It was built in 1892 in what was then Breslau, Germany, in Art Nouveau/Neo-Baroque style on the site of the graveyard of St Dorothy’s Church. The graveyard had been converted into a jail in 1817.
The plot was bought near the end of the 19th century for 600 000 marks by the banker Wallenberg Pachaly and architect Karl Grosser, who built a trade house and hotel in which there were 69 rooms, including 21 single occupation rooms, 46 double occupation and 2 apartments. Room size ran from 10 to 36 square metres (110 to 390 sq ft) and according to 19th century standards were luxurious. It was fondly christened “the pearl of Lower Silesia” (die Perle Niederschlesiens).
The hotel’s in-house department store was located at the corner of Świdnicka and Modrzejewskiej Streets (formerly Schweidnitzerstraße and Agnes-Sorma-Straße respectively). During the last months of World War II it was significantly damaged so that it was rebuilt only in 1961 and became an exclusive cafe “Monopol”. At the end of the 20th century it was closed and commercial functions were restored in the building.
The hotel building itself survived the war without significant damage. Following the transfer of Breslau to Poland in 1945, the hotel hosted the World Congress of Intellectuals during the Exhibition of the Recovered Territories in 1948 with guests such as Pablo Picasso, Irène Joliot-Curie, Ilya Ehrenburg, Jorge Amado and Mikhail Sholokhov. Other prominent guests included Marlene Dietrich, Zbigniew Cybulski and Jerzy Grotowski.
The hotel provided setting for a number of films including Andrzej Wajda’s Ashes and Diamonds, Wojciech Has’s The Doll as well as a popular TV show More Than Life at Stake.
In 1984 the building was entered into Wrocław’s register of monuments. The façade was given a facelift in 2008. Today the Monopol Hotel has two restaurants (one Polish and the other Mediterranean), a spa and wellness club and organizes conferences and banquets. During Euro 2012 it hosted the Czech national team.