Czech Republic: political system
The Czech Republic is a parliamentary democracy under the 1993
constitution. The parliament consists of two chambers: the House of
Representatives with 200 members and the Senate with 81 members, who together
elect the head of state, the President. The head of government is a prime
minister elected by parliament.
According to Digopaul.com,
the official name of the country is:
The national anthem of a country is a piece of music that is usually
underlaid with a text and is intended to express the state, lifestyle and
national feeling of a country. It is played on special festive occasions, e.g.
on state visits, on special holidays or to honor politicians, business leaders,
etc. The national anthem of the respective winning country is also performed at
the award ceremony on the occasion of international sporting events such as the
Olympic Games, the Tour de France or World and European Championships. In most
European countries, the national anthems and flags were introduced in the late
18th and early 19th centuries, after they achieved independence.
Based on flag descriptions by
Countryaah.com, the text of the Czech national anthem was written by Josef Kajetan Tyl for
the play "Fidlovacka - The Shoemaker's Festival", which premiered in Prague in
1834. Frantisek Skroup composed the music for it. In the following years the
song "Kde domov muj?" ("Where is my home?") Quickly and developed into a kind of
national anthem that was sung on various occasions. Numerous attempts to
introduce another anthem in the Czech Republic failed: in 1920 the song was
officially named an anthem.
In Czech language
|Kde domov muj,
kde domov muj?
Voda hucí po lucinách,
bory šumí po skalinách,
v sade skví se jara kvet,
zemský ráj to na pohled!
A to je ta krásná zeme,
zeme ceská, domov muj,
zeme ceská, domov muj!
And in the English translation
|Where is my home, my country?
rush through meadows, where forests rustle on rocks,
where an Eden enchants us
when the bilge decorates the corridors.
This country, so beautiful in front of everyone,
Bohemia is my homeland!
Writer and poet
- Max Brod (1884-1968)
writer from Prague, worked as a writer, translator and composer. Was close
friends with Franz Kafka and after his death became the administrator of his
- Karel Čapek (1890-1938)
one of the most important Czech writers of the 20th century. His brother
Josef Čapek invented the word robot (robota, Slavic word for compulsory
labor), which Karel Čapek used in 1920 in his play "RUR" ("Rossum's
- Karel Jaromír Erben (1811-1870)
writer, poet, translator, literary historian and collector of Czech folk
tales; Representative of romanticism.
- Jaroslav Foglar (1907-1999)
author of books for young people
- František Halas (1901-1949)
- Jaroslav Hašek (1883-1923)
writer; famous above all for his novel "The Adventures of the Good Soldier
- Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997)
writer; is considered one of the most important Czech authors of the 20th
- Josef Jungmann (1773-1847)
poet and linguist; was one of the leading figures of the so-called Czech
National Revival. His most important work is the Czech-German dictionary, in
which he created the basis for modern Czech vocabulary.
- Franz Kafka (1883-1924)
German-speaking writer from Prague. He was one of the most influential
authors of world literature in the 20th century.
His works include numerous short stories (including "The Metamorphosis", "In
the Penal Colony", "Researches of a Dog") and novels ("The Castle", "The
Trial") with their very own "Kafkaesque" style.
- Otto Katz (1895-1952)
Austrian-Czech writer; wrote in exile after 1933 under the code name André
Simone. Together with other comrades of predominantly Jewish descent, he was
indicted and executed in the Rudolf Slánský trial in November 1952.
His works include "Brown Book on Reichstag Fire and Hitler Terror", "Brown
Book II - Dimitroff contra Göring", "White Book on June 30, 1934".
- Egon Erwin Kisch (1885-1948)
German-speaking writer from Prague; is considered one of the most important
German-speaking journalists. During his exile in Paris in 1938, he said
about his origins: "... nothing can happen to me.
I'm a German. I'm a Czech. I'm a Jew. I come from a good family. I'm a
communist. I'm a corps boy. Some of this always helps me. "
- Milan Kundera (born 1929)
writer. He became internationally known for his prose works "The Book of
Ridiculous Love" and "The Unbearable Lightness of Being".
- Karel Hynek Mácha (1810-1836)
- Božena Němcová (1820-1862)
writer. She became internationally famous with the novel "Babi ? Ka"
published in 1855.
