Czech Republic / Prague / Pilsen

Czech Republic/Česká republika

Located in the basin of the heart of Europe and encircled by several mountain ranges, the current area of the Czech lands dates back to the 9th century. It survived through the eras of princedom, powerful kingdom, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Czechoslovak Republic from 1918-1992, until its current state as the Czech Republic The current population is approximately 10.5 million, of which a decided majority is of Czech nationality. Since 1992, the Czech Republic has been a parliamentary democracy, and is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Area. The official currency is the Czech Crown. The remarkably rich history is a result of the exposed geographic location of the nation, and of the enduring political and cultural influences and interests of neighbours near and far, from the west as well as from the east. Prior to the Second World War, Czechoslovakia was one of the most prosperous democratic nations worldwide, however, the totalitarian fascist and communist regimes set it back significantly. Regardless of this tragic development, the world has known many representatives of Czech science, culture, sport, and other areas, such as: J. Hus, J. A. Komenský, B. Smetana, A. Dvořák, K. Čapek, J. Hašek, J. Seifert, E. Destinová, J. Novotná, J. Heyrovský, F. Křižík, O. Wichterle, T. G. Masaryk, V. Havel, E. Zátopek, J. Kratochvílová, V. Čáslavská, J. Železný, J. Jágr, M. Navrátilová, I. Lendl and national football, hockey, and Davis Cup teams. The development of international surgical medicine includes: K. Maydl, R. Jedlička, A. Jirásek, J. Diviš and F. Burian. Despite the difficulties and challenges, the development of democracy following 1989 once again opened the doors of the Czech nation to the world.


Since 1920, the official title of the city has been the Capital City of Prague, previously, beginning in 1784, it was Royal Capital City of Prague. In other languages, the city is known as Praga (Latin, the majority of Romance and Slavic languages), Prag (German), or Prague (English and French). With the exception of the year 1600, Prague has been the capital city of the Czech nation for the entire duration of its existence. During this time, it played an important role in European and worldwide history and politics. Currently, Prague is home to over a million citizens, and is a prominent worldwide tourist destination. The most significant Prague monuments include the Prague Castle, Old Town, Charles Bridge, the Jewish Quarter, and many other locales. Prague is also a prominent cultural centre with many theatres, concert halls, and architectural monuments. Charles University, the oldest university north of the Alps and east of the River Rhine, is known as the alma mater of many younger European universities. From the dozens of significant historical-political events, the most notable are the Hussite Revolution, the beginning of the Thirty Years War, the birth of Czechoslovakia following the demise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Prague Spring of 1968 silenced by Soviet aggression, and the democratic revolution of 1989 that influenced the political development of all of Eastern Europe. Since the Middle Ages, Prague has been a multicultural centre interweaving Czech, German, and Jewish cultures with ancient influences through Italy, as well as with French, Slavic, and other influences. This is exemplified in the figures of the Rabbi Jehuda ben Loew, Franz Kafka, as well as the residence in the Czech nation of Albert Einstein, the Mann brothers, Louis Armstrong, and dozens of other international scientific and cultural figures.


Pilsen is the metropolis of western Bohemia. In 1600, it was the capital city of the Czech Kingdom. It is situated at the juncture of four rivers. The population of Pilsen is approximately 180,000, making it the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic, and the second largest in Bohemia. The city is known as a centre of industry and beer-brewing. Transportation vehicles, industrial machines, significant components of nuclear and other power plants, hyperbaric chambers, as well as a broad spectrum of various machinery and parts are all manufactured in the spacious Škoda facilities. The opposite side of town is the home of the famed Prazdroj and Gambrinus breweries. The bottom-fermented lager is known internationally as Pilsner Urquell, or, incorrectly, Pils, according to the German name of the city, Pilsen. Pilsen is culturally significant as well. It is home to two universities, countless cultural monuments, theatres, and various interesting expositions. Here you can also visit the second largest synagogue in Europe-and the third largest in the world-and climb the highest Gothic tower in the Czech Republic. The surrounding area of Pilsen boasts beautiful natural scenery, as well as a number of historical, natural, and cultural places of interest. In the past several years, Pilsen has also become a significant sports centre as well. It has provided a number of Olympic champions. The entire western Bohemian region is known for its distinct folklore, which is still alive today in dozens of ensembles.