Czech Republic

Language: Czech

Currency: Czech koruna (CZK)

Calling Code: +420


Description of Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a landlocked Central European sovereign country. It borders Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the north. Its capital and largest city is Prague. The Czech Republic has territories of what were once Moravia and Bohemia and a small part of Silesia. The Czech state, formerly known as Bohemia, was formed in the ninth century AD like a small duchy around Prague in the bosom of the then powerful Great Moravian Empire. After the dissolution of this empire in 907, the center of power passed from Moravia to Bohemia under the Premislidas dynasty and from 1002 the duchy was formally recognized as part of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1212 the duchy reached the category of kingdom and during the government of the kings and dukes Premislidas and their successors, the Luxemburg, the country reached its greatest territorial extension in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. During the Hussite wars the kingdom had to suffer economic embargoes and the arrival of crusader knights from all over Europe.

After the battle of Mohács in 1526, the Kingdom of Bohemia gradually became part of the Habsburg domains as one of its three main domains, along with the Archduke of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary. The defeat of the Bohemians in the battle of the White Mountain, which meant the failure of the revolt of 1618-1620, led to the Thirty Years War and a greater centralization of the monarchy, in addition to the imposition of the Catholic faith and germanization. With the dissolution of the Sacrum Germanic Roman Empire in 1806, the kingdom of Bohemia was integrated into the Austrian Empire. During the nineteenth century the Czech lands rose as the industrial center of the monarchy and later as the nucleus of the Czechoslovak Republic that was created in 1918, the result of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the First World War. After 1933, Czechoslovakia was the only democracy in all of Central and Eastern Europe.

After the Munich Accords in 1938, the Polish annexation of the Zaolzie area and the German occupation of Czechoslovakia and the consequent disillusionment of the Czechs with the poor response of the West, the communists won their favor by liberating the country from the Nazi yoke during the Second World War. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections and in the 1948 Prague Coup the country became governed by communism. However, the growing dissatisfaction of the people led to the reform of the regime, which culminated in the so-called Prague Spring of 1968 and led to the invasion of the armed forces of the Warsaw Pact, troops who remained in the country until the Revolution Velvet 1989, when the communist regime collapsed. On January 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia was divided peacefully into its two constituent states, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

In 2006, the Czech Republic became the first former member of the Comecon to achieve the full status of a developed country according to the World Bank, and the country has the highest rate of human development in all of Central and Eastern Europe. considered a State with "Very high human development". It is the ninth most peaceful country in Europe, the most democratic and the one with the lowest infant mortality in its region. The Czech Republic is a representative parliamentary democracy, a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group.



Northern Bohemia (Severní Čechy) with the Czech parts of the Ore Mountains and Elbe Sandstone Mountains (Bohemian Switzerland) and the Jizera Mountains; borders on Saxony.
West Bohemia (Západočeský kraj) with the Bohemian Forest, the spa triangle (Carlsbad-Franzensbad-Marienbad), the Pilsen region and the Czech part of the Elstergebirge; borders on Bavaria.
Central Bohemia. the central region around the capital Prague.
East Bohemia (Čechy) with the Czech part of the Giant Mountains, the Sněžka as the highest mountain in the Czech Republic, Eagle Mountains, Bohemian Paradise and Braunauer Ländchen.
South Bohemia internet (Jihočeský kraj) with the historic towns of Budweis and Český Krumlov; borders on Upper Austria.
Moravia and Silesia. the two smaller historical parts of the country in the east of the Czech Republic, with their own dialects and cultural traditions; Moravia borders on Lower Austria



The ten largest and most famous cities are:
1 Prague (Praha). Email: Capital and largest city of the Czech Republic.
2 Brno. Email: . largest city in Moravia; the motorcycling world championships take place here every year.
3 Ostrava. Email: . industrial city.
4 Plzeň (Plzeň). Email: . the largest city in western Bohemia, at the same time the third largest city in the Czech Republic, the place of origin of Pilsener beer.
5 Liberec. located in the Jizera Mountains.
6 Olomouc. E-mail: . lively university town; has the second largest historic city center in the Czech Republic.
7 Ústí nad Labem. E-mail: . North Bohemian town with a large porcelain factory and the center of many food, chemical and mechanical engineering companies.
8 České Budějovice. Email: . Industrial and commercial center in South Bohemia.
9 Hradec Králové. Email: .
10 Karlovy Vary. Email: historically important (and the largest in the Czech Republic) spa.


Travel Destinations in Czech Republic

Central Bohemia

Kutná Hora
Kralupy nad Vltavou
Mladá Boleslav
Zruč nad Sázavou


Other destinations

Bertramka Mozart Museum
Břevnov Monastery
Karlštejn Castle
Kokořín Castle
Křivoklát Castle
Koněprusy Caves
Okoř Castle
Točník Castle
Troja Palace
Vyšehrad Castle
Zbraslav Château


South Bohemia

Český Krumlov
České Budějovice
Jindřichův Hradec
Nové Hrady


Orlík Castle
Rožmberk nad Vltavou
Strakonice Castle
Šumava National Park
Vyšší Brod Monastery
Zlatá Koruna Monastery
Zvíkov Castle


West Bohemia


Františkovy Lázně

Karlovy Vary

Lázně Kynžvart


Mariánské Lázně



Černé Jezero

Rabí Castle

Švihov Castle

Velhartice Castle


North Bohemia


Ústí nad Labem







Česká Lípa



Bezděz Castle

České Švýcarsko National Park

Český Ráj

Hauenštejn Castle

Kost Castle


East Bohemia

Hradec Králové

Špindlerův Mlýn


Adršpach-Teplice Rocks

Krkonoše National Park



Havlíčkův Brod
Nové Město na Moravě

Velká Bíteš
Velké Meziříčí
Žďár nad Sázavou


North Moravia and Silesia



Český Těšín









Bouzov Castle

Brníčko Castle

Helfštýn Castle

Sovinec Castle


South Moravia


Vranov nad Dyji





Novosedly na Moravě





Boskovice Castle

Landštejn Castle

Pernštejn Castle

Podyjí National Park

Slavkov Castle


Getting here

Entry requirements
For stays of up to three months, neither a visa nor a residence permit is required. If nationals from the EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland are to stay for more than 30 days, they must report to the immigration police (Czech: Cizinecká Policie) within 30 days of entry. In the case of a corresponding stay in the hotel, this message is sent automatically. A change of residence must be reported to the responsible immigration police within three days. Foreigners who require a visa must report their stay to the responsible foreigners police within three days.

By plane
From a total of 46 airports with asphalt runways in the Czech Republic, four are currently commercial airports with regular scheduled flights. However, there is only a large international airport with a large number of daily connections in Prague: The "Vaclav Havel" airport handles the majority of air traffic in the Czech Republic, handling around 10 million passengers a year. It is also the main base of the state airline CSA Czech Airlines. Brno Airport, which opens up the east of the country, follows at a considerable distance in second place. The other two airports in Ostrau and Pardubice only have charter connections to hot water destinations and are not very useful for arrival. All other airports in the country currently have no scheduled commercial services.

By train
From Germany run via …
Bad Schandau/Děčín EuroCity trains every two hours from Hamburg-Berlin-Dresden to Prague. Some of these trains go via Prague to Brno and Bratislava (journey time Berlin-Prague 4 hours 15 minutes, Dresden-Prague 2 hours 15 minutes).
Furth im Wald seven daily ALEX trains from Munich via Regensburg and Pilsen to Prague (Munich–Pilsen in a good 4 hours).
Bayerisch Eisenstein/Železná Ruda, four daily direct trains to Prague (Bayerisch Eisenstein–Prague in just under 4 hours).
Anyone traveling from Germany to the regions of the Czech Republic near the border by public transport can use the Bavaria-Bohemia ticket or Saxony-Bohemia ticket. If you want to travel further, you should first buy the ticket from the Czech Republic, because the combination of a German domestic ticket + Czech domestic ticket is always much cheaper than an international ticket for the entire route.

The following train connections are available from Austria:
Railjet Graz–Vienna Central Station–Brno–Prague every two hours (Vienna–Prague in just under 4 hours)
Private train Regiojet Wien Hauptbahnhof–Brno–Prague (runs several times a day)
Eurocity Wien Hbf–Břeclav–Ostrava–Katowice–Warsaw three times a day (Vienna–Ostrava in 2:40 hours)
Regional Express Vienna Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof-Waldviertel-Gmünd-České Velenice (connection to Budweis and Prague) every two hours
Regional express Linz–České Budějovice (journey time 2 hours)
Regional trains from Wiener Neustadt via Vienna (several stations) to Břeclav or Znojmo several times a day (Vienna–Břeclav in 1½ hours)

Night trains
Nightjet Vienna-Prague
Nightjet Zurich–Innsbruck–České Budějovice–Prague
EuroNight Vienna-Ostrava-Warsaw

By bus
There are long-distance bus connections from many cities in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia and Switzerland. i.a. the bus companies Touring/Eurolines and Orangeways to various Czech cities. The Czech company Student Agency also offers trips between Germany and the Czech Republic. The Bohemianlines bus line is interesting for trips from Scandinavia via Berlin to the Czech Republic. Flixbus and Leo Express also go to many places in the Czech Republic.

In the street
The roads are mostly in good condition. Driving on a motorway and some major expressway connections is subject to tolls. If you want to drive on it, you first have to buy a digital vignette (Czech: dálniční známka). There are machines at border crossings where the digital vignette can be purchased. Cash payment is not possible. The machines have a large display that allows instructions in different languages. The country and the license plate number must be recorded. In addition, there are often privately operated exchange offices near these machines, which sell these digital vignettes at significantly higher prices. A poor exchange rate is often granted when paying in euros, and a service fee is charged, since the vignette price is prescribed by law. The online portal for digital vignettes from the state is recommended. Payment by credit card is preferable, since other payment options (payment in advance, bank transfer) are delayed and the vignette only becomes valid later. With a credit card, it is valid on the desired date or directly on the same day.

Traffic regulations:
observe maximum speed;
max. 50 km/h (≈ 30 miles/h) in built-up areas.
extra-urban max. 90 km/h (≈ 55 miles/h).
extra-urban motorways max. 130 km/h (≈ 80 miles/h).
inner-city motorways max. 80 km/h (≈ 50 miles/h).

As long as the car is not equipped with daytime running lights, dipped headlights are mandatory all year round, including during the day.
Safety vests are to be carried along for the number of passengers.
A set of spare lamps must be carried (not necessary with permanently installed LED lights)
There is an absolute ban on alcohol, i.e. 0 ‰.
Vignette obligation - A vignette is mandatory for motor vehicles on motorways and most expressways. Motorbikes are not subject to a vignette. Electronic vignettes can be purchased at official points of sale and EuroOil petrol stations and at kiosks at border crossings. You can purchase up to 90 days in advance.
Annual vignette: CZK 1,500, monthly vignette: CZK 440, 10-day vignette: CZK 310 (as of 2023). Cars that run on electricity, hydrogen or a combination of fuels, as long as CO2 emissions do not exceed 50g/km, are exempt. Cars powered by natural gas or biomethane pay the “eco price”, half. It is also possible to reach cities like Prague without using the motorway or expressway.

Attention, the Czech police is equipped with much more staff than in Germany. The range of penalties is usually broad, from the minimum fine to very high. The amount of the penalty actually imposed is also at the discretion of the police officer, i.e. according to the behavior and insight of the driver. The fine (pokuta) is usually payable immediately in cash in Czech crowns. The police officer acknowledges the payment and the violation of the law with the help of a receipt block, which you also have to sign. At the same time, this also means that the violation of the law has been acknowledged. Appeals are no longer possible. If you refuse to pay in cash, a very lengthy administrative act will follow in the infirmary. Caution, if there are open fines, the Czech police can confiscate the vehicle!

Motorways are called Dálnice in Czech, hence the initial letter D in the country's motorway numbering system. The Czech motorway network is being further developed (the D8 and D11 are being completed, the D3 from Linz via Budweis is scheduled for completion in 2026). With the exception of the D1 in the Prague metropolitan area and near Mirosovice, motorway congestion is rare except during road works. This is also partly due to the cheap train and public transport fares within the country.

Currently there are two highways consistently connecting the country's borders with the capital, Prague:

The southeast highway D1 is the oldest and busiest in the Czech Republic. It connects Prague via Brno (Brünn) with Bratislava (Pressburg) in Slovakia. It is also approached for arrivals from Vienna via the A5 northern autobahn and the B7 via Brno.
The south-west autobahn D5 (E50) from Nuremberg (A6) via the Waidhaus/Rozvadov border crossing, via Pilsen to Prague.

Other highways connecting inland are;
The north-west highway D8 (E55), which has been open to traffic since December 2016 as far as Prague. It is the continuation of the German A17 from Dresden.
The north-east highway D11 (E67) connecting Poland and Hradec Kralove (Königgrätz) with Prague.
Coming from Upper Austria via the A22 and the S3 (Stockerau-Hollabrunn) to Znojmo and on to Jihlava (Iglau) and Prague.
Coming from western Austria, the best way to get to Prague is from Linz via the Mühlkreisautobahn (A 7) to Budweis and from there on to Prague.

In the country, long-distance roads are marked as 1st and 2nd class roads. Recognizable by the Roman numerals followed by a slash in front of the route number.

From the northeast, the 4-lane expressway R10 (E65) leads to Prague. It begins in Liberec (German: Reichenberg) and leads through Turnov (German: Turnau). It connects Prague with the Jizera Mountains and the Giant Mountains, the most famous ski resorts in the Czech Republic, and the German cities of Zittau and Görlitz.

By boat
The Elbe and the Vltava are main water routes for the transport of goods to and from the Czech Republic. There are additional closed water areas, some of which are approved for shipping and for recreational purposes.

By bicycle
The Czech Republic has a densely signposted bicycle network. All long-distance and regional cycle paths are marked with numbers on yellow signs. From Prague leads to;
North of the cycle path 2 on the eastern side of the Vltava to Mělník (German: Melnik) and from there along the Elbe to the German border. · See also Elbe Cycle Path
East cycle route 1 "Pražská Trasa" via Kouřim (German: Kaurzim) to Brno (Brno).
South of cycle route 11 to Tábor and further along cycle route 12 to Budweis (Czech: České Budějovice) and Český Krumlov (German: Krumau) and on to Linz in Austria.
West of cycle path 3 via Pilsen to the Main.

On foot
The international mountain hiking trail Eisenach-Budapest, which is now part of the European long-distance hiking trail E3, runs through the Czech Republic. It should be noted that since February 2016, pedestrians in the Czech Republic have had to have reflectors on unlit paths/roads at night. Reflectors on clothing must be visible from all sides. Failure to comply may result in a fine of 2,500 kroner (€106).


Local transport

Using public transport and the railways in the Czech Republic is cheaper compared to Germany, Austria and especially Switzerland. Timetables for all trains, buses and public transport in the Czech Republic can be found at

By train
See the article Traveling by train in the Czech Republic.



In addition to the official language, Czech, Slovak, Russian, English and, in regions bordering on German-speaking countries, German is understood to a particular extent. In Prague, Brno, Pilsen and Iglau (Jihlava) there is also a fairly large proportion of German-speaking fellow citizens. So it's good to learn some Czech before arrival.

Many Czechs often speak a second and a third language, but it is nice to know at least some Czech. English is the most common language among younger people. German is probably the most widely spoken foreign language among older people. Russian was a compulsory subject in all schools in the east, just like English in the west, so many people born before 1975 speak at least rudimentary Russian. However, Russian is only useful in parts - due to the similarity or equality of many words and simple sentence structures. English and German are the most common foreign languages among younger people. Czechs can also understand some basic words or simple phrases in other Slavic languages (Polish, Bulgarian, Serbo-Croatian, etc.).

Common Czech
Anyone who lives in the Czech Republic for a longer period of time will notice that spoken Czech (common Czech) differs from textbook Czech in everyday situations. The differences concern not only the vocabulary, but also the grammar, phonetics and syntax, which the standard language does not allow. In official communication, Common Czech is perceived as inappropriate and comes across as vulgar.



The official currency in the Czech Republic is the koruna (Czech: koruna), plural koruny or korun. The international currency code is CZK and the abbreviation is Kč for Koruna česká. 1 crown consists of 100 hellers (Czech: haléř, haléřů, abbreviated: hal.).

Coins in circulation: 1 crown, 2 crowns, 5 crowns, 10 crowns, 20 crowns and 50 crowns. Although the Heller coins were confiscated, the retail trade continues to count in 10-Heller increments, although cash payments are rounded up or down to full crowns. In 1994, the 50-krone coin was selected as coin of the year 1993 (most beautiful coin in the world) in the World Coins survey in the circulating coin category.
Banknotes in circulation: 100 kroner, 200 kronor, 500 kronor, 1000 kronor, 2000 kronor and 5000 kronor. It should be noted that the banknotes issued in 1993 are no longer legal tender; only the younger series are accepted. Since the bills hardly differ optically, caution is advised when accepting change (or in the case of unreliable money exchange offers). Banknotes from the 1993 series in denominations of CZK 20 and 50 are invalid, larger denominations can be unbureaucratically exchanged for current notes at branches of the National Bank.

In all larger supermarkets in the Czech Republic (Tesco, Albert, BILLA, LIDL, Penny, Globus, etc.) as well as all restaurants, hardware stores and many shops, cashless payments can be made by credit card (VISA, MasterCard) and/or debit card. Only in rural areas are there some smaller supermarkets or smaller shops that only accept cash.

Exchange rate
Some larger shops (especially those linked to larger chains) and some accommodation establishments also accept the euro. At the shopping centers along the Austrian and German borders and gas stations near the border and on motorways throughout the country, prices are sometimes also given in euros, although you usually only get change in CZK. The exchange rate was kept at 1:27 for a long time, but was then released and is currently 23.64Kč to one euro.

In some cities, there are a few tourist-oriented exchange offices that lure tourists into their traps with clever advertising. Do not blindly rely on a capitalized statement of "Commission 0%" or "0% Commission"; because there is often a "only when buying CZK" note in lower case letters. The sale of CZK then includes a commission. In some of these tourist-oriented exchange offices, exchange without fees, even at the rate offered, is often only possible from a certain sum, usually from CZK 10,000, which is also not written in capital letters on the sign at the entrance. It is therefore advisable, before exchanging at an exchange office, and also at a bank, to ask about the exact amount of kroons that you will receive for the amount of money to be exchanged, or the exact rate and fees for this amount. In this way you can compare several concrete offers. The "real" exchange rate can be viewed on the website

When withdrawing cash from ATMs, it should be noted that some of these offer a conversion into euros when withdrawing, which is always in favor of the bank. "Without conversion" should always be selected here. Furthermore, some banks such as the Czech Savings Bank (Česká spořitelna) charge fees for withdrawing cash with foreign credit cards (as of March 2019 = 125 crowns, around 5 euros).



More information on the topic in the article Eating and drinking in the Czech Republic.

The Czech cuisine is hearty, there are some similarities to southern German or Austrian. Roast dishes are particularly common and are typically served with Bohemian dumplings (knedlíky, made from yeast dough, not potatoes), cabbage and creamy sauces. The Czech national dish is vepřo-knedlo-zelo, i.e. “roast pork, dumplings and cabbage”. Also very well known is Svíčková (pronounced Sswietschkowa), which is roast beef sirloin or lung with cream sauce. A beer goes best with this. Czech beer (Czech: Pivo) is world famous - not only the well-known Pilsner, but also a multitude of other variations. With over 140 liters per capita and year, the Czechs are the heaviest beer drinking nation in the world.



There are dance halls such as discos and rock clubs in the cities, where concerts with regional bands that are completely unknown in Germany take place on the weekends, which are often very good, as is the atmosphere. In the summer months there are many large and small rock or folk festivals.



There are big price differences in hotels and guesthouses, with prices varying most between the country and the city. Compare helps. At best, you can find private accommodation in rural areas at prices from CZK 150 per person per night. In the cities there is usually a tourist office that has a directory of local accommodation. Sometimes colleges and vocational schools also rent cheap rooms, only during the summer holidays. With a bit of searching you can find very simple accommodation for the equivalent of less than 10 euros. It can be cheaper for groups if you rent a holiday home (Czech: chata).



Work permit requirement
As of 2004, EU nationals and their family members no longer need a work permit. Work permits issued up to this point and still valid are only of a declaratory nature.

A work permit is also not required for refugees and foreigners who

are married to a Czech citizen.
have at least one child who has Czech citizenship.
are in possession of a permanent residence permit or family members of a member of a diplomatic or consular mission.
are in an employment relationship with a foreign employer who has sent them to work on the basis of a commercial contract or other agreement with a local legal or natural person.
However, employers are obliged to inform the competent employment office in writing no later than on the day they start work that they have taken up employment by a person who does not require a work permit. Termination of employment must be reported no later than 10 calendar days after termination.



The nationwide three-digit emergency numbers for fire, police and rescue services can be dialed toll-free from any telephone, including public payphones and mobile phones (SIM card required).

Nationwide, the uniform EU-wide emergency number 112 has also been released for tourists for emergency calls via mobile phones. You can usually use this to make an emergency call, also in German or English, or you will be put through to someone else.

