20 Interesting Facts About the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic attracts tourists and professionals from all over the world who come to visit, live, work or study to this beautiful country. If you are one of them, you probably already know some of the basic information, but have you known that beer is cheaper than water in the Czech Republic? Here are other 20 interesting facts you might want to know before coming to the country:
1. The Czech Republic ranks as the seventh safest country to live in the world.
In the 2019 Global Peace Index, the country has placed in top ten safest countries similarly to previous years.
2. The country’s expat community is huge.
There are more than 535,000 foreign-born residents living in the Czech Republic excluding the ones who already obtained the Czech citizenship. Around 200,000 of them are living in Prague.
3. It has the most castles in Europe.
There are over 2000 castles and chateaux in the Czech Republic, more than in any other country in Europe. Some of the most famous ones are the Hluboká Castle, Orlík Castle, Lednice Castle and Karlštejn Castle.
4. The Czech Republic is home to the largest ancient castle in the world.
The largest ancient castle in the world is the Prague Castle, 570m long and 128m wide.
5. The Elbe River rises in the country.
One of the major rivers in Central Europe with a river basin spanning four countries (Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, and Poland) is formed by the confluence of numerous headwater streams in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northern Czech Republic.
6. The Czech Republic’s highest point of elevation is Sněžka.
Sněžka is located in the Krkonoše mountains and its peak reaches 1,603 meters.
7. Prague’s Old Town is home to the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world.
Every hour, it’s mechanical processional of apostles delights tourists.
8. As already mentioned, beer is a big deal in the Czech Republic
Czech people are the world’s heaviest consumers of beer. The first pale lager, Pilsner Urquell, was brewed in the Czech city Pilsen in 1842.
9. Prague’s nickname is “the city of a hundred spires”
The Czech capital city has lived up to this name and more, as today there are over 500.
10. The most popular sport is ice hockey.
The men’s national ice hockey team is one of the major powers in world hockey. Many Czech players have been successful in the NHL, most notably Jaromir Jagr, who is considered one of the greatest NHL players ever. The highest-level ice hockey league in the Czech Republic is Czech Extraliga. The league usually takes place between September and April and features 14 professional teams.
11. The Czech Republic is a country of architecture.
Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance, Romanesque, Classicism, Art-Nouveau, Cubism, Functionalism and even architecture of the Communist era are all on display around the country.
12. Soft contact lenses were invented by a Czech chemist.
It was Otto Wichterle who invented the soft contact lenses in 1959.
13. Johan Gregor Mendel was born in the Czech Republic.
Mendel set the groundwork for genetics and inheritance principles still studied in biology classes around the world today.
14. The world “robot” was created by the Czech artist Josef Čapek.
It was first used by Czech author Karel Čapek in his novel R.U.R. It was his brother Josef Čapek who is credited with creating the word.
15. The Czech Republic is one of the least religious countries in the world.
Around 39.8% of Czechs consider themselves atheist and 13.4% are undecided.
16. The country is famous for tennis, particularly female players
Czech Martina Navratilova has been statistically the second-best female player of the 20th century, right behind Steffi Graf. Today, there are 8 female Czech players in the top 100 world rankings. The Czech Fed Cup team has also won six Fed Cup titles since 2011.
17. The oldest university in Central Europe resides in Prague.
Charles University in Prague, founded in 1348, is the oldest university in Central Europe.
18. Czechs are highly educated.
Around 90% of the adult population have completed at least secondary education.
19. The Czech Republic has an advanced economy and a high standard of living.
In fact, it is the most stable and prosperous of the post-communist states, with the lowest unemployment rate (2.2%) in the European Union.
20. The world-famous Škoda Auto is based in the Czech Republic.
The Czech automobile manufacturer was founded in 1895 and has headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. Škoda automobiles are sold in over 100 countries.