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Zdeněk Lukeš: Václav Havel’s Prague

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A guide to buildings connected to the life of the playwright, dissident and president

The book Praha Václava Havla. Průvodce po stavbách spojených s životem dramatika, disidenta a prezidenta (Václav Havel’s Prague: A guide to buildings connected to the life of the playwright, dissident and president) focuses on buildings in the city linked to the life of that extraordinary figure. Across a number of chapters, the guidebook presents in pictures by Pavel Hroch and other photographers buildings constructed by his grandfather and father, such as the Lucerna Palace and buildings at Barrandov, as well as spots connected to Havel’s childhood and youth and his periods as a successful playwright and as a dissident. It also takes in Prague Castle, which during his years as president Václav Havel did a great deal to make more welcoming, alongside places associated with the final years of his life. The mosaic of locations includes buildings with all kinds of functions – from his favourite pubs, cafés and theatres to the apartments of dissident, StB interrogation centres and prisons to new additions to the Castle. The 70 or so Prague buildings and open spaces are laid out chronologically, while the book also delivers biographical information concerning individual stages of Havel’s life, detailed maps and an index of architects. 

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