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History of Hotel Ambasador

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Hotel Ambasador’s architecture is an example of modern Split architecture, a significant cultural achievement of the last century, which at its end returns to pure cubic forms.

At the beginning of the 20th century, projects were created that greatly influenced the urban appearance of Spit. One of the projects was expanding the coast towards the western side of the city, and the first known plan for constructing the West Coast was drawn by architect Fabijan Kaliterna in 1919. He proposed the construction of hotels and public buildings with a promenade along the sea, modeled on the Côte d'Azur. His vision came to life in 1935 when the Hotel Ambasador construction began. In parallel, the idea of ​​completely renovating the western part of Split was back in the picture.
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Hotel Ambasador was built in 1937 according to the design of Czech-Croatian architect Josip Kodl, and its official opening was the same year on the first day of August. The works of Josip Kodl are easily recognizable, and they are primarily characterized by an advanced spirit and thinking. He developed a modern, functionalist international style of architecture conditioned by the understanding and design of interior space. The compact, cubic form with slight deviations in volume and completely symmetrical breakdown of the facade, with windows or doors as geometrically regular slits in the wall membrane, are the main features of Kodl's architecture. In his creative work, he advocated for the affirmation of Europe's then avant-garde urban and construction trends and the implementation of new ideas. He is the father of Split’s modern style, bringing a new wave to Split architecture.

Hotel Ambasador’s architecture is an example of modern Split architecture, a significant cultural achievement of the last century, which at its end returns to pure cubic forms. As such, Ambasador is a memorable part of the city's cultural memory and was considered the backbone of Split's development as a tourist destination in its beginnings. It was built on an embankment near the sea, connecting the city promenade with the newly built promenade. It was built in Solurat, on the old Split shipyard Košćina, as part of the newly established West Coast. According to the same plan, the road from Matejuška to the hotel was renovated and built to better connect the hotel with the old city center. With its attractive location, the hotel fits into the vision of Split, where the slopes of Marjan merge with the Adriatic Sea.

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The hotel had 48 rooms and stood out for its modern architecture, which was a real attraction then. It is superbly equipped to the hotel standards of the time, considering that it contained several rooms of different purposes that fit that period. The hotel had a cafe-restaurant, a kitchen, toilets, a director's room, a reception hall, a porter's area, an information room, a newsagent, telephone booths, an elevator, and a writing room, a social hall, and a barbershop. The rooms supplied hot water, central heating, and a telephone. The famous terrace with a cafe and restaurant was the backdrop where influential people would socialize. Some sources say that the foundations of the Split Festival were created right within the walls of the then-new hotel. Ambasador had the first neon advertisement at the very top of the building, which justifies its modern contribution to that time. After the Second World War, the building became the Home of the Yugoslav Navy, and the military administration was housed there. From the former hotel, the popular cafe, restaurant, and terrace where famous dancers and singing competitions were organized were left for use by the citizens of Split. In 1954, a ground-floor block with a cinema was added on the far side, open to the public, and operated under the name Kino Jadran. The hotel building was demolished in October 2017, and the construction of a new facility began in its place.

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