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. 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, CEELI leased the Villa 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 Villa’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 Villa’s amenities now include:
- 2 large classrooms/seminar rooms for up to 100 people;
- 6 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