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Czech guidebook presents Prague buildings linked to Václav Havel

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Prague, June 18 (CTK) – A Czech guidebook of Prague buildings connected with the life of former dissident and later president Vaclav Havel has been published by Vaclav Havel Library.
Several chapters of the book focus on buildings created by the late president’s grandfather Vacslav Havel and father Vaclav M. Havel, especially the Lucerna Palace and the Barrandov Terraces, which are places related to Havel’s childhood and youth, his era of a successful playwright and his dissident era.
This real estate was returned to the Havel family in the 1990s, after the fall of the Czech communist regime.
The Lucerna Palace, near the Wenceslas Square in the city’s centre, is now owned by Havel’s brother and sister-in-law who want to have the building listed among the national cultural heritage. Havel’s grandfather originally planned to build a large skating ring in the underground, following the example of Berlin. Finally, he decided to build a great hall there, using a then unique construction of reinforced concrete.
The Barrandov Terraces, dominated by a functionalist restaurant by architect Max Urban, were part of an urbanistic project of a green residential district planned by Havel’s father.
Greek businessman Michalis Dzikos recently bought the dilapidated terraces from Havel’s wife and he wants to reconstruct them and build a hotel on the spot.
The book presents about 70 buildings and places, such as Havel’s favourite pubs, cafes and theatres, dissident flats, secret police interrogation offices, prisons and new buildings of the Prague Castle, the presidential seat.
The author, architect Zdenek Lukes, worked at Prague Castle from the early 1990s and he participated in the adaptations of the compound during Havel’s presidency.
Havel (1936-2011) was the country’s president in 1989-2003.

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