Czechs are proud of their country and especially of the capital city of Prague. Here, I have collected some unique facts about the Czech Republic that you may not know. Enjoy!
1. Name day
Being an Asian living in Europe, this is quite surprising and weird at the same time for me. Last month, my friend came to me and said: “Today, it is my name day”. I was wondering what is that. Basically, in the Czech Republic, the name day of a person falls on the day when there is the person’s first name written in the calendar. On this day, people usually bring flowers and some presents for the person – a box of chocolates, books, some cosmetics, pictures, toys for children and so on. My friend found one more reason to have gifts from me :D.
The Czech Republic is not the only country who celebrate a name day. Also, people in France, Finland, Bulgaria or Latvia honour these specific days.
Tip: if you want to know when your name day is (if you have a Czech name or sort of an international name like Daniel, Valerie or something like Thomas or Paul which is Tomáš and Pavel in the Czech Republic) you can search in online Czech calendars.
2. Land of castles and chateaux
In the Czech Republic, there are over 1200 castles and chateaux. Moreover, Prague castle is the largest castle complex in the world with an area of 70 000 square meters.
3. Beer paradise
The most popular beer in the Czech Republic is Pilsner Urquell produced in Pilsen. Czech lagers are categorized in “degrees” 10 or 12 (approximately 4-5 per cent alcohol content). There are also some special beers which can contain up to 20 degrees or more. Did you know that Czechs are Europe leaders in beer consumption since 1971? One of the students in the Czech Republic shared her experience as she was surprised how Czechs can handle so much beer.
4. Atheism in the country
According to Gallup International – (WI Network of Market Research), 72% of Czech People consider themselves atheists. It is a quite large number considering there is a population of 10 million people in the Czech Republic.
5. Contact lenses were invented in the Czech Republic
Do you wear contact lenses? Well, you can do that thanks to a Czech chemist Otto Wichterle who invented them in 1959. Wichterle came to be well-known beyond the frontiers of his country not only through his achievements but also because of his activities in international organizations too, including presentations at congresses of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
6. The Oldest University in central Europe
Charles University in Prague is the oldest university in Central Europe. It was founded in 1348. It is also one of the oldest universities in Europe that still provides education. Today, the university consists of 17 faculties located in Prague, Hradec Králové, and Pilsen. The university also operates several museums and two botanical gardens.
7. Stinky Olomouc cheese
Olomouc is a very beautiful city in the eastern province of Moravia in the Czech Republic, also we have our branch there, and the town has it’s very own cheese! If you are a cheese lover then you must try it. Olomouc cheese isn’t just old regular cheese, it has a distinct taste. Some people like, some do not like, and it is recommended to taste this cheese with beer. You can even find vending machines that sell them! Moreover, the cheese has a very specific smell – some people can’t eat it because of that, they say it really stinks 🙂
8. The second-largest underground ossuary in Europe
The Ossuary under St. James Church [Kostnice u svatého Jakuba] in Brno is the second largest underground ossuary in Europe, after the Catacombs of Paris. The ossuary, estimated to contain the bones of over 50 000 people, was discovered during an underground survey of Brno in 2001. The bones date back to the 13th century when a cemetery was located adjacent to the church.
9. The Czech Republic has the sixth-best student city
According to students globally, the second-largest city in the Czech Republic, Brno, ranked as the sixth-best student city while the Czech capital Prague came in eight. The ranking is annually announced by the British company Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) which specializes in the quality of education around the world.
10. Free coffee
In Brno, on “Zelňák” (Zelný trh = Cabbage Market), you can find a mobile coffee shop DobroKava where you do not pay for coffee with money, but with a good deed. How does it work? You can choose your own deed or you can get inspired by the ideas on the blackboard by the coffee stand. You can also write down what you did as an inspiration for others.
11. Take a tour in the city
Are you new to the town? And don’t know what to do or where to go you can always take the city tour. There are many tour guide who will give you a free tour in the city, but if you want to know more about the city then get the tour with us! We offer the tour in Brno, Prague, Pilsen, Hradec Králové, Olomouc, and Ostrava. The tour is especially recommended for you if you are new to the city or planning to relocate to the Czech Republic.