FORMER HOTEL KĽAK
The building of the former Hotel Kľak stands right at the corner made by two perpendicular streets leading to the southwest corner of the SNP Square. The building completing the area of the monument zone underwent many modifications and was used for various purposes. However, every change in its use often resulted in insensitive adaptations which gradually led to the loss of most of its architectural-historical and artistic values.
The building built in the 1920s occupies two narrower medieval plots. Its original architectural design in the spirit of historicism and eclecticism with Art Nouveau elements fully corresponded to the taste of the inhabitants at the time of the end of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. The exterior facade with simple plastic elements and details inspired by various historical periods enhanced the hotel’s reputation and exclusive services. The interior was affected by the dramatic events of World War II. For some time a local commando of the German army performed its activities here and after the liberation in 1945 it was a seat of the People’s Court. After 1948 the state power nationalized the hotel and adapted it for new purposes. In the years 1949 – 1954 the library with the status of a district institution was located here and the floor was converted into a cinema hall. The branch of the State Bank operated on the ground floor for some time. Later the bank was moved to another building in the town and the premises were used as an inn. Different purposes were probably the reason why the basic care of the building was neglected for a long time and almost no investment was made in its maintenance.
At the beginning of the sixties of the 20th century the building underwent a major reconstruction and began to be used again as a hotel under the name Kľak. It was one of the most modern facilities in the town and its surroundings and was often sought-after for its renowned cuisine. Unfortunately, the building modifications were carried out in a very insensitive way what affected the overall proportion of the building and the original architectural qualities, especially the main front and side longitudinal facade. Many intact morphological elements and details have been removed; some have only been restored in a simplified form. The window fillings no longer respected the original division. In order to increase the capacity of the hotel as much as possible, the front part of the roof was raised and adjusted to a pseudo-attic shape. After 1989 the descendants of the original owners applied restitution claims to the building and were successful. The hotel underwent other building modifications which mainly concerned the modernization of its interior. The wooden windows were gradually replaced by the plastic ones, the front entrance was moved to the central position, the facade was insulated and the ground floor was decorated with bossage. In the rear part the building was extended by two-storey utilitarian extensions and a large external staircase was added from the courtyard side. Over the last two decades the entire hotel has been redesigned but unfortunately without broader historical colouristic connection.
Once the pride of hospitality of the town, the hotel no longer serves its original purpose. Today, the premises of its ground floor are used as a café and the rest for various smaller commercial activities (shops and communal services). Upstairs and in the attic there are new housing units. Although the hotel lost a significant part of its authentic urban, architectural and artistic qualities in the second half of the 20th century and its social significance continued to decline, it is still an important part of the town’s history and its historical building structure.