Abstract Czech Background

20 Interesting Facts about Czechia

Czechia (also known as the Czech Republic) is a unique and fascinating country. Most people associate it with beer, the capital city of Prague or some of the famous sports figures. However, this gorgeous country nestled in the very heart of Europe abounds many more wonders!

Here are 20 interesting facts that you may or may not know about Czechia.

  • 01. Czechia boasts around 2,000 castles & chateaux, one of the most per capita worldwide. There’s also the largest castle complex in the world – the marvellous Prague Castle.
  • 02. Czech discoveries and inventions include soft contact lenses, blood type groups, polarography, lightning rod, arc lamp, Semtex explosive, remoska or sugar cubes.
  • 03. The Czechs are the 3rd nation ever reaching space. In 1978, the first and to date only Czech cosmonaut Vladimír Remek completed his flight aboard the Soviet Soyuz spacecraft.
  • 04. The first musical composition ever to be played on the surface of the Moon was the New World Symphony by the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák.
  • 05. The Czech language is comprised of over 250,000 words, more than Russian, French or Arabic. Czech is also the only language using the letter “Ř.
  • 06. Czechia is regarded as a country with one of the longest systems of marked footpaths. There are over 80,000 kilometres (50,000 miles) of them, twice the circumference of the Earth.
  • 07. Mushroom hunting – the activity of gathering mushrooms in the wild – is a very popular pastime of the Czechs. More than 70% of the population head out to pick mushrooms at least once a year.
  • 08. Czechia is one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the whole world. In 2020, it placed 8th in the Global Peace Index, succeeding Singapore and preceding Japan, ranking before countries such as Germany (no. 16), Italy (no. 31) or the United Kingdom (no. 42).
  • 09. Czech national sport is ice hockey. The Czech National Ice Hockey Team is the only national team that has ever achieved to win the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship three consecutive times: in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Czechia also conquered the ice hockey tournament in Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics.
  • 10. The word “robot” is of Czech origin. It was created by the Czech author and painter Josef Čapek. Josef Čapek was the brother of the world-known writer and playwright Karel Čapek, who used the word robot in his science fiction play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots).
  • 11. Czechia has the densest network of public libraries in the world. In the global spectrum, the Czechs are also quite avid readers. On average, every Czech finishes 13 books every year.
  • 12. The deepest underwater cave in the world – Hranice Abyss (Hranická propast in Czech) – is located in the Czech lands, near the Moravian town of Hranice, in the Olomouc Region. The cave is at least 473 meters deep (1550 feet). However, some speleologists claim that it’s, in fact, more than two times as deep!
  • 13. Czechia is boasting a thriving gaming industry. Popular video games such as the Mafia series, Beat Saber, Factorio, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, the Euro Truck Simulator, Day Z, ArmA and many more were developed by Czech game designers.
  • 14. Notable Czechs or people of Czech origin include:
    • Miloš Forman – Oscar-winning film director
    • Milan Kundera and Karel Čapek – writers
    • Jaroslav Seifert – writer and poet, Nobel Prize winner in literature
    • Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana – composers
    • Alfons Mucha – painter, author of the Slav Epic
    • Jan Hammer – Grammy Award-winning musician and composer
    • Antonín Holý – scientist, inventor of the most effective drug used for the treatment of AIDS
    • Václav Havel – former dissident, writer, statesman and former President of the Czech Republic
    • Ivana Trump – businesswoman, former model
    • Karolína Kurková – model and actress
    • sports personalities Petra Kvitová, Martina Navrátilová (tennis), Petr Čech (football/soccer) and Jaromír Jágr (ice hockey)
  • 15. Well-known foreign people born in Czechia include:
    • Sigmund Freud – founder of psychoanalysis
    • Franz Kafka – surrealist author
    • Ferdinand Porsche – cars manufacturer
    • Madeleine Albright – former United States Secretary of State
    • Gustav Mahler – composer
  • 16. Czechs are the world record holders in beer drinking. Statistically speaking, every Czech person drinks on average 141 litres of beer in a year (as of 2019), the most per capita in the world. Czech beer is also regarded as one of the best, among German or Irish beers. Interestingly enough, in most Czech pubs and restaurants, beer on tap costs less than practically all non-alcoholic beverages.
  • 17. Czechia ranks as one of the least religious countries worldwide. In the last census in 2011, only 21% of Czechs self-identified as believers.
  • 18. Czech athletes have been very successful in the event of the javelin throw. They’re world-record holders both in men and female category, thanks to Jan Železný and Barbora Špotáková.
  • 19. The traditional Czech Christmas gift-bringer is called Ježíšek, translated as “Baby Jesus”. The Czechs unwrap their presents under the Christmas tree on the eve of 24th December.
  • 20. Czechia’s political name changed nine times in the 20th century. The country used to be officially called:
    • Lands of the Bohemian Crown (until 1918)
    • Czechoslovak Republic (1918-1938)
    • Czecho-Slovak Republic (1938-1939)
    • Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (1939-1945)
    • Czechoslovak Republic (1945-1960)
    • Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1960-1990)
    • Czechoslovak Federative Republic (1990)
    • Czech and Slovak Federative Republic (1990-1992)
    • Czech Republic (1993 onwards)

We hope you’ve learnt something new and cool about Czechia. But there’s still a lot more for you to find out, and the easiest way to do so is to experience this country on your own! Find inspiration for your future visit in our articles about aplenty of the gorgeous places Czechia can offer and check the activities you can enjoy during your stay.

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