The CEELI Institute is housed in the historic Villa Grébovka, in the heart of Prague, Czech Republic. The Villa is a Czech national historic building that dates back to 1871. It is a significant example of mid-19th century Italian Renaissance Revival architecture. 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 Villa 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, the CEELI Institute has leased the Villa from the city of Prague 2 for 50 years and, in return, renovated the building back to its original splendor. Renovations were completed in 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.
Today, the Villa is an extraordinary, self-contained training and residential center with lecture halls, classrooms, dining facilities, and residential accommodations. The Institute hosts more than 75 events per year and has a dedicated logistics and facility management staff.
The Villa’s amenities now include:
- 3 large classrooms/seminar rooms that can each accommodate up to 60 people in classroom format and 100 people in theatre forma
- 7 breakout/seminar rooms for up to 25 people
- A library and reading room;
- Office space
- A dining hall and industrial kitchen;
- Residential space for up to 44 participants
- A residential building with 6 apartments for long-term guests and visiting faculty
- On-site Fitness center
- High speed wifi throughout /span>
- Outdoor terraces with spectacular views over Prague /span>