The number 156 of the city police (městská policie) is also the right choice for the public order office, for example to find a towed car or in the event of luggage theft. In the event of a traffic accident, dial 158 and call the traffic police (dopravní policie). They also make a report for the insurance company. An officer with a good knowledge of German always travels with you near the border.

In an emergency, the usual guidelines apply: remain calm and give your exact location, the nature of the emergency and the number of people involved. Do not hang up the call until the other party has received all the necessary information.

Especially in Prague, like in other parts of the world, taxi drivers like to cheat. Usually a hint that you call the police helps and the price moves back to normal. If you speak a little Czech, it can happen that the journey ends for free. If reported to the police, the driver loses his license if he has cheated.



Health tourism
Thanks to its spa springs and spa offers with a very good reputation and the unique travel infrastructure developed over several centuries, Czech travel destinations welcome thousands of wellness tourists every year. The spa towns of Karlsbad (Czech: Karlovy Vary) and Marienbad (Czech: Mariánské Lázně) are very popular.

Health care in the Czech Republic is good. There are primary care hospitals in all cities. Special clinics and maximum care are only available in the district capitals. In the Czech Republic there is a social security agreement with Germany, as well as the EHIC (European Insurance Card).

The Czech Republic has a good healthcare infrastructure and for emergencies there is the emergency services number 155 for ambulances. With this one can also request an air rescue in serious cases or in places without good road connections. The network of rescue helicopter bases is designed in such a way that no point in the Czech Republic is more than 50 km away from the base.

If you are looking for a pharmacy, you should look out for the Czech word lékárna. A green cross as a facade sign often indicates this.


Rules and respect

The Czechs are very hospitable people and have a polite, friendly tone. You can't do much wrong culturally, many rules of conduct correspond to those in Germany. However, the Czechs feel very honored if one takes an interest in their language.

The memories of Nazi rule, World War II and the time of communist rule are present. You should dress appropriately in churches and, as a tourist, you should not go during masses and behave tactfully in places with a warning character (e.g. former concentration camps).

Never mention smaller Czech towns and places by their former German names when asking for directions (e.g. instead of Karlovy Vary, Karlsbad etc.) or when chatting with the locals.


Historical state formations on the territory of the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic continues the statehood traditions of Great Moravia, [clarify] dating back to the 9th century, the Bohemian Principality, the Bohemian Kingdom, the Silesian Principalities and the Duchy of Silesia, the Moravian Margrave, and Czechoslovakia.

The first documented state unit in the territory of today's Czech Republic was the supratribal union of the Sami Empire, and in the second half of the 9th century, the Great Moravian Empire emerged.[26] When it disappeared around the year 907 under the onslaught of nomadic Hungarian tribes, the focus of state development shifted to Bohemia. The local rulers from the Přemyslov family built the medieval Přemysl state, also called the Bohemian state (Principality of Bohemia, later the Czech Kingdom), forming part of the Holy Roman Empire from the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries. Since the time of Charles IV. (1348) the term Czech Crown lands was also used for lands subject to the Czech king, which term also included the Moravian Margraviate and the Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia.

From 1526, the Czech lands were gradually incorporated into the Habsburg Monarchy, whose rulers used their victory in the Battle of the White Mountain over the Bohemian States (1620) to significantly limit the former independence of the Czech Kingdom. The lands of the Czech Crown, disjointed from each other under state law after 1749, remained crown lands of the Habsburgs until the end of the First World War in 1918. From 1804, the Habsburg monarchy had the official name of the Austrian Empire, and from 1867 the monarchy was called Austria-Hungary.

After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in 1918, Czechoslovakia was established as a unitary state with a republican constitution. In 1939, the territory of the current Czech Republic was occupied by the German army and the puppet protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was established. Czechoslovakia was restored in 1945, from 1960 it had the official name Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. It was federalized in 1969, and as part of this process, the Czech Socialist Republic was created, a formally sovereign nation-state, from the point of view of international law, the direct predecessor of the current Czech Republic. This official name has been borne by the Czech state since March 6, 1990, when the word "socialist" was dropped from the name after the fall of the communist regime. Czechoslovakia acquired a new official name in 1990: the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic. However, shortly afterwards, towards the end of 1992, it disappeared and two new states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, were created in its place. On January 1, 1993, the Constitution of the Czech Republic entered into force, according to its preamble, the new state builds on the statehood traditions of Czechoslovakia and the former countries of the Czech Crown.

The existence of the Czech Republic as a subject of international law is recognized by all states of the world. Until September 8, 2009, when diplomatic relations were established, it was not recognized as an independent state by Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein set as a preliminary condition for recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations the Czech agreement to negotiate bilaterally on topics of a property nature (property disputes had already existed between Liechtenstein and Czechoslovakia since the creation of Czechoslovakia, and recently it was also about expropriation of the property of the Liechtenstein family according to the Beneš decrees). Liechtenstein's effort to prevent the Czech Republic from joining international organizations was not successful.


Name and state symbols

The official name of the state according to the constitution is the Czech Republic; the one-word name Czechia does not appear in the constitution (just as Czechoslovakia did not - the geographical name is not necessarily part of the constitution), but it is part of the official UN database as a one-word name of the state. In May 2016, the government also officially approved translations of the geographical name Czechia into English (Czechia) and other world languages (French Tchequie, Spanish Chequia, etc.).

Part of the public rejects the word Czechia mainly because it is out of habit - in the same way that the name Czechoslovakia was also initially rejected. Bohemia. At the time of the national revival, the forms Český and Česko derived from the base "Bohemia" were also used. The Czech form was also used incorrectly at that time. Linguistic economy also had an influence on the dropping of one "s" from the term. Since the 19th century, the term Czechia appears again as a designation for all Czech countries. In this meaning, the Moravian linguist František Trávníček began to promote it from 1938. The Dictionary of the Czech written language in 1960 lists it in both meanings, and as it is outdated, the Dictionary of the Czech written language from 1978 states that it is archaic only in the first meaning, while in the meaning of the designation of the Czech part of the federation, it does not indicate a stylistic characteristic. In the spring of 1993, the Czech land surveying and cadastral office, on the basis of the mandate of the government, determined it as a one-word designation of the newly independent Czech Republic, after passionate disputes, after the support of the Czech Geographical Society and despite the opposition of President Havel and other personalities, the term was widely spread, but it retained a certain degree of controversy and some feel it as a neoplasm.

The national symbols of the Czech Republic are the large and small national coat of arms, the national flag (after the dissolution of the federation, the republic also took over the original flag of Czechoslovakia, as Slovakia was not interested in using this flag), the presidential standard, the state seal, the national colors and the national anthem Where is my home. State symbols point to the traditions of historical countries (emblem), the Hussite movement (slogan on the presidential standard), national revival (anthem) and Czechoslovakia (flag).



Original settlement

The territory of today's Czech Republic was already inhabited by humans about 750,000 years ago. The settlement of the territory of the Czech Republic from 28,000 BC is evidenced by a number of archaeological findings (culture with funnel-shaped cups, Unetic culture, Lengyel culture, etc.). From the 3rd century BC, the Celts (Bói) inhabited this area, and in the 1st century AD, Germanic tribes (Marcomani and Kvadov) arrived. The first historically documented monarch on Czech territory was the Marcomaniac king Marobud.

From the end of the 5th century, the first Slavs appeared in the territory of today's Czech Republic. In the 7th century, the Slavic tribes under the leadership of the Frankish merchant Sam created the so-called Sami Empire (about 623–659), but it was more of a supra-tribal union. In the years 830–833, under the rule of the Mojmírov dynasty, the Great Moravian Empire was established in Moravia, Slovakia, northern Hungary and western Transcarpathia, which gradually included Bohemia (890–894), Silesia, Lusatia, Lesser Poland and the rest of Hungary. The Great Moravian Empire was already a full-fledged state unit. It was Christianized, among other things, with the help of the Byzantine mission of Cyril and Methodius, who had already been invited by King Rostislav. Under his successor Svatopluk I. the empire reached the maximum of its power. However, after his death came a rapid decline. Bohemia broke away from Great Moravia in 894, and in 906 or 907 it was destroyed by the then nomadic Hungarians.



The beginnings of the Czech state date back to the second half of the 9th century, when, among other things, the first documented Czech prince from the Přemyslov dynasty, Bořivoj I, was baptized in Velehrad, the Great Moravian seat. During the 10th and 11th centuries, the state consolidated and the territory of Moravia was annexed to it mainly thanks to Prince Oldřich. The Czech principality gradually acquired the characteristics of a more or less autonomous medieval state that was part of the Holy Roman Empire (the Prague bishopric was founded in 973, St. Wenceslas became the main national saint).

However, the Czech Kingdom was not established until 1198 (if we do not count the non-inherited titles of Vratislav II and Vladislav II in the 11th and 12th centuries), when the German king recognized the Czech royal title as hereditary, which was confirmed by Emperor Frederick II. Štaufský in 1212 with the Golden Bull of Sicily presented to Přemysl Otakar I, King of Přemysl, including other privileges of the Kingdom of Bohemia. From now on, the Czech monarch was freed from all obligations towards the Holy Roman Empire, except for participation in the Imperial Diets. Václav I., but especially his son Přemysl Otakar II., then built an extensive estate that reached beyond the Alps and to the Adriatic Sea. Wenceslas II he also turned his attention to the north and east, where he managed to acquire territory through Poland to the Baltic Sea and for his ten-year-old son Wenceslas III. he received the Hungarian royal crown temporarily. After the assassination of Wenceslas III. in Olomouc, the Czech Kingdom found itself in chaos, but the election of Jan of Luxemburg as Czech king enabled a new rise, which culminated especially during the reign of Jan's son, Charles IV. (1316–1378). In the years 1319–1329, Upper Lusatia was annexed to the Bohemian Kingdom, and in 1335 also the city of Vratislav, to which a considerable part of Silesia adjoined. After 1348, Brandenburg was temporarily annexed.

Already during the reign of Charles IV. one can see the beginnings of the Czech reform movement, which sought to deepen personal piety and to correct the secularized church, and thus also to revive the whole society. Religious disputes escalated during the reign of Karl's son Wenceslas IV. After the burning of Master Jan Hus in 1415 in Constance, Germany, the tension between Hus's supporters and his opponents turned into open hostility and the events resulted in the Hussite Wars. Radical Hussites founded the town of Tábor, which became the center of the Hussite revolution. Jan Žižka from Trocnov and Prokop Holý then defeated all four crusades to Bohemia. The wars were ended by an agreement between the Council of Basel and the moderate Hussites, the so-called Basel Compacts, in 1436. In the person of George of Poděbrady, the country even elected a moderate Hussite as king. However, the external pressure of King George forced him to relinquish the Bohemian throne of the Jagiellonian family for tactical reasons. However, when the second Jagiellonian on the Czech throne, Ludvík, fell in the Battle of Mohács (1526), it was acquired by the Habsburgs, who, together with the following Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty, ruled the country for almost another 400 years.


Modern age

In 1526, Ferdinand I. Habsburg was elected to the Czech throne and with him the Habsburg dynasty, which gradually incorporated the country into the Habsburg monarchy. Ferdinand's grandson Rudolph II. he still (as the last Habsburg) chose Prague as his seat and, although a Catholic, was partially tolerant of Czech Protestantism (Rudolf's majesty). After his death, however, the era of tolerance ended and religious tensions rose again. In 1618, an armed uprising of the Czech Protestant estates broke out against the Catholic monarch. The defenestration of the imperial viceroys in 1618 also became the beginning of the Thirty Years' War. In 1620, the army of the Czech estates was defeated in the Battle of Bílá hora, and the estate leaders were publicly executed in Prague.

The violent re-Catholicization of Czech Protestants began. The extensive property of the exiled Czech nobility and intelligentsia fell to loyal followers of the Habsburgs. By the middle of the 17th century, the population in Bohemia and Moravia had fallen by less than 30% to around 1.75 million inhabitants. In 1627, the Restored Land Constitution was issued for Bohemia, by which the Habsburgs acquired the Czech royal title by inheritance, Catholicism was declared the only permitted religion, and the German language was formally given equal rights to Czech, but in fact it was preferred.

With the administrative reforms of Maria Theresa in 1749, the lands of the Czech Crown were de facto united with Austria into a unitary state, but the Czech kings continued to be crowned within the Czech Kingdom. At least 250,000 people died during the famine of 1770–1772, leading to widespread serf riots. Religious tolerance and the abolition of serfdom were only brought about by the reforms of Joseph II. in 1781. Joseph also increased the emphasis on centralizing the monarchy. This centralization was aided by the preference for the German language in state and church administration. In response to the Germanization of the nation and its culture, at the end of the 18th century, the Czech national revival began to rise in the Czech lands, i.e. the effort to restore the Czech culture and language and later also to gain political power by parties representing the interests of the Czech ethnic group.



In the second half of the 19th century, during the long reign of Emperor Francis Joseph I, significant economic development took place in the Czech Republic. Most (about 70%) of Austria-Hungary's industry was concentrated in Czech lands, including areas inhabited by Germans. Czech political elites, especially František Palacký and František Ladislav Rieger, came to the opinion that a federalized and generally democratically organized Austria (or Pre-Lithuania) could be the most advantageous living space for the Czech nation and other Slavic nations of Central and Southern Europe (so-called Austroslavism) . The monarchy was supposed to be a protection against powerful states in the west and in the east, namely against Germany and the Russian Empire.

The language regulations of April 1897, which equated Czech with German, led to the fall of the government and ethnic unrest between Czechs and Germans. The Electoral Act of 1907 introduced universal male suffrage. The period of all-round development of the Czech nation in the fields of politics, economy, culture and education within the Austro-Hungarian Empire ended with the outbreak of the First World War in July 1914. This ultimately devastating global conflict was started by Viennese politicians after the Sarajevo assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand d'Este , believing that a war against the small Kingdom of Serbia would be an easy matter for the seemingly powerful Austria-Hungary. However, other powers quickly joined the war, and Austria-Hungary gradually became a mere appendage of the German Empire, the so-called Wilhelmine Germany, which dealt a fatal blow to Austro-Slavism. For Austria-Hungary, the war ended in complete disaster and its disintegration.


First Czechoslovak Republic

1.5 million men conscripted from Czech districts fought in the First World War, of which 138,000 fell on the side of the monarchy and about five and a half thousand (only until the end of the war) in the Czechoslovak legions on the other side of the war rivalry. More than 90,000 volunteers formed the Czechoslovak Legions in France, Italy and Russia, where they fought against the Central Powers (including their native Austria-Hungary) and later against the Russian Bolsheviks. After the defeat of Austria-Hungary, on October 28, 1918, the lands of the Czech Crown, parts of the Kingdom of Hungary, including Subcarpathian Rus, were united into a new state entity, Czechoslovakia. Its first president was Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who since 1914 had worked for the Czech or Czechoslovak independence in the countries of the Entente and in Russia with the support of especially Edvard Beneš and Milan Rastislav Štefánik. In the period from the creation of the state until the demise of the so-called first republic (officially the Czechoslovak Republic), Czechoslovakia was a unitary state and remained even after 1933 the only truly democratic state in Central Europe.

Despite its declared national character, based on Czechoslovakianism, Czechoslovakia was a multi-ethnic state in which 6,747,000 Czechs, 3,124,000 Germans, 2,014,000 Slovaks, 745,000 Hungarians, 462,000 Ruthenians, 181,000 citizens of Jewish nationality and 76,000 Poles lived.

Following the declaration of independence, there were border conflicts with Poland and Hungary, as well as unrest in German areas of the country. Czechoslovakia, especially its long-time foreign minister Edvard Beneš, tried to solve the problem of hostile neighbors with an alliance called the Little Agreement, a system of alliance treaties with France and, from 1935, a treaty with the Soviet Union. The Sudeten Germans, living mainly in the border areas adjacent to Germany and Austria, became radicalized as a result of the Great Depression, massive unemployment (which affected all nationalities) and, from 1933, intensive Nazi propaganda, and began to demand secession from Czechoslovakia. These efforts were represented by the Sudeten German Party (Sudetendeutsche Partei, SdP) led by Konrad Henlein. Under the pressure of the German Empire (strengthened by the so-called Anschluss of Austria in March 1938) and the European powers of France, the United Kingdom and Italy, in September 1938 Czechoslovakia was forced to cede extensive border areas (the so-called Sudetenland) to Germany by the Munich Agreement. The Munich Agreement is also referred to as the Munich Betrayal or the Munich Dictate, as the representatives of the Czechoslovak party were not invited to the negotiations and the German Empire at the same time threatened a military invasion of Czechoslovakia. At the same time, the valid military alliance of Czechoslovakia with France proved to be completely ineffective. In addition to the gradual annexation of the Sudetenland regions by Germany (often with a large Czech population), the southern regions of Slovakia and Subcarpathian Rus with a Hungarian-speaking population fell to Hungary. A small part of Czechoslovak territory, especially the region of Těšín, was taken over by Poland. The name of the thus truncated state unit began to be written with a hyphen (Czech Republic-Slovakia). For the remaining short period from the Munich Agreement until the complete breakup of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, the term Second Republic was adopted.


Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

On March 14, 1939, Slovakia declared independence, and after the occupation by German troops on March 15, 1939, it was declared on the rest of Czechoslovakia Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. President Edvard Beneš organized a government-in-exile (the so-called provisional government) in London. The German occupation of Czechoslovakia was met with massive resistance by the country's inhabitants and groups supported from abroad (especially Operation Anthropoid), to which the Nazis responded with terror (e.g. the extermination of Lidice). During the Second World War, the Nazis implemented a policy of total deployment of Czech labor on the territory of Germany, as well as the liquidation of the Jewish diaspora on the territory of the Protectorate. The best-known figure on the number of victims of the Nazi occupation comes from research published by Gustav Hajčík and Jaroslav Voleník in 1956, according to which 360,000 Czechoslovakians died during the war. The final solution to the Czech question fit into the Generalplan Ost, the Nazi plan for the liquidation, Germanization and displacement of members of the five Slavic nations, which was supposed to create a living space for the German population.


Czechoslovakia in the years 1945–1992

The Velvet Revolution, launched on November 17, 1989, overthrew the communist regime and allowed for the restoration of democracy and free enterprise. Already on December 29, 1989, the former dissident and playwright Václav Havel was elected president of the republic. At the same time, the social transformation caused a dramatic increase in crime, significant state indebtedness and deepening federalization to the point of disintegration of the common state of Czechs and Slovaks.

Since 1990, federalization, which had been formally valid since 1969, but was practically frozen to a large extent, began to be put into practice belatedly. Differences between the two parts of the federation, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, quickly grew (see the dash war), which eventually led to the disintegration of the common state. Czechoslovakia ended peacefully on December 31, 1992. The existing national republics took over the legal order of the defunct federation and divided its assets and liabilities.


Independence of the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic became a subject of international law on January 1, 1993, with the dissolution of the federation. It became involved in Western European political structures. On March 12, 1999, it was admitted to NATO and on May 1, 2004, it joined the European Union. In 2004, it acceded to the Schengen agreements, on the basis of which it became part of the Schengen area on December 21, 2007.

Until March 2003, the president of the Czech Republic was Václav Havel, who was already the Czechoslovak president. Václav Klaus was elected as his successor, he took office for the first time on March 7, 2003, for the second time in March 2008. From March 2013 to March 2023, the president of the republic was Miloš Zeman, who was the first president elected in a popular vote.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the Czech Republic received the largest wave of refugees in its history.



The Czech Republic is located in Central Europe and borders four countries. It is bordered by Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the southeast, and shares its southern border with Austria. The length of the western common border with Germany is 810.7 km, with Austria it is 466.1 km long, with Slovakia 251.8 km and with Poland in the north 761.8 km. The total area is 78,870 km², of which 2% are water bodies.


Geology, geomorphology and soils

The majority of the territory belongs to the geologically stable Czech massif, raised by the Hercynian folding in the Devonian and Carboniferous periods (in the Paleolithic). The area of the Western Carpathians in the east of the territory is younger and was raised by alpine folding in the Tertiary period.

From a geomorphological point of view, the Czech Republic lies on the border of two mountain systems. The western and central part is filled by the Czech highlands, which mainly have the character of hilly to highlands (Šumava, Český les, Ore mountains, Děčínská vrchovina, Jizerské hory, Krkonoše, Orlické hory, Králický Sněžník, Jeseníky, Českomoravská vrchovina). The Western Carpathians (Moravian-Silesian Beskydy, White Carpathians, Javorníky) extend into the eastern part of the country. Of the total area of the Czech Republic, 52,817 km2 (67%) lies at an altitude of up to 500 m, 25,222 km2 (32%) at an altitude of 500 to 1,000 m and only 827 km2 (1.05%) at an altitude above 1,000 m; the average altitude is 430 m. The highest Czech peak is the mountain Sněžka with 1603 m above sea level, the lowest is the Elbe at the outflow from the land near Hřensk with 115 m above sea level. The Hranická Propast is the deepest flooded cave in the world. The largest karst area is the Moravian Karst.

Of the igneous rocks in the Czech Republic, granite, basalt and chert prevail. Of the deposited sandstone, limestone and shale. From transformed gneiss, clast and phyllite.

