Gresham Palace

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Four Seasons Hotel Budapest Gresham Palace.
Interior of the Gresham Palace.

The Gresham Palace or Gresham-palota is a building in Budapest, Hungary; it is an example of Art Nouveau architecture. Completed in 1906 as an office building ana apartments, it is today the Four Seasons Hotel Budapest Gresham Palace, a luxury hotel managed by Four Seasons Hotels.

History[edit]

The site was once occupied by Nákó House, a neo-classical palace built in 1827. In 1880, the London-based Gresham Life Assurance Company bought the property, at a time when it was illegal to invest money in stocks, but rental income was a wise investment. The company later decided to build its foreign headquarters on the site, and decided that they needed a grander setting for them. They commissioned local architect Zsigmond Quittner to design the new structure, and in 1904, they began construction of the Gresham Palace, which was completed in 1906 and opened in 1907.[1]

Originally, the palace served as an office building as well as a home for wealthy British aristocrats associated with the Gresham company. During the occupation after World War II, Soviet soldiers resided in the extravagant palace. Eventually, it became decrepit and was used as an apartment building during the People's Republic of Hungary. In 1990, when democracy was restored, the national government presented the palace to the city of Budapest.

Oberoi Hotels entered into an agreement to manage a hotel in the building in 1991, but ensuing legal battles with residents of the building caused Oberoi to drop out in 1995.[2] Four Seasons Hotels then agreed to manage the hotel in 1999. In 2001, the building was bought by the Irish investment company Quinland Private. They extensively rebuilt the structure as a luxury hotel, restoring such original details as a large staircase, stained glass, mosaics, ironwork and winter gardens. The Four Seasons Hotel Budapest Palace Hotel opened in 2004. In November 2011 the hotel was bought by The State General Reserve Fund of Oman, though Four Seasons continues to manage it.

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Coordinates: 47°29′59.09″N 19°2′52.73″E / 47.4997472°N 19.0479806°E / 47.4997472; 19.0479806