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Germania House – GEC department store

Year of construction: 1875

Number of views: 4407

Category: Houses in the Pedestrian Zone

Address: Svobody 16, čp. 561

 
 
 

In the summer of 1875 the Cheb construction office issued clockmaker Kaspar Albert Müller a permission to live in the newly built house in today’s Svobody Street. The author of the house project is not known but the three-floor building was the result of very poor building production. In 1904 the house was inherited by the developer’s daughter, Karoline, married to Mr. Otto. In the autumn of 1928 the building was purchased by chemist Georg Lorenz Köstler who decided to build a modern block of flats and department store to house the company GEC (wholesale limited liability company for the consumer associations in the Czechoslovak Republic). He approached architect Karl Mattusch from Cheb to develop the project for him. The original intention of rebuilding the old object turned out to be too demanding and ineffective in the end so it was decided to tear the house down. The demolition work took place in May 1930 and the festive opening of the new GEC department store in the building called Germania took place already on 15 November. Architect Karl Mattusch designed one of the most prominent Functionalist buildings in Cheb. He positioned the mass with shop display windows and windows further to the front on the first and second floor levels and had it bordered with black glass sheets (opaxit) with company inscriptions made in chrome. The front facade was covered by ceramic tiles in two shades of brown, and the display windows were lined with travertine. Horizontally, the building was segmented by ongoing cornices above the windows, and by balustrades. The building was finished with an extensive roof terrace. One half of the ground floor and mezzanine with luxurious interior was designated for the department store. The second half of the ground floor housed the Germania chemist’s. The remaining four floors of the building were intended for flats. After World War II the building was obtained by the consumer, production and savings cooperative “Práce”. A textiles shop was located here from the 1960s. In the early 1980s the ground floor was fitted with new display windows with aluminium frames. More significant modifications to the ground floor took place in 2000–2001.

Authors of the text: Zbyněk Černý - Karel Halla - Hana Knetlová

 

Comment

Literature:

Zbyněk Černý - Karel Halla - Hana Knetlová, Que procedit. Historie pěší zóny v Chebu / Geschichte der Fussgängerzone in Eger / History of the Pedestrian Zone in Cheb, Town of Cheb 2010, p. 74-77.

 

Owners

  • 1875 Kaspar Müller
  • 1904 Andreas and Karoline Otto
  • 1928 Georg and Anna Köstler
  • 1948 National administration
  • 1950 “Práce”, consumer, production and savings cooperative, limited liability company
  • 1961 “Jednota” – people’s consumer cooperative in Cheb
 

Design

Unknown architect / Karl Mattusch 

 

Reconstructions

1930

 

Accessible to the public only during operating hours of the businesses residing here. 

 

Contact Information

Address: Svobody 16, čp. 561

 

Pictures

Demolition of the chemist’s shop Germania in 1930, photo by G. L. Köstler, MCH.

Demolition of the chemist’s shop Germania in 1930, photo by G. L. Köstler, MCH.

Germania House – GEC department store 2013

Germania House – GEC department store 2013

Germania House – GEC department store 2013

Germania House – GEC department store 2013

 
Germania House – GEC department store 2013

Germania House – GEC department store 2013

Germania House – GEC department store 2013

Germania House – GEC department store 2013

Germania House – GEC department store 2013

Germania House – GEC department store 2013

 
 

 
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