwińskiego, Gdańsk 1998, str.172-176;
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury. Grand Hotel (dawny Hotel Kasina Gry), opr. J., P. Czyszek,1986, Archiwum NID

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1 poł. XX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Powstańców Warszawskich 12, Sopot
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district Sopot, commune Sopot
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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