The soil cover is characterized by considerable variability. The most widespread type of soil in the Czech Republic is brown soil. In the lowlands there is fertile black earth.

From the point of view of the division of the landscape, four biogeographical subprovinces are represented in the territory of the Czech Republic: The entire territory of Bohemia is occupied by the Hercynian subprovince, in Moravia and Silesia the Polonsk subprovince, the West Carpathian subprovince and the North Pannonian subprovince can be identified. In a similar typology of ecoregions used by the World Wide Fund for Nature, the territory of Bohemia consists mainly of Central European mixed forest, and in Moravia and Silesia there are small enclaves of Pannonian mixed forest, West European deciduous forest and Carpathian coniferous forest.


Hydrology and climate

The main European watershed separating the waters of the North, Baltic and Black Seas passes through the Czech territory. The main river axes are in Bohemia the Elbe (370 km) with the Vltava (433 km), in Moravia the Morava river (246 km) with the Dyjí (306 km) and in Silesia the Odra (135 km) with the Opava (131 km). Ohře (246 km), Sázava (225 km), Jihlava (180 km), Svratka (168 km), Jizera (167 km), Lužnice (157 km), Berounka (139 km) and Otava also have a long stream in the Czech Republic (111 km). The largest natural lake in the Czech Republic is Černé jezero in Šumava.

The climate in the Czech Republic is mild, transitional between continental and oceanic type. The alternation of four seasons is typical. It is characterized by a prevailing westerly flow and intense cyclonic activity. The coastal influence is manifested mainly in Bohemia, Moravia, and in Silesia continental climatic influences are already increasing. However, the greatest influence on the climate in the Czech Republic is the altitude and relief.

Abundant precipitation and transitions of frontal systems are typical - an average of 140 of them pass through the territory of the Czech Republic annually. The most precipitation falls in June or July, the least in January or February. The place with the most precipitation in the Czech Republic is the Jizera Mountains (especially the Bílé Potok area). The driest is Libědice in the Chomutov district, lying in the rain shadow of the Ore Mountains.

The average annual temperature varies between 5.5 °C and 9 °C. The coldest month of the year is January, the warmest is July. In the long-term average, they are separated by 20 °C. Tropical days are recorded on average 12 per year, tropical nights are very rare. Arctic days tend to be 1-2 per year. The hottest places are the Dyjsko-Svratecký and Dolnomoravské úval areas and then big cities, especially Prague, where the temperature is increased by dense buildings. The coldest place is the top of Sněžka. The windiest place in the Czech Republic is the top of Milešovka. At the same time, it is the place with the largest number of storms in a year.


Fauna and Flora

Flora and fauna in the Czech Republic testify to the mutual interweaving of the main directions by which flora and fauna spread in Europe. Forests occupy 33% of the country's total area. Mixed oak, fir and spruce forests are typical for the Czech Republic. In the species composition, however, conifers predominate (about two-thirds) compared to deciduous trees, although the original natural ratio was reversed. This change is due to the massive planting of spruces in particular, which began in our territory in the 18th century. In the Czech forests there is a fauna typical of the biome of mixed forests of the temperate zone. Approximately 3.5 thousand plant species grow on the territory of the Czech Republic, of which over 2.5 thousand are indigenous. 500 common tree species and approximately 2,000 tree taxa are cultivated. The most common species of wild animals are hares, otters and martens. Pheasants, partridges, wild boars, game, ducks and geese predominate in the woods and fields. Eagles and herons are rarer. Wolves and brown bears are also found in the northeast of Moravia, albeit rarely. The total number of animal species in the Czech Republic is estimated at 40,000, of which at least 28,124 species are invertebrates.


Environmental Protection

According to the Environmental Performance Index, prepared by Yale University, the Czech Republic is the 27th most environmentally friendly country in the world (as of 2016). Preserved nature is protected in protected areas. The highest body for nature and environmental protection in the Czech Republic is the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic. In the Czech Republic, there are four areas with the highest level of protection, so-called national parks: Krkonoše National Park (since 17 May 1963), Šumava National Park (since 20 March 1991), Podyjí National Park (since 20 March 1991) and National Czech Switzerland park (since January 1, 2000). In 2009, the Ministry of the Environment announced that it was preparing to declare the Křivoklátsko National Park.

Protected areas and objects include (in brackets their number as of September 20, 2020):
national parks (4)
protected landscape areas (26)
national nature reserve (110)
national natural monuments (125)
nature reserve (816)
natural monuments (1588)
bird areas (Natura 2000, 41)
sites of European importance (Natura 2000, 1113)
memorial trees (5490)


Political system

The Czech Republic is a representative democracy, a parliamentary republic. Executive power is vested in the president and the government, with the government being the highest body of executive power. The government is responsible to the Chamber of Deputies.

The head of state is the president, elected by direct election. The President appoints judges of the Constitutional Court with the consent of the Senate, under certain conditions he can dissolve the Chamber of Deputies and veto laws (except for the state budget and constitutional laws). He also appoints the Prime Minister and appoints other members of the Government on his proposal. It accepts the resignation of the Prime Minister and, through him, also from individual members of the Government. The president traditionally resides at Prague Castle, he also has a castle in Lány at his disposal. It grants or lends state awards. The highest state honors are the Order of the White Lion, the Order of Tomáš Garrigu Masaryk, the Medal for Heroism and the Medal for Merit.

The central bank of the state is the independent Czech National Bank, which, among other things, issues the Czech currency, the Czech crown.

The Parliament of the Czech Republic is bicameral, with the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. 200 deputies are elected to the Chamber of Deputies every four years on the basis of proportional representation. Once every two years, a third of the Senate is elected on the basis of a two-round majority election. Each of the 81 senators has a six-year mandate. The House of Representatives is located in the Thun Palace, the Senate in the Valdštejn Palace on the Lesser Side.

The Constitutional Court, with a total of 15 judges, is the guarantor of constitutionality, provides protection for basic (constitutional) rights and can even annul laws or their provisions. However, it is not part of the system of general courts, the highest authorities here are the Supreme Court, which operates in civil and criminal justice, and the Supreme Administrative Court with an agenda of administrative justice.


Government and State Administration

The Government of the Czech Republic is the supreme body of executive power in the Czech Republic. Its position is defined by the Constitution of the Czech Republic. The government consists of the Prime Minister (Prime Minister), Deputy Prime Ministers (Vice Prime Ministers) and Ministers. The Office of the Government of the Czech Republic is located in the Straka Academy building in Prague, Malá Strana. The traditional residence of the prime minister is Kramář's villa.

The prime ministers of the independent Czech Republic were Václav Klaus (1993–1997), Josef Tošovský (1997–1998), Miloš Zeman (1998–2002), Vladimír Špidla (2002–2004), Stanislav Gross (2004–2005), Jiří Paroubek (2005– 2006), Mirek Topolánek (2006–2009), Jan Fischer (2009–2010), Petr Nečas (2010–2013), Jiří Rusnok (2013–2014), Bohuslav Sobotka (2014–2017), Andrej Babiš (2017–2021) and Petr Fiala (from 2021).

The ministries of finance, foreign affairs, interior, defense, labor and social affairs, for local development, transport, culture, industry, justice, education, health, agriculture and the environment were part of all the governments of the Czech Republic. In the years 1993–1996 there was the Ministry of National Property and Privatization, in the years 2003–2007 the Ministry of Informatics. The Ministry of the Interior manages, among others, the Police of the Czech Republic and the Fire Rescue Service, the Ministry of Transport the Directorate of Roads and Highways and the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure, the Ministry of Culture, the National Monument Institute, the Ministry of Finance, the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Defense, the Army of the Czech Republic and Military Intelligence, the Ministry of Labor, the Czech Social Security Administration security and the Labor Office, the Ministry of Industry, the Czech Trade Inspection, the Ministry of Justice, the Prison Service of the Czech Republic (the judiciary is independent of this), the Ministry of Education, the Czech School Inspectorate, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the embassies of the Czech Republic abroad and Czech centers, the Ministry of Agriculture, the State Veterinary Administration, the State the Agricultural and Food Inspection, the State Land Office, the Czech Surveying and Cadastre Office and the State Agricultural Intervention Fund, the Ministry of the Environment, the Nature and Landscape Protection Agency, the Czech Environmental Inspection and the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, the Ministry of Regional Development, the State Fund for Housing Development.

More or less independent central bodies of state administration are the National Security Office, the Czech Telecommunications Office, the Industrial Property Office, the Czech Statistical Office, the Czech Mining Office, the Energy Regulatory Office, the Office for the Protection of Economic Competition (antimonopoly office), the Administration of State Material Reserves, the State Nuclear Office security, the Office for International Child Protection, the Office for Foreign Relations and Information, the Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting, the Office for the Protection of Personal Data and the Security Information Service. The Supreme Audit Office is completely outside the executive, judicial and legislative powers.

Social harmony in the country is ensured by the so-called tripartite, i.e. regular tripartite negotiations between the government, the largest trade union headquarters in the country (the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions) and employers represented by the Chamber of Commerce of the Czech Republic and the Confederation of Industry and Transport of the Czech Republic.

In the era of the independent Czech Republic, the political groups ODS, KDU-ČSL, KDS, ODA, ČSSD, US-DEU, Zelení, TOP 09, VV, LIDEM, ANO, STAN and Pirates took part in the government. In Czechoslovak history, they were also national democrats, agrarians, national socialists, tradesmen, people, German agrarians, German Christian socialists, German social democrats, National Unity, National Unity Party, Democratic Party, Freedom Party, KSČ, KSS, Slovak Revival Party, Civic forum, Public against violence, KDH, ODÚ, HZDS, OH and HSD-SMS. Historically, the first Czech political parties were the National Party (Old Czechs) (1848), the National Liberal Party (Young Czechs) (1874) and the Social Democrats (1878, under the name Social Democratic Party of Czechoslovakia in Austria).

Important Czech politicians were, for example, František Palacký, Jiří František Buquoy, Rudolf Stadion, Felix Schwarzenberg, Karel Chotek, Karel III. Schwarzenberg, František Ladislav Rieger, Julius Grégr, Alois Pražák, Eugen Czernin, Antonín Randa, Karel Kramář, Tomáš Garigue Masaryk, Edvard Beneš, Antonín Švehla, Vlastimil Tusar, Jan Malypetr, Jan Šrámek, Richard Coundenhove-Calergi, Petr Zenkl, Milada Horáková , Václav Havel, Dagmar Burešová, Petr Pithart, Václav Klaus, Josef Lux, Miloš Zeman, Vladimír Špidla, Karel VII. Schwarzenberg, Miloš Vystrčil or Věra Jourová.


Legal and judicial system

The Czech legal system is part of the Germanic branch of the continental type of legal culture (sometimes also called Roman law, civil law in English countries). It is made up of regulations adopted by Czech legislators, European Union law, international agreements that are ratified by the Czech Parliament and some rulings of the Constitutional Court (those that declare some part of the law unconstitutional). These regulations are regularly published in the Collection of Laws and the Collection of International Treaties. The Czech Republic is a unitary state, which means that its individual parts cannot have their own legislation (as is the case, for example, in federations). The basis of the legal system is the Constitution of the Czech Republic adopted in 1993. The new Criminal Code has been effective since 2010, the Civil Code since 2014. The tradition of private law in the Czech Republic was strongly shaped by the Austrian General Civil Code.

The judicial power of the Czech Republic consists of the Constitutional Court and the system of general courts, but the Constitutional Court is a special constitutional body of the judicial type. Its task is, in particular, to review constitutionality and fulfill some tasks of the electoral and political judiciary. The Constitutional Court is located in Brno, in the building of the former Moravian Regional Assembly. The presidents of the Constitutional Court of the independent Czech Republic were Zdeněk Kessler (1993–2003), Miloš Holeček (2003) and Pavel Rychetský (since 2003). The system of general courts consists of district, regional and superior courts. At its apex are the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court. Both institutions are also based in Brno, as is the Supreme State Attorney's Office. As is usual in the tradition of Germanic Roman law, the system of general courts is divided into three branches: civil, criminal and administrative justice.


Foreign Relations

The Czech Republic has an established structure of foreign relations. It is a member of the UN, the European Union (EU), NATO, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Council of Europe. He is an observer of the Organization of American States. All states (138 states as of May 3, 2016, of which nine states are represented by diplomats with the rank of chargé d'affaires) and international or supranational organizations that have diplomatic relations with the Czech Republic have embassies in Prague, and some of them have consulates general or consulates in certain cities, especially in Brno. The Czech Republic has in the states and at international or supranational organizations with which it has diplomatic relations, reciprocally its embassies (embassies) and consulates.

According to the so-called Visa Restriction Index from 2016, Czech citizens have the option of visa-free entry to 167 countries, making them among the least visa-restricted nations.

The prime minister and the minister of foreign affairs have the main role in targeting and specifying foreign policy. Membership in the European Union, which the Czech Republic presided over in the first half of 2009, is essential for the foreign policy of the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic has strong ties with Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, including as a member of the Visegrad Group. The Czech Republic has extensive relations with neighboring Germany and other member states of the European Union, with the United States of America and with Israel. Saudi Arabia is an important partner in the Middle East. After 2020, relations with Asian democratic states, such as Taiwan, are being strengthened. On the contrary, the Czech Republic has long had bad relations with the Russian Federation, and from 2021 the Czech Republic appears on Russia's official list of enemy countries. The Czech Republic also has problematic relations with the People's Republic of China.

Czech representatives support dissidents in Burma, Belarus, Moldova, Cuba and other countries.

Famous Czech diplomats of the past included, for example, Jaroslav Lev from Rožmitál, Humprecht Jan Czernin, Václav Antonín Kounic-Rietberg, Filip Josef Kinský, Karel Filip Schwarzenberg, Alois Lexa from Aehrentahl, Otakar Czernin, Edvard Beneš, Kamil Krofta, Jan Masaryk, Jiří Hájek, Jiří Dienstbier, Luboš Dobrovský, Josef Zieleniec, Michael Žantovský, Karel Kovanda, Petr Kolář, Alexandr Vondra, Karel Schwarzenberg or Petr Pavel.


Armed forces

The army of the Czech Republic consists of the air force, ground forces and support units. The President of the Czech Republic is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. In 2004, basic military service was abolished and the army became a fully professional organization. On March 12, 1999, the country joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, within which it fulfills its military obligations. The number of active duty troops is approximately 29,300 including civilian employees.

Czech units participated in UNPROFOR, SFOR, EUFOR operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, KFOR in Kosovo and ISAF in Afghanistan. Czech soldiers have been operating in Iraq since 2003. The Czech Air Force also participates in the defense of the airspace of the Baltic States and Iceland.

Traditionally, Czech military chemists (today the 31st Regiment of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection in Liberec) have a high prestige. Since its first deployment in international forces in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, it has been one of the main Czech contributions to allied actions. Since 2003, chemists from Liberec have regularly commanded the multinational radiation, chemical and biological protection battalion of the NATO Response Force.

The armament of the Army of the Czech Republic includes JAS-39 Gripen supersonic fighters, Aero L-159 Alca combat aircraft, Mil Mi-35 attack helicopters, armored personnel carriers: Pandur II, BVP-1, BVP-2, OT-90 and modernized T-72M4CZ tanks .

The most famous Czech, and therefore Czechoslovakian, soldiers and military leaders of the past were Přemysl Otakar II, Jan of Luxembourg, Jan Žižka, Albrecht of Valdštejn, Karel Filip Schwarzenberg, Josef Václav Radecký of Radče, Josef Šnejdárek, Heliodor Píka, Ludvík Svoboda, Jan Kubiš, Jozef Gabčík , František Fajtl or Petr Pavel.


Human rights

Human rights in the Czech Republic are guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms and international treaties on human rights. Nevertheless, there were cases of human rights violations such as discrimination against Roma children, for which the European Commission asked the Czech Republic to provide an explanation, or the illegal sterilization of Roma women, for which the government apologized. According to a 2020 comment by the public defender of rights, Stanislav Křeček, discrimination against Roma is currently only minimal, as evidenced by the statistics of reported cases. There are also human rights violations in some facilities for the elderly and psychiatric hospitals.

In 2000, the Office of the Public Defender of Rights (Ombudsman) was established to protect fundamental rights and freedoms. However, the ombudsman's authority is rather informal.

According to the index of economic freedom, created by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, the Czech Republic is the 24th freest country in the world in terms of trade. According to the World Press Freedom Index, created by Reporters without Borders, the Czech Republic has the 21st freest media environment in the world. (Both figures are valid as of 2016.)

Prague is the seat of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Today, the station is based in Hagibor. At the beginning of the 1990s, Václav Havel personally invited her to Czechoslovakia.

Persons of the same sex can enter into a so-called registered partnership in the Czech Republic (see LGBT rights in the Czech Republic).

The most famous Czech activists and supporters of human rights include Berta von Suttnerová, born in Prague, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her pacifist struggle, philosopher and the first Czechoslovak president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, student Jan Palach, who set himself on fire in 1969 in protest against the Soviet occupation .


Administrative division


The territory of the Czech Republic is divided into 14 higher territorial self-governing units - regions. This division was established on January 1, 2000 by Constitutional Act No. 347/1997 Coll. The regional office is a regional authority that also carries out the delegated powers of the state administration; it is headed by a director. The head of each region is the governor; only the head of Prague is the mayor. Territorial regions and self-governing regions do not respect the borders of the historical Czech lands. The territory of the South Bohemian Region, the South Moravian Region, the Pardubice Region and the Vysočina Region is located in both Bohemia and Moravia, and the territory of the Olomouc Region and the Moravian-Silesian Region is located in both Moravia and Bohemian Silesia. The division into 14 regions is applied in the elections to the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic, when each political entity can submit 14 candidates.

Today's territory of the Czech Republic has been divided into regions in various variations since the reign of Přemysl Otakar II. until the 19th century. Subsequently, this division was replaced only by districts, and in the period of the First Republic by a regional establishment. The regions were restored in 1948, in 1960 the Czech Republic was divided into seven regions. These regions de facto ceased to exist with the establishment of new regions in 2000, but de jure they existed simultaneously with the new regions until January 1, 2021, when they were abolished on the basis of the new law on the territorial and administrative division of the state.



The regions are further divided into districts, in total there are 76 districts in the Czech Republic (the last of them – the Jeseník district – was not established until January 1, 1996).

In 1990, the district national committees were transformed into district authorities, instead of a body elected by citizens, they were managed by district assemblies elected by the regional council. As of January 1, 2003, the district offices were abolished. Districts continue to exist as a unit of state administration, districts also remain a statistical unit.

Municipalities and their administrative districts
In 1990, local and urban national committees were transformed into municipal and municipal authorities, with the elected bodies gaining so-called independent powers, which began to be distinguished from the devolved powers of the state administration. A mixed model was chosen for the performance of state administration at the lowest level: the municipal office is a municipal body. The Czech Republic became an independent state on January 1, 1993, but this did not affect the internal territorial division.

From the point of view of general state administration, regions are divided into administrative districts of municipalities with extended jurisdiction (sometimes also called "small districts" or "type III municipalities"). All existing district towns became such municipalities, but a number of other towns were added to them. These districts are further divided into administrative districts of municipalities with an authorized municipal office (so-called "type II municipalities"), which exercise some specific powers of the state administration for surrounding municipalities as well. Some administrative districts of registers are even smaller. Some functions of the state administration are carried out by all municipalities for their territory.



The division into NUTS 1 units, which correspond to territories with a size of 3–7 million inhabitants, was not introduced in the Czech Republic. The NUTS 1 unit thus consists of the entire territory of the Czech Republic.

At the NUTS 2 level, the regions are grouped into statistical areas called cohesion regions, which are supposed to have a comparable population in order to be centrally managed in European Union partnership projects and in the financing of local projects. Pilsen and South Bohemia are thus grouped into the South West cohesion region, Karlovy Vary and Ústecký into the Northwest cohesion region, Liberecký, Královéhradecky and Pardubice into the Northeast cohesion region, Vysočina and South Moravia into the Southeast cohesion region, Olomouc and Zlín into the Middle Moravia cohesion region. The cohesion regions of Prague, Central Bohemia and Moravia-Silesia are each made up of a single region.

The counties are located at NUTS level 3.



To strengthen regional cooperation in Europe, so-called Euroregions are created, usually in regions divided by national borders. The oldest of them is the Nisa Euroregion, which lies on the triple border of Bohemia, Germany and Poland, primarily in the Lusatian Nisa basin. It occupies an area of 13,033 km2, of which 3,163 km2 is on Czech territory.



