The Czech Republic lies at the heart of Central Europe and at its center is the beautiful and historic city of Prague. With a population of some 1.3 million residents, the city lies on either side of the Vltava River in the middle of Bohemia that is one of the three historic Czech territories; the others being Moravia and Silesia. The city has seven “chapter divisions” or districts.
1. Interesting fact: Skoda, a local car manufacturer, is one of only four automobile trademarks that can claim a more than 100-year-old history. The company was founded by Mr. Emil Skoda. Skoda means “pity” in Czech.
2. Weird fact: The Old Kladbury Horse is considered a Living Work of Art and listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It’s the only horse bred for ceremonial purposes at royal courts.
3. Random fact: Czech pucks do not leave black smudges. The exact formula of the Gufex pucks, manufactured in a Moravian village, is a secret.
4. Useless fact: The Czech Republic has the largest network of signposted footpaths in the world. As of 2002, more than 38,000 kilometers of paths have been signposted.
5. Fun fact: The first sugar cubes were made in the Czech town of Dacice in 1841.
6. Educational fact: The word “robot” is Czech. It first appeared in a drama written by Czech playwright and journalist Karel Capek called R. U. R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots). It was actually his artist brother Josef though who came up with the word.
7. Historical fact: Prague Castle, begun in the 9th century, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest castle in the world.
8. Medical fact: Czech doctor Jan Jansky was the first to divide blood into four types in 1907.
9. Outer Space fact: Neil Armstrong played Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s New World Symphony on the moon.
10. Religious fact: The Infant Jesus of Prague is one of the oldest and most revered images of Jesus. Credited with miracles and healing, people from all over the world have sent it dresses, which are on display at Church of Our Lady Victorious.
11. Natural fact: Pravcicka Brana is the highest natural arch in Europe. Located in northern Bohemia along the German border, it is 21 meters high with a span of 26.5 meters.
12. Sobering fact: In 1951, Dr. Jaroslav Skala created the first “sobering-up station” for those who’d enjoyed the pub a bit too much. It was to act as an introduction to his treatment facility for alcoholics. His treatment was based on routine, community order, work, sports and singing anti-alcohol songs.