History of the Czech Embassy building in Bern

History of the Czech Embassy building in Bern
History of the Czech Embassy building in Bern

The building of the Czech Embassy together with the historical garden is one of the exceptionally architecturally impressive buildings in Bern.

Villa Jenner also has a large garden, so the current building of the Czech Embassy stands out in a densely built-up residential area like a green oasis. It is one of the most beautiful and interesting buildings of Czech embassies in the world. The history of its acquisition was also interesting.

At the beginning of the 20s of the last century, Czechoslovakia contractually undertook to supply sugar worth 24 million francs to Switzerland and to buy machines and other goods from the Swiss as compensation. However, the progress of the compensation trade slowed down and became complicated. The amount owed was therefore also used to cover the costs of activities and the stay of the staff of the Czechoslovak delegation for the League of Nations.

At the same time, Czechoslovakia, as a new state, needed a suitable building for its representative activities. That is why the Czechoslovak ambassador in Bern at the time, C. Dušek, suggested using the remaining funds to buy a representative villa in Bern. Villa Jenner was selected and on July 16, 1926, the contract of purchase was signed by the office manager.

In connection with the creation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939 and the Slovak State, all diplomatic and consular representations of Czechoslovakia abroad were closed and taken over by the Germans. In the following years, the German embassy repeatedly unsuccessfully tried to register the German Empire as the owner of the property in the land register of the city of Bern.

After the end of the Second World War, diplomatic relations between Czechoslovakia and Switzerland were restored at the beginning of 1945. On May 15, 1945, the Swiss Federal Council decided to return Villa Jenner to Czechoslovak hands. The then ambassador Jaromír Kopecký took over the building immediately the next day. From that day until the end of 1992, Vila Jenner was the property of the Czechoslovak state. During the division of the Federation on January 1, 1993, the embassy building went to the Czech Republic on the basis of the Czech-Slovak agreement on the division of the property of the former Czechoslovakia abroad.

The ambassador’s office is located in the main building of the embassy. The original farm building at the entrance to the site is used for the purposes of the consular department of the embassy.

The article is in Czech


Tags: History Czech Embassy building Bern


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