General characteristics
The economy of the Czech lands is traditionally one of the most developed in Europe. The gross domestic product reaches the level of the developed countries of the world. In 2015, the gross domestic product (GDP) per person at purchasing power parity was US$31,600. The performance of the Czech economy was 93% of the EU average in 2019. The Czech economy is thus the 16th strongest in the EU. Its performance overtook the economy of Portugal in 2005, then Greece, Cyprus and is now approaching the level of Italy and Spain. The World Bank (WB) has already removed the Czech Republic from the list of "developing countries". From an investment point of view, in 2017 JPMorgan Chase included Czech government bonds in the "emerging markets" index. Nevertheless, today it belongs to the thirty most developed countries, the so-called "payers", which do not take money from the budget of the World Bank, but, on the contrary, put it into it. According to the Social Progress Index, created by the non-profit organization Social Progress Imperative and Deloitte, the Czech Republic is the 22nd most developed country in the world (as of 2015). According to the Human Development Index, which is calculated by the UN, then the 28th most developed. In the ranking of the wealth of its citizens compiled by the Allianz group, the Czech Republic was also in 28th place in the world in 2015. According to the Global Wealth Report study by The Boston Consulting Group, wealth is fairly evenly distributed in the Czech Republic: the five percent of the richest Czechs own 45 percent of the total financial wealth (in the US it is 77 percent). Income inequality among people in the Czech Republic is also among the lowest in Europe. The OECD estimate that the Czech Republic has the lowest poverty rate in Europe is also related to this. In 2018, 9.6 percent of people lived on the poverty line.

The Czech Republic is a strong export economy, Czech exports exceeded the 4.4 trillion crown mark in 2018, setting a new historical record. In 2018, 84.1 percent of exports from the Czech Republic went to European Union countries. In terms of countries, exports to Germany dominated (32.4 percent), followed by Slovakia (7.6 percent), Poland (6.1 percent) and Austria (4.5 percent). Imports from Germany (25.0 percent), China (14.1) and Poland (7.7) dominated. In 2015, taxation in the Czech Republic was at the level of 39.6 percent of GDP. The structure of taxation is characterized by a low level of direct taxes, an average level of indirect taxes and a very high level of social contributions (social and health insurance). A typical feature of the Czech economy is a relatively low unemployment rate, in March 2016 the Czech Republic achieved the lowest unemployment rate in the entire European Union. As of 2015, its debt was the seventh lowest in the EU.

As of 2016, the national debt amounted to 1.836 trillion crowns, which represented 40.3 percent of gross domestic product (EU average 85.2 percent of GDP, eurozone 90.7 percent of GDP). As of June 2016, the debts of Czech households were 1.369 trillion crowns, the debts of companies to banks were 1.176 trillion crowns. In 2016, 289 billion crowns flowed abroad from the Czech Republic in the form of dividends, and according to some estimates, up to 700 billion crowns are taken out of the Czech Republic abroad annually, which is, of course, a direct consequence of foreign investments. As of 2016, there were 23,200 dollar millionaires in the Czech Republic. Since 2011, the international rating agency Standard & Poor's has rated the creditworthiness of the Czech Republic as AA-. According to the consulting network BDO, the Czech Republic was the 26th most attractive country in the world for investors in 2016. Important economic institutions include the Prague Stock Exchange (and its PX index). In the Czech Republic, 60% of the interviewed businessmen encountered corruption.



The official Czech currency is the Czech crown (abbreviated CZK). It is issued by the Czech National Bank, which is completely independent of the government. The members of its management – the bank board – are appointed by the president of the republic. The exchange rate is floating unless the Czech National Bank decides otherwise, for example, from November 7, 2013, it intervened in the foreign exchange market with the aim of keeping the exchange rate of the koruna against the euro at approximately 27 crowns per euro. The reason for the measure was fear of deflation. The interventions ended in the spring of 2017, and the exchange rate strengthened by the interventions was maintained by the koruna until the 1st quarter of 2020.

In the Accession Treaty of 2003, the Czech Republic undertook to adopt the European currency, the euro. However, the government has not yet determined the date of adoption or the date of entry into the ERM II exchange rate mechanism (the exchange rate of the koruna would be tied to the euro rate from that moment on and would copy it), which must precede the adoption of the euro. Entry into the ERM II mechanism is the last of the five convergence criteria that the Czech Republic has not yet met. The adoption of the euro is hindered by concerns about the debt crisis in the eurozone and low public support for the adoption of the euro - according to a CVVM survey from April 2017, only 21% of respondents wanted the introduction of the euro, i.e. similar to the previous six years. By 2005, support hovered above 50%, falling slightly in the following years, with a sharp rise in opposition between 2009 and 2011.

The historical currencies used in the Czech Republic include the Czechoslovak crown, protectorate crown, Austro-Hungarian crown or Austro-Hungarian gold. Important coins of the past include the Prague grosz or the Jáchymovsk tolar, from which the word dollar is probably derived.


Development of the economy

In the Czech lands, the beginnings of modern industry can be traced back to the reign of Emperor Rudolf II, when the first industrial technologies and thinking began to appear along with the seeds of modern science. The process was interrupted by the Thirty Years' War, and even after it there was a certain delay in the continuation of this tradition in Central Europe. The beginnings of industrialization here are related to the ideology of mercantilism and the Enlightenment absolutism of Maria Theresa and Joseph II. The pioneers here were mainly nobles. The first industry that began to develop massively in the Czech lands was the textile industry, which was still isolated in the 18th century.

The turning point came at the beginning of the 19th century, when the Czech countries began to rapidly industrialize, the so-called industrial revolution took place. New fields were developed (especially sugar industry, glass industry, brewing, porcelain production, chemical industry, heavy industry and engineering) and from the 20s and 30s of the 18th century this industry was also mechanized, with the help of the steam engine, a key invention of the era. In the second half of the century, new technologies appeared (electricity, telegraph, telephone), capitalist finance was born (Živnobanka), engineering became powerful, on the one hand with the help of mergers and capital concentration (e.g. Škoda and ČKD concerns), and also because it started to produce machinery for the developing railway and urban mass transport systems. At the end of the century, the production of automobiles and motorcycles appears (Laurin and Klement). By the end of the 19th century, the Czech lands had become the most industrial part of the then Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

During the First Republic, the boom continued, and new dynamically expanding industries appeared (e.g. shoemaking - the Baťa company or armory - Zbrojovka Brno). According to the "national income per capita" criterion, the interwar Czechoslovak economy was the 14th most developed in Europe and the 18th-20th most developed. in the world. Industrial production was the tenth highest in the world. However, the strong export economy was hit hard by the world crisis, which began in 1929. It dragged on almost until the end of the 1930s. After World War II, industry was nationalized to an extraordinary extent, and after the communists came to power, the economy began to be centrally controlled and planned. In addition, it yielded to the needs of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, which brought together the socialist states, so that in the 1950s there was an excessive orientation towards heavy industry.

Since the 1960s, space has been given to a wider and more balanced range of industries, and a good engineering and chemical tradition has been continued. At the end of the 1960s, the leadership of the Communist Party planned a major economic reform (Oty Šika) that would combine a centrally controlled economy with a free market, but the invasion of Soviet troops made it impossible. The new leadership of the Communist Party thus chose the path of large infrastructural and energy projects, for which central management was partly an advantage (large-scale construction of housing estates, highways, nuclear power plants, dams, pre-industrialization of Slovakia). However, the economy was not able to respond flexibly to the needs of consumers and did not catch the technological upheaval of the time, the computer and digital revolution. A specific line, perhaps even subversive in some respects, was cooperatives, where unexpected flexibility and efficiency appeared (eg the production of computers at JZD Slušovice). During the so-called perestroika, the restructuring of the economy, for which impulses came from Moscow, this line was given more space and private business was also partially allowed (for example, one of the largest current Czech companies, the antivirus company Avast, started as a perestroika cooperative). However, the reforms were too slow and did not meet with the same public support as the reforms of the late 1960s.

The political revolution of 1989 ended communist rule and attempts at reform at its end. There was a transformation of the centrally controlled economy and the privatization of state property (see coupon privatization, large privatization, small privatization). Part of the assets nationalized after 1948 were also returned as part of the restitutions. The consequences of open competition most affected the sectors of heavy industry and heavy engineering, which were not competitive or were erroneously privatized. A large part of the enterprises were incorporated into multinational corporations. The share of industry in the creation of GDP fell by half compared to 1990, and the service sector took its place.

After the country joined the European Union in 2004, a period of economic growth followed. Direct subsidies also helped, from the moment of entry in the middle of 2016, the Czech Republic received 627.8 billion crowns more from the EU budget than it took into it. Like most countries in the world, the Czech Republic was also affected by the global economic crisis that broke out in 2008. It was manifested mainly by a drop in GDP by 4.5% in 2009, an increase in unemployment and an increase in state debt. In contrast, the banking system withstood the crisis and negative phenomena or outright bank failures, as in other EU countries, did not occur. The Czech Republic also avoided the debt crisis that affected some eurozone countries. Economic growth resumed after 2011 and the Czech economy demonstrates high performance.


The biggest companies

According to sales
According to sales, the largest companies in the Czech Republic in 2019 were:
Škoda Auto (459.1 billion crowns).
Energy and industrial holding (CZK 230.0 billion)
CEZ (CZK 206.2 billion)
Agrofert (CZK 162.0 billion)
Foxconn CZ (CZK 152.4 billion)

According to the number of employees
The largest employers in 2018 were the following companies:
Agrofert (32,770 employees)
Škoda Auto (32,599 employees)
CEZ (31,385 employees)
Czech Post (30,128 employees)
Czech Railways (23,374 employees)



Mainly grain (wheat, barley, corn), potatoes, sugar beets are grown; from the technical crops of flax and rapeseed. The cultivation of hops, orchards and viticulture is also important. The basis of animal production is the breeding of cattle, pigs and poultry, as well as beekeeping or the breeding of freshwater fish (especially carp).

Farmers managed 4.26 million hectares of agricultural land as of 2016, which accounted for 54 percent of the state's total area. There was 0.42 hectares of agricultural land per inhabitant of the Czech Republic, of which 0.30 hectares were arable land, which corresponds to the European average. A third of the soil fund is made up of forests.

Agricultural land has been decreasing since 1995, by 2016 by about 15,000 hectares, while the area of forests has increased by 16,000 hectares. Similarly, the area of arable land is decreasing at the expense of permanent grasslands, i.e. meadows and pastures. They increased by 71 thousand hectares in the mentioned period.

Typical for the Czech Republic is the high percentage of agricultural enterprises owned by legal entities, after France (29.2%) we are in second place in the EU in this respect with 13.5%. A large share of leased land (about 90%) is also typical of Czech agriculture. Also, the size structure of agricultural enterprises in the Czech Republic differs significantly from the structure of enterprises in other countries of the European Union. Large enterprises, i.e. those with more than 50 hectares of cultivated agricultural land, manage 92.2% of the total area of agricultural land in the Czech Republic. In the rest of the EU, smaller businesses are more common. The reason is, among other things, the Czech tradition of cooperatives and collectivization in the 1950s.

As of 2004, 141,000 people worked in agriculture, which represented 2.9% of workers in the Czech Republic in the employment structure. It is typical that the number of workers in agriculture has been steadily decreasing since the 1990s.

Breeds such as the Czechoslovak wolfdog, the Czech terrier, the Prague rat dog, the Chod dog, the Czech fousek and the Starokladrub horse are among the fundamental results of Czech breeding and breeding. The project to save the Hucul horse was also unique.



The industry creates 35% of the gross product of the Czech economy. The main industrial centers are Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Pilsen and Mladá Boleslav. The main industries in the Czech Republic include the chemical, engineering, metallurgical and food industries. Other important sectors are the energy industry, construction and the production of consumer goods. Less important industries are the arms industry and, for example, glassmaking, which, however, has a long tradition in Bohemia.

The automotive industry is of great importance, especially for exports. The largest car manufacturer is Škoda Auto. In 2015, Škoda (belonging to the German Volkswagen concern), TPCA, which brings together the Japanese company Toyota and the French Peugeot-Citroën, and the South Korean company Hyundai together produced a record 1,298,236 passenger cars in the Czech Republic.

The tradition of the Czech automobile industry dates back to 1897, when the first Czech automobile with an internal combustion engine of the President brand was produced in Kopřivnice. Two years later, the Laurin & Klement factory in Mladá Boleslav started producing Slavia motorcycles, but in 1905, they also reoriented themselves to automobiles in Mladá Boleslav. The Laurin & Klement factory became the base on which the Škoda car company grew. The best-selling Škoda cars today are Škoda Octavia, Škoda Fabia, Škoda Superb and Škoda Kodiaq. In the past, Škoda Yeti, Škoda Felicia, Škoda Roomster, Škoda Favorit or the Škoda 742 series (including the Škoda 120 model) were successful.

Other car brands include Tatra (heavy trucks, the third oldest car manufacturer in the world), Avia (medium trucks), and the historic Praga, Liaz and Karosa. Tatra became famous with the Tatra 815 truck or the army Tatra 813. The most famous passenger cars from the Kopřivnica factory were the Tatra 603 and Tatra 97. The Tatra 77 was the first mass-produced car with an aerodynamic body in the world. Travelers Jiří Hanzelka and Miroslav Zikmund undertook their famous journeys to Africa and South America in the Tatra 87. Buses today are manufactured by Iveco Czech Republic and SOR Libchavy, the most famous Czech buses are Škoda 706 RTO or Karosa ŠM 11. Trolleybuses were previously manufactured by Škoda Ostrov (e.g. type Škoda 9Tr), now mainly by Škoda Electric. Other Czech manufacturers of transport and agricultural equipment are Zetor (tractors), Kaipan (roadsters), Jawa (motorcycles) and Čezeta (electric scooters).

Rolling stock is mainly produced by Škoda Transportation (trams, trolleybuses, metro). Historically, however, the most famous Czech railway vehicle is the Tatra T3 tram from ČKD Praha, with 14,000 units produced, the most numerous tram in the world. Among the railway vehicles is the M 290.0 series motor car, the so-called Slovak bullet from Tatra Kopřivnice (1936).

Aircraft production takes place at Aero Vodochody (military) and Let Kunovice (civilian), and in the past also at Avia in Prague. The most famous Czech aircraft were the Avia B-534 and the Avia S-199 (an important weapon in the Israeli-Arab war of 1948). The Aero L-159 Alca fighter in turn plays a significant role in the Iraqi army's fight against the Islamic State. Aero L-29 Delfín and Aero L-39 Albatros have proven themselves as military training aircraft in the past. In Kunovice, they specialized in gliders (especially the Flight L-13 Blaník), but also their Flight L-410 Turbolet became one of the most used Czech aircraft, mainly used in the Soviet Union. In the past, production of agricultural and aerobatic aircraft also took place in Otrokovice (Z-42, Z-50, Z-37 Čmelák.

Representatives of the chemical industry are, for example, Agrofert or Draslovka Global Holding.

The First Republic bet a lot on the arms industry, Česká zbrojovka Strakonice, Zbrojovka Brno and Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod were founded at the time (the most famous Czech weapons in the world are the LT vz. 38 tank, the vzor 61 submachine gun ("scorpion"), the CZ 75 pistol, the light machine gun vz. 26, submachine gun model 58, SKOT (OT-64) or pistol vz. 52).

The largest Czech textile and footwear industry is represented by the company Baťa, which operates in more than 50 countries around the world. Sales of Czech PRIM watches, on the other hand, dropped significantly, from more than half a million units sold annually at the end of the 1980s.

Brewing is a traditional industry. Beer was drunk and produced in the Czech Republic at least since 993, from that year we have a report that Bishop Vojtěch forbade the monks of the Břevnov Monastery to brew beer. A type of beer (pils, pilsner, pilsner-type beer) was created in Pilsen in 1842, which is today the most widespread in the world. The Czech Republic ranks 15th in the world in terms of beer production. There are 40 large industrial breweries in the country, as well as many small breweries. The largest breweries are Pilsenský Prazdroj (brands Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Velkopopovický Kozel, Radegast), Pivovary Staropramen (Staropramen), Heineken Czech Republic (Starobrno, Krušovice), Budějovický Budvar (Budvar) and PMS Přerov (Zubr, Litovel, Holba). Small breweries include, for example, Bernard in Humpolec.

An important role is played by the production of Czech glass. The most famous Czech glass manufacturers include: Moser (considered the most luxurious Czech brand), Rückl (glass from them is owned by the British Queen Elizabeth II, for example), Crystalex (the largest Czech producer of drinking glasses), Sklárny Bohemia Poděbrady (the largest Czech producer of lead crystal) and Lasvit (luxury glass light installations).



The key mineral raw materials mined in the Czech Republic include black and brown coal, as well as kaolin, clay, graphite, limestone and other building materials. The uranium deposit is located near the village of Dolní Rožínka. In 2016, large reserves of lithium were discovered in the Ore Mountains area. Oil and natural gas are extracted on a small scale in the south of Moravia, but the larger volume of these raw materials is imported from Russia. Since a third of the country is covered by forests, wood is also an export item.


Telecommunications and IT

Telecommunications is developing rapidly in the country. The largest telephone operator in the country, Český Telecom, merged with the global company Telefónica and renamed itself O2 Czech Republic. This company is also, along with T-Mobile, Vodafone and the former U:fon, one of the largest mobile operators and Internet providers in the country. The Czech Republic has the most wireless subscribers in the European Union. In 2014, there were 1.89 million fixed telephone lines, 14 million mobile phones and over 4 million Internet connections in the Czech Republic. 8.2 million Czechs, i.e. 77.5 percent of the country's population, used the Internet. The national top-level domain for the Czech Republic is .cz. At the end of 2016, over 1,280,000 addresses with the .cz domain were registered.

Two antivirus giants Avast and AVG were founded in the Czech Republic. In July 2016, it was announced that Avast had acquired rival AVG for $1.3 billion, together the companies have a user base of around 400 million people and a 40% market share outside of China.

Prague is the seat of EUSPA, which manages the Galileo navigation system. This EU agency is based in the building of the former State Planning Commission in Holešovice.



The road network

The length of the road transport network in 2015 was 55,737.5 km. Of this, 776 km were highways and 6,244.9 km I-class roads (including 459.4 km expressways).

The highway network is still under construction. Once completed, the backbone will be the D1 highway, which will connect Prague, Brno and Ostrava with Poland (direction Katowice). The already completed roads are the D2 highway connecting Brno and Bratislava, the D5 highway connecting Prague, Pilsen and Germany (direction Nuremberg), the D8 highway from Prague via Ústí nad Labem to Germany (direction Dresden), the D10 highway (Prague–Turnov) and the D46 highway (Vyškov–Olomouc). The D0 motorway, D3 motorway, D4 motorway, D6 motorway, D7 motorway, D11 motorway, D35 motorway, D48 motorway, D49 motorway, D52 motorway, D55 motorway and D56 motorway are also in various stages of construction. The maximum permitted speed on the highway is 130 km/h. Motorists pay a motorway toll for using motorways, with an electronic toll system in place since 2007.

The death rate on Czech roads per capita in 2004 was approximately 1.6 times higher than in Germany, even though the traffic intensity is lower. The number of 1,286 killed in 2005 fluctuates. In 2010, 802 people died on the roads.

Every vehicle registered in the Czech Republic must have a state license plate. Its current form dates from 2001.



With its 9,568 km, the Czech Republic has one of the densest railway networks in Europe. Of this, 3,212 km of tracks are electrified and 1,906 km are double- and multi-track. The administrator and operator of the vast majority of railway infrastructure is the state organization Správa železnično dopradní cesta. Czech Railways operates high-speed Pendolino trains, but since no lines are high-speed, their maximum speed is limited to 160 km/h.

The transport performance of less than 165 million passengers with 6,590 million passenger kilometers and 13,770 million tonne kilometers in freight transport means a significant decrease over the last decade.

Since 1991, the Czech Republic has been involved in the EuroCity international train network, and since 2005, some of the international connections have also been provided by SuperCity trains, the center of gravity of which is on the Prague - Ostrava line.

České dráhy is the largest railway carrier. The freight rail market is liberalized, and passenger transport is being liberalized. Most passenger rail transport is supported from public budgets through long-term contracts with carriers.

The main railway hub is the Main Railway Station in Prague. Its old building is a listed art nouveau building from the workshop of architect Josef Fanta. The unique Cerhenice Railway Test Circuit is used internationally.



There are a total of 91 civil airports in the Czech Republic, of which 46 have a paved surface. Only 5 airports operate regular flights. The majority of air traffic in the Czech Republic is carried out via Václav Havel Prague Airport, which transported 13 million passengers in 2016. In the 2016/17 winter season, it flew to 105 destinations in 39 countries. Other airports with regular but less dense civilian traffic include Brno-Tuřany, Ostrava-Leoše Janáček, Pardubice and Karlovy Vary airports.

There are three main scheduled airlines operating here. The oldest of them is Czech Airlines, the largest airline is Travel Service, which also includes the low-cost company Smartwings. Other Czech airlines include Van Air Europe, Silver Air and other airlines providing air taxi services, such as ABS Jets, CTR Flight Services, G-JET and Silesia Air.


Water transport

Water transport in the Czech Republic is operated on the Elbe and Vltava rivers and other closed bodies of water for recreational purposes. The most important operator of water transport is Československá plavba Labská.

The Czech Republic also has its own port area in the area of the seaport in Hamburg, Germany. Moldauhafen and Saalehafen ports were leased to Czechoslovakia in 1929 for 99 years (until 2028) on the basis of the Treaty of Versailles. In the same year, Czechoslovakia also bought the port of Peutehafen. They have been administered by the Czech Republic since 1993. The harbors were used by the Czechoslovak Maritime Navigation, today the Czech Maritime Navigation.

