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“It was a time of continuous and glorious surprises, a time of great improvisation, a time of collective imagination. Suddenly people were once again able to be together” Václav Havel, November 21, 2016

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Club / News / Program


Conference Global Challenges to Liberal Thought  28/01/20

Dear guests, Due to organisational reasons on the side of our partner, we are obliged to postpone the conference "Global Challenges to Liberal Thought" on 31 January and 1 February to which you have registered. We will inform you about the new date in advance. We apologize for any inconvenience and we are looking forward to seeing you at some other event at our premises. Václav Havel Library Team


Support Hong Kong with 5 fingers raised!  10/12/19

On 10 December 2019, Human Rights Day, the Vaclav Havel Library is launching a Facebook happening to support the protesters in Hong Kong. We call upon everyone to upload their photographs with their 5 fingers raised under this Facebook event. More


It’s here again – the Velvet Weekend is coming!  06/11/19

Do you recall that time of euphoria? Thirty years ago when the Czech and Slovak nation united and said a clear NO to the Communist government? Let’s celebrate this round anniversary together and remember Václav Havel, the first democratically elected president of Czechoslovakia after 1989. More


Ilham Tohti wins Sakharov Prize  25/10/19

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, bestowed by the European Parliament, has gone to Ilham Tohti, a professor of mathematics at a Beijing university. He received the award for his long-term efforts to improve the situation of China’s Uyghur minority. The announcement was made by the president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, at its plenary session. Ilham Tohti is also the laureate of this year’s Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, though he was unable to collect it in person as he has been in jail for five years. He received a life sentence for separatism in 2014 and his family have had no direct contact with him for three years.

Program for January 2020<>

The World-Altering Power of the Freedom of Speech

The World-Altering Power of the Freedom of Speech

  • Where: Archa Theatre, Na Poříčí 26, Prague
  • When: November 9, 2011, 19:00 – February 1, 2020, 21:00

An international symposium on the role of freedom of expression in today’s globalised and culturally and religiously non-homogeneous international society.

Accompanying programme: Exhibitions created by the NGO People in Need, “Press Against Persecution – Cuban Samizdat 2000–2010” and “Silenced Voices: An Exhibition About Murdered Human Rights Activists in Russia”. Evening public meeting featuring participants in the symposium, moderated by Carl Gerschman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy, and Šimon Pánek of People in Need. Theatrical performance produced by Archa Theatre accompanied by the music of the All Star Refugee Band. Concert by the group The Plastic People of the Universe.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in conjunction with People in Need and Archa Theatre.

Federalism and Europe

Federalism and Europe

  • Where: New York University Prague, Malé Náměstí 11 (Richtr House), Prague 1
  • When: June 19, 2012, 19:00 – February 1, 2020, 21:00

Two panels at this conference was focused on Europe’s integration process with an emphasis on the concept of federalism within the context of a long-term vision of Europe in the 21st century and in the current euro zone crisis.

The Czechoslovak Presidential Traditions and the Direct Election of the President in the CR

The Czechoslovak Presidential Traditions and the Direct Election of the President in the CR

  • Where: New York University Prague, Malé Náměstí 11 (Richtr House), Prague 1
  • When: October 12, 2012, 19:00 – February 1, 2020, 21:00

A conference consisting of four panel discussions: the Masaryk and Benes Tradition, and the Presidential Traditions of Václav Havel and Václav Klaus. What to expect from direct presidential elections? A debate featuring presidential candidates was focused on the issue of the direct election of a president in the Czech Republic. The conference was organized by the Václav Havel Library in conjunction with NYU Prague.

Europe and the Czech Republic 2113

Europe and the Czech Republic 2113

  • Where: American Center U. S. Embassy Prague, Tržiště 13, Praha 1
  • When: May 24, 2013, 19:00 – February 1, 2020, 21:00

Conference on the present state and future of European civilisation. The discussion panel will comprise Miroslav Bárta, Jeroným Klimeš, Jan Macháček and Václav Cílek. The conference is taking place in cooperation with Ace Academy.

Krzysztof Miller: Breakthroughs and Conflicts

Krzysztof Miller: Breakthroughs and Conflicts

  • Where: Leica Gallery, Školská 28, Praha 1
  • When: November 8, 2019, 19:00 – January 5, 2020, 21:00

Work by the Polish photo reporter from the Velvet Revolution and around the world.

