High on a mountain top near Liberec, Czechia a narrow road spills into a small parking lot. If you drive up this road on a dark, cloudy night, your eyes will enjoy a visual feast as you enter the parking lot: you have arrived at Hotel Jested. Perhaps a better name would be Spaceship Jested, [...]
High on a mountain top near Liberec, Czechia a narrow road spills into a small parking lot. If you drive up this road on a dark, cloudy night, your eyes will enjoy a visual feast as you enter the parking lot: you have arrived at Hotel Jested. Perhaps a better name would be Spaceship Jested, as this hotel/tower (construction began in 1966 with the hotel portion opening in 1973) highly resembles a lunar spaceship I recall so well from my youth of the 1960s and 1970s.
But the similarities to that era don't end at the exterior. If you decide to lodge here, as we did on September 11, 2017, you may feel like you have entered a 1960s/1970s time warp, Czech-style, since the building stands just as it did when upon completion, with no significant renovations in the last 50 years.
This sense of time warp is heightened by a black and white video playing in the lobby, which tells the story of the Jested Tower, featuring footage from that era of the construction, major players, and Czech television broadcast studios.
Built during a time when the US and USSR were engaged in an epic battle to reach the stars or at the very least lay claim to the moon, Hotel Jested seems almost like a terrestrial monument to those days: a spaceship that fell to earth, intact, to reach the celestial sphere no more.
To further hearken back to that era, you use an actual key, not a plastic card, to enter your hotel room. Our room (an economy model) seemed sort of like a space pod with its sloping roof and narrow slats for windows. Looking straight out the window of the hotel room, you almost had a sense of floating in the sky, as this is all you see if it's not cloudy, besides the townscape of Liberec, below.
Hotel Jested sits atop a cold, windy peak (that's how it was on our 9/11 visit), giving extra height to its mountain namesake. The tower is truly a marvel of modern architecture, and I pondered how difficult it must have been to build this structure with the tools and machinery then available.
In any case, Jested originates within a difficult time in then-Czechoslovakia, while on the other side of the Iron Curtain in America an exciting time when man first walked on the moon. For those who enjoy time travel, Hotel Jested presents a unique opportunity to do so (for a short video, less than one minute, which shows the inside and outside of this structure, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGNtLhy9f8s).
Note: again, unable to include diacritical marks for Czech words, due to limitations of blog posting site.