Located in Central Europe, the Czech Republic is a mountainous country characterized by highlands. There are a plethora of magnificent tourist destinations and natural landscapes to check out. While the country is most famous for its impressive castles and bohemian glass, there are many other things the Czech Republic is known for that await any eager visitors.
What Is the Czech Republic Known For?
The Czech Republic is famous for its stunning landscapes, diverse architectural styles, thriving breweries, and beer culture. Boasting towering mountain ranges and interesting folklore traditions, this is a varied destination with plenty of different aspects to explore.
Czechia is also known for its hearty cuisine and musical heritage that have seen some impactful composers through time. You will certainly be amazed at some of the amazing stories and facts about the Czech Republic as you explore the country.
Traditions, History, And Culture The Czech Republic Is Famous For
The Czech Republic is famous for its array of folklore traditions, which reflect the country’s deep-rooted customs and rich heritage.
First is folk music and dance, which play a vital role in preserving the cultural identity of the country. Traditional Czech music is often performed using both traditional instruments and modern ones like the violin, accordion, and bagpipes. Folk dances like the polka and waltz usually accompany the traditional music.
Another integral part of Czech traditions is the colorful costumes known as Kroje. These costumes are often decorated with vibrant colors and intricate designs and are proudly displayed during folk festivals such as the International Folklore Festival.
Fairy tales, superstitions, and legends are also significant parts of Czech folklore. After all, what’s folklore without some myths and legends? These myths often feature mythical creatures and heroic characters. Some superstitions, such as not opening an umbrella indoors, are also practiced.
These long-standing folklores in the Czech Republic serve as a source of entertainment, knowledge, and insight into the country’s past and traditions.
Diverse Architectural Styles
As a result of its history and influence from various periods and cultures, the Czech Republic boasts different architectural styles, each remarkable in its own way.
A notable one that you will commonly see is Gothic architecture which rose to prominence during the 13th and 15th centuries. The style is characterized by pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and gargoyles.
One of the most popular and magnificent landmarks in Prague that reflects this architectural style is the breathtaking St. Vitus Cathedral.
Other architectural styles that you can expect to see in the Czech Republic are Renaissance Architecture, which features symmetrical layouts, decorative details, and elegant facades; the Baroque architectural style, reflected by the Church of St. Nicholas and characterized by grandeur and richly decorated interiors; and the Functionalist architectural style, which prioritizes functionality and simplicity.
These are just a few examples of the diverse architectural styles you’ll have the opportunity to explore during your visit to the Czech Republic.
Czech food is known for its hearty and satisfying meals, which often combine meat, potatoes, and dumplings.
Meat plays a significant role in Czech cuisine, as you’ll hardly find any dish without a meat option. It could be pork, beef, or chicken. These meats are prepared in various ways, such as roasting, braising, or grilling, and are often served with sauce and dumplings, which are a common accompaniment in the Czech Republic.
These dumplings are usually made from wheat or potato flour and come in various forms, such as potato or bread dumplings. Potatoes are also a staple food option in Czech cuisine. Not only are they used in the preparation of dumplings, but they are also prepared in various ways—they can be roasted, boiled, mashed, or even made into soup.
Other essential meal options in Czech cuisine include sauerkraut, a fermented cabbage side dish, soups and stews, sweets and pastries, and Czech sausages.
Czech cuisine offers a perfect blend of flavors and textures that provide comforting meals. You will find plenty of options for a filling and delicious dining experience.
As with many countries in Europe, Christmas markets are cherished traditions in the Czech Republic. These markets are always vibrant and tastefully decorated, providing both locals and tourists with an enchanting festive experience.
These markets are usually set in the middle of major cities, like Prague’s Old Town Square or beside iconic landmarks, and are beautifully adorned with cheery decorations that add to the magical ambiance.
There are several things to look out for in the Christmas markets. From the gigantic and stunning Christmas tree centerpiece to unique gifts, ornaments, and crafts, there is a wide array of goods and treats to enjoy, buy, and feast your eyes on.
Another thing to look forward to is the culinary delights. Christmas markets offer an abundance of delicious food and drinks, including traditional Czech treats like pastries, gingerbread cookies, and roasted nuts.
Various forms of exhilarating live entertainment are also usually ongoing to enhance the festive atmosphere.
Czech Christmas markets are not just for shopping and indulging in treats; they also provide an opportunity for tourists and locals to have an immersive experience that captures the spirit of the holiday season.
Czech’s literary heritage spans hundreds of years and is, consequently, diverse and rich. It has played a significant role in promoting the country’s cultural relevance worldwide.
As a result, it is also one of the aspects that the Czech Republic is famous for. The nation has produced a number of renowned writers, poets, and playwrights.
It is worth noting that Czech literary heritage dates as far back as the Middle Ages and continues through the Renaissance period. Some popular works produced during this era include the Kutna Hora Hymnal and some of Jan Hus’ work, a reformer who played a crucial role in the development of the Czech language.
Among other achievements, Czech literature has contributed immensely to the Surrealist movement and continues to be recognized worldwide for its depth and exploration of the human condition.
