Bench of Ferdinand Vaněk Prague

Image by Michal Lebl

Bench of Ferdinand Vaněk – Nobody knew Ferdinand V.

Well, actually, almost nobody knew Ferdinand Vaněk. It was actually a pseudonym of the later very famous first president of the Czech Republic Václav Havel. But back then, if you didn’t want to get in trouble, instead of saying that you’d met with a famous dissident, you just mentioned Vaněk. Even the official newspaper wished (in the section where you’d pay for little ads) all the best to Ferdinand Vaněk, not knowing that the dissident community was laughing how that little gem had made it through the tough censorship. So today there’s a little piece of art celebrating the life of Václav Havel in the form of a gravity-defying bench, just like Havel defied the realities of the communist regime back then.

The beer keg supporting the bench points to the time when Havel was in jail and spent his sentence working in the brewery. The translation of the text says “But I certainly cannot participate in something with which I disagree.”

If you visit this spot in the end of April and the beginning of May, you may witness the overwhelming bloom of many sakura trees and probably you’ll meet many Japanese people taking selfies under the impressive canopy of pink. Come a little later to walk in a deep carpet of sakura petals. Visit any other time & see examples of more than a century of architectural styles – old buildings of The University of Chemical Technology & the more modern Faculty of Electro, Faculty of Architecture & the Technical Library.

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Details about this spot



Technická 5, Prague

Opening Times

24 hours daily
Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)