HomeHavel´s Place / České Budějovice

České Budějovice

Lavička VH Budějovice

  • address:: USB, Branišovská 1645 / 31a, České Budějovice, Czech Republic
  • installation date: June 11, 2014
  • foto:: Václav Havel Library / Ondřej Němec

At 11:00 on Wednesday 11 June, a Havel’s Place was ceremonially unveiled on the campus of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. České Budějovice became the fifth city in the world, and the University of South Bohemia the second university (after Georgetown University in Washington), where the piece – two armchairs linked by a round table with a Linden tree growing through its centre – will remember the life and work of Václav Havel. Despite tropical weather, several hundred people attended the unveiling, chief among them academics, students and colleagues and friends of Václav Havel.

The Václav Havel Library was represented in České Budějovice by Karel Schwarzenberg, one of its founders, executive director Marta Smolíková and editor Anna Freimanová. Karel Hvížďala, who interviewed Václav Havel for the book Disturbing the Peace, spoke at the unveiling, as did Bořek Šípek, the designer of Havel’s Place. Honoured guests included Sister Angelika and Sister Evangelista, who looked after Václav Havel in the final days of his life; Bishop Jiří Paďour, who for years studied at the Theatre Faculty at the Academy of Performing Arts alongside Václav Havel; Martin Palouš, chairman of the board of directors of the Václav Havel Library and founder of the Václav Havel Center at Florida University; Petr Kolář, former Czech ambassador to Sweden, the USA and Russia; former MPs Jan Ruml, Martin Bursík and Kateřina Jacques; former presidential chancellor Ivo Mathé; and the honorary chairman of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Rudolf Zahradník.

Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington

„We are still a long way from that „family of man;“ in fact, we seem to be receding from the ideal rather than drawing closer to it. Interests of all kinds: personal, selfish, state, national, group and, if you like, company interests still considerably outweigh genuinely common and global interests. We are still under the sway of the destructive and thoroughly vain belief that man is the pinnacle of creation, and not just a part of it, and that therefore everything is permitted. There are still many who say they are concerdend not for themselves but for the cause, while they are demonstrably out for themselves and not for the cause at all. We are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us, and its environment. We still close our eyes to the growing social, ethnic and cultural conflicts in the world. From time to time we say that the anonymous megamachinery we have created for ourselves no longer serves us but rather has enslaved us, yet we still fail to do anything about it.“

Václav Havel:
Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington, February 21, 1990

Havel—Prigov and czech experimental poetry