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Vaclav Havel's Legacy, Through The Lenses Of Friends

Vaclav Havel, the first postcommunist president of Czechoslovakia and then of the newly established Czech Republic, died on December 18, 2011, at the age of 75. On the first anniversary of Havel's death, many Czechs are paying tribute to the memory of the writer and democracy icon. The photos collected here are the work of two photographers, Bohdan Holomicek and Tomki Nemec, members of Havel's inner circle who captured moments from his private life as he transitioned from communist-era dissident to head of state. (16 PHOTOS)

Vaclav Havel in 1975 at his country cottage, called Hradecek, in North Bohemia
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Vaclav Havel in 1975 at his country cottage, called Hradecek, in North Bohemia

Havel and his first wife, Olga, at Hradecek in 1974. Olga, who died in 1996, was a fellow dissident and signatory of the Charter 77 human rights initiative.
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Havel and his first wife, Olga, at Hradecek in 1974. Olga, who died in 1996, was a fellow dissident and signatory of the Charter 77 human rights initiative.

The Havels with friends Jan and Karla Triska in 1975
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The Havels with friends Jan and Karla Triska in 1975

A photo taken during a long night of conversation at Hradecek in 1975
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A photo taken during a long night of conversation at Hradecek in 1975

Friends and actors gather for a reading of Havel's play "The Garden Party."
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Friends and actors gather for a reading of Havel's play "The Garden Party."

Havel prepares for a summer gathering at the cottage, 1975.
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Havel prepares for a summer gathering at the cottage, 1975.

A private staging of Havel's play "Audience" in 1976, with the author in one of the main roles
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A private staging of Havel's play "Audience" in 1976, with the author in one of the main roles

Havel appears in a window of Prague Castle in the early days of his presidency, on February 25, 1990.
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Havel appears in a window of Prague Castle in the early days of his presidency, on February 25, 1990.

The president addresses crowds at Prague Castle on February 25, 1990. He had just returned from a visit to the United States, where he spoke before the U.S. Congress.
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The president addresses crowds at Prague Castle on February 25, 1990. He had just returned from a visit to the United States, where he spoke before the U.S. Congress.

Havel, a rock fan, meets members of the Rolling Stones on August 18, 1990, the day of the music legends' first concert in postcommunist Czechoslovakia.
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Havel, a rock fan, meets members of the Rolling Stones on August 18, 1990, the day of the music legends' first concert in postcommunist Czechoslovakia.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher accompanies the Czechoslovak president on Wenceslas Square during an official visit to Prague on September 18, 1990.
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British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher accompanies the Czechoslovak president on Wenceslas Square during an official visit to Prague on September 18, 1990.

Havel wades in the Atlantic Ocean in Cabo da Roca, Portugal, near the westernmost tip of the European continent, on December 14, 1990.
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Havel wades in the Atlantic Ocean in Cabo da Roca, Portugal, near the westernmost tip of the European continent, on December 14, 1990.

Havel and his wife, Olga, pray alongside Polish President Lech Walesa at Prague Castle on September 16, 1991.
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Havel and his wife, Olga, pray alongside Polish President Lech Walesa at Prague Castle on September 16, 1991.

A photographer takes an official portrait of the Czechoslovak head of state in 1992.
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A photographer takes an official portrait of the Czechoslovak head of state in 1992.

Havel with his second wife, Dagmar, whom he married in 1997, at Hradecek around 2000
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Havel with his second wife, Dagmar, whom he married in 1997, at Hradecek around 2000

Nearing the end of his presidency in January 2003, having already moved of the president's residence, Havel appears to breathe a sigh of relief.
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Nearing the end of his presidency in January 2003, having already moved of the president's residence, Havel appears to breathe a sigh of relief.

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