There is a great tradition (since Jakub Krčín) of water management, navigation, building weirs and dams. The largest dams in the Czech Republic are Orlík, Lipno, Švihov (Želivka), Nechranice, Slapy, Slezská Harta, Vranov, Dalešice, Rozkoš and the Nové Mlýny reservoir system.


Public transport

In the Czech Republic, there is a long tradition of urban public transport. Public transport systems began to develop from the 1860s - a horse-drawn tram was introduced in Brno as early as 1869, and in 1875 in Prague. Brno also had the first steam tram, which was put into operation here in 1884. The first place in the introduction of electric trams was secured by Teplice, where an electrically powered tram went onto the track in 1895. A year later, Prague joined (here, since 1891, Křižík's electric railway to Letná), in 1897 Liberec, in 1899 Olomouc, Pilsen and Ústí nad Labem, 1900 Brno and Jablonec nad Nisou, 1901 Most and Litvínov and Ostrava, 1902 Mariánské Lázně, 1905 Opava, 1909 České Budějovice and Jihlava, 1911 Těšín and 1916 Bohumín.

Since the 1970s, seven tram systems have been operating in the Czech Republic: in Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Pilsen, Liberec, Olomouc and an intercity tram between Most and Litvínov. In the 20th century, there is a noticeable trend of the decline of tram traffic at the expense of bus traffic. Urban bus transport has been integrated with suburban transport since the 1990s, and urban railways (e.g. Esko Prague) have also played a greater role since the beginning of the 21st century. Cable railways (Karlovy Vary, Prague) and water transport (five Prague ferries, transport on the Brno Reservoir) play a marginal role in the mass transport system.

Prague is the only city in the Czech Republic where a municipal underground railway system, the so-called metro, was built. The operation of the Prague metro began on May 9, 1974. The network of routes measured 65.2 km as of 2015, and the trains stopped at 61 stations. The Prague metro transports over 1.6 million passengers a day. According to the evaluation of the International Automobile Federation from 2010, Prague has the fourth best public transport in Europe (after Munich, Helsinki and Vienna).



The Czech Republic is currently reducing its energy dependence on brown coal, which had a negative impact on the quality of the environment in northern Bohemia. In 2005, 65.4 percent of electricity was produced by steam and combustion (mainly coal), 30 percent by nuclear power plants, and 4.6 percent by renewable sources, including hydropower. The largest Czech energy source is the Temelín Nuclear Power Plant (14% of electricity production in the Czech Republic), another nuclear power plant is in Dukovany. The Czech Republic is one of the largest exporters of electricity in Europe, in 2013 it exported about 17 TWh, which is more than Temelín produces. The Czech Republic ranks seventh in the world in electricity exports and tenth in nuclear energy production.

Natural gas is purchased from Norwegian companies and as liquefied gas LNG from the Netherlands and Belgium. In the past, three-quarters of gas supplies came from Russia, but after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, these supplies were gradually stopped.



After the 1989 revolution, supermarkets and hypermarkets became a symbol of the consumer lifestyle, dominating the retail sphere more than anywhere else in Europe.



The Czech economy receives high revenues from tourism. In 2001, total revenues from tourism reached 118.13 billion crowns, which at the time represented 5.5% of GDP. In the following years, however, the interest of foreigners in the Czech Republic declined somewhat, partly due to the strengthening of the exchange rate of the Czech crown. Eventually the crown weakened; in 2016, 9.3 million tourists from abroad visited the Czech Republic. Prague is the fifth most visited city in Europe, after London, Paris, Istanbul and Rome.

According to the CzechTourism agency, the most visited tourist destinations in the Czech Republic in 2014 were Prague Castle (1,799,300 tourists), Prague Zoo (1,382,200), AquaPalace Prague (845,300), the Lower Vítkovic area and Landek Park in Ostrava (808,900), Old Town Hall (including astronomical clock) in Prague (739,800), Brewery Museum and Underground in Pilsen (600,000), Zoological Garden Zlín-Lešná (585,100), Jewish Museum in Prague (580,000), Petřín Observatory in Prague (557,400) ) and Ostrava Zoo (540,500).

The success of the Prague Zoo is related to its prestige. In 2015, users of the largest travel site TripAdvisor rated the Prague Zoo as the fourth best in the world. In 2008, Forbes magazine named her the seventh best woman in the world.

Apart from Prague Castle, the most visited castles are Lednice Castle, Český Krumlov Castle, Hluboká nad Vltavou Castle, Karlštejn Castle, Průhonice Castle, Dětenice Castle, Konopiště Castle, Archbishop's Castle and Gardens in Kroměříž and Loučeň Castle.

In the Central Bohemian region, the ossuary in Sedlec in Kutná Hora and the church of St. Barbara there, Křivoklát, Český Šternberk and Kokořín castles, Podebrady and Veltrusy castles, in the South Bohemian region the Vyšší Brod monastery, Rožmberk and Zvíkov castles, Orlík, Červená Lhota and Jindřichův Hradec, Loket Castle in the Karlovy Vary Region, Terezín Monument, Hazmburk Castle and Duchcov Castle in the Ústí Region, Trosky, Grabštejn, Lemberk, Bezděz and Sychrov Castles in Liberec, White Tower in Hradec Králové in Hradec Králové, Kost Castle, Ratibořice, Karlova Castles Koruna and Hrádek near Nechanice, in Pardubické a collection of folk buildings near Hlinsko and Pardubice Castle, in Vysočín Castle Telč, in Olomouc Castle Bouzov, in South Moravian Cathedral St. Peter and Paul in Brno, Špilberk, Pernštejn, Veveří and Bítov castles, in the Zlín Wallachian outdoor museum in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, Buchlov castle and Buchlovice castle. Apart from the ones already mentioned, the most famous Prague sights include the Týn Church, the Old Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Bethlehem Chapel, the Břevnov Monastery, the Estates Theater, the Infant Jesus of Prague, the Emmaus Monastery, the Kinsky Palace, the Maisel Synagogue, U Fleků Brewery, the Spanish Synagogue, the Prague Loreta, from more recent ones are the Lennon Wall or the Žižkov Television Tower. In addition to the cathedral of St. Vita is one of the most attractive parts of Prague Castle for tourists, the Golden Alley, the Basilica of St. George, the Royal Garden, Queen Anne's Summer Palace and the Old Royal Palace.

The most famous sanctuaries outside of Prague and Brno are the Cathedral of St. Wenceslas in Olomouc, the Great Synagogue in Pilsen, the Church of the Holy Trinity in Fulnek, the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew in Pilsen, the Cathedral of the Divine Savior in Ostrava and the Cathedral of St. Stephen in Litoměřice.

There are about 700 museums in the Czech Republic. The largest is the National Museum (it includes the Natural History Museum, the Historical Museum, the Náprstkov Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures and the Museum of Czech Music), the Moravian Regional Museum, the Jewish Museum in Prague, the National Technical Museum, the Museum of Applied Arts in Prague, the Museum of the Capital City of Prague (owns Langweil's model of Prague and also manages Müller's villa), Military Technical Museum Lešany, Art Museum Olomouc, Slovak Museum in Uherské Hradiště. The Mining Museum in Příbram and the Czech Silver Museum in Kutná Hora are also among the most visited.

Of the natural monuments, these are Punkevní caves and the Macocha abyss, Kamenice gorges, Pravčická brána, Koněpruské caves, Bozkovské dolomite caves and Jetřichovick lookouts.

Cultural monuments registered on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List have an extraordinary status. In addition to those already mentioned (Kroměříž, Český Krumlov, the center of Prague), these are the villa Tugendhat in Brno, the village of Holašovice, the historic center of Kutná Hora, the Lednice-Valtice area, the Litomyšl castle and castle area, the column of the Holy Trinity in Olomouc, the historical center of Třebíč (Třebíčská Jewish district and St. Prokop's Basilica) and the pilgrimage church of St. John of Nepomuck on Zelená hora.

The Ride of the Kings in Slovácko and Haná, falconry, carnival masked parades in Hlinecko, Slovak verbunk and, most recently, in 2016, Czech puppetry, were inscribed on UNESCO's list of intangible world cultural heritage.

Some localities have a special significance for their connection with Czech history or myths – Říp mountain, Vyšehrad (especially the Vyšehrad cemetery, where Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana are buried), Blaník mountain, Velehrad connected with the Cyril and Methodius and Great Moravian monuments, the church of St. Wenceslas in Stará Boleslav connected with the legend of the killing of Prince Wenceslas, the Orthodox Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Prague, where the masterminds of the assassination of Heydrich perished during the Second World War.

Popular tourist events include Museum Night, Night of Churches, Castle Night, reconstruction of the most famous battles that took place on Czech territory (Battle of Slavkov, Battle of Hradec Králové, Battle of Kolín, Siege of Brno Švéda, etc.), NATO Days in Ostrava or army Mud. In addition, a number of festivals and fairs (see the relevant section).

Spa towns such as Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně used to be traditional tourist magnets, but the spa industry has fallen into a crisis. However, Karlovy Vary retains its attractiveness, for example, thanks to the annual international film festival. This film festival, founded after the Second World War, is today the largest cultural event in the Czech Republic.

Important recreation areas in the Czech Republic are Bohemian Switzerland, Bohemian Paradise, Krkonoše and Šumava.



According to the Czech Statistical Office, 10,649,800 people lived in the Czech Republic at the end of 2018. The natural increase in 2018 was 1116 people, the total fertility rate reached 1.71, and in 2021 it reached 1.83. The main cause of population growth is long-term migration – in 2018, the number of people who immigrated was 38,629 more than the number of people who left, mainly migration from Ukraine and Slovakia. The average age was 42.3 years in 2018, the average life expectancy was 76.1 years for men and 81.9 years for women. In 2018, the most populous region was Středočeský with 1,369,332 inhabitants. It was the only region where more people lived than in Prague, which had 1,308,632 inhabitants.


Ethnic composition

In the last census in 2011, 64.3% of the population of the Czech Republic claimed Czech nationality (86.1% of those who claimed a nationality), which completely prevails in all districts of the Czech Republic, 5.0% of the population declared Moravian nationality and 0.1% Silesian nationality, in both cases also speaking mainly Czech.

In the opinion of the Czech Statistical Office, this is a consequence of the division of the Czech nationality, which was still united before the census in 1991, as a result of the media coverage of the Moravian nationality issue, and thus to a certain extent artificially; The Moravian political party, on the other hand, evaluates this situation as a manifestation of spontaneous national revival. The fact remains that Moravian, partly Silesian, and for a certain period of time also Czech and Slovak nationality could only be declared to a limited extent (the group was not mentioned in the final statistics) or not at all (it was not possible to register for the group) in various periods of Czechoslovakia's existence, and only in 1991, shortly before the dissolution of the state, each of these four nationalities was fully taken into account for the first time individually.

A total of 25.3% of the population of the Czech Republic used the option not to fill in the voluntary nationality column in the census forms and left it blank during the 2011 census.



The Czech Republic has one of the least religious populations in the world. In the surveys of the Eurobarometer project in 2005, 19% of the respondents answered that they believe in God, 50% believe in some life or spiritual force and 30% do not believe in any of these.

According to the latest census of 2021, 5 million inhabitants have no religion, i.e. 48% of the population. 1.1 million residents registered with various churches and religious societies, and some stated that they were religious and affiliated with a church, but did not indicate a specific church. 960,000 people explicitly identified themselves as religious, but not affiliated with any church or religious society, in addition, other citizens indicated only a certain religion. In total, 2.3 million, i.e. 22% of the population of the Czech Republic, subscribed to some faith or confession. However, a total of 3.2 million inhabitants (30%) did not fill in this voluntary column in the census forms.

The most numerous religion in the Czech Republic is Christianity. The largest religious group in 2021 was the Roman Catholic Church, which had 741 thousand believers (7%), which would be a significant decrease compared to 2011, when it had a total of 1.08 million believers (10.4%). However, 236,000 residents stated "Catholic faith" or "Catholic", a total of 977,000 believers (9.3%). The large Protestant churches Czech Brethren Evangelical Church with 33,000 members (0.3%) and the Czechoslovak Hussite Church with 24,000 members (0.2%) followed, but similarly, 27,000 residents only generally stated that they were Protestants or Evangelicals. The Orthodox Church had a higher proportion of believers, with 41,000 people signing up, Jehovah's Witnesses with 13,000, the Church of the Brethren with 11,000 or the Greek Catholic Church with 8,000 believers were also more important. In addition, 71,000 inhabitants applied for Christianity in general. The number of followers of Judaism was 2,000, 5,000 people applied for Islam, 6,000 people for various branches of Buddhism, and less than 2,000 people for Hinduism. Recessionists declared themselves, for example, to Jediism (21 thousand) or Pastafarianism (less than 3 thousand). 555 people applied for atheism, almost 3 thousand people declared paganism.

The share of declared believers has practically not changed since the previous census in 2011. The number of people without a religion increased, while the number of people who decided not to answer the voluntary question decreased. Geographically, there is a higher concentration of believers in southern and eastern Moravia, on the other hand, northern and northwestern Bohemia show a higher proportion of people without a religion.

Historically, an important role in religious development was played by Hussiteism, Utraquism, and the Brethren Unity (and its part, the Moravian Brothers). The Czech Reformation also played a significant role in the national revival, although the modern Czech nation did not ultimately become Protestant. The Catholic and Orthodox churches recognize saints, and among the Czech personalities they both recognize the sainthood of Ivan, Ludmila, Václav and Prokop. The Catholic Church also recognizes Vojtěch, Radim, Anežka Česká, Zdislav of Lemberk, Jan Nepomuck, Jan Sarkander and Jan Nepomuk Neumann and Klement Maria Hofbauer. In addition, the Orthodox also St. Rostislav and Gorazd II. (Matěje Pavlíka), who during the Second World War hid the paratroopers who killed Nazi leader Heydrich.


Ethnographic groups

In the Czech Republic, there are several ethnographic groups closely related to the region where they live, which in the past differed in some cultural features and dialect. In Bohemia they are, for example, the Chods, Pilsens, Blaťás and Doudlebs, in Moravia the Horás, Hanás, Moravian Croats, Moravian Slovaks, Podlužáci, Wallachians, Laši and others, and in Silesia, for example, the Goralá, Šlonzáci, Moravians and Prajzáci. These differences began to blur, especially after the Second World War, but some regional peculiarities are still maintained. In addition to these geographically distinguishable ethnographic groups, more or less dispersed, specific ethnographic groups are worth mentioning. This is a Roma and Jewish ethnographic group.



At the end of 2021, according to the Czech Statistical Office, 658,564 foreigners lived in the Czech Republic (6.2% of the total population), of which 48.7% had been granted permanent residence. Another 2,285 persons were in the asylum procedure in 2021. Persons of foreign origin with granted Czech citizenship are not included in the given numbers. Prague and the Central Bohemian Region account for roughly half of the total number of foreigners in the Czech Republic. Most foreigners come from Ukraine, they have overtaken foreigners from Slovakia since 2004, followed by foreigners from Vietnam, Russia, Germany and Poland.

Compared to the European Union average, the Czech Republic still remains a relatively ethnically homogeneous country – in 2016, it was in 24th place out of 28 EU states in terms of ethnic heterogeneity. In the Czech Republic, the number of foreigners reached 6.2% in 2021, while the largest number of foreigners in the EU lived in neighboring Germany, i.e. 7.2 million (9% of the population). In Austria, the share of foreigners in the total population is 10.8% and in Spain 12%. Vietnamese live in the Czech Republic the longest (8 years on average), people from the former Yugoslavia only a year less. Most university-educated people come to our country from Russia (27% of immigrants from this country). Ukrainians send home most of their earnings (17% of income).



Literary history begins with oral tradition, in which the legend about the forefather Čech, Krok, Libuš, Přemysl Oráč and the maiden war stand out. The beginnings of Czech written literature are related to the activities of Konstantin the Philosopher and his brother Methodius in Great Moravia. Together with their students (the most important of them was Clement of Ohrid), they created the first Czech literary monuments (Proglas, Life of Methodius, Life of Constantine) in Old Slavonic and with the help of the Glagolitic script. After the expulsion of this group from Moravia, Latin began to play a key role, legends (Kristián's legend), chronicles (especially Kosm's Chronicle of the Czechs) and other genres (e.g. Vita Caroli, the personal biography of King Charles IV) were created in it. The first important texts written in Czech were Alexandreida and Dalimil's Chronicle. Jan Hus, one of the founders of the European Reformation, and Jan Amos Komenský, the most important representative of humanism in Czech literature, were the first authors who also wrote in Czech and who achieved world fame. Other important authors of the Reformation were Jeroným Pražský and Petr Chelčický. After the defeat of the estate uprising in the Battle of Bílá Hora in 1620, there was a difficult period of displacement and dying of the Czech language. Bohuslav Balbín opposed this in the Baroque era. However, the retreat of the Czech language only stopped the process of the so-called national revival, which began at the end of the 18th century. The key figure of the first stage of the revival was the linguist Josef Dobrovský. In the second stage, it was Josef Jungmann, who emphasized the linguistic concept of the nation, and Pavel Jozef Šafařík, representative of Pan-Slavic tendencies. It was then that the first independent literature began to appear (Ján Kollár, František Ladislav Čelakovský). The process culminated in the third stage, when František Palacký and Karel Havlíček Borovský completed the concept of the Czech nation politically, and when the top literary works were created, whether poetic (Havlíček, Karel Hynek Mácha, Karel Jaromír Erben), prose (Božena Němcová), or theater ( Josef Kajetán Tyl, Karel Sabina). In the second half of the 19th century, literary life began to develop rapidly, groups with different programs were formed - the Mayans (Jan Neruda, Vítězslav Hálek, Jakub Arbes, Karolína Světlá), the Ruchovs (Svatopluk Čech), the Lumirovs (Jaroslav Vrchlický, Julius Zeyer), the realists (Alois Jirásek), Czech modernism (Antonín Sova, Otokar Březina) or the so-called anarchist rioters (Viktor Dyk, Petr Bezruč). From the end of the 19th century, literature written in German also began to flourish (especially in Prague), which became a world phenomenon, mainly thanks to Franz Kafka (Proces, Zámek, Amerika), but also others (Rainer Maria Rilke, Gustav Meyrink, Franz Werfel, Max Brod, Egon Erwin Kisch, Karl Kraus, Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Adalbert Stifter, Ottfried Preussler, Leo Perutz, Ernst Weiss). In the first half of the 20th century, authors writing in Czech also gained world importance, especially Jaroslav Hašek (especially The Fates of the Good Soldier Švejk) and Karel Čapek (especially The War with the Newts). The left-wing avant-garde was also strong, which united in the association Devětsil, which first devoted itself to proletarian poetry, then invented the direction of poeticism, so that most authors eventually switched to surrealism. Jaroslav Seifert, so far the only Czech to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (in 1984), was also a member of Devětsil. Other important members included Jiří Wolker, Vítězslav Nezval, Vladislav Vančura, František Halas and Karel Teige. Ivan Olbracht, Vladimír Holan and Ladislav Klíma stood outside the avant-garde circles. In the second half of the 20th century, Milan Kunder (especially The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Joke) and Bohumil Hrabal received the greatest response. At that time, for political reasons (especially after the Soviet occupation of 1968), literature was divided into exile, samizdat and official literature. Pavel Kohout, Josef Škvorecký and Arnošt Lustig were important authors in exile in addition to Kundera. Samizdat literature split into dissent connected mainly with Charter 77 (Václav Havel, Ivan Klíma, Ludvík Vaculík) and the so-called underground (Egon Bondy, Ivan Martin Jirous). Of the official novelists, Ladislav Fuks achieved the greatest international fame together with Hrabal. After the Velvet Revolution of 1989, this division of literary life fell. Of the new authors, after 1989 Michal Viewegh, Patrik Ouředník and Jáchym Topol were the most successful.

Julius Fučík, Milena Jesenská and Ferdinand Peroutka were important journalists in addition to those mentioned above.

The important international Franz Kafka Literary Prize is awarded in the Czech Republic. The most important domestic literary awards include the Magnesia Litera, the State Prize for Literature and Translation, the Jaroslav Seifert Prize, the Jiří Orten Prize and the Josef Škvorecký Prize.

The Czech Republic has a unique network of public libraries, the densest in Europe. It consists of more than 5400 libraries. At the center of this network is the National Library of the Czech Republic. It is based in Klementin, Prague. The most valuable monuments preserved by the National Library of the Czech Republic include the manuscript of the Vyšehrad Codex (the value of which is estimated at a billion crowns), the Lobkovicky Gradual, manuscripts of the medieval University of Prague, "Books on Chains" from the library of the Jáchymovsk Municipal School from the 16th century, the Codex pictoricus Mexicanus of the missionary Ignác Tirsch , autographs of Jan Hus and Jakoubek of Stříbr, a collection of graphic sheets of university theses, a sheet of Gutenberg's Bible from 1454, the Opatovick homily, Mattioli's herbarium from the 16th century, the oldest printing in Czech territory (Latin Statute from 1349), a fragment of the Psalter from Regen from the end of the 8th century, Greek papyri from the 1st century, St. George's Antiphonary or Velislav's Bible. By far the most valuable manuscript created on Czech territory, the pearl of medieval bookmaking called the Codex gigas (also known as the Devil's Bible), was captured by the Swedes during the Thirty Years' War and is only rarely loaned to the Czech Republic. Rare prints and manuscripts (e.g. Žlutice chantry) are also preserved by the National Literature Memorial located in the Strahov Monastery, in the Hvězda Summer Palace and in the so-called Third Petschk Villa in Bubenč. Among other things, the monument has an extensive collection of ex libris. Another important Czech library is the Municipal Library in Prague.



