The second half of 1998, like the first, was dominated by very diverse celebrations of the 650th anniversary of the founding of Charles University. These, too, were opportunities for meetings and encounters between people who had similar academic interests, or were linked by years of personal friendship.
In October 1998, Praguers were reminded of the founding work of the Bohemian King Charles IV (who established not only the university but also, in 1368, Prague's New Town) by colourful commemorative events. There was a street procession by the Royal Charles Company, and a demonstration of court and period customs and dances at the New Town Hall by the Regii regis Caroli ensemble.
Charles University's inseparable links with the city of Prague were confirmed with the reopening of the CU Hussite Theological Faculty on the 22nd of October 1998. The new university building is situated in the Prague 4 district. Our photograph shows the Mayor of Prague 4, Zdenek Klausner, the Metropolitan Dorotej of the Orthodox Church and the Cardinal Archbishop of Prague Miloslav Vlk, meeting at the ceremonial reopening.
The nations too, have been meeting on University soil through their various official representatives. For example, the Czech Republic and Switzerland met on the 13th of October, 1998 during the "Swiss Week", when CU welcomed Prof. Dr. Franz Blankart, State Secretary of the Swiss state and Director of the Federal Office for Foreign Economy (left, with CU Rector Prof. K. Maly).
Ireland too met the Czech Republic, on the 25th of September, 1998 when Prof. Thomas N. Mitchell, Rector of Trinity College Dublin, was awarded a Charles University honorary doctorate, and his colleague, MUDr. Davis Coakley, received a CU 650th Anniversary Jubilee Medal from the hands of the CU rector, Prof. Karel Maly. For Dr. Coakley (on the left), this was not his only Czech medal, since at the opening of the exhibition "Irishmen at the Prague Medical Faculty in the 17th and 18th Centuries" he received a CU 1st Medical Faculty commemorative medal from the faculty's dean, Prof. P. Hach for valuable co-operation and contributions to the history of the universities of both nations.
Charles University also made possible a meeting between two internationally famous men. In the Carolinum, on the 10th of September, 1998, the UNESCO International Committee for Fair Play presented Pierre de Coubertin Prizes for lifelong services in promoting fair play to one of the most famous Sumo wrestlers in the history of Japan, Yasokichi Konishika (on the right), and the Czech discus thrower, and Olympic champion in 1972 Ludvik Danek (who sadly died suddenly on the 16th of November, 1998).
Numerous friendly meetings were typical of the celebrations of the 650th anniversary of CU. Here, for example, is Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley (on the left), one of the greatest scientists of our century, holder of the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology, meeting Prof. R. Rokyta, Vice-Dean of the 3rd Medical Faculty.
Unforgettable moments for Pavlina Zemanova, a student at the CU Medical Faculty in Plzen. Not only has she won a prestigious Josef Hlavka Prize, awarded for outstanding studies and research results, but she has also had the chance to meet Prof. Rudolf Zahradnik, Chairman of the Czech Academy of Sciences, who as representative of the most prestigious scientific institution in the CR, has by statute and exceptional position in the Hlavka Foundation.