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5 interesting humans of Prague

Václav Havel 

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5 October 1936 – 18 December 2011) was a Czech writer, philosopher, dissident, and statesman. From 1989 to 1992, he served as the last president of Czechoslovakia. He then served as the first president of the Czech Republic (1993–2003) after the Czech–Slovak split. Within Czech literature, he is known for his plays, essays, and memoirs.

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Havel’s political philosophy was one of anti-consumerism, humanitarianism, environmentalism, civil activism, and direct democracy. He is considered by some to be one of the most important intellectuals of the 20th century.

He was “like a father for a more than 90% percent of Czech population. Very popular man with a huge hearth and openminded.Meanwhile, as I write these lines, they are running down of my cheeks tears of sadness. We will never forgot you. Ever.

 

David Černý

Žižkov Television Tower Prague - babies by David Černý

 

Thank Prague’s resident rebel sculptor, David Černy, for modern art with a sense of humor decorating the city. You can get a close-up of the babies with bar code faces on the castle side of the Vltava River, near the Kampa modern hall museum . For more of Černý´s twisted work try the statues of two men pissing outside the Kafka Museum, or the upside-down horse inside Lucerna Palace near Wenceslas Square.

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Over Charles Bridge, the Franz Kafka museum immediately to the right (Cihelná 2b) harbours one of Cerny’s most humorous creations. Affectionately titled, “Piss”, it features two gyrating, mechanical men urinating on a map of the Czech Republic. Text a personal message to the number next to the exhibit and these chaps will happily waggle their bronze penises around to spell it out for you.

Quo vadis?

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If you grew in a Communist country you’d probably call this a “trabi”. Quo Vadis, from the latin “where are you going?“, is a bronze statue of a Trabant car on legs: a tribute to the four thousand East Germans who occupied the garden and the halls of the then West German embassy during the summer of 1989.

 

 

 

 

Franz Kafka

Prague July 3, 1883 – Vienna June 3, 1924) was a Czech-born, German-speaking writer. His best known works are The Metamorphosis and the novels The Trial and The Castle. Not much of his work was published during his kafka-584lifetime. He asked his friend to make sure that all his writings which were not published, including his three novels, would be destroyed when he died. Fortunately his friend did not destroy them, and they were published after Kafka’s death.

At the age of 36, Kafka wrote a 100+-page letter to his father attempting clarify his feelings about their relationship and assert his individuality.

Franz_Kafka_from_National_Library_Israel “Dearest Father,” it began, “you once asked me why I maintain that I am afraid of you. As usual, I did not know how to answer you, partly because of this very fear I have of you, and partly because the explanation of this fear involves so many details that, when I am talking, I can’t keep half of them together.”

 

 

Jan Saudek 2700-1

Jan Saudek is the world-famous Czech photographer. He was born in Prague in 1935 into a Jewish family, most of his relatives died in concentration camps, he and his twin brother Karel were kept in the special children camp for twins. Both of them survived the war. Karel later became a famous comix drawer.

From the revolution until now, he has lived and worked in Prague. If you want to get to know him better, you have a few options. You can visit his official website, the address is: http://www.saudek.com and works both in Czech and English version. On the website you can find a presentation of Sara Saudkova too. Sara is Jan Saudkek´s ex-partner, who became also a famous photographer under his influence and she is also quite well known not only for her work but for her private life as well.

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You can visit the permanent exhibition of his works at:

Jan Saudek Gallery in Celetna Street number 1, which is located in the city center, almost on the Old Town Square.

 

Adina Mandlova 17221051491_4bae35c574_z

She was born in a small Czech town of Mlada Boleslav in 1910 as the youngest child of for and only daughter and as such was pretty spoilt by his father. But her father died when she was 8. As a young girl, she was often hanging out, accompanied by a man, which was pretty inaproppriate in a small town, so at age of 16 was sent to French lyceum to study there, she was a smart girl, but because of bad behaviour was sent home before getting a diploma. Some time after that she worked as a secretary in her hometown, but soon moved to glamorous Prague, where she started her career as a model and quite soon made it into movies.

Her first one was Devcatko, nerikej ne (Girl, don’t say no) in 1932. This was a star of a magnificent career. Soon she got another roles and was gaining a popularity and was working also as a theater actress. She started dating a famous actor, who was also a director – Hugo Haas. She became extremely popular and was getting appearing in more and more movies, some of them are popular until today, as for example Panenstvi (Virginhood 1937), or probably the peek of her career – Kristian (1939), where she appeared with a big male star of that times – Oldrich Novy.  During the World War II, she got a role in one German movie, but according to her autobiography did not like it in Berlin at all and as soon as she could decided to come back to Prague.

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