In this brief video you can find seven little known facts about the Czech Republic. Formerly known as Bohemia, it was part of the Holy Roman Empire, Austria-Hungary and Nazi Germany and used to share it’s borders with now neighbouring Slovakia. The word Czech (meaning kinsman) comes from the legend of Lech, Čech, and Rus, the founding fathers of the Slavic nations.
More information about the video content bellow:
1. The first sugar cubes were made in the Czech Republic in 1841 after a sugar factory director’s wife got injured while trying to cut some pieces of sugar and suggested finding an alternative. Aah, love!
2. You can’t visit Prague without seeing the spectacular Prague Castle, the largest castle area in the world (70 000 square meters). Dating back to the 9th century Prague Castle has been the seat of the Kings of Bohemia, the Holy Roman Emperor and the presidents of Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic.
3. Czech Republic is west of the west. During the Cold War, Czechoslovakia was considered part of Eastern Europe. However Prague or Praha, the capital of Czech Republic, is actually further west than Vienna, Austria which is considered part of Western Europe. Historically speaking, the Czech Republic should be considered part of Central Europe rather than the Orthodox Eastern Europe.
4. In Prague beer is cheaper than bottled water. Beer prices get as low as 14 koruna a pint (that’s $0.80 or 0.54 euros) whereas water costs about 35 koruna for a 0.33 liter bottle. By the way, the Czech Republic consumes more beer per capita than any other country in the world (161 liters/year). And who wouldn’t drink the famous Pilsen or Staropramen beers as often as decency allows it?
5. On December 5th Saint Mikuláš (St. Nicolaus) roams about with his consorts, an angel and a devil. He gives small presents and candy to children to reward them for their good behaviour throughout the year, while the devil chastises children for their wrongdoings over the course of the year and gives them potatoes, coal (or sometimes spankings) as a punishment.
6. Another tradition is the annual Witch Burning or Night of Witches: on the last April evening bonfires are lit around the country and “witch” figurines, as a symbol of evil, are made and burned in the fire. This is the reinterpretation of the old pagan festival influenced by Christian inquisition. Because probably most Czechs would prefer the witches over the inquisitors, in many fires no witches are burnt, and the feast is celebrated in a more original pagan way – witches are those who should celebrate the night, not be burnt.
7. On the night of 20–21 August 1968, the Soviet Union and its main allies in the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia in order to halt Alexander Dubček’s Prague Spring political liberalisation reforms. In the operation approximately 500,000 troops, with Romania notably refusing to participate, attacked Czechoslovakia, leaving 500 Czechs and Slovaks wounded and 108 killed.”