There is an unusual story behind Szczepańska Street where the hotel is located. In times when one of the official study topics at Jagiellonian University was wizardry, famous magicians and astrologists, such as Paracelsus, John Dee, Edward Kelley and even doctor Faust himself frequented it. Szczepańska Street may easily be compared to Golden Lane in Prague. There are many reasons why Stary Hotel is described with these words: “with form they can reach further, they made it possible to reach beyond what’s material and visible“.
The building of Stary Hotel has been adapted from a ruined, XIV century tenement. During renovation, many historical details were kept, thanks to which we can now notice elements of various architectural styles: from gothic, through renaissance and baroque to classicism.
Inside the tenement, several antique elements have been renovated, gothic beams have been partially reconstructed, XVIII century polychromes have been revealed and early XVI century piers between windows have been perfectly kept. During renovation, ceramics (most probably from the pre-location period), medieval workshop and XVII century import documents, which allowed world wine trade, have also been revealed.
The present form of the elevation was created by August Plasqude, an architect who rebuilt it in 1823. He placed on the attic a figure of Mercury, a roman god of trade, profit and merchandise, backed on a shield, with the initials of the then owner of house – Aleksander Market.
What’s interesting about the building, is that the following owner, Piotr Steinkeller, initiated in 1838 creation of the first rail connecting Warsaw and Krakow using steam cars from his company.
After I World War, a restaurant called Feilguta was situated in the tenement house at Szczepańska Street, being one of the first catering facilities in Krakow. It was later known as Pod Trzema Rybkami restaurant, which was running until early 90s. The catering past has left us a wrought grille with the image of three fish, which we can be seen in the National Museum.
The building has been purchased and renovated by Holding Liwa – the owner of the chain of luxurious hotels. Opening of the Stary Hotel took place in June 2006, and in 2007 already won the prestigious price in Paris Prix Villegiature contest, in the category of “ the best hotel interior architecture in Europe”.