1989. The Eastern Bloc is falling apart. Krzysztof Miller, then a fledgling Polish reporter, captures in his pictures demonstrations and changes in Poland, the Velvet Revolution in Prague and the bloody fall of the regime in Romania.

Between 1990 and 2008 he documented a series of military conflicts and victims of massacres and famines. Miller, who is today famous, has undertaken almost 60 international trips, returning to a number of places several times. Among other spots, he has taken pictures in Romania, Iran, Georgia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Bosnia, Croatia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Burundi, Zaire, Kosovo, Congo, Iraq, Uganda, Southern Sudan and Kenya.

Miller immortalised key moments and central conflicts of the 20th century, as this exhibition bears out. The images on show deliver not just a picture of the contemporary world but also of a perceptive and exceptional photo reporter who, thanks to his perceptive eye, has managed to capture ordinary people in their everyday reality.

The exhibition is an accompanying event to Festival of Freedom, celebrating the anniversary of 17 November 1989.

Co-organisers: Polish Institute in Prague, Václav Havel Library, Leica Gallery Prague, Dom Spotkań z Historią and Agencja Gazeta. The project has been supported by the Czech-Polish Forum of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Amputations: Stories from an Undeclared War

Amputations: Stories from an Undeclared War

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 6, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

Igor Pomerantsev, a poet, radio dramatist and journalist with the BBC and Radio Free Europe, will introduce a pictorial book by five authors focused on the tragedy of the war in Eastern Ukraine. Amputation is a versatile metaphor for the excising of part of the body, of state territory and also of human consciousness. The heroes of Igor Pomerantsev’s poetry collection Amputace (Amputations) are 12 volunteer soldiers who set off to protect their country and returned from the war without limbs. How to live? To forget or to remember? To reconcile oneself or to fight? As the officer Andrej Skorochod says, losing a leg is forever but losing Crimea or Donbas is not.

The evening will also include a screening of excerpts from the documentary film Amputation (2017) by Igor Pomerantsev and Lýdie Starodubcevá. Other authors of the anthology, Boris Chersonskij and Ljudmila Chersonskaja, will also present their work. Boris Chersonskij’s 2014 collection Missa in tempore belli (Mass in a Time of War) was a response in poetry form to shock at the “amputation” of Crimea and the undeclared war in Donbas.

The Ukrainian poet Ljudmila Chersonskaja also focuses on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Czech readers have their first opportunity to become acquainted with her work with a selection from the 2018 collection Vaulting the Ditch. The translator and psychiatrist Džamila Stehlíková will also share her impressions from a trip to Eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Introduced by Michael Žantovský, director of the Václav Havel Library.

Interpretation into Czech provided.

A Reading for Josef Škvorecký

A Reading for Josef Škvorecký

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 7, 2020, 18:30 – 22:00

You are cordially invited to a reading of the correspondence of the Škvoreckýs, the married exiles who founded ’68 Publishers, and more.

The evening will feature music, which was extremely important to both Škvorecký’s.

It will also include the exhibition The Swell Season, curated by Václav Krištof and loaned by the Prague 4 district authority.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Josef Škvorecký Society and the PEN Club. 



  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 9, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

An amnesty may be criminal, premediated or based on a desire for fundamental change. The new Czechoslovak president Václav Havel declared an amnesty on 1 January 1990. Later referred to as the great amnesty, it became associated with a rise in crime. However, it was intended to help society come to terms with a regime regarded as unjust to all as well as to allow a transformation of the repressive penal system.

The amnesty and the extent to which it was used to change criminal justice will be discussed by philosopher and journalist Fedor Blaščák and lawyer Lenka Marečková, co-authors of the book Amnestie (Amnesty), published on the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in an attempt not to defend the amnesty but to lay out the facts and place them in context, and John Bok, who along with Lenka Marečková and other dissidents helped calm unrest and revolts in prisons at the turn of 1990.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with publishers Slovart.

First State Visit: Václav Havel in Munich

First State Visit: Václav Havel in Munich

  • Where: Literaturhaus, Salvatorplatz 1, Munich
  • When: January 13, 2020, 20:00 – 22:00

On December 29, 1989 Václav Havel was elected Czechoslovak president, with the playwright president became an icon of the Velvet Revolution. Just four days later, on January 2, 1990 he carried out his first international trip to Germany, where he visited Munich. As a trip, it was an important signal. But how come it took place so soon? What were the intentions behind it? And how did Václav Havel do as a novice in world politics?

