The Czech Republic is one of if not the popular Eastern Europe (or Central Europe as the citizens prefer to locate it) destination to visit. But what do we know about this beautiful location. Here are 18 interesting facts about the Czech Republic.
Prague Castle is the largest in the world. Bring good walking shoes. There are 2,000 to Czech out. Czech Republic has one of the highest density of the castles in the world with 2,000 to view with Prague Castle being the largest castle in the entire world. It has an area of almost 70,000 square meters, at about 570 meters in length and an average of about 130 meters wide. Its district Hradčani was home to the kings of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor. Now it is the official residence of the President of Czech Republic Miloš Zeman.
There are some famous Czechs. In sport, there are tennis players Martina Navratilova and Ivan Lendl as well as NHL players Jaromír Jágr and Dominik Hašek. In the arts, there is writer Franz Kafka, Oscar winning director Miloš Forman, artist Míla Fürstová and composer Antonin Dvorak. Other famous Czechs include Oskar Schindler, Sigmund Freud, Petra Nemcová, Ivana Trump, and Gregor Mendel.
Czech Republic is one of the top 10 countries worldwide in terms of the fastest average internet speed where the max download speed being 295.2 Mbps and max upload speed being 133.8 Mbps.
The Czech Republic is a country of leisure as is noticeable with its numerous spa towns. The most famous ones are those of Karlsbad in Karlovy Vary, Franzensbad in Františkovy Lázně and Teplitz in Teplice.
Photo Credit: Remi Dilligent
Prague is home to the oldest university in Eastern Europe. The Charles University was founded in 1348 and is one of the oldest in the world in continuous operation. It is recognised as the leading university in Eastern Europe.
The traditional welcoming in Slavic culture with bread and salt. In the Czech Republic do this on special occasions as is called chléb a sůl.
The Czech flag consists of red, blue, and white. Red represents blood shed for freedom, Blue represents imperiality & sovereignty and White is a traditional Bohemian colour and represents the sky.
The Czech people have a love for beer since brewing it in 1118. The most popular beer is Pilsen and the biggest of the many Czech beer festivals is the one held in Prague lasting 17 days and containing more than 70 brands of Czech beer. Their passion for beer extends to the point where it is legal to drink in public.
The Czech Republic has the highest secondary education percentage in the EU. 90% of its population have completed secondary school which is better than the average 82%.
Prague's GDP per capita is twice the Czech national average. The Czech national average is the second highest EU national average behind Luxembourg as well as being the second richest Eastern European country behind Slovenia.
Tourism is a major source of income for the Czech economy. In 2011, Prague is the fifth most visited city in Europe after London, Paris, Istanbul, and Rome. In 2016, Some 7.07 million people visited Prague in 2016, with 6.05 million of them being foreigners.
Czech dishes include potato pancakes, vepřo-knedlo-zelo (roast pork with bread dumplings and stewed cabbage), Goulash (a stew usually made from beef, pork or game with onions and spices), Nudle s mákem (homemade noodles with ground poppy seeds are called nudle s mákem; these are served with powdered sugar and melted butter) and Karbanátek (a burger usually made from beef, pork, minced fish or other meat. It is often mixed with egg and commonly crumbled with Czech triplecoat). Fish is rare, except at Christmas when carp is served.
Czechs love to eat mushrooms as well but they love hunting for them. The people love to spend days in autumn especially St Vaclav Day waking up at sunrise, getting their baskets and roam the forest for mushrooms. However, they must be careful and pick the mushrooms that are edible. Mushroom hunting is so popular that it is considered a national game.
The most popular sport in the Czech Republic is ice hockey with the national team winning gold in the 1998 Olympics and six gold medals at the World Championships. Other sports loved in The Czech Republic include sport shooting, basketball, football, tennis, handball, volleyball, and athletics.
Filming costs in the Czech Republic are low. As a result, many films are shot there. These include Hostel, Mission Impossible, Doom, Alien vs. Predator, Van Helsing, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Hellboy, XXX, Yentl, Casino Royale, Amadeus, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Eurotrip.
The Czech Republic has brought us many inventions. In 1841, sugar cubes after sugar factory director Jakob Christof Rad’s wife Juliana got injured while trying to cut some pieces of sugar and suggested finding an alternative. Later in 1959 Otto Wichterle invented the first soft contact lenses. The word ‘robot’ is a Czech product first used in 1920 in a theatre play by Karel Capek. The play was about a robot factory and the playwright’s brother Josef suggested calling the working machines ‘roboti’ from the Slavic ‘robota’, which means ‘labour’.
Czech Republic’s second president, Václav Klaus caused an international affair. His crime? Being caught on camera stealing a pen during a state visit to Chile. He defended his case by saying that pens are normally free to take during official visits.
Czech Guards are known being Europe’s most fashionable ones. Their stylish uniforms were first introduced in 1990 when communism ended, and the first Czech President wanted the guards to stand out compared to other guards. He hired Czech fashion designer Theodor Pistek who won an Oscar for the costumes he designed in Amadeus. The result is the beautiful baby blue uniform that is worn in summer. A navy version of the uniform is worn in winter.
Written by: Diarmuid Crowley from Stayplanet