If you’ve ever wanted to know what bohemian looks like, it’s sipping absinthe while reading Kafka in an underground jazz bar that’s housed in a 15th century building. Welcome to Prague.
Here’s 10 quirky things you probably don’t know about the Czech Republic.
1. It’s home to robotic origins
The word robot first hit the scene when Czech writer, Karl Capek, used in a play to describe creatures that could perform all the work humans didn’t want to do and had no soul. Sound familiar? His brother, Josef, was the one who suggested to use it for the famous title: Rossum’s Universal Robots.
2. Czechs are mad about mushrooms
The only thing Czechs love more than eating mushrooms, is hunting for them. If the town is empty on St. Wenceslas Day (held at the end of September), it’s because everyone’s gone funghi picking in the forest. Unrelated to mushrooms but the statue of the state’s patron saint can be found in Wenceslaus Square – one of the most famous monuments in Prague.
3. Being bohemian is more than a lifestyle
Being bohemian isn’t just Czechs being cool, it’s their heritage. This area was once the Kingdom of Bohemia. In 1918, Bohemia transformed into the western part of the newly formed country of Czechoslovakia – that was split into The Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.
4. You will find some of the most medieval originals in Europe
Prague is the only major city in Europe that wasn’t extensively bombed in WWII. For this reason, you will find many of the buildings in the historic centre standing as originally built, some dating to the Middle Ages!
5. The Czech Republic is famous for its beer
Czechs consume the most beer per capita in the world. You can go join them for a Pilsner-style larger (their most famous brew) in any old alluring pub – called a hospoda – around town.
6. You can explore the king of all castles
Prague Castle is the largest in the world! Wear good walking shoes and get ready to be transported into the chambers from a scene in Game of Thrones.
7. It’s east and west
The Czech Republic is considered part of Eastern Europe, but Prague is more west than Vienna, which is in central Europe.
8. There’s the chance you’ll get castle mania
The Czech Republic has the highest castle-density in the world. Get your fix of medieval charm with more than 2,000 around the country to Czech out.
9. Prague has a seriously impressive astro clock
Prague’s astronomical clock was installed in 1410 making it the oldest in the world. It’s an impressive instrument to behold. See if you can spot your star sign and watch the eerie looking statues that move to strike each hour.
10. And there’s a Wall of Lennon
The ever-changing wall of graffiti named after John Lennon can be found the district of Mala Strana. It’s been dubbed in the past as the ‘crying wall’ and was used by protesters of the day to paint political messages.
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Feature image by The Common Wanderer.