Guests who experienced those events personally will look back: Bernd Posselt (Member of the European Parliament and spokesperson of the Sudeten Germans), Milan Horáček (Member of the European Parliament) and Michael Žantovský (director of the Václav Havel Library and at that time spokesperson for Václav Havel).

Discussion chaired by Daniel Brössler, Brussels correspondent of Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The debate will be held in German without interpretation into Czech.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation by the Stiftung Literaturhaus and Haus des Deutschen Ostens.

Debate with Respect

Debate with Respect

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 14, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

Editors of the weekly Respekt and their guests will discuss a topical issue. For more details visit www.Vá

Bohdan Holomíček: I’m Not Sad

Bohdan Holomíček: I’m Not Sad

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 16, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

Ceremonial launch of the Pocket VH Plays series.

The newly established Library book series Pocket VH Plays gives students and others the unique chance to carry Václav Havel’s plays with them even if they don’t have a bag or backpack over their shoulder. It is characterised by a pleasant format, a nice, easily legible font and above all unique content – what more could a reader wish for?

The first volume in the series is entitled Já nejsem smutný (I’m Not Sad) and contains Audience and Unveiling, the first two plays in which the legendary character Ferdinand Vaněk appeared.

The book and series as a whole will be launched by Bohdan Holomíček, who will share recollections alongside photographs from the very period when Václav Havel was writing the Vaněk plays. 

Jan Lukavec: Imaginary Zoology

Jan Lukavec: Imaginary Zoology

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 20, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

Havel’s pig, Kafka’s chimpanzee… and other animals in the works of major writers. How did the perception of animals evolve under our predecessors? What place did dogs, ants or magpies occupy in their minds and what remains of those meanings today? And can literature help us a achieve a better relationship with our “furry friends” than the one that has prevailed in modern times?

The book Imaginární zoologie (Imaginary Zoology) offers a cultural history of selected animals, from ancient, mythical times to the present day. Generally speaking it chimes with Havel’s assertion that man is not the ruler of nature, merely a part of it. Among other things the publication shows that along with increasing environmental awareness there is also a growing realisation that every animal has its place in the ecosystem and in that sense is worthy of protection and the attention that an increasing range of living organisms are receiving, including from authors.

The book will be discussed by its author Jan Lukavec, anthropologist Lukáš Senft and literary scientist Pavel Kořínek. 

Evening with an Illiterate

Evening with an Illiterate

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 23, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

Presentation of the Czech translation of the book Analfabet (The Illiterate), published by Větrné mlýny, by the writer and intellectual guru of contemporary Slovakia Michal Havran. 

The following is from its description: “The nineties in Bratislava. Sex, drugs and the occult in the capital city of nothingness. The Illiterate is a generational novel with a tantalising flavour of black romanticism, while at the same time operating as a venomous tribute to a home town, a city of mistakes, the ideal space to prepare suicide.”
The author and the book’s translator Miroslav Zelinský will be in attendance and Petr Vizina will moderate. 
Jiří Peňás: Excursions for the Senior and Advanced

Jiří Peňás: Excursions for the Senior and Advanced

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 27, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

A fun evening bordering on a variety show for the senior and advanced.

The book with the Hrabalesque title Výpravy pro starší a pokročilé (Excursions for the Senior and Advanced) brings together a collection of weekly travel essays that Jiří Peňás wrote for the magazine Týdeník Echo. In its way it is a unique portrait of a world near at hand and further afield, growing out of a journey that cannot be halted. The texts blend personal experience with history, history of art and politics and romance with humour (for the most part bitter and melancholic).

Participants will include close friends of Jiří Peňás, who will himself host.

For more details, a personal journey is recommended. 

Přemysl Houda: The Normalisation Festival

Přemysl Houda: The Normalisation Festival

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 28, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

Normalizační festival (The Normalisation Festival) is an original monograph about Czechoslovak late socialism, in particular the late socialist public sphere, which is today regarded as toxic. The book’s author Přemysl Houda eschews the dichotomy of dead and living water and shows that it was indeed possible to do something meaningful with the grey words of socialism at that time.

