PRAGUE CASTLE AND PLEČNIK GARDENS
13.00 - 17.00
ZDENĚK LUKEŠ – Architect and historian of architecture
In 1920, Tomas Masaryk, the first president of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, asked Josip Plečnik to restore the Prague Castle as a new symbol of independence and democracy. From 1920 to 1934, Plečnik completed various projects around the castle, including a series of presidential apartments with an oval lift within a vaulted brick cylinder, and new state rooms with a triple storey columned hall. He also transformed the exterior spaces for the benefit of the public, repaved courtyards, articulated them by new monuments and, above all, he transformed the old ramparts overlooking the city into a paradise garden, enhanced by stairs, a fountain, columns, gazebos, massive urns and small pyramids. We will enjoy a slow and beautiful walk through Plečnik`s three courtyards - First, Third and Forth Courtyard - and three Gardens - Paradise Garden, Garden on the Bastion and the Garden on the Ramparts - of the Castle, enjoying a whimsical view of the whole city of Prague. Our guide Zdenek Lukes is an architect and historian of architecture who was actively involved in the 1989 Velvet Revolution and worked several years in the Office of the President of the Czech Republic revitalizing Prague Castle during Vaclav Havel's presidency. He is also the author of several books on modern architecture history of Prague.