Puppetry is the art of using puppets in performances, and it holds a significant place in Czech cultural heritage. Czech puppetry is characterized by artistic expression, creativity, and diversity.
The performances are captivating and provide an amazing experience for people of all ages. Although the art was originally traditional, it has evolved and is now included in contemporary performances too.
The tradition is held in high esteem by Czechs, as evidenced by the different forms of puppetry available in the country. Common ones include the traditional marionette theater that uses intricately designed wooden marionettes, as well as black light theater, where fluorescent puppets are controlled to produce a magical and enchanting visual experience.
You can catch one or two puppet shows at the various festivals held daily or at Prague’s National Marionette Theater.
Easter holiday is widely celebrated all over the world and has strong religious and cultural significance in the Czech Republic.
Similar to most locations worldwide, Easter Eggs are a major Easter tradition in the Czech Republic. The eggs are designed with intricate patterns using various techniques and are used for games and activities as well.
One of the Easter traditions specific to the Czech Republic is the Pomlazka tradition, which involves a playful and light whipping of the legs of girls and women while reciting a rhyme that speaks about health and fertility.
Other things to look forward to are the Easter Markets, processions, and Easter lamb traditions. Overall, the tradition provides an opportunity for families and communities to come together, celebrate, and embrace their cultural heritage.
Cities And Areas The Czech Republic Is Known For
Also known as the City of a Hundred Spires, Prague is the magnificent and enchanting capital city of the Czech Republic. There are plenty of interesting facts about Prague that make it a popular travel destination.
The city offers a seamless blend of history, architectural marvels, and vibrant city life, which is why it attracts millions of visitors yearly.
Prague is known for its significant role in the Holy Roman Empire. It is a historically rich city and was a center of culture and trade during that era.
This stunning city also boasts several iconic attractions that visitors can explore and tour. Some of these landmarks include Prague Castle, which is the largest ancient complex in the world, the mysteriously beautiful Charles Bridge, the astronomical clock, and many others.
Aside from the plethora of landmarks one can visit in Prague, the city also caters to cultural and artistic aficionados with its theaters, concert halls, galleries, and museums.
The Bohemian cuisine and vibrant nightlife it offers also make it an excellent destination even in the winter season.
Another area the Czechia is known for is Carlsbad, a spa town renowned for its thermal springs rumored to have healing properties.
The town was founded by Charles IV, a Bohemian king, and was especially popular among European nobility. It is also called Karlovy Vary.
The town has 13 main springs and several smaller ones, all of which have their own unique mineral composition and health benefits.
Decorative spa cups, which you can take and drink from the mineral-rich hot springs, are usually available all over the town. While it might sound weird to just be taking a random cup for drinks, it’s not unusual to find visitors using them as the thermal springs are believed to have therapeutic properties.
Aside from the healing spas, Carlsbad also showcases beautiful architectural pieces from different eras. These pieces are characterized by magnificent hotels, stunning colonnades, and spa buildings, creating a unique atmosphere.
Karlovy Vary is also known for hosting one of the most famous and oldest film festivals in Europe, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which attracts filmmakers and actors from all over the world.
Carlsbad’s natural beauty, thermal spas, and the Becherovka Liqueur are some of the things that make Carlsbad a captivating destination for those seeking relaxation and wellness.
Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic and is known for its location in the region of Moravia. The city is popular for having a distinct charm and character that sets it apart from other cities in the Czech Republic.
Unlike other parts of the country where architectural design is old and traditional, Brno is known for its impressive modernist architecture, one of which is the famous Villa Tugendhat designed by architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe.
Brno has a thriving cultural scene with several theaters, galleries, and music venues. The Brno International Music Festival is also held here.
An interesting fact about Brno that may interest curious people looking for an adventure is the abundance of an intricate network of passages and tunnels running beneath most of its streets.
Brno’s culinary scene, modern architectural pieces, and cultural legacy make it a delightful destination for both local and international visitors.
Located in the eastern part of the Czech Republic, Olomouc is a historic city known for its historical significance and presence of iconic landmarks like the Holy Trinity Column, the Olomouc Astronomical Clock, and the St Wenceslas Cathedral.
It is also a tranquil destination due to the presence of several parks and gardens, providing peaceful spaces for people to relax and enjoy picnics with their loved ones.
Olomouc is also home to Palacky University, one of the oldest universities in Central Europe. Overall, the city’s historical landmarks, cultural treasures, and serene atmosphere make it a worthwhile visit for any tourist in the Czech Republic.
Moravian Wine Region
Located in the eastern part of the Czech Republic, the Moravian Wine Region is one of the areas the Czech Republic is known for. It is famous for its rolling hills, vineyards, and charming wine villages.
The Moravian Wine Region has been producing wine for centuries and is one of the oldest wine regions in Europe. That said, this special region in Czechia is also known for its diverse range of grape varieties, which result in wines with distinct flavors and characteristics.
There are often different wine festivals and events going on where you will have the opportunity to taste a wide selection of local wines and learn about winemaking techniques.