Czech theater has its roots in the Middle Ages. The oldest surviving dramatic work using Czech is a fragment of a Czech-Latin play from the 14th century, usually called Mastickář. Originally, it was a kind of interlude in the staging of the Gospel scenes - it describes the situation when Jesus' mother Mary goes to the market to buy perfumed ointments for embalming the dead body of Jesus. However, the scene became more and more independent and satirically described conditions in the middle-class environment.

In the 19th century, the theater played a significant role in the national revival (Václav Kliment Klicpera, Josef Kajetán Tyl). The emancipatory efforts of the Czech nation in the second half of the 19th century were manifested by the opening of the National Theater in Prague in 1883. Since then, the National Theater has presented both operas and plays. In the 90s of the 18th century, European literary trends penetrated into the Czech theater, especially realism, which was represented by Ladislav Stroupežnický, especially with his village hilarity Naši furianti, and later especially by the Mrštík brothers with their Maryša. Gabriela Preissová also brought powerful themes to the Czech stage (The Housewife, Her Godmother). The director Jaroslav Kvapil, who also presented himself as a playwright (Princess Pampeliška), fought for this modern drama.

In the first half of the 20th century, there was the development of avant-garde theater represented by the Osvobozený divad of Jiří Voskovec and Jan Werich, or Emil František Burian, Jiří Frejka, Jindřich Honzl or Jiří Mahen. The plays of Karel Čapek (R.U.R., Vec Makropulos) and František Langer (Periférie) have gained the most attention on world stages.

In the second half of the 20th century, Alfred Radok's Laterna magika project, the first multimedia art project in the world, originally prepared for the world exhibition Expo 58, received exceptional international acclaim. The phenomenon of small-scale theaters also arose: Semafor (Jiří Suchý and Jiří Šlitr), Na zábradlí theater (Jan Grossman, Ivan Vyskočil), Drama Club (Ladislav Smoček), Goose on a String, Ypsilonka (Jan Schmid), Sklep Theater or Jára Cimrman Theater (Zdeněk Svěrák, Ladislav Smoljak). In the 1960s, the most successful playwright was Pavel Kohout (especially August, August, August), absurd drama was represented by Václav Havel. The well-known British playwright Tom Stoppard was born in Zlín.

Theater awards include the Thalia Awards and the Alfréd Radok Award.



In the era of silent film, the fame of Gustav Machaté's daring film projects Erotikon (1929) and Extase (1933) crossed the borders of the homeland.

The Czechoslovak new wave (Miloš Forman, Věra Chytilová, Jiří Menzel, Ján Kadár, Elmar Klos, Jaromil Jireš, František Vláčil, Vojtěch Jasný, Juraj Jakubisko, Juraj Herz, Ivan Passer, Jan Němec) achieved international acclaim in the 1960s. . The key films of the Czechoslovak new wave were Watched Trains, Trade on the Corse, Loves of One Blonde, Burning, My Doll, Daisies, Black Peter, Larks on a Thread, Markéta Lazarová, When the Cat Comes, The Incinerator of Corpses, Transport from Paradise, Whimsical Summer, Everyone good natives, Diamonds of the night, Intimate lighting, Joke or About festivities and guests.

At the same time, Karel Kachyňa (The Ear), Otakar Vávr, Jiří Krejčík (The Higher Principle) and Karl Zeman (The Invention of Destruction) managed to fulfill their serious artistic ambitions.

The 1930s to 1950s and later the 1970s to the 1980s, however, witnessed more popular film than artistic film, with timeless elegance this space was used by directors Bořivoj Zeman, Oldřich Lipský, Václav Vorlíček (Three Nuts for Cinderella), Martin Frič and Ladislav Smoljak , screenwriters Jiří Brdečka (Lemonade Joe, Adéla has not dined yet), Miloš Macourek, Zdeněk Svěrák or film music composers Zdeněk Liška, Luboš Fišer and Petr Hapka.

The films Obchod na korze (1965), Watched Trains (1967) and Kolja (1996) won the Oscar for best foreign language film, six other films were shortlisted: Loves of a Blonde (1966), Burning, My Doll (1968) , Vesničko má středisková (1986), General School (1991), We Need to Help (2000) and Želary (2003).

Czech puppet and animated films by directors such as Jiří Trnka, Hermína Týrlová, Zdeněk Miler, Jan Švankmajer (especially Something from Alenka) and Břetislav Pojar gained international fame. This tradition also includes the television series Večerníčků, on which leading artists such as Adolf Born, Zdeněk Smetana and Vladimír Jiránek collaborated.

Above all, a number of Czech natives made their mark in non-Czech cinematography, such as directors Georg Wilhelm Pabst and Karel Reisz, cameramen Karl Freund, actors Herbert Lom or Barbara Bouchetová. Of the Czech actors, the most famous abroad are Karel Roden and Libuše Šafránková, popular thanks to the fairy tale Three Nuts for Cinderella, especially in Norway.

Barrand's film studios are among the largest in Europe. After 1990, they were mainly used by foreign productions, including the films Mission: Impossible, Casino Royale, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Child Number 44, Hannibal – Birth, The Illusionist, The Alien vs. Predator, Agent without a past, etc.



Czech music has its roots in at least 1000 years old spiritual music. The oldest spiritual song in the Czech lands was Old Slavonic: Lord, have mercy on us. It was created at the end of the 10th century or the beginning of the 11th century. The origin is clearly Old Slavonic, but elements of Old Czech also penetrated it (probably over time).

The first spiritual song in Old Czech, Saint Wenceslas, Duke of the Czech Land (also St. Wenceslaus Choral) was created in the 12th century. But it was only recorded in the 14th century in the chronicle of Beneš Krabic from Veitmila. The Ostrovská song is similarly significant. It deals with the presence of Christ in the sacrament of the altar. It was recorded in the codex of the monastery from Ostrov u Davle, according to the first verse it is also called the Word to the world of creation. Unlike the St. Wenceslas chant, it has a more complex poetic form.

Šumava was an important center of medieval music. The first musical memories here come from the library of the Cistercian monastery in Vyšší Brod, founded in 1259. For example, manuscript No. 42 from 1410 describes the song Jesus Christ, generous priest, which was also sung by the Hussites. The Hussite songwriting, i.e. the work of the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries, was preserved by the Jistebnický chantry (in particular Who are God's Warriors and Uprising, Uprising the great city of Prague).

An important stage in the development of Czech music was the Baroque (17th and 18th centuries). It was then that music established itself as a separate professional field. Baroque composers such as Adam Michna from Otradovice, Heinrich Biber (Czech German), Jan Dismas Zelenka, Antonín Rejcha, Jan Václav Stamic, Josef Mysliveček, Jan Ladislav Dusík, Jiří Antonín Benda, František Xaver Richter, Jan Baptist Vaňhal, František Xaver Brixi or Leopold Koželuh. During the national revival, baroque music was immediately followed by Jan Jakub Ryba and Václav Jan Křtitel Tomášek.

This was the base on which the key authors of modern Czech classical music could stand in the second half of the 19th century, especially Bedřich Smetana (especially Má vlast, Prodaná nevěsta) and Antonín Dvořák, the most famous Czech composer in the world (especially Novosvětská, Rusalka and Slavic dances).

The tradition then continued with undiminished strength, especially the works of Leoš Janáček penetrated the whole world. All his operas are part of the repertoire of many opera houses, especially Její pastorkyňa (under the name Jenůfa abroad), Káťa Kabanová, Z mrtvýho domu and Vec Makropulos. His Glagolitic Mass and Sinfonietta are also often performed.

Other important Czech composers of the 19th and 20th centuries are Zdeněk Fibich, Josef Bohuslav Foerster, Vítězslav Novák, Josef Suk the Elder (son-in-law of Antonín Dvořák), Alois Hába, Ervín Schulhoff, Bohuslav Martinů, Pavel Haas, Viktor Ullmann and Petr Eben. Jaromír Weinberger achieved surprising success on the stage of the New York Metropolitan Opera with his opera Švanda the Piper. Well-known operetta composers included Oskar Nedbal and Rudolf Friml.

In 1860, the world-famous German-speaking composer Gustav Mahler was born in Kališt in Moravia. Brno native Erich Korngold made his name in Vienna and later in Hollywood. Piano virtuosos Ignaz Moscheles, Alfred Brendel, Rudolf Serkin and Alice Herz-Sommerová were also born in the Czech Republic, and Ernst Křenek came from the Viennese Czech community.

Czech musical performers have also established themselves. Many names can be mentioned, such as conductors Rafael Kubelík, Václav Talich, Václav Neumann, Karel Ančerl or Jiří Bělohlávek, and currently Petr Altrichter, Tomáš Netopil and Jakub Hrůša. Also musical instrumentalists: violinists František Benda, Vojtěch Živný, Jan Křtitel Václav Kalivoda, František Ondříček, Jan Kubelík and Josef Suk Jr. (Dvořák's great-grandson); cellist David Popper, harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková and horn player Radek Baborák. Singers such as Ema Destinnová, Maria Jeritza, Jarmila Novotná, Gabriela Beňačková, Eva Urbanová and Magdalena Kožená cannot be omitted. The great Czech tenors were Beno Blachut and Ivo Žídek. Baritone Adam Plachetka is currently very successful.

Among musical ensembles, not only the Czech Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, but also other symphony and chamber orchestras and newly so-called baroque ensembles have achieved international significance. Last but not least, Czech choirs and small musical groups, especially string quartets, were also successful.

Shortly after the Second World War, the important classical music festival Prague Spring was also established, which is traditionally held in various Prague concert halls.

In the 20th century, the Czechs also took on new genres. In jazz, Jaroslav Ježek, Miroslav Vitouš, Gustav Brom's orchestra and others. Jan Hammer or Karel Svoboda worked in popular music, Karel Kryl or Jaromír Nohavica in folk music. In response to the popular Austrian wind music (especially military) its specific Czech version also developed, mainly thanks to František Kmoch. To this day, the most famous Czech melodies in the world are the brass ones (especially Julio Fučík's Entry of the Gladiators and Jaromír Vejvoda's Škoda láska). International success was achieved by the singer Karel Gott, who during his career became the most famous singer from the Czech Republic of the 20th century. Among the Czech representatives, Mikolas Josef was the most successful in the international Eurovision Song Contest (6th place in 2018).



We do not know the author of the first and by far the most famous Czech art work. It is a statuette of Věstonické Venus, probably the oldest ceramic statuette in the world, which was created in the Lower Paleolithic and was found in 1925 in southern Moravia.

However, most visual artists were still anonymous in the Gothic era, after all, painting was then perceived as a craft in which the author is not so essential, and not as art. We talk about the artists of this time using terms such as Master of the Litoměřice Altar, Master of the Třeboň Altar, Master of the Vyšebrod Altar or Master Theodoric.

Original painting came on the scene in the Baroque period. Among the most important Czech Baroque painters were Karel Škréta, Jan Kupecký and Petr Brandl. Václav Hollar, who became famous for his engravings, had a very special position. The masterpieces of sculpture in that era were created by Matyáš Bernard Braun and Ferdinand Maxmilián Brokoff.

In the first half of the 19th century, the process of Czech national revival took place, but the revivalists did not place as much emphasis on painting as on literature, theater or science. Painting remained a craft, while Josef Matěj Navrátil excelled in landscape painting, and Karel Purkyně excelled in portraiture and still life.

The turning point came in the middle of the 19th century, when a wave of romanticism and realism arrived in the Czech lands. The most important representative of painterly romanticism was Josef Mánes, known today primarily for the decoration of the Prague Astronomical Clock. For example, Jaroslav Čermák chose realistic painting.

The 1970s and 1980s saw the arrival of the so-called Generation of the National Theatre, i.e. creators who somehow participated in the decoration of the "Golden Chapel" currently under construction: Among them, Mikoláš Alš received the greatest international acclaim. Other members of the generation included Vojtěch Hynais, Julius Mařák, Václav Brožík, Jakub Schikaneder, František Ženíšek and Josef Tulka. The sculptor Josef Václav Myslbek also belonged to this generation.

Most of the authors of the National Theater Generation continued to oscillate between romantic and realistic painting, especially landscapes. However, this was soon not enough for some authors. The landscape painter Antonín Chittussi began to change the technique of landscape painting to such an extent that he came to the brink of impressionism. Antonín Slavíček then became the top representative of this trend. The work of Luďek Marold is sometimes referred to as a harbinger of Art Nouveau painting.

Art Nouveau is one of the key trends that emerged at the end of the 19th century. It played an extraordinary role in the Czech environment. Its main representative, Alfons Mucha, is today the most famous Czech painter in the world. In addition to his well-known posters, Mucha also became famous for his cycle of 20 large-format paintings The Slavic Epic, which summarizes the history of the Czech nation and the Slavs. It is exhibited in the Trade Fair Palace in Prague, it used to be in Moravské Krumlov. The work of Max Švabinský and Jan Preisler can also be classified as Art Nouveau. It also includes important sculptors: František Bílek, Jan Štursa and Ladislav Šaloun.

Art Nouveau provoked with its tendency towards utilitarianism, but otherwise respected classical and academic techniques. However, at the end of the century, new directions began to rebel against them. Primarily expressionism. Bohumil Kubišta, Emil Filla and Otakar Kubín belonged to the Czech expressionist group Osma. The members of Osma then moved on to cubism, another new avant-garde direction.

It was the avant-garde that began to set the direction in the first half of the 20th century. František Kupka went from cubism to pure abstract painting. Dying Cubism seeking new forms of expression was fostered in the Tvrdošijní group (especially Josef Čapek, Jan Zrzavý and the sculptor Otto Gutfreund). Members of the avant-garde Devětsil then became enthusiastic about surrealism (Toyen, Jindřich Štyrský, Josef Šíma).

In spite of the avant-garde, Josef Lada went his own way - and today he is also one of the most famous Czech painters in the world.

In the second half of the 20th century, authors mostly developed the discoveries of the avant-garde revolution - in abstract work it was, for example, Vladimír Vašíček, a part of the work was dedicated to it by Oldřich Lajsek, Mikuláš Medek, Vladimír Boudník, etc. The surrealist playfulness, especially in his well-known collages, was followed by the exiled Jiří Kolář or Jan Švankmajer, who creates at home. A completely new direction called pop-art was touched by Kája Saudek. At the end of the 80s, members of the group Tvrdohlaví (Jiří David, Petr Nikl, Jaroslav Róna) performed.

The most famous representatives of Czech artistic photography are František Drtikol, Josef Sudek, Jan Saudek and Josef Koudelka. Miroslav Tichý is a special phenomenon in artistic photography.

Book illustrations, caricatures and cartoons play an important role in Czech visual arts. The master of caricature was František Gellner, Viktor Oliva, Josef Lada, Jiří Trnka, Zdeněk Burian, Adolf Born and Květa Pacovská, who won the Hans Christian Andersen Award from the International Children's Book Association in 1992, excelled in book illustration. Zdeněk Smetana and Zdeněk Miler made their mark in cartoons.

Important German painters born in the Czech lands included Anton Raphael Mengs, Alfred Kubin, Gabriel Max, Josef Führich and Emil Orlik.

The most valuable work of art in the Czech Republic is considered by experts to be the painting by the Venetian painter Titian Apollo and Marsyas, which is displayed in the picture gallery of the Kroměříž castle. The National Gallery is trying to collect the most valuable works of Czech fine art. Among the works of foreign authors in her possession, the most valuable are Albrecht Dürer's Feast of the Rosary, Lucas Cranach the Elder's Adam and Eve, Henri Rousseau's self-portrait, Rembrandt's Scholar in the Study, Peter Brandl's Simon and the Little Jesus, August Renoir's Lovers, Gustav Klimt's Virgins, Green Wheat Field with Vincent van Gogh's cypress trees, Ilya Repin's self-portrait, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's V Moulin Rouge or Pablo Picasso's Remembrance of Le Havre. The National Gallery exhibits in the Šternber Palace, the Schwarzenberg Palace, the Monastery of St. George, Prague Castle Riding School, Salmov Palace, St. Agnes Monastery, Kinsky Palace, Veletržní Palace, U černé matky Boží house, Zbraslav Castle, Žďár nad Sázavou Monastery and Fryštát Castle. Other important galleries include the Moravian Gallery (exhibits in five buildings: Governor's Palace, Pražák Palace, Museum of Applied Arts, Jurkovič's Villa in Brno and Josef Hoffmann's Birthplace in Brtnice near Jihlava) and the Gallery of the Capital City of Prague (U Zlatého prstenu house, U Kamenného house bell, Old Town Hall, Bílkova Villa, František Bílek House in Chýnov, Municipal Library on Mariánské náměstí, Trojský zamek).

The most famous sculptures in the Czech Republic include Šaloun's statue of Jan Hus in Old Town Square, Myslbek's monument to Prince Wenceslas in Wenceslas Square, Zoubk's Monument to the Victims of Communism in Petřín, Kafka's statue of Jan Žižka in the National Memorial in Vítkov (the largest equestrian statue in Europe). The largest Czech statue of all time was the Stalin monument on Letná, which, however, stood in its place only in the years 1955–1962. Today, the Prague metronome is located in its place. Recently, Franz Kafka's Black Head near the Quadrio shopping center has become very popular with tourists. Černý also drew attention to himself with his provocation Entropa. Anna Chromy installed one of her Cloaks of Conscience in Prague near the State Theater.

The most important Czech art award is the Jindřich Chalupecký Award.



The first phase of the development of architecture in the Czech territory with preserved buildings is Romanesque architecture. Only archaeological finds have survived from the previous, Great Moravian phase. In the period of the Romanesque style, the first stone buildings were created in the Czech Republic, mainly churches and monastery buildings, and towards the end of the period also the first castles and urban buildings (fortifications, houses). Buildings of Romanesque architecture were created on Czech territory from the end of the 9th century to the middle of the 13th century, when the Gothic style slowly began to gain ground.

Gothic architecture in the Czech lands peaked under Charles IV. He had the Charles Bridge built in the highly Gothic style in Prague, and the generous construction of the Cathedral of St. He welcomes, with the help of the architect Petr Parléř and his son Jan Parléř. As a repository for the new crown jewels that Charles had created, he had Karlštejn Castle built in central Bohemia, the architect of which was Matyáš of Arras.

Gothic reached another peak in the era of the Jagiellonian rule (also referred to as Vladislav or Jagiellonian Gothic). Vladislav Jagiellon started the magnificent reconstruction of Prague Castle and called the builder Benedikt Rejt from Saxony, who in Bohemia, among other things, created the Vladislav Hall and the Church of St. Barbara in Kutná Hora, the construction of which was participated by another well-known builder, Matěj Rejsek, the author of Prague's Powder Gate. At that time, Antonín Pilgram left traces of late Gothic in Brno.

Queen Anne's Summer Palace at Prague Castle is often referred to as the most stylistically pure Renaissance building north of the Alps. Important Renaissance buildings also include Hvězda summer castle or Litomyšl castle. Mainly thanks to the renaissance square, Telč got on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and the renaissance urban architecture in Slavonice is striving for the same entry.

Important architects such as Carlo Lurago (Klementinum), Francesco Caratti (Černín Palace), Jan Baptista Mathey (Archbishop's Palace, Tuscan Palace, Summer Palace in Troy), Jan Blažej Santini-Aichel (Church on Zelená Hora) also worked in the Baroque era in the Czech lands. .

Historicism was typical for the architecture of the 19th century. The architect and builder Josef Hlávka, for example, created in his spirit, whose Residence of Bukovina Metropolitans in Černovice (today Ukraine, in the 19th century on the territory of Austria-Hungary), is today registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The buildings of the National Theatre, the National Museum and the Rudolfinum in Prague were also works of historicism.

The wave of Art Nouveau at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries was significant in Czech architecture (especially the Municipal House in Prague, from architects Antonín Balšánek, Osvald Polívka, Josef Fanta, Jan Letzel), then Cubism, which was a Czech specialty (house At the Černá Matka Boží Josef Gočár, Kovařovic villa of Josef Chochola).

From the 20s of the 20th century, architecture gravitated towards functionalism (the Trade Fair Palace in Prague, the Bata Skyscraper in Zlín or the Tugendhat Villa in Brno from the workshop of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe), its representatives included Jan Kotěra and Josef Gočár. At that time, the prominent Slovenian architect Josip Plečnik also worked in Prague (especially the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrady in Prague). At that time, Pavel Janák also tried to create a "national style", a combination of folk and modern architecture (especially the crematorium in Pardubice and the Adria Palace in Prague). Dušan Jurkovič followed a similar path.

