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Hlavka, Josef (1831 - 1908)

Architect, the greatest patron of Czech culture and education in the latter half of the 19th century. In 1882 he established the “Josef and Marie Hlavka Czech University Endowment” for students of the law, philosophical and medical faculties and, in 1890, he founded the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts and became its first president. He was also the founder of the Institute of Ethnography, the Hlavka Halls of Residence and, together with his wife, he also set up a foundation which awarded prizes for Czech poetry. In 1866 he purchased Luzany castle, which he reconstructed in the Italian Neo-Renaissance style. Here he invited all manner of guests from the cultural and scientific spheres, including Antonin Dvorak who, at his request, wrote Mass in D major for the consecration of the new castle chapel, dedicating the work to Hlavka. Dvorak and his wife were frequently invited by Josef and Zdenka Hlavka to attend their regular Friday evening music al soirees held at their Prague residence.