A silver commemorative coin is issued as a tribute to Bohumil Hrabal who would have been 100 years old this year. Commemorative CZK 200 coins of the Czech National Bank mark the greatest milestones and personalities of national history in the glitter of sterling silver and serve as an immortal reminder of the colourful history of the Czech nation.
Bohumil Hrabal was born one hundred years ago in Brno to a single mother Maryška who later married František Hrabal. After the wedding Francin adopted Bohumil and a year later his half-brother Slávek was born. After that František Hrabal accepted a job at a brewery in the town of Nymburk where Bohumil attended the primary school and the grammar school. He struggled at school, however, because he was distracted by other hobbies and spent more time observing the hustle and bustle of the life in the town and the brewery and he was fascinated by fantastic stories of his father’s brother Josef Hrabal. Pepin’s tales became the first major inspiration for the writer-to-be Bohumil Hrabal.
Before he fully devoted his career to writing in 1963, Bohumil Hrabal graduated from a law school and held a number of jobs – he worked as a labourer in a steel mill in Kladno, then as a waiter, dispatcher in Kostomlaty nad Labem, clerk, paper-packer in a scrapyard and stage technician. Above all, he was a passionate observer of and listener to people’s life stories that he was able to portray in his books along with a unique atmosphere. His kind humour and the humane aspect of his characters resulted in an enormous popularity and he has become the most translated Czech writer of the 20th century. Between 1968 and 1975 his books were banned and could be published only in underground (samizdat) editions or abroad. His stories were successfully adapted for film and theatre works. Bohumil Hrabal died in 1997.
The obverse side depicts an effigy of Bohumil Hrabal designed by the academic sculptor Vladimír Oppl. On the reverse side is the nominal value of CZK 200 with the inscription Czech Republic and a relief of railway tracks and stamps to reminisce of Closely Watched Trains, a film based on Bohumil Hrabal’s book and directed by Jiří Menzel that won an Academy Award (Oscar) for best foreign language film in 1968.
The silver commemorative coin marking the centennial of the birth of Bohumil Hrabal is another proof of the top quality of Czech art and should not be missing in your collection.