T14 – Vaclav Havel and the Velvet Revolution (2.5 hours)
On this tour, we will follow the incredible life story of Vaclav Havel, a former dissident and political prisoner, playwright and the first President of the Czech Republic. We will see the places which played a crucial part in the life of this man who, through the Velvet Revolution in 1989, helped our country to return to the path of freedom and democracy.
Vaclav Havel, a child from a successful family of entrepreneurs, experienced the oppressive nature of the Communist Regime already as a teenager when the property of his family was confiscated in 1948 and his uncle was forced to emigrate. The young Havel started mocking Communism (and all dehumanised systems) in his plays of the absurd theatre and soon, he made himself famous abroad. Due to his political activities, he ended up in Communist jails several times and the years spent in prisons badly affected his fragile health. In 1989, he became a leading figure of the Velvet Revolution which put the one-party rule of the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia to an end. He was soon elected for President of the free Czechoslovakia and after its division in 1992, he became the first President of the Czech Republic. He was respected in the entire world as a defender of human rights.
Vaclav Havel is one of the people who deeply influenced my life. This tour is my tribute to this brave and honest man.
Vaclav Havel – places of his life
We will see the native house of Vaclav Havel, the schools where he studied, his favourite places where he used to meet his friends, e.g. the Slavia Cafe where he met his first wife Olga or the Reduta Club where his friend Bill Clinton played saxophone in 1994 on his visit to Prague. We might stop at the famous pub At the Golden Tiger to taste his favourite beer.
Vaclav Havel and the theatre
Vaclav Havel’s way to the world of theatre was quite thorny. Due to his family background, the Communist regime banned him from studies. In the Na Zabradli (On the Handrail) Theatre, he started his theatre carrier as a stagehand. But soon, his plays of absurd theatre made him famous abroad, much earlier than in his own country…
The Velvet Revolution 1989 in Prague
We will visit places as the Narodni (National) Avenue where the protesting students were brutally assaulted by the riot police. In the Wenceslas Square, I will show you the building from whose balcony Vaclav Havel addressed the crowd of more than 300.000 people. Finally, things started changing!
Vaclav Havel’s cultural activities
Vaclav Havel backed many cultural projects. In 1990, Rolling Stones came on his personal invitation to Prague and played here for more than 100.000 people. We will see the 13th-century Church of St. Anna which literally rose from the ruins thanks to him and his wife and was turned into a famous venue of concerts, meetings and art exhibitions known as Prazska krizovatka (Prague Crossroads).
The Legacy of Vaclav Havel
We will see the beautiful palace where the annual Forum 2000 Conference takes place, supporting the values of democracy and respect for human rights. Every year, global leaders, thinkers and courageous people meet here to open a debate on issues the world still has to face. At the end of the tour, we can visit the Vaclav Havel Library which offers an exhibition dedicated to his life.
Duration of the tour:
Walking, tram (ticket included)
The Vaclav Havel Library (Tuesday – Sunday from 12.00 to 17.00)
Price of the tour:
|Amount of people
|1 – 2 people
|3 – 4 people
|5 – 6 people
|7 – 9 people