Guide for children

Don't miss it! What you should not overlook! For those who are already in school and will be there for a long time...

Prague of the National Revival

There are about 7,000 languages in the world and Czech is one of them. In order to speak Czech, Czechs need words. And in order not to forget them, because they don't always use them all, they need dictionaries. Josef Jungmann wrote the first big Czech-German dictionary. It was meant to serve everyone. First and foremost, writers, preachers and clerks. Jan Amos Comenius had attempted such a dictionary before him. When he wanted to publish it after 40 years of collecting words, it burned.

The 19th Century in Us

Dead kings used to be embalmed. Their bodies were preserved for later worship. For a small nation that wanted to be as important and united as the great and powerful ones, the historian who dealt with its history was such a king. The need to preserve the hand "that wrote them" and the face in which thought was similarly inscribed led to the creation of these two casts.

A Mácha Intermezzo

What did the man who wrote the famous poem about love, a dove and death look like? The poem is about great and delicate things, so it must have been written by someone tiny, weak and fragile at first sight. But it's almost the opposite. He was a strong man, a long-limbed man with broad shoulders, a great walker and a fine outdoorsman, and that fragment of skull is proof that he really lived. And being near to it can mean more to someone than reading May. It's... him.


Some people always seem to be putting on an act. They’re constantly pretending. So, you might want to say to them (let’s call this person Hana): “Listen, Hana, what’s going on? Why are you acting like someone different?” But with some people like this, you can’t even tell they’re pretending. You could say they’re talented actors. They might even land roles in movies or plays. And that’s exactly what happened with Hana Kvapilová, an actress from the National Theatre. When she portrayed a beautiful princess, it felt like a real princess was standing before you. When she played an evil witch, it could give you the goosebumps. Do you think she was able to become these characters for real? And if so, by what kind of magic? Or perhaps she had a little bit of princess or witch inside her already? And what did her husband think of it all?

Music of the Spring

Hello, kids! What if someone said to you, “Paint me an apple, please.” That would be easy, wouldn’t it? But what if they asked you to paint the scent of that apple? Or something even harder, like the Winds from the Poles? The winds? How do you paint the wind? Sounds like a tough puzzle, right? Now, the painter Honza Konůpek, a friend of the poet Ota Březina, had to imagine things like these, and even trickier ones.


The ABC of Poetism

There are old and new things all around us. Trying something new, different from others before us, is something we all try. The poets wanted to leave war, hardship and poverty behind. To live cheerfully and see the world around them as a poem. At least a little playful and optimistic, with hope, with colour and the circus! The book Alphabet was meant to convey all this. Joy is linked to movement, to dance. In a bathing cap, practice the alphabet and dance your way through life!

A Woman in the Pantheon

And once again the old and the new! And here it’s more like the old and the goodbyes that go with it. At the same time a little anticipation of something new. That's the kind of state of mind that wars usually evoke. In 1940, the Second World War was just gathering momentum. Books can also be like a list of things that are disappearing, a list of people lost, to keep them in memory or to emphasize that there is no need to return to them and leave them where they are. This is how it is written in Milada Součková's The Talking Zone.

In the Network

Václav Černý, a professor of literature, critic, translator and intellectual involved in the life of Czechoslovak society in the 20th century, decided to reminisce about the friends and enemies he met in his life. As demanding as he had been in the pages of the periodical The Critical Monthly, he was now unrelenting when he judged people.


Books are meant to be read, but they are equally meant to be looked at. One can change the size, the width, the weight, as well as the font type and boldness. A book can be in shades of black and white, but can also be in colour. And when it is very colourful and everything seems to grow and weave together, it can remind you of something. Like a forest where there are trees, bushes, wild animals, darkness and light shining through the leaves and needles. And such a forest is hard to control. Váchal's books resemble such a hard-to-tame wilderness.

One Literature?

The 1970s and 1980s in Czechoslovakia is known as the era of “normalisation”. It means calming down, settling down and simplifying something complex. The era is also described as timeless, windless, grey, and it is said that most people at the time were waiting for it to "burst". But there was another layer beneath that stillness, and a diverse life flourished. The banned book by Ludvík Vaculík, A Czech Dreambook, reports on this.

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