From Hradec Králové to Robots and Reflections: Karel Čapek’s Enduring Legacy

Photo: Czech Radio

Known for introducing the word ‘robot’ to the world through his literature, Karel Čapek is one of the most famous Czech writers internationally – and one of the most loved at home. The author of ‘War with the Newts’ and ‘R.U.R.’ lived in several parts of the country throughout his life – but his childhood was spent in what is today the Hradec Králové Region.

Karel Čapek was born the youngest of three children in the village of Malé Svatoňovice in 1890, only a few kilometres from the Polish border. Zdeněk Vacek, the director of the Čapek memorial in Stará Huť near Dobříš in the Central Bohemian Region – formerly the Čapek family’s summer residence where the writer spent much of the last three years of his life – says that Čapek’s childhood was very much shaped by growing up in the foothills of the Bohemian mountains.

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Authors: Anna Fodor, Vít Pohanka