The Villa Grébovka Celebrates 150 Years: 1871–2021


03 Sep 2021

On August 5th, the CEELI Institute partnered with Open House Praha and opened its doors to the public for comprehensive tours of the Villa Grébovka. A great occasion for local and international visitors to learn about the fascinating history of this 150-year-old building! The event was fully booked, with over 120 participants attending the guided tours. Our deep gratitude goes to Jirina Marie Novakova, former vice-mayor of Prague 9 and member of the CEELI Institute’s Supervisory Board, who did a fantastic job telling the tales of our beloved Villa Grébovka. The audience was thrilled by this opportunity to get in-depth knowledge of the fully renovated landmark.

The Villa Grébovka (Villa Gröbovka) was built in the early 1870s as the summer home of Moritz Gröbe, a wealthy 19th-century industrialist who made his fortune in railroads. The estate was sold to the local municipality in 1905, and the park was opened to the public in 1906—the villa has been used as a public space ever since. Occupied by the Nazis during World War II, it suffered heavy damages in the Allied air raid of February 14, 1945. During the communist era, it served as a Palace for Young Pioneers.

The villa fell into disrepair from the lack of upkeep throughout the communist period and early transitional years in Czechoslovakia. It was ultimately renovated by a group of Czech and American legal reformers who created the CEELI Institute and turned the property into a residential training center for judges, lawyers, and human rights advocates from across Central and Eastern Europe. For this special anniversary of the Villa Grébovka, the CEELI Institute was delighted to open the doors to the general public and give everyone a chance to explore the building.

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