Barcelona

Havel's place Barcelona

  • installation date: February 15, 2014
  • address: Park de la Ciutadella, Barcelona, Spain
  • foto: © Knihovna Václava Havla

A Havel’s Place, located in close proximity to the Parliament of Catalonia in Barcelona’s Parc de la Ciutadella, was ceremonially unveiled on Saturday 15 February 2014. Alongside Barcelona’s mayor Xavier Trias, the ceremony was attended by Václav Havel Library founder and former Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg, the chairman of the board of the Václav Havel Library, Jan Macháček, the executive director of the Václav Havel Library, Marta Smolíková, and the mayor of Prague, Tomáš Hudeček.

Havel’s Place is a memorial dedicated to Václav Havel. It comprises two chairs linked by a round table with a tree growing through its centre. The installation of Havel’s Places is a worldwide project initiated by the Czech ambassador to the US, Petr Gandalovič, and the architect and designer Bořek Šípek. The aim of the project, which is coordinated and implemented by the Václav Havel Library, is to create a network of places in public spaces that can contribute to meeting and the holding of genuine dialogue – places where it will be possible to hold discussions and reflect in the spirit of the ideals and philosophy of Václav Havel.

Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter

„Once you’re here, however, whether you want to or not, you have to ask the question: does all of this have a meaning, and if so, what?… Ultimately, I can only find an answer – a positive answer – within myself, in my general faith in the meaning of things, in my hope. What, in fact, is man responsible to? What does he relate to? What is the final horizon of his actions, the absolute vanishing point of everything he does, the undeceivable “memory of Being”, the conscience of the world and the final “court of appeal”? What is the decisive standard of measurement, the background or the field of each of his existential experiences? And likewise, what is the most important witness or the secret sharer in his daily conversations with himself, the thing that – regardless of what situation he has been thrown into – he incessantly inquires after, depends upon, and toward which his actions are directed, the thing that, in its omniscience and incorruptibility, both haunts and saves him, the only thing he can trust in and strive for? “

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, August 7, 1980

Václav Havel’s Prague