In the 1950s, socialist realism (also called sorela) was required as the official style. Characteristic buildings in his spirit are the Hotel Yalta on Wenceslas Square and the Poruba housing estate in Ostrava. A specific offshoot of Sorella was the so-called Stalinist neoclassicism, which is represented in the Czech Republic by the Hotel Internacional in Prague's Dejvice. At the end of the 1950s, however, a new style took hold in architecture (and of course also in design), called Brussels style - because it was introduced at the Expo 58 world exhibition in Brussels. It was characterized by round shapes and glass facades. The exhibition pavilion and the restaurant of the Czechoslovak pavilion at the Expo were a typical building in the Brussels style. Other important buildings of the Brussels style were the Z pavilion at the Brno exhibition grounds, the swimming stadium in Podolí and the railway station in Havířov. At the end of the 1960s, however, the Brussels style was displaced by the Czech version of Brutalism. Projects from the workshop of Věra Machoninová and her husband Vladimír Machonin are particularly valued (house of residential culture in Prague, Hotel Thermal in Karlovy Vary, Kotva department store in Prague, Czechoslovak Embassy in Berlin). Among other Brutalist buildings, the Czechoslovak Embassy in London by architects Jan Bočan, Jan Šrámek and Karel Štěpánský, the Intercontinental Hotel in Prague by Karel Bubeníček and Karel Filsak, the Žižkov television transmitter by Václav Aulický and the buildings of Karel Prager (the former Federal Assembly building, the New Stage of the National theatres). However, the most prized building of this time was the transmitter on Ještěd by Karel Hubáček.

Frank Gehry's Dancing House in Prague, which was directly initiated by Václav Havel, and which is often referred to as a symbol of postmodern architecture, played a significant role in poly-footstep architecture. Jean Nouvel (Zlatý Anděl in Prague's Smíchov) and Ricardo Bofill, who took part in the modernization of the once working-class Karlín (Corso Karlín, etc.) were among the world's most important architects in Prague. Preparations are underway for a project to transform the surroundings of Prague's Masaryk Station, designed by Pritzker Prize winner Zaha Hadid. Among the projects of domestic architects, the project of the National Technical Library in Prague's Dejvice, the Zlín Congress Center by architect Eva Jiřičná, the buildings of the University Campus in Brno, the Moravian State Library and the Moravian State Archives, the Glass House in Nové Bor, the superstructure of the former blast furnace Bolt Tower in Ostrava by the architect Josef Pleskot, or the Prague metro station Rajská zahrada by Patrik Kotas. The widely discussed project of the new building of the Jan Kaplický National Library remained only on paper.

Famous architects Adolf Loos, Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich and Balthasar Neumann were also Czech natives.


Video game creation

In the seventies and especially the eighties, a new branch of cultural creation appeared in the Czech Republic - computer games. This started to develop mainly after 1994, when The Secret of the Donkey Island was published. This was followed by fairly successful and popular games in the Czech Republic such as Dragon History, Fish Fillets and Gates of Skeldal. In 1999, the game Hidden & Dangerous succeeded abroad. In the following years, internationally successful game titles followed, such as Operation Flashpoint, Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven or Vietcong. The world-famous Czech games include the second and third installments of Mafia, Euro Truck Simulator and its sequel, American Truck Simulator, ArmA (and the second and third installments), Silent Hill: Downpour, Machinarium, 18 Wheels of Steel, DayZ, Bus Driver, Botanicula or Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Several world-famous game studios operate in the Czech Republic, such as Bohemia Interactive Studio, SCS Software, Amanita Design or Madfinger Games (or the former 2K Czech). Since 2010, Czech games have been awarded on Anifilm as part of the Czech Game of the Year competition, and from 2011 to 2013 as part of the Booom competition. One can come across the opinion that video games are the biggest cultural export of the Czech Republic.


Popular culture

In addition to high and folk culture, popular culture also developed in the Czech lands, as everywhere else, from the beginning of the 19th century. Some pop culture phenomena are firmly established in the Czech collective consciousness and often serve as national self-identification. For example, the 2009 Czech Television survey Kniha mého srdce showed the mass popularity of literary characters such as the servant Saturnin from the humorous novel by Zdenek Jirotka, Švejk from the novel by Haškov or Rychlé šypy from the boys' novels and comics by Jaroslav Foglar. A similar survey about the Greatest Czech again showed the role of the humorous phenomenon Jára Cimrman. A pair of puppets created by Josef Skupa during the First Republic also played a prominent role: Spejbl and Hurvínek. In doing so, Skupa continued the great Czech puppetry tradition, connected, among other things, to the name of Matěj Kopecky. A similarly popular character of Ferdy the Ant (and his companion Brouk Pytlík), created by Ondřej Sekora, emerged from children's literature. One of the most popular Czech comics is Čtyřlístek. In the second half of the 20th century, film and above all television became the source of similar pop culture phenomena - the cycle of TV Večerníčk brought popular characters such as Zdenek Miler's Mole, Bob and Bobek or Vladimír Jiránek's Pat and Mat, Jiří Šalamoun's Fík Maxipes, Křemílek and Vochomůrka or Zdenek's Rákosníček Adolf Born's Smetany, Mach and Šebestová or Radek Pilař's Rumcajs. Television and film production for children in the 70s and 80s of the 20th century brought phenomena such as Pan Tau, Arabela and Visitors. The most prominent figure in Czech pop music, which began to take shape in the 1950s, has long been the singer Karel Gott. Czech models often make their mark in the world, including Karolína Kurková, Eva Herzigová, Pavlína Pořízková, Petra Němcová, Taťána Kuchařová, Daniela Peštová and Alena Šeredová.



In the Czech Republic, there is a system of public media, which are paid by law from public money (concession fees), with only a limited possibility for the government and administration to influence them. Such institutions include Czech Television (following the state-owned Czechoslovak Television, whose broadcasting began in 1953), Czech Radio (Czechoslovak Radio began broadcasting in 1923) and the Czech Press Office, which, however, is not paid from concessionaire fees.

The first private television station Premiéra TV (later Prima) was established in 1993. TV Nova started broadcasting a year later. The stations of the public Czech Television (ČT1, ČT2, ČT sport, ČT :D, ČT art, ČT24) together with the channels operated by the CET 21 companies (Nova, Nova Cinema, Nova Action, Nova Fun, Nova Gold, Nova Sport 1, Nova Sport 2 , Nova International) and FTV Prima (Prima, Prima Cool, Prima Love, Prima Zoom, Prima Max, Prima Comedy Central) still dominate the television market even after the digitization of broadcasts, in 2015, for example, they achieved a combined viewership of 82%. TV Barrandov competes most successfully with this "big three" (channels Barrandov, Kino Barrandov, Barrandov Krimi, Barrandov News). The specialized music television Óčko also has a relatively long tradition since 2002. Since September 2000, satellite television has also been added to the offer. The most watched main news program is broadcast by TV Nova.

The most read dailies are Blesk, Mladá fronta DNES, Pravo, Deník, Aha! and Lidové noviny. The most widely read free newspaper is Metro. The best-selling news magazines are: Květy, Reflex, Téma, Respekt and Týden, among social magazines in February 2017 they were Rytmus života, Nedělní Blesk, Pestrý svět or Sedmička. Children's magazines include Sluníčko, ABC and Mateřídouška.

Národní listy, Pravo lidu, Czech slovo (later Svobodné slovo and Slovo), Zemědělské noviny, Práce, People's Democracy and Young World were of historical importance. Literary magazines and intellectual revues such as Přítomnost or Tvorba in the 20s and 30s of the 20th century or Literární noviny in the 60s of the 20th century were also important in the past. The defunct youth magazines include Mladý hlasatel or Junák, to which Jaroslav Foglar contributed, or Ohníček and Sedmička.

In 1923, Czechoslovakia became the third country after the USA and Great Britain to start regular radio broadcasting. The most successful public radio station is Radiožurnál, from private radio stations they are: Rádio Impuls, Evropa 2, Rádio Blaník and Frekvense 1.

The Czech Internet is dominated by the search engine. The largest news websites are and The most visited cultural site is the Czech-Slovak film database. The Czech Wikipedia was founded in 2002 and is currently the largest Czech encyclopedia in history in terms of the number of entries.

Important Czech journalists were, for example, Jan Ferdinand Schönfeld, Václav Matěj Kramerius, Karel Havlíček Borovský, Julius Grégr, Jan Neruda, Vítězslav Hálek, Josef Hubáček, Bohumír Šmeral, Ivan Olbracht, Karel Jonáš, František Xaver Šalda, Karel Čapek, Vladislav Vančura, Ferdinand Peroutka . Butcher.


Festivals, shows, awards

Cultural and social events regularly culminate in various festivals and parades. The biggest classical music festivals include Prague Spring, Smetanova Litomyšl and Janáčkovy Hukvaldy. In the area of jazz, it is Jazz Goes to Town in Hradec Králové, Bohemia JazzFest held in different cities at the same time and Prague Proms.

The biggest dance festival is Tanec Praha. In the field of fine arts, it is the show of the Prague Biennale. The scenography festival of the Prague Quadriennale has a great tradition. A very special art event is the Signal Light Festival.

The traditional festival of amateur theater in Jiráskův Hronov belongs to the big theater events. Loutkářská Chrudim is the oldest puppet festival in the world. Skupova Plzeň is also focused on puppets, and since 2016, Czech puppetry has been included in UNESCO's intangible heritage. Letní Letná focuses on modern circus and acrobatics. Theater and music are combined with charity at the Mezi ploto psychiatric hospital in Bohnice. The biggest book events are the World of Books and the Prague Writers' Festival.

In the field of rock and pop music, the biggest festivals are Rock for People, Colors of Ostrava, Trutnov Open Air Festival, Venátská noc, Hrady CZ, Votvírák, United Islands of Prague, Sázavafest, Rock for Churchill, Footfest, Keltská noc and Mácháč. In the field of rap and hip hop, the biggest event is Hip Hop Kemp near Hradec Králové, the biggest metal festivals are Masters of Rock in Vizovice and Brutal Assault in Josefov, in the field of dance music Beats for Love in Vítkovice, Let It Roll and Mighty Sounds. The biggest folk music event is traditionally the Strážnice International Folklore Festival.

The largest and most traditional film festival is the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Febiofest tries to compete with him with a wide scope. Other festivals have a narrower genre focus – Film Festival Zlín focuses on children's films, AniFest on cartoon and puppet films, documentary film One World and Jihlava, exclusively Czech films are presented at the Pilsen Finale. The international television festival Zlatá Praha has a long tradition.

The traditional industrial shows are the Brno Engineering Fair and the agricultural exhibition Earth the Provider in České Budějovice.

Socio-cultural events also include the awarding of various prizes. The Czech Lion award for filmmakers, the Thália Award for theater artists, the Angel Award for musicians, the Sportsman of the Year and the Czech Head award for scientists enjoy the greatest prestige.


Science and education

Science and technology

Humanities and social sciences

The founder of Czech education was Konstantin Filozof, the first important thinker active on Czech territory. Important medieval theologians were Jan Hus, Jeroným Pražský and Petr Chelčický. John Amos Comenius made a substantial contribution to the development of modern pedagogy, especially in the writings Didaktica magna (Great Didactics), Janua linguarum reserata (The Open Door of Languages), Orbis pictus (The World in Pictures) and Schola ludus (School through Play). Jewish medieval education was mainly represented by Rabbi Löw, who also entered Czech legends (with his golem). The most important historian, philosopher and intellectual of the Baroque era (18th century) was Bohuslav Balbín.

Linguistics (Josef Dobrovský, Josef Jungmann, Pavel Jozef Šafařík, Ján Kollár, František Ladislav Čelakovský), historiography (Gelasius Dobner, František Palacký) and folkloristics (Karel Jaromír Erben) played a significant role in the national revival (first half of the 19th century). In the second half of the century, the power of Czech education was manifested by Otto's educational dictionary (published from 1888). The philosopher Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and his circle around the magazine Čas (Jan Herben, Jan Gebauer) belonged to the leading personalities of the Czech intellectual life of that time. It was this circle that started the so-called manuscript disputes of 1886 and the dispute about the meaning of Czech history in 1912, it was in these discussions that the Czech nation felt its identity the most. Konstantin Jireček, who developed the field of Byzantology (see e.g. Jireček's line) and played an important role in the Bulgarian national revival, was also an important intellectual, or the excellent orientalist and archaeologist Alois Musil (cousin of the famous Austrian writer Robert Musil). A great social role was played by ethnographer Vojta Náprstek and ethnographer Emil Holub.

Despite the development, many gifted natives, especially German speakers, left the Czech lands at that time and applied themselves in Vienna and elsewhere. Examples include philosopher Edmund Husserl, psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, economist Joseph Schumpeter, Marxist theorist Karl Kautsky, legal theorist Hans Kelsen, economist Eugen Böhm von Bawerk, psychologist Max Wertheimer, music theorists Eduard Hanslick and Guido Adler, linguist Julius Pokorny or philosopher Herbert Feigl. But some Czech speakers also left, such as art historian Max Dvořák and anthropologist Aleš Hrdlička. On the contrary, the philosopher Bernard Bolzano stayed in Prague all his life.

During the First Republic, orientalist Bedřich Hrozný achieved scientific success, deciphering the language of the Hittites, archaeologist Karel Absolon discovered the famous Věstonická Venus, Lubor Niederle was also an important archaeologist. Linguistics experienced an extraordinary boom, the so-called Prague Linguistic Circle (Vilém Mathesius, Roman Jakobson, Jan Mukařovský, Bohuslav Havránek, René Wellek) was established in Prague, which promoted a structuralist approach to language and the world.

The Nazi occupation drove important future thinkers from the country, such as the sociologist Ernest Gellner and the philosopher Vilém Flusser.

In the 60s of the 20th century, the interest of the world was aroused by unorthodox Marxism, which was the main ideological background of the Prague Spring of 1968, and which was represented in particular by Karel Kosík (the book Dialectics of the Concrete) and Eduard Goldstücker. In the 1970s, it was rather the ideas of the philosopher Jan Patočka, which became the ideological basis of Charter 77, or the philosopher of the underground Egon Bondy. Egyptology had a high level throughout the socialist regime, which was presented, among other things, by excavations in Abusír (especially Miroslav Verner). A special chapter in the history of science in socialist Czechoslovakia was the state psychological research into the effects of LSD, Stanislav Grof, who later developed the method of holotropic breathing in the USA, took part in it. Pavel Pavel's archaeological experiments also attracted worldwide interest.


Natural, exact and technical sciences

The foundation of Charles University by King Charles IV was a fundamental impulse to the development of scientific thinking (although it was not, of course, fully separated from philosophical and theological thinking at the beginning). in 1348. It was the first university in Central Europe.

It cannot be ruled out that the excellent cartographer Martin Behaim, creator of the oldest preserved globe in the world, was born in Český Krumlov in 1459. In 1460, the prominent mathematician Johannes Widmann was born in Cheb, who introduced the plus and minus signs, but he worked for most of his life in Leipzig.

The era of scientific flourishing was also the era of Rudolph II. Astronomers Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler worked at his Prague court. In addition, the prominent Jewish mathematician David Gans worked in Prague at that time. Doctor Ján Jesenský performed the first public autopsy in Prague.

Jan Marek Marci from Kronland and the botanist Georg Joseph Kamel belonged to the top scholars of domestic Baroque science. The priest Prokop Diviš invented the lightning conductor at that time. Alois Senefelder, who invented lithography in 1796, was also born in Prague at that time, somewhat by chance.

The development of science was significantly helped by the founding of the Royal Czech Society of Sciences in 1784 (the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic continues its tradition today) and the Patriotic Museum in Bohemia in 1818. The greatest Czech scientific figures of the time, Ignác Born and Kašpar Šternberk, played a significant role in this. Both institutions were created as part of the process of Czech national revival. Jan Evangelista Purkyně, Jan Svatopluk Presl, Karel Bořivoj Presl and the inventor of the ship propeller Josef Ressel developed the natural and technical sciences in the era of revival. František Josef Gerstner built the first steam engine in the Czech lands (1805–1807), Josef Bozek demonstrated the first steam train (1815) and steamboat (1817). The Squirrel Cousins invented a prankster. Christian Doppler, for example, represented German science in Bohemia. The French paleontologist Joachim Barrande also worked in Bohemia at that time.

Even in the field of natural sciences, many talented natives left their homeland. Mathematician Kurt Gödel, biologists Gerty Cori and Carl Cori (nobel prize winners for physiology and medicine), astronomer Johann Palisa, physicist Georg Placzek, chemist Johann Josef Loschmidt, pioneer of soil mechanics Karl von Terzaghi, mathematician Olga Taussky-Todd, botanist Heinrich Wilhelm Schott , astronomers Theodor von Oppolzer and Joseph Johann von Littrow, the founder of dermatology Ferdinand von Hebra, chemist Hans Tropsch. Franz Reichelt, a pioneer of parachuting, was born in Štětí, who died while testing a self-made rescue suit by jumping from the Eiffel Tower. The Czech doctor Karel Rokytanský also went to Vienna. Of the German-speaking scientists in the Czech lands, on the other hand, world-renowned biologist Gregor Mendel, the founder of genetics, and physicist Ernst Mach remained to work. Physicist Albert Einstein also worked for a short time in Prague at a German university.

However, even Czech science did not stand aside in the second half of the 19th century. It developed in close connection with the industry, which quickly became powerful. Its key representatives were the inventor of the arc lamp, František Křižík, and the discoverer of the four blood groups, Jan Janský. At that time, Jakub Husník and Karel Klíč made a significant impact on the history of photographic and printing technology. The pioneer of aviation was Jan Kašpar. Jan Kříženecký introduced the first cinematograph in the Czech lands in 1898.

Space for science was also created by the new Czechoslovak Republic founded in 1918. Masaryk University was founded in Brno at that time (1919). Mathematician Eduard Čech made a significant impact in the field of topology. Botanist Alberto Vojtěch Frič discovered a number of new cacti. Another important botanist was Karel Domin. Engineer Viktor Kaplan invented a new type of turbine. In 1934, Hans Ledwinka designed the first mass-produced car with an aerodynamic Tatra 77 body.

Another car designer, Ferdinand Porsche, was also born in the Czech Republic, but he made his mark mainly in Germany, and as a collaborator with the Nazis, he would not even be able to return to the republic after the war. The 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics winner Peter Grünberg was among the Germans deported after the Second World War.

After the Second World War, the greatest success of Czech science was the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry to Jaroslav Heyrovská in 1959, for the discovery of polarography and analytical chemistry. Otto Wichterle became famous for the invention of contact lenses and silicone. In 1957, Oldřich Homuta invented a practical household tool: the remoska. An important astronomer was Antonín Mrkos working at the Kleť Observatory. Armin Delong achieved extraordinary results in the field of microscopy. Stanislav Brebera invented the explosive Semtex. The display cabinet of the regime was participation in the Soviet space program Interkosmos (Czech Republic Magion satellite, the first Czechoslovak cosmonaut Vladimír Remek – the first person in space who was not a citizen of the USA or the USSR).

The symbol of post-revolutionary science was the chemist Antonín Holý, the creator of relatively effective drugs against AIDS. In cooperation with the European Union, several new scientific centers focused on nanotechnology and laser technology (CEITEC, ELI Beamlines, HiLASE, etc.) were opened. The Czech Mendel Polar Station was established in Antarctica.



Education in the Czech Republic is organized within primary, secondary, higher professional and university schools.

Universities are public, state and private, the oldest and most important is Charles University in Prague, which is also the oldest higher education institution in Central Europe (founded in 1348). The second oldest university in the Czech Republic is the Palacký University in Olomouc, which was founded in 1573. The oldest art-type university is the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, which dates back to 1799. Other important universities are the Czech Technical University in Prague (founded in 1707 ), Brno University of Technology (founded 1899) or Masaryk University (founded 1919). In 1945, the Academy of Performing Arts was founded. Not only a number of Czech and Slovak film personalities, but also famous foreign filmmakers Agnieszka Holland, Emir Kusturica, Lordan Zafranović and Goran Paskaljević graduated from FAMU. The largest in terms of number of students are Charles University (49,094 students in 2009) and Masaryk University (38,216 students in 2009).

According to the 2014 QS World University Rankings, Charles University is the 244th best university in the world. The Czech Technical University was ranked 411–420. place. Masaryk University in Brno was ranked 551–600. place, the Technical University in Brno at 651.–700. place and the University of Economics in Prague was included in group 701+ (below 700th place, without further differentiation). Other Czech universities are not included in the QS ranking.

The most well-known system for measuring and comparing the quality of universities is the so-called Shanghai Ranking (ARWU), which annually determines the 500 best universities in the world. The only Czech university that has appeared in it so far is Charles University. In 2014, it was ranked 201–300. place. According to ARWU, Charles University is among the 2 percent of the best universities in the world.

There are also less formalized comparisons of a more journalistic type, which from time to time designate, for example, Masaryk University in Brno as the best university in the Czech Republic.

According to the 2011 census, the share of university-educated population totals 10.7%; in terms of cities, the highest share is shown by Prague (20.7%), Brno (20.6%) and Olomouc (17.9%).

