Pension or Social Service – Both are services for the people

14. 8. 2020

Pension or Social Service – Both are services for the people

Planning to make a trip, to attend a cultural event, or to see to work duties in the Czech capital? Use the services of the St. Christopher Guest House, a pension in the district of Prague 10 run by the Caritas of the Archdiocese of Prague. You will not be disappointed, and you will keep coming back, like most other guests do. We have interviewed JAROSLAV NEKL, who has been managing the St. Christopher Guest House for many years.

What is the history of the pension?

The history of the building that houses the St. Christopher Guest House is no less than exceptional. Originally an orphanage, it was built in 1907. Its founder was J. K. Parmová, whose contribution is described on a commemorative plaque on one of the pension’s walls. I have met with many people who grew up in the orphanage before it was closed around 1950. They all had good memories of the years that they spent here. I believe that both the building’s history and today’s involvement of Caritas have a favorable impact on the atmosphere here. Many guests have made remarks to that effect.

The pension looks to have been recently renovated…

The building was flooded in 2013. Within eight minutes, water spilled over into the large garden and flooded three Caritas cars parked in the parking lot at the bottom of the property. Afterward, the facility was completely renovated. Today, the pension looks like new. Before it was reopened, the premises were blessed by His Eminence Dominik Cardinal Duka.

Who are the most frequent guests at the pension and what amenities does it offer?

We mostly provide accommodation for employees of nearby businesses who come to Prague from other regions to attend work meetings and training sessions. An advantage is a free guarded parking facility on the property. Tourists are also frequent guests here. They can get to the center of Prague quickly and easily by taking the bus and the Metro. Traveling downtown takes less than 30 minutes. The pension is a great place for pilgrims and tourist on their stopover in Prague. We provide them with a tranquil atmosphere, away from the downtown rush, yet in close proximity to central locations.

In what ways does the St. Christopher Guest House stand out?

Guests most often appreciate the high level of comfort, the smorgasbord-style breakfast, and our very friendly staff. We pride ourselves on maintaining the highest possible guest rating on the booking.com website. In addition, by staying at our pension, people support Caritas in its charity work.

What are your plans for the future?

We want to build a chapel next to the pension, which will serve people in their spiritual awakening. We already have the blueprints, and now, we have to secure funding. We would also like to install an elevator inside the pension.

How long have you been the manager here? What do you find most fulfilling about your work? What do you enjoy the most?

I have been managing the pension for nearly 20 years. I have lived through good and not-so-good times here. Even though it might not appear so at first glance, my work is similar to that done by my colleagues who provide Caritas’s social services. All of us serve other people. The specifics of our jobs might differ, but the essence is the same. Because of that, I am always joyful to see guests who leave happy and keep coming back.

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