The book’s author will speak with the political scientist Pavel Barša and editor and literary critic Eva Klíčová, while the political scientist and philosopher Milan Znoj will moderate.  
Evening Marking the Anniversary of Jan Balabán’s Birth

Evening Marking the Anniversary of Jan Balabán’s Birth

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 29, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

The first part of the evening will be given over to the play Bezruč?! by Jan Balabán and Ivan Motýl. In a slight modification of the play, we have focused on the relationship between Vašek/Bezruč and Marie/Maryčka. Taking part in the play, in the form of a staged reading, will be actors and non-actors, though all will delight together in the beauty and urgency of the text. (Featuring: Zuzana Truplová, Přemysl Bureš, Jakub Chrobák, Zdeněk Janošec Benda and co-author Ivan Motýl, director: Přemysl Bureš).

In the second part, participants and other guests will recall the life and oeuvre of Jan Balabán, one of the most important turn of the century writers.

Friends, relatives and admirers of the author will take part, including Ivan Motýl, Pavel Hruška, Zdeněk Janošec Benda, Přemysl Bureš and Jakub Chrobák.

Ivo Vodseďálek – Little-Known Genius

Ivo Vodseďálek – Little-Known Genius

  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: January 30, 2020, 19:00 – 21:00

The work of Ivo Vodseďálek (1931–2017) can without hype be described as one of the previously undiscovered treasures of modern Czech literature. The writer is virtually unknown to most readers but enjoys an almost cult status in the literary community. His friends and admirers included such greats of Czech literature as Bohumil Hrabal, Kamil Lhoták, Vladimír Boudník and Egon Bondy, while his legacy has been the focus of literary historians and critics for some time. Dílo 1949–1998 (Works, 1949–1998), a voluminous, 1,100-page volume of Vodseďálek’s selected poetry will be presented by its editor Martin Machovec, author Jáchym Topol, filmmaker Olina Kaufmanová (Vodseďálek’s daughter) and Argo publishing house editor Petr Onufer.

Actor Karel Dobrý will read from the author’s work.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in cooperation with the Argo publishing house.

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Publications / E-shop

The central focus of the Library’s publishing programme is the life and work of Václav Havel, his family and close collaborators and friends. For clarity, the programme is divided into six series: Václav Havel Library Notebooks, Václav Havel Library Editions, Student Line, Talks from Lány, Václav Havel Documents, Works of Pavel Juráček and Václav Havel Library Conferences. Titles that cannot be incorporated into any of the given series but which are nonetheless important for the Library’s publishing activities are issued independently, outside the series framework.

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Václav Havel European Dialogues

The Václav Havel European Dialogues is an international project that aims to initiate and stimulate a discussion about issues determining the direction of contemporary Europe while referring to the European spiritual legacy of Václav Havel. This idea takes its main inspiration from Václav Havel’s essay “Power of the Powerless”. More than other similarly focused projects, the Václav Havel European Dialogues aims to offer the “powerless” a platform to express themselves and in so doing to boost their position within Europe.

The Václav Havel European Dialogues is planned as a long-term project and involves cooperation with other organisations in various European cities. Individual meetings, which take the form of a conference, are targeted primarily at secondary and third-level students, as well as specialists and members of the public interested in European issues.


Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation to reward outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.