The most famous secondary schools include the Prague Conservatory, the second school of its kind in the world (founded in 1808). Antonín Dvořák, Josef Suk, Vítězslav Novák and Josef Bohuslav Foerster also led the school.

According to a 2012 study by Pearson, the Czech Republic has the 22nd highest quality education among developed countries.

According to OECD information from 2007, the Czech Republic allocates 10 percent of public expenditure to education, which puts it in second last place along with Japan in the comparative ranking. Expressed as a share of GDP, it is about 4.6%, which is significantly lower than the OECD average of 6.1%. At the same time, Czech teachers receive the fourth lowest salaries out of more than thirty countries monitored by the OECD.



According to the statistics of the Czech Sports Union, the most popular sports in the Czech Republic according to the size of the membership base of sports clubs are: football, tennis, ice hockey, volleyball, floorball, golf, hockey, athletics, basketball and skiing. The order of sports disciplines according to viewership is as follows: ice hockey, biathlon, football, skiing, tennis, floorball, basketball and volleyball. The most watched sporting events are ice hockey at the Olympic Games and the Ice Hockey World Championships. The other most watched include the European Football Championship, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Cup.



Czech athletes achieved significant success at the Olympic Games. Already in 1900, František Janda-Suk took part in the 2nd Olympic Games in Paris, where he won a silver medal in the discus throw. At the Summer Olympic Games, gymnast Věra Čáslavská won seven Olympic gold medals (3x 1964, 4x 1968). The legendary runner Emil Zátopek received four golds (1x 1948, 3x 1952), javelin thrower Jan Železný three golds (1992, 1996, 2000) Two golds were won by speed canoeists Josef Holeček (1948, 1952) and Martin Doktor (1996), female canoeist Štěpánka Hilgertová (1996, 2000) and javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková (2008, 2012).

At the Winter Olympic Games, speed skater Martina Sáblíková won three gold medals (2x 2010, 1x 2014). Skier Kateřina Neumannová brought a total of six medals from the Olympics. Ester Ledecká became the first Czech athlete to win Olympic gold in two different sports – snowboarding and downhill skiing.


Light Atletics

In addition to the Summer Olympics, Czech lightweight athletes also participate in regular world and European championships. Javelin throwers Jan Železný, Vítězslav Veselý and Barbora Špotáková, triple jumper Šárka Kašpárková, runners Ludmila Formanová and Zuzana Hejnová, decathletes Tomáš Dvořák and Roman Šebrle became world champions in the independent Czech Republic. In the hall, runner Pavel Maslák (three times already), heptathlete Robert Změlík and pole vaulter Pavla Hamáčková took gold. At the European Championships, in addition to those named, pole vaulter Jiřina Ptáčníková, indoor hurdler Petr Svoboda and runners Denisa Rosolová and Jakub Holuša also won gold.

Other Czechs also won the world champion title in Czechoslovakia: runner Jarmila Kratochvílová, shot putter Helena Fibingerová, indoor shot putter Remigius Machura and long jumper Jan Leitner. The European champions were runners Emil Zátopek and Jaroslava Jehličková, hurdler Jindřich Roudný, shot putter Jiří Skobla, walker Josef Doležal, javelin thrower Dana Zátopková, high jumper Miloslava Rezková, discus thrower Ludvík Daněk, in addition to those named, high jumpers Milada Karbanová and Vladimír won the indoor title. Malý, runners Karel Kolář, Taťána Kocembová, Lubomír Tesáček and Milena Matějkovičová, hurdler Aleš Höffer, shot putter Jaroslav Brabec and long jumper Jarmila Nygrýnová.

Runner Jarmila Kratochvílová has held the world record in the 800 meters since 1983, the longest valid world record in the history of women's athletics.


Football/ Soccer

The national football team of Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic won two silver medals at the World Cup, in 1934 and 1962. In 1976, Czechoslovakia won the 1976 European Football Championship in Yugoslavia, with only seven Czechs out of 22 players on the roster. The national team won silver at this tournament in 1996, and bronze in 1960, 1980 and 2004. In 1980, the Czechoslovakian Olympic team won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Moscow.

Club soccer
Before the Second World War, AC Sparta Prague and SK Slavia Prague were among the best clubs in Europe. Sparta won the Central European Cup twice (1927, 1935), the most prestigious club competition of the time, Slavia once (1938). After the establishment of the European Cups, organized from the 1950s by the UEFA association, Dukla Praha (PMEZ semi-final 1966/67, PVP semi-final 1985/86), Sparta (PMEZ semi-final 1991/92, PVP semi-final 1972/73), Baník went the farthest in them Ostrava (PVP semi-final 1978/79), Bohemians Prague (UEFA semi-final 1982/83) and Slavia (UEFA semi-final 1995/96). The quarterfinals were played by SK Hradec Králové, Zbrojovka Brno, TJ Vítkovice, Sigma Olomouc and Slovan Liberec.



Josef Masopust (1962) and Pavel Nedvěd (2003) won the Golden Ball poll, which annually searches for the best footballer in Europe. Goalkeeper Ivo Viktor finished third in this poll in 1976. Oldřich Nejedlý was the best scorer of the 1934 FIFA World Cup. Milan Baroš was the best scorer of the 2004 European Championship. Zdeněk Nehoda scored the most starts for the Czechoslovak national team, Petr Čech for the Czech national team, Antonín Puč was the best Czechoslovak national team scorer, and Jan Koller in the CR jersey. The most prestigious European cup competition, the Champions League, was won by Vladimír Šmicer, Milan Baroš (both in 2005 with FC Liverpool), Marek Jankulovski (2007 with AC Milan) and goalkeeper Petr Čech (2012 with Chelsea FC). In 1999, Nedvěd won the Cup Winners' Cup with Lazio Rome. The UEFA Cup (and thus the successor European League) was won by Jiří Němec, Radoslav Látal (both 1997 with Schalke 04), Vladimír Šmicer, Patrik Berger (both 2001 with Liverpool), Radek Šírl (2008 with Zenit St. Petersburg), Tomáš Hübschman (2009 with Shakhtar Donetsk ), Tomáš Ujfaluši (2010 with Atlético Madrid), Petr Čech (2013 with Chelsea) and Tomáš Vaclík (2020 with Sevilla). Josef Bican was a legendary shooter whose career was consumed by the Second World War. František Plánička was one of the best goalkeepers of his time in the world. Other successful footballers include Svatopluk Pluskal, Ladislav Novák, Antonín Panenka, Ladislav Vízek, Tomáš Skuhravý, Karel Poborský and Tomáš Rosický.


Ice Hockey

In ice hockey, the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Nagano in 1998 is one of the greatest representative achievements, the prize of which lies in the fact that for the first time all the best players on the planet, including professionals from the North American NHL, participated in the tournament. Jaromír Jágr and goalkeeper Dominik Hašek were among the stars of the team.

As far as hockey individuals are concerned, Jágr is the currently best active scorer in the NHL in terms of points and the second best in the entire history of this league. He won the Stanley Cup twice (1990/91 and 1991/92 with the Pittsburgh Penguins). Hašek also has two Stanley Cups, with the Detroit Red Wings (2001/2002, 2007/2008). This prestigious trophy was won three times by Jaroslav Pouzar and Jiří Hrdina, twice by Petr Sýkora, Patrik Eliáš, Bobby Holík, Michal Rozsíval and Jiří Fischer. Along with Jágr, Eliáš, Holík and Sýkora, Milan Hejduk, Petr Nedvěd, Martin Straka and Václav Prospal also scored the most points in Canadian scoring in the regular season of the NHL, David Krejčí and Michal Pivoňka in the Stanley Cup. Before 1989, however, Czech NHL hockey players could only play exceptionally, yet they were world-class. Great successes were achieved by the famous generation of the forties such as Vladimír Bouzek, Stanislav Konopásek, Bohumil Modrý, Václav Roziňák, Vladimír Zábrodský, Augustin Bubník and Jaroslav Drobný. In the fifties and sixties, Vlastimil Bubník, Bronislav Danda and Václav Pantůček stood out. In the seventies, Jiří Bubla, Ivan Hlinka, Jiří Holeček, Jiří Holík, Oldřich Machač, Vladimír Martinec, František Pospíšil, Miroslav Dvořák, Václav Nedomanský, Milan Nový, Jaroslav Holík, Milan Chalupa. Vladimír Růžička is the only player who experienced the greatest success of the 1980s (gold from the 1985 WC) and the 1990s (gold from Nagano). Together with Jágr, Jiří Šlégr is the only Czech member of the prestigious Triple Gold Club, which symbolically includes players who have won the World Championship, the Olympic Games and the Stanley Cup. The Czechoslovak team won the World Championships in 1947, 1949, 1972, 1976, 1977 and 1985. The Czech Republic team won in 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2010. František Kaberle and David Výborný have five gold medals from the World Cup, and Pavel Patera has four and Martin Procházka.

The clubs that won the Czech hockey league are HC Olomouc, HC Vsetín, HC Sparta Praha, HC Slavia Praha, Zlín, Dynamo Pardubice, HC Karlovy Vary, HC Oceláři Třinec, HC Škoda Plzeň, HC Litvínov, Bílí Tygři Liberec and Kometa Brno. In addition, LTC Praha, ATK Praha, Motor České Budějovice, HC Vítkovice, Kladno and Dukla Jihlava also play in the Czechoslovak League. The Czech club HC Lev Praha was only active in the KHL for a short time, but it made it all the way to the finals.



The Czech tennis school is extremely successful. Martina Navrátilová won the most prestigious tennis tournament, Wimbledon, nine times (1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990). Petra Kvitová won Wimbledon twice (2011, 2014) and Jana Novotná once (1998). The only Czech male winner of the Wimbledon tournament in the so-called open era was Jan Kodeš (1973), but Jaroslav Drobný (1954) also triumphed here in the past. Ivan Lendl was world number one in the ATP rankings for 270 weeks, as the only Czech player to date. Martina Navrátilová ruled the WTA women's rankings for a total of 332 weeks. In 2017, Karolína Plíšková also became the world No. 1 player. In addition to the named players, Petr Korda (Australia 1998) and Hana Mandlíková (Australia 1980, 1987, Paris 1981, US Open 1985) also won one of the so-called Grand Slam tournaments. The doubles specialist was Helena Suková, who won fourteen Grand Slam tournaments in doubles.

Men's tennis team of Czechoslovakia or The Czech Republic won the Davis Cup three times, namely in 1980, 2012 and 2013 (the last two competitions as the Czech Davis Cup team). Women's tennis team of Czechoslovakia or The Czech Republic even won the Fed Cup ten times (1975, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016). The Czech fedcup team has won this prestigious competition five times since 2011.


Other sports

Czech female basketball players have three silvers (1964, 1971, 2010) and three bronzes (1957, 1959, 1975) from the World Championship, in 2005 they won the European Championship. Czech basketball players won the European Championship in 1946, bringing silver six times (1947, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1967, 1985). Sparta Prague (1975/76), Gambrinus Brno (2005/06) and ZVVZ USK Prague (2014/15) won the most prestigious European cup competition in women's basketball (today the Euroleague, formerly the European Champions Cup). The analogous men's competition was won by USK Prague in the 1968/69 season. Jiří Zídek was declared the best Czech basketball player of the 20th century. His son Jiří Zídek Jr. was the first Czech player in the American NBA. He was followed by Jiří Welsch, Jan Veselý and most recently Tomáš Satoranský. In 2010, Hana Horáková was declared the best basketball player in Europe.

The women's handball team has won the World Championship (1957), brought silver once (1986) and bronze once (1962). The men won the World Championships in 1967 and also have two silvers (1958, 1961) and two bronzes (1954, 1964). They also won silver at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. The Dukla Prague men's team won the European Champions Cup three times (1957, 1963, 1984), the Sparta Prague women's team once (1962). Filip Jícha was declared the best handball player in the world in 2010.

In volleyball, the men's national team has two world championship titles (1956, 1966), three European championship titles (1948, 1955, 1958), silver and bronze from the Olympic Games (1964, 1968). Women won the 1955 European Championship. Josef Musil was declared the best Czech volleyball player of the 20th century, who also became the first Czech inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame.

Famous chess players included Wilhelm Steinitz, Richard Réti (see Réti's game) and Věra Menčíková. Traxler's counterattack is also a Czech contribution to world chess. The most successful Czech chess player today is David Navara. Tomáš Enge is the only Czech participant in Formula 1 races. In the era of the independent Czech Republic, notable personalities also appeared in other sports - in biathlon (Gabriela Soukalová), in judo (Lukáš Krpálek), in figure skating (Tomáš Verner), in road cycling (Roman Kreuziger ), in mountain biking (Jaroslav Kulhavý), in snowboard cross (Eva Samková), rowing (Miroslava Knapková, Ondřej Synek), canoeing (Martin Fuksa, Josef Dostál), classic skiing (Lukáš Bauer), acrobatic skiing (Aleš Valenta), shooting (Kateřina Emmons), modern pentathlon (David Svoboda), alpine skiing (Šárka Záhrobská), sport climbing (Adam Ondra), ski cross (Tomáš Kraus), track cycling (Lada Kozlíková), cyclocross (Zdeněk Štybar), but also in relatively few watched sports such as ski bobsleigh (Alena Housová, Irena Francová-Dohnálková), figure skating (Martina Štěpánková), sports fishing (Kateřina Marková) or orienteering (Dana Brožková). From the era of Czechoslovakia, we can remember the legends of the Pospíšila bicycle brothers, the ski jumpers Jiří Raška, Pavel Ploc and Jiří Parma, the cyclocrosser Radomír Šimůnk and the wrestler Vítězslav Mácha.


Competitions and sports grounds

The largest regular international sporting events in the Czech Republic include the athletic Zlatá tretra in Ostrava, the cross-country Prague International Marathon, the equestrian Velká Pardubická, the Prague Open tennis tournament (a follow-up to the Czech Open), the skiing Jizerská Padesátka, the automobile Barum Rally in Zlín or the speedway Golden Helmet in Pardubice . In the past, the Czech Hockey Games, the Peace Race and the motorcycle Grand Prix of the Czech Republic at the circuit in Brno were also important events. World Cup competitions are regularly held in the Czech Republic in water slalom and biathlon.

Among domestic competitions, the 1st Czech Football League (formerly the Czechoslovak Football League), the Czech Hockey Extraliga (formerly the Czechoslovak Hockey League) and the Czech Basketball League (formerly the Czechoslovak Basketball League) belong to the most watched regular competitions.

A number of one-off international sports events were also held in the Czech Republic, for example, the final of the European Super Cup was played at Eden Stadium in Prague in 2013; Valenty) held the European Under-21 Football Championship, the Czech Republic hosted the World Ice Hockey Championship ten times (1933, 1938, 1947, 1959, 1972, 1978, 1985, 1992, 2004, 2015), the World and European Championships several times in men's (1947, 1981) and women's basketball (1956, 1967, 1995, 2010), men's (1964, 1990) and women's (1978) World Handball Championships, men's World and European Volleyball Championships (1949, 1958, 1966, 2001, 2011) and women's (1949, 1958, 1986, 1993), European Athletics Championships 1978 and two European Indoor Athletics Championships (1967, 2015), World Skiing Championships 2009 in Liberec, Biathlon World Championships 2013 in Nové Město in Moravia, two Winter Universiades (1964, 1978), ten World or European Championships in figure skating (1908, 1928, 1934, 1937, 1948, 1962, 1988, 1993, 1999, 2017), World Floorball Championships in 1998 and in 1969 and in 1981, the Brno Velodrome hosted the Track Cycling World Championships.

The most modern sports venues include the Eden and Letná football stands in Prague, the stadium in Štruncové sady in Pilsen and the Malšovická Arena in Hradec Králové (the stadium is to be completed in the summer of 2023), the multi-purpose halls O2 Arena in Prague, Ostravar Arena in Ostrava, KV Arena in Karlovy Vary, Home Credit Arena in Liberec and Werk Arena in Třinec, athletics Municipal Stadium in Ostrava-Vítkovice, Masaryk circuit for motorcycle races in Brno or bridges on Ještěd. Historically significant are also the Great Strahov Stadium, which hosted, among other things, the Sokol Gathering and which used to be the largest sports stadium in the world, the Prague Sports Hall in Holešovice, the ice stadium in Štvanice, the tennis stadium in Štvanice, the Evžen Rošický Stadium in Strahov, and the bridges Devil in Harrachov.

Organizationally, the Czech Sports Union and the Czech Olympic Committee are at the forefront of Czech sport. The largest sports associations include the Football Association of the Czech Republic and the Czech Ice Hockey Association. The most popular all-sports poll is the Sportsman of the Year, the important sectoral polls are the Football Player of the Year, the Golden Hockey Stick, the Athlete of the Year and the Golden Canary.


Physical education

The beginnings of organized Czech physical education go back to 1862, when Miroslav Tyrš, Jindřich Fügner and others founded the Sokol association, which gradually grew into an important national organization. Over time, the left-wing Workers' Gym and the Catholic Orel split off from it. These organizations held regular mass exercises. The biggest nationwide event in the time before the Communist takeover was the All-Sokol Gathering organized by Sokol at the Strahov Stadium in Prague. In the era of socialism, they were followed by the so-called spartakiades, organized by the Czechoslovak Association of Physical Education (ČSTV) subordinate to the state.

Czech tourism has a great tradition. The Club of Czech Tourists, founded by Vojta Náprstek, takes care of a unique network of tourist brands, one of the densest in the world. Its origins date back to 1889. Czech tramping played a major social role in the 20th century. Fire sports are also popular.

Jiří Guth-Jarkovský and Josef Rössler-Ořovský were the pioneers of modern sports and Olympism in the Czech lands.


Other characteristics


Czech cuisine is influenced by the location of the Czech Republic at the intersection of Western and Eastern influences. In the second half of the century, it influenced and was influenced by the cuisine of culturally and linguistically close Slovakia, but the interaction with German (especially Bavarian) and Austrian cuisine lasted much longer, from which it adopted various dishes (Vienna schnitzel, pork-dumpling-garlic, potato casserole, strudel), but on the contrary, it also inspired these cuisines (jelly, pies, sirloin on cream).

In general, Czech dishes fit into Central European tastes, with some local originalities - in addition to those already mentioned, e.g. fried cheese, dumplings, drowning, Olomouc cheeses, Christmas carp (Český kapr is a trademark), Hořice trubicky, schubánky, beer cheese, etc. Eastern influences ( Slovak, Hungarian, Polish or Russian) in Czech cuisine are represented by e.g. borscht, trdelník, Živana roast, goulash or tlachenka. Fish is not very common in the Czech menu (so-called seafood only became popular in connection with modern eating and food supply from imports), on the contrary, in the European context, the use of edible mushrooms and ground poppy seeds is extraordinary. The shapes of some types of pastry – e.g. rolls – are also unusual in Europe (with the exception of Slovakia), even though the dough itself, from which they are made, is common.

Magdalena Dobromila Rettigová had a major influence on the shape of modern Czech cuisine.

Among Czech beverages, beer stands out, the brewing of which has a centuries-old tradition here and is among the best known and highest quality in the world. (Within the EU, the name České pivo is a protected geographical indication.) The first known brewery existed here already in 1118, and the Czech Republic has the highest consumption of beer per person in the world. Highly alcoholic slivovice, brewed mainly in Eastern Moravia, is also commonly known in other countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, while the herbal liqueurs Fernet Stock and Becherovka are Czech specialties. Wine is mainly produced in South Moravia, which has significantly better conditions for growing vines than other parts of the country (domestic varieties such as Cabernet Moravia, Pálava or Moravian Muscat were also bred here). Caffeine lemonade Kofola is another Czech specialty.



Non-working days include holidays that are linked to historical events or traditions and public holidays that are linked to Czech statehood.

January 1. Day of the Restoration of the Independent Czech State The establishment of the Czech Republic in 1993.
Movable holiday (March – April) Good Friday¹ Christian holiday. This day commemorates the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Moving holiday (March – April) Easter Monday¹ Christian holiday, tradition of welcoming spring. It follows Resurrection Sunday.
May 1 Labor Day¹ Commemoration of the workers' strike in Chicago in 1886 promoted by the Social Democratic International. From May 1, 1886, the eight-hour working day applied in the USA.
May 8 Victory Day End of World War II in Europe.
July 5 Day of the Slavic Evangelists Cyril and Methodius Arrival of the Evangelists Cyril and Methodius in Great Moravia in 863.
July 6. The day of the burning of Master Jan Hus. The burning of the priest and reformer Master Jan Hus during the Council of Constance in 1415.
September 28. Day of Czech Statehood Assassination of Prince Saint Wenceslas in 935 (929) in Stará Boleslav.
October 28. The day of the establishment of the independent Czechoslovak state. The establishment of Czechoslovakia in 1918.
17 November Day of the fight for freedom and democracy Commemoration of student demonstrations and the subsequent closing of Czech universities by the German occupiers in 1939 and the student demonstration of 1989, which started the Velvet Revolution.
(International Student Day)
24 December Christmas Day¹ Evening Christmas celebration.
25 December 1st Christmas Day¹ In the Catholic and Evangelical liturgy, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
26 December 2nd Christmas Day¹ In the Catholic and Evangelical liturgy, the commemoration of the first Christian martyr Stephen.