The other day I was updating some of my old blog posts about the Czech republic and I figured it’s time for another Travel Trivia facts moment. So, this one is going to be about the land of castles, beer and good food: the Czech republic or Czechia, as they are now also known as since 2016. Let’s learn something new about the Czech:
- The Czech republic is home to about 10.6 million people, ranked among the safest places to live on Earth and consists of two main regions, Bohemia (the land of beer) and Moravia (the land of wine).
- Hilariously, Czechia is considered Eastern Europe even though its capital, Prague, is technically located more to the west than Vienna, the Austrian capital, that no one would ever accuse of being in Eastern Europe.
- When people say the Czechs are bohemian, it’s more than a lifestyle. Their area was once the Kingdom of Bohemia, which transformed into the newly formed country of Czechoslovakia in 1918, that was later split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993 after the anti-communist Velvet Revolution in 1989.
- An important event in Czech history was the Prague defenestration, which is a fancy way of saying that the Protestants threw two imperial regents and their secretary out the window in 1618 in response to violations of Protestant rights. This event was actually the start of the Bohemian revolt and the Thirty Years’ War.
- Czechia has the highest number of castles of all European countries, as there are over 2000 castles and palaces there. In fact, the Prague castle is one of the largest castles out there and their astronomical clock is the third oldest in the world.
- The Czechs gave us soft contact lenses, Škoda automobile company and the word “robot”, which was first used by Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R.. Written in the 1920s, it’s a classic work of science fiction, where robots are the ultimate workers without creative thought that revolt against their meaningless work for a Utopian society and seek to learn the secret of self-duplication and humanity. Actually, it’s still very relevant today.
- Czechs are mad about mushrooms and beer. Their oldest lager that we still drink today, Pilsner Urquell, dates back to 1842.
- It’s a country of female tennis players, as there are 8 female Czech players in the top 100 world rankings and their tennis star Martina Navratilova is considered the second best tennis player of the 20th century.
- They also have some very sketchy Easter folk traditions, which include symbolically whipping people, particularly women, on the legs with willow whips or dousing them with cold water for luck and fertility.
- Czechia is well known for its fancy garnets and decorated glass and crystal art. Old Czechoslovakian crystal glasses and vases are still among the most prized possessions of all true Balkan grannies.
- As far as I’m concerned, Czech food is among the most delicious, hearty homesteadish cuisines of Europe. Popular favourites include roast pork, bread dumplings, potato pancakes, stewed cabbage, various beef and pork stews. Oh, and there’s bread soup and they like to eat carp for Christmas.
- Last but not least, one of Czechia’s most important contemporary personalities was Václav Havel, a playwright, poet and political dissident who later became the president of Czechoslovakia. There are several places named after him, including the main airport in Prague.
“The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.“V. Havel
So, I hope you learned some new facts about the Czech republic and let me know in the comments if you have any fun facts to share or if I made a mistake somewhere. Have you been to Czechia yet?
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