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Václav Havel

Václav Havel
* 5. 10. 1936 Praha
† 18. 12. 2011 Hrádeček u Trutnova

Václav Havel grew up
in a well-known, wealthy entrepreneurial
and intellectual family.
Václav Havel completed primary schooling. Because
of his "bourgeois" background, options for
higher education were limited.
Václav Havel worked as a chemical laboratory technician
while attending evening classes at a high school
from which he graduated in 1954.
Václav Havel studied at the
Economics Faculty of the Czech
Technical University in Prague.
Václav Havel began working at Prague's Theatre on
the Balustrade, first as a stagehand and later as
an assistant director and literary manager.
Havel´s first play The Garden
Party was staged at Prague's
Theatre on the Balustrade.
Václav Havel
married Olga
VH finished studies at at the
Theatre Faculty of the Academy of
Performing Arts in Prague .
Václav Havel played an active role in
democratization and renewal of culture during the
era of reforms, known as Prague Spring.
Havel's work were banned in Czechoslovakia. He
moved from Prague to the country, continued
his activities against the Communist regime.
Václav Havel worked as a manual laborer
at a local brewery near Hrádeček in
the north of the Czech Republic.
Václav Havel wrote an open
letter to President Gustav Husak,
criticizing the government.
Václav Havel co-founded the Charter 77
human rights initiative and was one
of its first spokesmen.
Václav Havel co-founded The
Committee for the Defense
of the Unjustly Prosecuted.
Václav Havel was imprisoned several times
for his beliefs, his longest prison
term lasting from 1979 to 1983.
Václav Havel emerged as one of the
leaders of the November opposition movement, also
known as the Velvet Revolution.
Václav Havel is elected
President of Czechoslovakia on
December 29.
Václav Havel is elected, after the
dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the first President
of the Czech Republic.
On January
27, Olga
Havlova died.
Václav Havel married Dagmar Veskrnova,
a popular and acclaimed Czech theatrical,
television and movie actress.
Václav Havel enabled the entry of
the Czech Republic into the North
Atlantic Treat Organisation (NATO).
Václav Havel left office after
his second term as Czech
president ended on 2 February 2003.
Foundation of Václav
Havel Library in
The Czech Republic became the 35th
member State of the Council of
Europe on 30 June 1993.
Václav Havel directed
a film adaptation of
his play Leaving.
Václav Havel died at his
summer house Hrádeček in the
north of the Czech Republic.
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Educational projects


Man of inspiration

This six-part series of educational videos introduces young viewers to the most important events in Czechoslovak history in the second half of the 20th century, with an accent on the human rights struggle. It is presented by singer and TV moderator Emma Smetana and choreographer and producer Yemi. The presenters of the English versions are native speakers.


Year of Revolution

The year of the Velvet Revolution from the perspective of young YouTubers. A series of seven video lessons aimed at elementary and secondary schools mapping the revolutionary year from January to December 1989 and introducing viewers to key moments in totalitarian Czechoslovakia’s transformation into a democratic country.


Read Havel

A collection of short videos in which well-known young people in Czech public life present iconic and lesser-known texts by Václav Havel.


Václav Havel here and now

A travelling series of discussions about VH and more with Michael Žantovský, intended for secondary school students, libraries and arts centres.


Best Student Essay Competition

One of the key genres of Václav Havel’s work is essays – on literary, artistic, social, political, and spiritual topics. His essays, such as the The Power of the Powerless and A Word About Words, have become classic texts of Czech literature; they have been translated into tens of languages, and are among the few truly world-famous works of Czech culture. This is also why it is necessary to keep cultivating the essay genre in the Czech language – not in the sense of imitating Václav Havel’s writing, but in the spirit of his courage to name unpleasant problems and search for unconventional solutions to them. For this reason, the Václav Havel Library is announcing the next year of the literary competition for secondary students: the Václav Havel Library Prize for Best Student Essay.


Václav Havel´s Bookshelves

The Václav Havel Little Libraries are a key new Václav Havel Library project aimed at establishing a nationwide network of elementary and secondary schools that, with the support of the VHL, will spread the legacy of Václav Havel among their pupils and students. The aim of the Little Libraries is to create in schools (on the model of the existing Václav Havel’s Places) book shelves on which the schools will gather both texts by Václav Havel and texts closely linked to him. They may also contain other written materials, audio and video recordings and photographs.


Lets rock!

Are your students (whether at elementary, arts-focused elementary or secondary schools) interested in history? Do you have a theatre or film club at your school, or are you teaching young people who “just” like to act? If so, we cordially invite you to join the Václav Havel Library in celebrating in a creative manner the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia with the theatre-education project Tomorrow!


Guided tour – Havel In A Nutshell

The Václav Havel Library’s permanent exhibition Havel In A Nutshell introduces pupils and students the life of Václav Havel through a collage of photographs and quotations. Touch screens make use of detailed information and sound recordings to place individual chapters – family, theatre, dissent and presidency – in a broad cultural-historical context, while a large interactive map creates a tangible sense of Václav Havel’s global “footsteps”.


Václav Havel – a Czech myth, or Havel in a Nutshell

This interactive workshop lasting for about 180 minutes takes place in the “Havel in a Nutshell” exhibition hall. Primary and secondary school students are divided into groups within which they deal with various “research” projects. Students work with selected texts and are provided with particular books. The workshop is related not only to the teaching of Czech history, but also to personal, literary, artistic and media training, and increasing student’s democratic consciousness as citizens.


Workshop: The Audience

An interactive 90 minutes’ workshop for secondary school’s students deals with Havel´s well known play The Audience.


