Heart for Václav Havel

open daily aside from Mondays 10:00 – 17:00 (June), 10:00 – 18:00 (July, August)

Castle Cellars, Litomyšl State Chateau

Shortly before Christmas 2011, Václav Havel, a man whose words and deeds resonated around the world, died in his sleep aged 75 years. His life standpoint was the fight for human rights and responsibility for their respecting all over the world. People of all generations remembered him for his constant struggle for democracy and human dignity, his position at the time of the Velvet Revolution, his years spent at the Prague Castle, and also the following years, always faithful to his ideals. Until the last moment he instigated to activity, respect for his country, and responsibility for his own and others' lives. He offered an alternative to the life filled only with material values. He offered faith in people.

The departure of former President Václav Havel triggered countless spontaneous memorial events. In the emotion-filled hours at the statue of St. Wenceslas in Prague, a young artist, Lukáš Gavlovský, was also present. His vision of a sculpture cast from the wax candles lit in memory of Vaclav Havel matured in his mind. He soon acquired a life-long friend, Roman Švejda, also an artist, to help with his idea. This remarkable story of the birth of this original sculpture consisted of several hectic weeks of work. Lukáš Gavlovský commented: "We did not want to just mourn the passing of Vaclav Havel and create a memorial statue, cast out of national mourning. We preferred the idea of something that exceeds the emotion of loss." This is why when considering the choice of the form of sculpture we decided on the shape of a heart as he often used this symbol in his signature. Condolences after the death of the first president of the Czech Republic came from all over the world such as President Barack Obama, who marked Václav Havel out as a personality who had been a great inspiration to him. The Czech government proposed a law on the recognition of the merits of former President Václav Havel, and a state funeral with full honours was held. The ceremony in the Cathedral was followed by thousands of people standing on Hradčanské náměstí in Prague, and his coffin was escorted by applause and the symbolic jangling of keys.