In Dejvice, or is it Bubenec?

Jarda Tusek and Jiri Dienstbier, 1993, at the residence of the US Ambassador to the Czech Republic in Bubenec
We are in Prague again, this time for a visit that includes business and pleasure. For a change of scenery, we're staying in a flat in Bubenec that belongs to a friend of a friend. The flat is, apparently, just on the border of Dejvice and Bubenec, so we are never quite sure where we are. Apparently Bubenec straddles Prague 6 and 7 (Dejvice is only in Prague 6), so we are not the only ones who are confused.

Bubenec is a neighborhood with a strange identity. The block we're on, for example, is residential, right around the corner from this 1930's government building. You can't quite see the statues of men in WWI uniforms over the front doors.

by Matěj Baťha
If you walk just a bit northeast of this building, you are in Stromovka ("Tree Place"), a former hunting preserve of Rudolf II, an emperor and animal enthusiast.

You can walk through Stromovka onto a little footbridge, cross the Vltava River and be at the Zoo/Botanical Gardens before you know it.

Slovenčina: ZOO v Prahe: Tiger sumatranský (Panthera tigris sumatrae)
Naturally there are churches here in Bubenec:

Church of St. Gotthard - in Bubeneč Prague (Czechia). Built in 1801. Photo by Hynel Moravec
Walk just a bit east of where we are staying, and you will encounter the residence of the American Ambassador to the Czech Republic. Here's a brief account of the house's origins:

"The Residence of the U.S. Ambassador in Prague was built in the late 1920’s, during the brief flowering of the first republic of Czechoslovakia, by Otto Petschek, the patriarch of one of the wealthiest families in the country. The Petscheks were a German-speaking Jewish family, and their wealth was in large part from coal mine holdings and banking." 

The residence was sold by the Petscheks in 1938, when they grew fearful of the Nazis; the family moved to the USA. When the Nazis overran Prague soon thereafter, it was used by General Toussaint, the commander of Nazi forces in the Czech Republic. After May 1945, when the German withdrew from Prague, the house was briefly occupied by the Soviet Army, then the Czechoslovak Army. in September 1945 it was sold, by some complicated negotiations, to the US government for use by their Ambassador.

Our business, the International Leadership Institute, co-hosted a reception there for Czechoslovak business leaders and American officials in 1993, to kick off our "Executive Education Programs."

Czech executive Vlasta Zajicek and Sara Tusek, 1993, at he reception
At the Ambassador's Residence, a reception in 1993


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