Workshop: Europe as a Task

An interactive 90 minutes’ workshop for secondary school’s students encourages young people to think about their Czech nationality and at the same time their relationship to Europe and the European spiritual legacy.


Workshop: The Life Story of Vaclav Havel

An interactive 90 minutes’ workshop for primary school pupils (6 – 12 years) brings the ideas and work of Václav Havel on human rights and civil society to children through Havel´s book for children Pizh'duks.



Havel in a nutshell

The Václav Havel Library’s permanent exhibition brings Václav Havel’s story to life via a collage of photographs and quotations. Touchscreens place individual chapters of his life in the broader cultural and historical context, while a large-scale interactive map allows visitors to gain a tangible sense of Václav Havel’s global “footsteps”.  


Oldřich Škácha – Occupation 1968

A collection of photographs by Oldřich Škácha from the Václav Havel Library’s collection.


The Faces of Resistance

Pavel Hroch’s online photographic exhibition captures the stories of those who, across several decades of Czechoslovak history, stood up to evil, inhumanity, oppression and coarseness and who at certain moments displayed courage, will to freedom, love of those around them and common sense.


Via the East to the West

In autumn 1989, Prague was flooded with citizens from the German Democratic Republic. For them, the Czechoslovak capital was to be a transfer station on the journey to freedom, to the western part of their country, whose division was symbolised by the Berlin Wall. One of the main reasons for the sudden growth in the number of refugees was the fear that the GDR would close its borders with Czechoslovakia, the only country East German citizens could enter without a visa, ahead of 40th anniversary celebrations of its foundation.


With a Passion for Freedom

Pavel Hroch’s photographs capture the revolutionary period springing from November 1989 as well as the era of transformation, the start of the 1990s, when things happened in Czechoslovakia that had previously been impossible and unimaginable, a period of joy and carnivalesque festivity, a period of visions, hopes and a great and perhaps somewhat naïve belief in the future. Twenty-five years later, the photographs hold a mirror up to the manner in which those dreams and visions have been realised and to where we find ourselves today.



Story of Václav Havel’s final play and first film (1988–2011)


August invasion of Hrádeček

A meeting of the children of dissidents and others who shared recollections of Václav Havel. The exhibition is a colourful collage of photographs, audio recordings – from talks by individual participants on the subject “My life with Václav Havel”, to a concert by Monika Načeva and Michal Pavlíček – and unique archival materials.


Za dobu svého trvání Knihovna Václava Havla připravila a uspořádala desítky výstav. Část z nich – přibližující nejen život a dílo Václava Havla, ale též nejrůznější kulturní, historické a společenské fenomény českých zemí 2. poloviny 20. století – se stala součástí jejího archivu. Nyní bychom je rádi prostřednictvím tohoto digitálního depozitáře nabídli dalším vzdělávacím a kulturním institucím (školám, knihovnám, klubům…) k bezplatnému využití.  

  • 03/09/19 – 30/09/19foyer knihovny Petra Bezruče v Opavě, 1. patro
  • 03/09/19 – 26/10/19Opava, Galerie Hřivnáč
  • 09/2019Štěpánek Netolický House, Třeboň
  • 01/10/19 – 30/10/19
  • 21/10/19 – 31/12/19Městská knihovna, Žamberk
  • 30/10/19 – 30/11/19Kinský Château, Valašské Meziříčí
  • 10/2019Vysoké Mýto
  • 01/11/19 – 31/12/19Městská knihovna Písek
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19
  • 01/11/19 – 02/12/19
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19
  • 01/11/19 – 29/11/19Městské kulturní středisko, Dobřany
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19SSJS, Tábor
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19SSJS, Tábor
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19Gymnázium a Střední odborná škola ekonomická, Sedlčany
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19Gymnázium a Střední odborná škola ekonomická, Sedlčany
  • 01/11/19 – 29/11/19Základní umělecká škola, Teplice
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19Střední průmyslová škola na Proseku, Praha
  • 01/11/19 – 30/11/19Střední průmyslová škola na Proseku, Praha
  • 01/11/19 – 31/12/20České centrum v Sofii, Bulharsko
  • 01/11/19 – 02/12/19Pečky
  • 01/11/19 – 29/02/20OA a SOSŽE v Žatci
  • 04/11/19 – 10/01/20Municipal Library, Ústí nad Orlicí
  • 10/11/19 – 17/11/19Pětašedesátka, Úvaly
  • 11/11/19 – 08/12/19
  • 11/11/19 – 29/11/19Střední škola letecké a výpočetní techniky, Odolena Voda
  • 11/11/19 – 30/06/20Gymnázuim, základní škola a mateřská škola Hello, Ostrava
  • 11/11/19 – 30/11/19ZŠ a MŠ Velký Újezd
  • 14/11/19 – 19/11/19SŠŽTS, Šumperk
  • 15/11/19 – 01/02/201st International School of Ostrava
  • 15/11/19 – 30/11/19Nadační fond ZUŠ Alfréda Radoka, Valašské Meziříčí
  • 17/11/19
  • 17/11/19TJ Sokol, Brozany
  • 11/2019
  • 11/2019
  • 03/01/20 – 21/01/201. Základní škola Hořovice
  • 01/2020Gymnázium Jana Palacha, Mělník
  • 01/2020
  • 01/2020 – 02/2020
  • 02/03/20 – 31/03/20SPŠ akademika Heyrovského, Ostrava
  • 02/11/20 – 02/12/202.11. – 2. 12. 2020
  • 30/11/21 – 05/01/22










