40 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Czech Republic | Amazing Facts 4U
Land & Geography
- The Czech Republic is almost entirely surrounded by mountains (except to the south, toward Austria and Slovakia). Mountains mark a natural border with Germany and Poland.
- Population of Czech Republic is just above 10 million and has an area of about 78,000 square kilometers.
- The country is renowned for its numerous spa towns, especially along the border with Germany.
- The Vltava River running through Prague is the longest river in the Czech Republic.
- The highest point in the Czech Republic is Snezka at 1,602 m (5,256 ft).
- Historically, the Czech Republic was composed of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the March of Moravia, both part of the Holy Roman Empire (800-1806), then also within the Habsburg Empire (1526-1918).
- In 1918, the Czechs and Slovaks joined to make the country, Czechoslovakia, only to be captured again by the Nazis and then the Soviets. The country broke free from Soviet rule in 1989.
- The Charles University in Prague, founded in 1348, is the oldest university in Eastern Europe, and one of the oldest in the world in continuous operation.
- Prague is the only major city in Europe that wasn’t bombed in WWII as Hitler wanted to preserve it as Europe’s cultural capital.
Places / Architecture
- There are over 2000 castles in the Czech Republic, which makes it the most castle-rich country in Europe. Some of the most beautiful include Prague Castle , Orlik (set on a volcano above a lake), Cesky Krumlow (perched on a sheer drop over a medieval village) and Cervena Lhota, a gorgeous red castle surrounded by gardens and a pond.
- The 9th century Prague Castle is in the Guinness book of records as the largest ancient castle in the world.
- Cesky Krumlow , a UNESCO-protected village looks as if it hasn’t changed in 500 years, with a rushing river, medieval houses and winding lanes, all watched over by the spectacular edifice of the town’s ancient castle.
- The Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, founded in 1348, is the oldest university in Eastern Europe, and one of the oldest in the world in continuous operation.
- Prague’s astronomical clock was installed in 1410 making it the oldest working astronomical clock in the world.
- The country has four national parks, the oldest being Krkonoše National Park (Biosphere Reserve).
- Prague Zoo in the Czech Republic is placed seventh in the World’s most popular Zoo.
- The Petrin View Tower (60 m) was built at the end of the 19th century as part of the Jubilee Exhibition based on Eiffel Tower in Paris. Visitors are treated to a spectacular view of Prague after they have climbed the 299 steps to the top!
- The Czech Republic has the largest network of signposted footpaths in the world. More than 38,000 kilometers of paths have been signposted.
People Customs & Culture
- The official language is Czech. Czech and Slovak languages are mutually intelligible to people accustomed to the other language’s pronunciation.
- 90% of Czechs have completed at least secondary education , the highest score in the EU (along with Poles, Slovaks, and Slovenes).
- 80% of Czechs are non-religious and 10.3% are Roman Catholics.
- Czechs welcome guests with bread and salt as per tradition.
- Do not go to someone else’s home without bringing flowers, or a sweet treat. You are expected to remove your shoes upon visiting someone’s home. Most homes will provide slippers for you.
- Czechs seldom call people by their first name, unless they are family. Initial greetings are formal and reserved.
- The Czech Republic has the most hospital beds per inhabitant in the EU.
- Czech people have the second highest death rate for cancer in the EU after Hungary.
- Czech people are the world’s heaviest consumers of beer. In Prague, beer is cheaper than bottled water.
- Amazingly Czech etiquette requires a man to precede his female companion when entering a restaurant. If they are entering other buildings, he is expected to let her in first.
- Traditional Czech Republic music requires traditional instruments. Majority of the instruments used are handmade, and are done so delicately using wood from more than 100 year old trees.
- Czech people are mostly of Slavic descent, but many people can also claim partial German ancestry, as a result of the country’s 1000 years within the Holy Roman Empire or Austrian Empire.
- The Czechs’ national passion is mushroom hunting. Thousands of Czech nationals gather yearly during the St. Václav Day, which happens during the weekend that is nearest to September 28, to head to the forest and participate in mushroom hunting.
- On Jan. 1, 1993, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic became independent states and Czechoslovakia ceased to exist.
Economy & Corporates
- The Czech Republic is the second richest Eastern European country after tiny Slovenia.
- Beer has been brewed in the Czech Republic since the year 1118.
- The Czech Republic is home to many famous international companies including Deloitte Touche, Exxon Mobil , Zara , Skoda , Pilsner Urquell and Bata.
- AVG, the free antivirus company comes from the Czech Republic.
- Jakub Kryštof Rad was the director of a sugar factory in Dacice whose wife got injured while trying to cut sugar loafs in smaller pieces. She then suggested he do something about it and the sugar cubes were born in 1843.
- Czech doctor Jan Jansky was the first to divide blood into four types in 1907.
- Modern soft contact lenses were the outcome of the work of two Czechs: Otto Wichterle and Drahoslav Lim.
- Famous people born in the Czech Republic include: Martina Navratilova and Ivan Lendl (Tennis pros), Milos Forman (Film director), Sigmund Freud (Psychologist), Oskar Schindler (of Schindler’s List fame) and Petra Nemcova (Supermodel).
By Amazing Facts 4U Team