The Moravian Wine Region’s beautiful landscapes and rich wine traditions keep it bustling with visitors all year long.
Landmarks The Czech Republic Is Known For
Nestled in the heart of Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague Castle is one of the most iconic ancient castles in the world. It is also one of the largest.
The castle is more than a thousand years old and served as the seat of Czech rulers in different periods. It is one of the most famous attractions Prague is known for.
Throughout history, various rulers added their own touch to the castle, making it an architectural marvel showcasing different architectural styles.
The castle is extremely large and features various structures such as courtyards, palaces, and churches. Some even regard the complex as a city of its own!
From the St. Vitus Cathedral, a magnificent Gothic cathedral whose top can be seen from almost anywhere in Prague, to the Golden Lane, where you’ll find brightly colored shops and museums, to the Royal Palace located within the complex, you can never run out of things to explore in this complex.
This stunning Gothic architectural marvel connects the old Town of Staré Město with the Lesser Town of Malá Strana. In the past, it was vital in enhancing trade and commerce between the two towns.
The bridge has witnessed numerous Czech events and yet remains standing as a testament to the country’s resilience. Adorned with 30 different yet impressive statues of saints, this bridge is one of the most majestic ones in the world.
The bridge is guarded by two Gothic towers that provide a ceremonial entrance to the city. If you want to see the stunning skyline of Prague, climb these towers to soak in some breathtaking views.
The bridge also serves as a venue and meeting point for various events such as concerts, exhibitions, festivals, and more. You can experience Prague’s culture while being surrounded by the historical beauty of the bridge.
The Astronomical Clock, usually called the Orloj, is one of the most celebrated attractions in the Czech Republic. It is located on the southern wall of the Old Town Hall and holds immense cultural and historical significance.
Having survived wars, fires, and storms, the clock is one of the oldest functioning astronomical clocks in the world.
The Orloj is a complex masterpiece that displays several astronomical and astrological pieces of information, including the position of the sun, the phases of the moon, and even the movement of planetary bodies.
Every day, from 9 am to 9 pm, the clock displays figurines depicting the twelve apostles, as well as the movement of other structures. Don’t miss the opportunity to watch the short hourly show or climb the tower on which it is situated.
Kutná Hora Ossuary
The Kutná Hora Ossuary is a hauntingly beautiful spectacle located in Kutná Hora. It is a small chapel decorated with thousands of human bones.
The chapel had a popular, sought-after cemetery surrounding it. During the Black Death and Hussite Wars, the cemetery became overcrowded due to a large number of deaths. Subsequently, the bones were exhumed from the cemetery and piled in the ossuary.
Over time, about 70,000 pieces of bones in the Ossuary were piled and arranged to create different objects, such as chandeliers, bone pyramids, and coats of arms. The arrangement of the bones into various objects was meant to symbolically reflect the fragility of human existence.
Even though the chapel is an eerie place, it still draws tourists from different parts of the world. If you think you’re up to the task, you can pay the Ossuary a visit and join one of the guided tours to gain insight into the Ossuary’s history and meaning.
After your visit, you can also explore the historic city of Kutná Hora and visit other famous landmarks like St. Barbara’s Church and the Italian Court.
Famous People From The Czech Republic
Born in 1932, Milos Forman was a famous Czech film director known for his unique storytelling style and ability to produce exceptional performances.
Milos’s experiences during World War II would later shape his artistic perspectives and themes. Some of his most notable works include “The Firemen’s Ball,” “Amadeus,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Hair,” and “The People Vs. Larry Flynt,” most of which achieved fame and won several prestigious awards.
Milos’s films and legacy left an indelible mark on the international film industry and continue to make him one of the most influential and respected filmmakers of his generation.
Sigmund Freud was a famous and revolutionary psychologist whose theories and works have contributed immensely to various fields. He was a medical student at the University of Vienna and specialized in neurology.
Sigmund contributed significantly to the development of psychoanalysis and how it can help treat mental disorders. He introduced various techniques to explore the unconscious mind and bring repressed content into conscious awareness.
Sigmund Freud’s work in psychoanalysis proved revolutionary in the study of the human mind, and his theories have been applied in various disciplines.
Famous Czech Foods
Svíčková na smetaně
This iconic dish is regarded as the epitome of Czech cuisine. It is a hearty meal that combines tender marinated beef sirloin with a creamy vegetable sauce.
The beef is marinated with different spices such as thyme, garlic, black pepper, and more, then roasted in the oven until it becomes succulent. The vegetable sauce is made from a blend of different vegetables that are boiled and then pureed to create a smooth texture.
This beloved Czech dish showcases the country’s culinary traditions and the use of local ingredients to create a comforting dish.
Uncovering Other Things The Czech Republic Is Known For
These interesting things merely scratch the surface of the delights awaiting visitors in the Czech Republic. Numerous UNESCO Heritage Sites, captivating cities, lively festivals, and countless other activities offer endless opportunities for you and your loved ones to immerse yourselves in this historically rich country. You are sure to uncover many more things the Czech Republic is famous for during your adventures.