The CEELI Institute is housed in the historic Vila Grébovka, in the heart of Prague, Czech Republic.
The Vila is a Czech national historic building that dates back to 1871. Moritz Gröbe, a Czech industrialist who made his fortune in mining and railroads, built the Vila as a summer residence. In 1905, shortly after Mr. Gröbe’s death, his family sold the Vila and estate to the city, which has since turned the grounds into a public park, Havličkovy sady. Over the years, the Vila has served many other functions: it was a palace for Young Pioneers, a University of Forestry, and, at one point, a ballet studio.
In a unique partnership, CEELI leased the Vila from the city of Prague 2 for 50 years and, in return, agreed to renovate the building back to its original splendor.
The CEELI Institute completed the Vila’s transformation into a state-of-the-art conference and residential center in June 2008. The renovations were made possible with a seed grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development and key financial support from individuals and corporations. The architectural husband and wife team, Michal Hron and Henreta Hronova, skillfully implemented the renovations and SKANSKA, Czech Republic served as general contractor.
The Vila’s amenities now include: