Travel

11 Fun Facts About Czech Republic

Czech facts
ibreakstock /Depositphotos.com

The Czech Republic is a European country located in Central Europe. There are thirteen regions (Prague, Central Bohemian, South Bohemian, etc)ˇin the Czech Republic and their official language is Czech. 

The Czech Republic had a turbulent history (especially during the time of the great wars of Europe) but is nowadays known as one of the safest places in Europe.

Like other old countries in Europe, there are a lot of popular facts about the Czech Republic and its people, and some of them will be mentioned in this article.

If you want to expand your knowledge about the Chech Republic and learn more about the Charles Bridge, Martina Navratilova, and the Astronomical clock in Prague, please do continue reading.

I promise, after reading this article, you’ll want to visit the Czech Republic and see what I was talking about.

Czech Republic Interesting Facts

1. Mushroom Hunting Is Big in the Czech Republic

If you want to be considered normal among the Czechs, the first thing you need to do is to get familiar with their well-known obsession for collecting mushrooms (they seem to be born with it!) 

Every place in the Czech Republic has an outer area where residents go to mushroom hunt. 

They mostly collect the standard porcini mushrooms (pravák in Czech), which is derived from their single word for truth and justice – pravda.

The old Moravian Wallachia region is known as a gold mine for mushrooms.

It’s located in the eastern part of Moravia, near the Slovakia border, which you definitely should visit if you consider mushroom hunting interesting. 

Mushrooms play an important part in the eating habits of the Czech population. They were a substitute for meat during the era of great poverty.

2. Meat Is the Main Ingredient in Czech Meals

As a matter of fact, real meat is the first choice and the highest valued ingredient, in terms of Czech cuisine. Most people like meals that contain meat and prefer old-school Chezch cuisine where meat is the dominant ingredient.

Many of the typical Chezh meals (which are enlisted among the classic European dishes) are based upon stewed or cooked vegetables, meats, and sauces. 

3. The Czech Republic Was Once a Part of Czechoslovakia

Even though the Czech Republic went through very turbulent times (especially during the great wars in Europe) the national status of the Czechs was never in question.

In 1918, Chech Republic declared union with Slovakia. They signed an official document that separated both countries from the old Austro-Hungarian empire. The name of that new country was Czechoslovakia. 

Like Yugoslavia and other similar countries, Czechoslovakia dissolved shortly after the fall of the Berlin wall. They declared independence from each other, in a peaceful manner, on the 1st of January 1993. 

The Czech Republic has been a fully independent country since then. 

Tourism Facts

4. The Biggest Castle in the World Is in Prague

Prague is a top-notch traveling destination, both in the Czech Republic and in Europe. It is a place with many castles (Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world [1]). The castle was built around 880 by Prince Bořivoj of the Premyslid Dynasty.

Prague Castle is among the most visited tourist attractions in Prague and the Czech Republic. If you like castles, you need to see this amazing monument of culture. People from all over the world travel to the Czech Republic and its capital Prague only to visit the Prague Castle. 

Since the Velvet Revolution, this largest ancient castle has undergone serious repairs. During the years of the First Republic of Czechia, most of them were done under the supervision of the famous Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik. 

5. Beer Is Very Popular in the Czech Republic

This is common knowledge for anyone who knows anything about Czechia and Czech culture. 

Czech simply adore drinking beer which shouldn’t come as a surprise as it’s their national beverage. Prague (like any other town in the Czech Republic) is full of little breweries where you can try the amazing beer of high quality while paying a relatively low price. 

In Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, beer is cheaper than bottled water. People in Czechia consume the most beer per capita (in the world) [2]! 

If you feel tired or you had too much to drink, there are even breweries in the Czech Republic that you can stay and spend the night in. 

In short: the Czech Republic and Prague are the places you must visit if you’re a beer lover. 

Interesting Facts About the Czech People

6. Checks Are Not Very Religious

The majority of Czech citizens don’t believe in God (66% of Czechs said that they don’t believe in God [3]).

It stands out among the interesting facts because you wouldn’t find this kind of statistics anywhere in central Europe. It seems like the enlightenment movement struck them hard. 

7. They Love Ice Hockey

Another Czech Republic interesting fact is that hockey has a long tradition in Czechia. However, in the Kingdom of Bohemia, it was a whole different sport. It was called ‘bandy hokej’.

When a Canadian violinist visited their country, they welcomed this sport and learned how to play it. Unfortunately, their sticks were different, they didn’t know the rules, everything was messed up. As a consequence, they lost all of their matches at the hockey world cup.

Nevertheless, they came back stronger, with the right sticks, and learned all of the standard rules. In 1911, they won their first major title.  

What Did the Czech Republic Invent?

8. A Czech Chemist Invented Soft Contact Lenses 

The Czech Republic can be proud of the fact the world-famous chemist was born in their country. A professor by the name of Otto Wichterle invented soft contact lenses back in 1961. This invention is nowadays used by over 21 million people! 

9. The Czech Artist Jozef Čapek Invented the Word “Robot”

Another interesting fact about the Czech Republic is that a Czech-born popular artist Jozef Čapek invented a word that is of great significance today. Jozef Čapek was a Czech painter, writer, and poet. 

Although he invented it, it was his brother Karel Čapek who mentioned it for the first time and that way introduced it to the world of literature and the Czech language.

10. Cubist Architecture

Prague with its castles, churches, and institutional buildings is like an interactive course in the history of architecture. 

Almost every town in the Czech Republic has something unique when it comes to major trends in the architectural design of Central Europe. 

But one thing the Czech people are greatly proud of is the wave of the 1910s and 1920s, called cubist architecture. Cubism was also an experimental trend in architecture typical for the Czechs. 

There are several buildings across the Czech Republic (especially in Prague) that are quite amazing and authentic. The best example is the House at the Black Madonna by Josef Gočár. 

11. Methamphetamine AKA Meth

This one of the things that Czech people are not proud of. The wide use of methamphetamine in the Czech Republic is both sad and interesting.

Since this drug arrived in Central Europe at the beginning of the 1970s, the Czech subculture scene had become its home. In the late 1970s, the use of methamphetamine in the Czech Republic gained epidemic proportions. 

Nowadays, it’s not the most famous drug among the Czech population. 

When compared to other countries in Europe, Chech Republic is the leader when it comes to the consumption of meth. Even today, the capital of the country, Prague is known as the world capital of crystal meth.

Bonus Facts

The Czech Republic is a must-see for any traveler interested in Europe and its history. 

Its history dates back to the time of the Holy Roman Empire. You can find the traces of those times in every bit of the country.

It has the oldest university in Central Europe, which was built in Roman times, by the great emperor Charles IV. Besides Charles University, there is the Charles Bridge, placed right in the middle of the city of Prague. 

While in Prague, you mustn’t miss the astronomical clock of Prague. This clock is among the oldest in the world (it is still operating smoothly). 

In terms of sport, one must mention the top tennis player Martina Navratilova. Martina was born in Prague. Later, Martina decided to move to America and stay there throughout her tennis career. 

This country is the birthplace of one of the all-time literature greats – Franz Kafka. Even though he was born in the Czech Republic his genius belongs to the whole world. 

The Bottom Line

We have arrived at the end of this wonderful article. I hope you enjoyed learning about the Czech Republic and its amazing peculiarities.

I picked these facts to show you just a glimpse of the rich culture this magnificent country has. 

If you found this interesting, feel free to visit this country and explore its hidden treasures.

References

  1. https://www.archute.com/prague-castle-largest-castle-world/ 
  2. https://news.expats.cz/czech-food-drink/the-czech-republic-leads-all-nations-in-beer-consumption-per-capita-by-a-whopping-78/ 
  3. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/19/unlike-their-central-and-eastern-european-neighbors-most-czechs-dont-believe-in-god/ 

About the author

Meet the Slavs

Posts by the Meet the Slavs Team.

Meet the Slavs is your most comprehensive online resource about Slavic people, their cuisine, culture, history, mythology, and more.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment