13 November 2014

University Parks hosts ‘Havel’s Place’

Havel’s Place installation photos by Victor Moss

University Parks has become the seventh place in the world to host a ‘Havel’s Place’ installation, designed to evoke the memory of Václav Havel − writer, thinker, human rights activist and President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic – who died in 2011.

The installation, designed by the Czech architect, Bořek Šípek, who was a friend of Václav Havel, serves as a modest place of rest and contemplation away from the hustle and bustle of contemporary life and symbolises democratic debate. A commemorative table with a Linden tree sapling growing through the centre, together with two chairs, were jointly unveiled by the Vice Chancellor, Andrew Hamilton, the President of the Oxford University Czech and Slovak Havel’s Place installation photos by Victor Moss Society, Kryštof Vosátka, and Parks Superintendent, Walter Sawyer. The Linden tree is significant in the design for being the national tree of the Czech Republic.

Oxford’s Havel’s Place is located to the west of the pond in University Parks, overlooking both the pond and the river Cherwell beyond.  It joins installations at Georgetown University in Washington DC, St. Patrick's Park in Dublin, the Catalan Parliament in Barcelona, Maltese Square in Prague, the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice and the campus of Venice International University).