Josef Hlávka

Josef Hlávka (15 February 1831 – 11 March 1908) was a Czech architect, builder, philanthropist and founder of the oldest Czech foundation for sciences and arts.

Josef Hlávka
Josef Hlavka.JPG
Josef Hlávka (1908)
Born15 February 1831
Died11 March 1908
EducationUniversity Degree
Occupationarchitect, builder
Known forHlávka Foundation



Hlavka studied at the Technical University in Prague and later architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Shortly after he had finished his studies, the Czech architect František Šebek retired and left him his well-established company in Vienna. In 1861-1869 Hlávka built the Vienna State Opera in the Ringstrasse. He also built the regional maternal hospital in Prague, the Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans in Czernowitz (now Chernivtsi, Ukraine) (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and now the seat of the university there), and numerous apartment buildings in Vienna.


The Czech Academy of Sciences was founded in 1888-1890 by the financial contributions of Josef Hlávka, who became its first president. When the floods damaged the Charles Bridge in Prague in 1890, Hlávka pushed through and co-funded its renovation in the original Gothic style. Moreover, he founded the student dormitory in Jenštejnská Street, Prague and donated it for gifted but poor students. In 1904 Hlávka gave all his fortune to the foundation, named after him and his wives Nadání Josefa, Marie a Zdenky Hlávkových ("Foundation of Josef, Marie and Zdeňka Hlávka"); this foundation is the oldest continuously operating Czech institution of its kind.

The 100th anniversary of the death of Hlavka was declared by UNESCO as a World Cultural Anniversary.


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