Zpět na začátek

Archive / Documentation centre / Research projects

Dokumentační centrum

The Václav Havel Library is gradually gathering, digitizing, and making accessible written materials, photographs, sound recordings and other materials linked to the person of Václav Havel.

  • 51218 records in total
  • 15301 of events in the VH's life
  • 2994 of VH's texts
  • 2035 of photos 
  • 277of videos
  • 557of audios
  • 5726of letters
  • 14722of texts about VH
  • 6183 of books
  • 0of bibliography records

Access to the database of the VHL’s archives is free and possible after registering as a user. Accessing archival materials that exist in an unreadable form is only possible at the reading room of the Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, 110 00 Prague 1, every Tuesday (except state holidays) from 9:00 to 17:00, or by prior appointment.

We will be glad to answer your queries at


Vladimir Hanzel's revolution

Collage of recollections, images and sound recordings from Vladimír Hanzel, President Václav Havel’s personal secretary, bringing the feverish atmosphere of the Velvet Revolution to life.


Václav Havel Interviews

A database of all accessible interviews given to print media outlets by the dramatist, writer and political activist Václav Havel between the 1960s and 1989. The resulting collection documents the extraordinary life story of an individual, as well as capturing a specific picture of modern Czechoslovak history at a time when being a free-thinker was more likely to lead to jail than an official public post.


Pavel Juráček Archive

The Pavel Juráček Archive arose in February 2014 when his son Marek Juráček handed over six banana boxes and a typewriter case from his father’s estate to the Václav Havel Library. Thousands of pages of manuscripts, typescripts, photographs, documents and personal and official correspondence are gradually being classified and digitalised. The result of this work should be not only to map the life and work of one of the key figures of the New Wave of Czechoslovak film in the 1960s, but also to make his literary works accessible in the book series The Works of Pavel Juráček.

The aim of the Václav Havel Library is to ensure that Pavel Juráček finds a place in the broader cultural consciousness and to notionally build on the deep friendship he shared with Václav Havel. Soon after Juráček’s death in 1989 Havel said of him: “Pavel was a friend of mine whom I liked very much. He was one of the most sensitive and gentle people I have known – that’s why I cannot write more about him.”  

Zpět na začátek

All about Library

The Václav Havel Library collects, researches, disseminates, promotes and advocates the spiritual, literary and political legacy of a great figure of modern Czech history - the author, playwright, thinker, human rights defender and Czechoslovak and Czech president. It also focuses on people, events and phenomena related to the legacy of Václav Havel and strives to place them in the context of the times and of the present.

From August 2014, the Václav Havel Library is located at the address Ostrovní 13, Prague 1. The building’s ground-floor spaces is dedicated to an exhibition "Václav Havel or Havel in a nutshell" and used for VHL club events – all kinds of seminars, readings, exhibitions, lectures, concerts and theatre performances. The Library’s offices, archive, constantly expanding library, and reading room are located on the first floor.

