Prague, amazing city with literary tradition


An architectural pearl celebrated for its renowned, well-preserved historical centre featuring a unique collection of buildings registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List (1992), Prague is also a city with great intellectual and creative resources.

With its long and rich tradition of literature, Prague is home to an active and diverse contemporary literary scene. A multicultural book centre, Prague has one of the highest concentrations of bookshops in Europe and contains approximately 200 bookshops and 20 literary cafes. The city launched its first international poetry festival in 2004, becoming the Prague Microfestival in 2009. The Prague Writers' Festival celebrates the Czech Republic's writers and the International Literature and Theatre Festival, Deti Ctete (Children, do you read?) is one of Prague's most successful festivals.

Prague aims to develop its longstanding book culture and literary tradition on a national and international level by hosting events related to national and international literature and literary studies.  

Karel Hynek Mácha
Karel Hynek Mácha

Karel Hynek Mácha 

16 November 1810 Prague- 5 November 1836 Litomerice

Czech romantic poet, with notable works "Máj"

Božena Němcová 

4 February 1820 Vienna- 21 January 1862 Prague

Czech writer of the final phase of the Czech National Revival movement.

Her image features on the 500CZK denomination of the banknotes of the Czech koruna.

Jan Neruda
Jan Neruda

Jan Nepomuk Neruda 

9 July 1834 Prague- 22 August 1891Prague

Czech journalist, writer, poet, art critic, one of the most prominent representatives of Czech Realism and a member of the "May school".

René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke, better known as Rainer Maria Rilke

4 December 1875 Prague- 29 December 1926 Montreux

Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist. The deeply existential themes tend to position him as a transitional figure between the Traditional and the modernist writers.

Jaroslav Hašek

30 April 1883 Prague - 3 January 1923 Lipnice nad sázavou

Czech writer, humorist, satirist, journalist, bohemian and anarchist. He is best known for his novel The Good Soldier Švejk , an unfinished collection of farcical incidents about a soldier in World War I and a satire on the ineptitude of authority figures. The novel has been translated into about 60 languages, making it the most translated novel in Czech literature.

Franz Kafka

3 July 1883 Prague - 3 June 1924 Kierling

German-speaking Bohemian Jewish novelist and short story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature.

His work, which fuses elements of realism and the fantastic,typically features isolated protagonists faced by bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible social-bureaucratic powers, and has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity.

Best known works include "Die Verwandlung" ("The Metamorphosis"), Der Process (The Trial), and Das Schloss (The Castle).

The term Kafkaesque has entered the English language to describe situations like those in his writing.

Kafka Museum in Prague

Max Brod
Max Brod

Max Brod

May 27, 1884 Prague - December 20, 1968 Tel Aviv

German-speaking Jewish Czech, later Israeli, author, composer, and journalist. Although he was a prolific writer in his own right, he is most famous as the friend and biographer of Franz Kafka. As Kafka's literary executor, Brod refused to follow the writer's instructions to burn his life's work, and had them published instead. Kafka would probably not be famous without Brod's help.

Karel Čapek

9 January 1890 Malé Svatoňovice-25 December 1938 Prague

Czech writer of the early 20th century, playwright, dramatist, essayist, publisher, literary reviewer, photographer and art critic. He is best known for his science fiction including his novel War with the Newts and the play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), which introduced the word robot. He also wrote many politically charged works dealing with the social turmoil of his time. He campaigned in favor of free expression and utterly despised the rise of both fascism and communism in Europe.


Jaroslav Seifert

23 September 1901Prague - 10 January 1986 Prague

Nobel Prize-winning Czechoslovak writer, poet and journalist. In 1984 Jaroslav Seifert won the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his poetry which endowed with freshness, sensuality and rich inventiveness provides a liberating image of the indomitable spirit and versatility of man".

Bohumil Hrabal

28 March 1914 Brno- 3 February 1997 Praguye

Czech writer, regarded by many Czechs as one of the best writers of the 20th century.

Milan Kundera
Milan Kundera

Milan Kundera

born 1 April 1929 Brno

Czech-born French writer who went into exile in France in 1975, and became a naturalised French citizen in 1981.

Best-known work is The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Ivan Klima
Ivan Klima

Ivan Klíma

born 14 September 1931 in Prague, as Ivan Kauders

Czech novelist and playwright. He has received the Magnesia Litera Award and the Franz Kafka Prize, among other honors.