Josef Hlávka

Josef Hlávka was an architect.

Josef Hlávka 1895

Like Dvorak, he was of humble origins. He studied first in Prague, and then in Vienna. Having completed his studies, he worked in Vienna as a brick-layer for a fellow Czech, František Šebek.  When Šebek retired, he left Hlávka his considerable building business.




Hlávka was responsible for several major projects including the Vienna State Opera and a maternity hospital in Prague. He became a man of considerable means, and a major patron of the Arts. His substantial financial support enabled the foundation of The Czech Academy of Science and the Arts.

Vienna State Opera
Prague’s Maternity Hospital



He married twice, but both  his wives died young, leaving him no heirs. So when he died he left his entire fortune to the educational and cultural charities he had established.

His importance and generosity was such that 2008, the 100th anniversary of his death, was declared as a UNESCO World Cultural Anniversary.


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