Czech Republic Flag
- Location: Europe
- Capital: Prague
- Language: Czech
- Population: 10,535,811 million
- Total Area: 78,866 km sq
- Currency: Czech Koruna
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption: 16.45L
- The Most Popular Drink: Beer
Czech Republic was the larger part of Czechoslovakia, a country that finally won its independence in 1918. After a period of what the Czechs call their golden years, their city producing the likes of Franz Kafka, the Nazis took over in 1938. A period of independence between the end of the Second World War until 1948 was followed by 41 years of oppressive Communist rule. They are now independent again as Czech Republic, but the Czechs take nothing for granted. Even in the capital city of Prague, you can feel how greedily they safeguard their identity.
For a people that love a martyr they can feel lucky that their turbulent history has produced many. Most famously, the Catholic Church burned Jan Hus, a protestant reformer, as a heretic, leading to what the Czechs call the Hussite wars. Their most recent martyr, or at least the one people remember most fondly, was Jan Palach. After the Soviets suppressed the Prague Spring in 1968, a short period during Communism when the country seemed to be moving towards a Socialist government, Jan Palach burned himself on the steps of the City Museum. The man, however, the Czech celebrate the most is Tomas Masaryk. He is the founding father and the first leader of the Czech nation.
The Czechs drink more beer than any other country. According to the Czechs, it is good for your health and produces fine bodies. In accordance, they sell it everywhere: in library cafes, in parks, on the streets- in the summer it is the male adult’s version of an ice cream. It is not much more expensive. Why not buy beer when even the water is more expensive? Beer is part of the Czech heritage and even just looking at a map you can see just how important it is to their culture. Plzen, Budvar both famous Czech towns and both home to two of the most famous lagers in the world.
People call Prague the Paris of central Europe, but really one cannot compare the city to anywhere. As Franz Kafka once said, “Prague is a mother with claws.” The city refuses to let you out of its grasp and without you ever knowing exactly why. The bars are dark and often grimy, the people are insular and rude and in some parts, you can smell the corruption, yet many people find themselves wanting to stay. Life is easy. People turn a blind eye to most things. You can really stay in your world and never leave. That is perhaps Prague in a nutshell: a city for dreamers.
The Czechs have two sports which they love with equal passion: ice hockey and soccer. In soccer, their successful club is Sparta Prague, having won over thirty national titles. The Czechs, however, often accuse their league of corruption and fans are increasingly turning to either the English Premiership or the Spanish La Liga. In comparison, their national team is very successful. They won the European Championships in 1976 and reached the final in 1996. Their national ice hockey team has achieved even more success. They won the World Championship 3 years in a row, between 1999 and 2001. Currently they are the reigning champions. The teams is responsible for the Czechs most famous sporting moment in 1969: a year after the Prague Spring, they beat USSR in the world championships.
Special thanks to our contributors:
Simon Arms (Berlin, Germany) for story editing.
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