The main aims of the Václav Havel Library include

  • Organizing archival, archival-research, documentary, museum and library activities focused on the work of Vaclav Havel and documents or objects related to his activities, and carries out professional analysis of their influence on the life and self-reflection of society
  • Serving, in a suitable manner, such as through exhibitions, the purpose of education and popularisation functions, thus presenting to the public the historical significance of the fight for human rights and freedoms in the totalitarian period and the formation of civil society during the establishment of democracy
  • Organizing scientific research and publication activities in its areas of interest
Zpět na začátek

Staňte se členy Klubu přátel Knihovny Václava Havla

„Domnívám se, že se nám daří naplňovat vizi Václava Havla, jenž při založení Knihovny prohlásil, že má smysl jedině jako živoucí organismus, který zaujímá své nepřehlédnutelné místo v celku veřejného a politického života. Vnímáme to jako závazek a inspiraci do budoucna. Rádi bychom využili záznamů ze stovek našich akcí ve vlastním kanálu internetové televize, rozšířili publikační program, připravili další e-learningové série, začali pořádat workshopy pro učitele… To vše si však vyžádá nemalé finanční prostředky. Proto jsme se rozhodli obrátit na naše návštěvníky a příznivce s prosbou o podporu.“ – Michael Žantovský

Pomozte nám inspirovat své okolí i Vy!
Přijdete se k nám a staňte se členem Klubu přátel Knihovny VH!


Podpořte nás


200 KČ / měsíc

Váš příspěvek nám pomůže s organizací pravidelných akcí pro veřejnost.


1200 KČ / měsíc

Váš příspěvek nám pomůže rozvíjet náš ediční plán a publikační činnost


? Kontaktujte nás
pro další informace

Váš příspěvek nám pomůže s vývojem vzdělávacích miniserií, audivizuálních projektů, přípravou mezinárodních konferencí...

Support us

Financial donations

If you would like to support the work of the Václav Havel Library or its specific activities or projects by means of a financial donation you can do so via the VHL’s PayPal account

Or by bank transfer to:

ČSOB a. s., Na Poříčí 24, 115 20 Praha 1

  • Crown account number 7077 7077 / 0300 CZK
  • Euro account number 7755 7755 / 0300 EUR
  • Dollar account number 7747 7747 / 0300 USD

If an individual makes a donation of over CZK 1,000, or if a company makes a donation of over CZK 2,000, in one calendar year we will create for you a donation contract confirming the amount of the donation involved; the donor can use this to reduce their tax base in compliance with the law on taxation. For more information, contact us.

Donors with US citizenship can support us through the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation New York.

Donations and loans to the VHL archive

The Václav Havel Library administers an archive of written materials, documents, photographs, video recordings and other materials related to the life and work of Václav Havel. The archive is predominantly digital in form. If you or somebody close to you is the owner of original texts, photographs, speeches or other works produced by Václav Havel we would appreciate it greatly if you contacted us. We will oversee the digitalisation of these documents and place them in our digital archive. If you would like to keep possession of such documents or items, we will return them in perfect condition.  

If a copy or original is donated to the Václav Havel Library, the terms of donation and use will in all cases be agreed with the owner. The names of all donors or owners will be listed alongside the documentary materials in question.


We offer short and long-term internships at the Václav Havel Library to Czech and foreign students. Interns are particularly welcomed in the fields of library studies and archival science, arts management, journalism, Czech Studies and other areas of the humanities.

We welcome knowledge of English (German and French are also a plus), while knowledge of Czech is an advantage for foreign interns.

Internships range in duration from six weeks to one year, while it is possible to agree on individual duration depending on the requirements of schools. On completion of the internship, the participant receives a certificate with an appraisal. Internships take place on the basis of prior agreement with applicants and dates must be agreed around two months in advance. Václav Havel Library internships are unpaid and we do not cover transport or accommodation costs.

If you are interested in an internship at the Václav Havel Library, contact us at the email address:

Media and promotion cooperation with the VHL

The Václav Havel Library welcomes the mutual exchange of links and the publication of our banners and information about our events. For more information, contact us directly.


The Václav Havel Library welcomes volunteers who would like to assist in our work.  

Bakala PhilanthropyRockefeller Brothers FundJan BartaAsiana GroupMoneta Money BankThe Vaclav Havel Library FoundationNadace Charty 77Sekyra FoudationVŠEMRicohP3chemTechsoup ČRNewton MediaHlavní město PrahaMinisterstvo kultury ČRMinisterstvo zahraničních věcí ČRUS EmbassyStátní fond kultury