In the works dealing with the history of Hlohovec, little space was devoted to the remarkable Hotel Jeleň building, one of the most magnificent and most significant buildings in the city. It is assumed that it was initially meant to be a town hall of Hlohovec in the 17th century due to its central location on the edge of the main square leading to Podzamska street.
However, it turns out that from the building’s origins to the present day, its purpose was completely different and that the building was probably never a town hall.
The building was built at the beginning of the 17th century, on land belonging to the manor on the site of an older building, which probably stood here in the 14th century. In the years 1598 – 1625, the Hlohovec castle with the adjoining estate was owned by Stanislav Thurz, who largely contributed to the development of the town. While he stayed here, he founded a trilingual grammar school in 1601, and he added another floor to the tower of the parish church in 1610, which gave the church its present appearance. During this period, the mentioned manor house was probably also built in the town square. From the beginning, the house was built as a two-story building in the Renaissance style. Its original appearance is captured by several vedutas (highly detailed, usually large-scale painting or, more often, print of a cityscape) of the city, but especially vedutas from 1761 and 1823, where the building has a clearly visible Renaissance arched attic, now partially visible in connection with the city library building. The rooms were vaulted with barrel and cross vaults; in the courtyard, there were open arcades on Tuscan columns. The Hlohovec Castle and the gazebo in the chateau garden, which was originally probably part of the castle’s fortifications, had a similar architecture from the time of the Thurzov reconstruction. The manor house on the square was decorated with sgraffito on the facade. Sgraffito was discovered in 1960 during the complete reconstruction of the Hotel Jeleň, but it was mostly destroyed due to the restoration, where all external walls were completely rendered to the bricks.
From several written documents, we also learn about the use of the manor house – a manor on the square, which belonged to the owner of the castle and manor. In several periods, manor hajduks, a preceptor, and administrative officials of the manor used to be in the building. In-kind and proceeds from tolls and the like were paid to the mentioned house. Other medieval documents prove that the building had its predecessor in an older building, which must have stood here in the Middle Ages. Already in the deed of Mikuláš Konth, who was the landowner of Hlohovec in the 14th century, it was stated in 1365: “(The subjects of Hlohovec)” are obliged to bring the usual gifts for the birth of the Lord, Michael the Archangel and for the Easter holidays, how? For each field, 1 cheese, 8 eggs, also from the village of three young rams to a place no other than our house (manor) in Hlohovec. “
The location of this manor is also mentioned by the wife of Mikuláš Konth, Klára, who in 1400 donated a hospital near Váh „… in our marked town of Frajšták (Hlohovec – note) on the east side of the parish church there is a stone corner house in folk language known named Hoffstadt.”
The Thurz family probably only rebuilt the older Gothic building of the manor into a Renaissance form. After the extinction of the Thurz family, the Forgáčov family, the lords of Mitrovice, the Hungarian king, and in 1720 Juraj Erdödy gradually acquired the manor house on the square. In the same year, Juraj Erdödy bought the entire Głogów estate and, with it, the manor house on the square. The record of the purchase of the house is from November 22, 1720. From that year, the Erdödy family began to lease most of their property. They rented several buildings on the square, including the Hotel Jeleň building.
The Renaissance appearance of the building was maintained until 1880 when it was rebuilt in the neoclassical style. During this year, the right corner of the hotel above the former buffet was added, it was a place for the 19th-century butchers of Głogów. On the second floor of the building, a social hall with a valuable Empire-style ceiling painting was created in 1880-82. At the beginning of the 20th century, the building began to function as a hotel, but it can be proven only from the year 1937.
The building of the Hotel Jeleň in Hlohovec is located in the south-eastern part of the quadrangular square of St. Michala, on the high left-bank terrace of the river Váh, inclining towards the south-western direction into the fields of the Trnava upland.
The floor plan of the square is based on the medieval layout of the town from the 13th to the 14th century, built in part by German and Slavic colonists after the Tatar looting in 1241 – 1242 and especially during the reign of the Anjou family in Hungary in the 14th century. From the beginning, the houses of the towns of Hlohovec on the square were concentrated around the parish church of St. Michael the Archangel, which was surrounded by a wall until the 17th century and around which it was intensively buried until the second half of the 18th century. The square has always been the natural center of the city, where almost all the social activities of Starý and Nový Hlohovec took place, including weekly fairs and landscape markets.
Among other things, one of the side branches of the Považská trade route from Trnava to Nitra passed through here, which led across the bridge on the Váh River (built in 1350) next to the hospital and the church of St. Spirit up the street, on the right side it went around the church of St. Michal, it continued along today’s SNP street, and at the entrance to today’s cemetery, it came out of the city through the city gate. All dwellings situated around this road, including the building of the Hotel Jeleň, belonged to the exhibition buildings of the city.
The reconstruction of the Hotel Jeleň in Hlohovec was conducted in three stages.
The first stage began in 2003. Work was carried out on the outer shell of the building, the truss and windows were replaced. The aim of this stage was to open business premises on the ground floor and stop further devastation of the building. This goal was finally met, and in autumn 2004, a café and other business premises were opened on the ground floor of the hotel.
The second stage. At this stage, the first floor with a restaurant, a congress hall, a lounge, and 10 rooms in the accommodation part of the hotel were restored. This part of the renovation was completed in October 2007, and the hotel resumed its operation after fourteen years.
The third stage was focused on the completion of the extension of the accommodation part of the hotel and the reconstruction of the courtyard. In the summer of 2007, work began on the extension of the accommodation wing of the building. After the completion, the number of hotel rooms increased from the current 10 to the final 23. In the second half of 2008, this part of the hotel was put into operation.