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The Litomyšl Circle

  • Where: Castle Area, Litomyšl
  • When: April 12, 2014, 10:00 – 22:00

Twenty years ago, on 15 and 16 April 1994, the then Czech president, Václav Havel, held a meeting in Litomyšl with six other Central European presidents: Slovakia’s Michal Kováč, Slovenia’s Milan Kučan, Hungary’s Arpád Gőncz, Germany’s Richard von Weizsacker, Austria’s Thomas Klestil and Poland’s Lech Walesa. The gathering, at Litomyšl’s Renaissance chateau, was the first of its kind. Havel had organised it in order to revive friendly relations between the countries of Central Europe after the end of the Cold War. He chose the small Eastern Bohemian town of Litomyšl for its informal atmosphere and the chance of discussions between the presidents and colleagues taking place away from the official negotiating table. The programme was dominated by informal meetings and concluded with a television debate on Central Europe in which all of the presidents took part. A homely, hospitable atmosphere was successfully created, the success of the talks exceeded expectations and meetings of the presidents later became a regular tradition. Today 17 of them meet, though the original group are still referred to as “the Litomyšl Circle”.

10:00 Chateau Congress Hall

Press conference and ceremonial opening of exhibitions:

  • A Heart for Václav Havel (Chateau Cellars)
  • Renewal of exhibition of sculptures by Olbram Zoubek (Chateau Cellars)
  • Exhibition of photographs and documents from the “Meeting of Seven Presidents” (Chateau Congress Hall)
  • Daniel Pešta: Genetic Codes – My Diary with V.H. (Chateau Congress Hall)
  • Petr Hájek: Triangle (Chateau Riding School)

Free admission to exhibitions 10:00–18:00

11:00–13:00 Chateau Brewery

Panel I: Round table – the seven presidents – the start of the “Litomyšl” phenomenon?

Main participants: Zdeněk Lukeš, Marta Smolíková, David Vávra, Jiří Kuděla, Jiří Brýdl, Jakub Skalník, Miroslav Brýdl, Michal Kortyš – chaired by Pavlína Kvapilová

14:00–15:30 Chateau Congress Hall

Panel II: Round table: Václav Havel, a visionary in politics

Karel Schwarzenberg, Jacques Rupnik, Jindřich Šídlo, Josef Pleskot, Jan Macháček – chaired by Pavlína Kvapilová, registration

16:30–18:00 Chateau Congress Hall

Panel II: The significance of the meeting of seven presidents for Central Europe

Miroslav Kunštát, Petr Drulák, Jacques Rupnik, Luboš Dobrovský – chaired by Pavlína Kvapilová, registration

19:00 Arched Hall, Chateau Brewery

Václav Havel: The Garden Party


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