Václav Havel’s Prague. A Guide to Buildings and Places with a Role in the Life of the Playwright, Dissident and President Zdeněk Lukeš
Written by a leading historian of Czech architecture, this guidebook, comprising several chapters accompanied by photographs by Pavel Hroch and others, presents works of Prague architecture bulit by Vaclav Havel’s grandfather and father, including the Lucerna and buildings in the district of Barrandov, as well as places connected with Havel’s childhood and youth, the period of his success as a dramatist, and his years as a dissident.
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While in the Office of President, Havel himself initiated distinctive changes to the Castle precincts to give them a more welcoming appearance. The guidebook also includes places linked with the last years of his life.
The mosaic presented includes buildings with a variety of functions – from Havel’s favourite pubs, cafes, and theatres, flats of fellow dissidents, secret-police interrogation rooms, and a prison, all the way to changes he initiated in the architecture of the Castle. The seventy entries, presented here chronologically, are accompanied by biographical information about the particular periods of Havel’s life, as well as maps and brief biographical sketches of the architects.
The author, Zdeněk Lukeš, is a historian of architecture. He has organized exhibitions and published dozens of books on the subject and has been employed at Prague Castle for almost thirty years as an adviser on architecture.