- Jan Neruda (1834-1891)
journalist, poet and writer; Employee of the newspaper "Tagebote" from
Bohemia, from 1861 columnist of the newspaper "Národní listy".
The Chilean poet Neftali RR Basualto (1904-1973) wrote under the pseudonym
Pablo Neruda out of admiration for the committed Prague national poet.
- Jaroslav Seifert (1901-1986)
writer; received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1984
- Josef Škvorecký (born 1924)
writer, translator and publisher; settled in Canada from 1970 and founded
the exile publishing house "Sixty-eight Publishers" for Czech literature by
authors critical of the regime such as Václav Havel and Milan Kundera
- Josef Kajetán Tyl (1808-1856)
one of the most important Czech theater dramatists; including "The miners
from Kuttenberg", "Jan Hus", "Drahomira and her sons"
- Ludvík Vaculík (born 1926)
writer; he has received numerous peace awards
- Michael Viewegh (born 1962)
author with a great sense of humor who finds many readers, especially in
Germany; e.g. novel "Völkerball"
- Vinzenz Priessnitz (1799-1851)
farmer. Although Priessnitz was not a doctor, he discovered the healing
power of cold water long before Sebastian Kneipp described it. In 1831 he
received permission to open a water sanatorium in Lazne Jeseniky, where he
treated spa guests from all over Europe with cold showers and baths.
- Jan Evangelista Purkyne (1787-1869)
physiologist; wrote two important works on physiological optics
("Contributions to the knowledge of seeing in subjective terms" (1819-25),
"Observations and experiments on the psychology of the senses" (1823-26). He
also researched the anatomy of humans and described parts of human nerve
cells and the cerebellar cortex.
- Johann Schroth (1800-1856)
farmer. He was not a doctor either, but in 1829 he founded a sanatorium in
Lipova Lazne, where hot water treatment was used as a healing method. He
also introduced the so-called "Schroth cure" for overweight people, a
low-calorie diet made from porridge, gruel and dry bread.
Architects and builders
- Matthias von Arras (Czech Matyáš z Arrasu, 1290-1352)
French architect and builder who worked in Bohemia. Among other things, he
led construction work on the new Gothic building on St. Vitus Cathedral in
Prague and on Karlstein Castle.
- Antonin Balsanek (1865-1921)
architect, represents architecture in the late 19th and early 20th
centuries. The influence of baroque and renaissance can be found in his
works, at the same time he became a leading figure in Art Nouveau
architecture. One of the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings he was
involved in is certainly the Obecni Dum (House of Representation) in Prague.
- Josef Go ? Ár (1880-1945)
architect and town planner; important protagonist of modern Czech
architecture; Works include the House of the Black Madonna in Prague and the
Bank of the Czechoslovak Legions in Prague
- Frantisek Maxmilian Kanka (1674-1766)
architect and leading representative of the classical baroque. From 1724 he
worked as an imperial architect for the nobility and the church. His most
beautiful works include the Cerninsky Palac (Czernin Palace) on the
Hradschin, the Vrtbovska Garden on the Lesser Town in Prague, Chram
Sv. Klimenta (Cathedral of Saint Kliment) in the old town of Prague.
- Jan Kotera (1871-1923)
architect, designer and graphic artist. He is considered a pioneer of modern
Czech architecture. Together with Frantisek L. Gahura, he created the city
of Zlin on behalf of Tomas Bata (see below), which delighted the
international architecture scene of the time with its modern urban planning
concepts. Low prices with a high standard of living was the motto of the
architect duo, who actually managed to avoid boring prefabricated buildings
in a social housing estate.
- Josef Mocker (1835-1899)
architect, restorer and builder. In 1873 he was commissioned with the final
work on St. Vitus Cathedral. He was also responsible for the restoration of
numerous important buildings, such as the Powder Tower in Prague, Hradschin,
Karlstejn Castle and Konopiste Castle.
- Mikolas Ales (1852-1913)
painter. His work was influenced by the growing self-confidence of the
Czechs in the second half of the 19th century. He used himself in the
selection of subjects for his patriotic-oriented works in Czech
history. There are many buildings in Prague associated with his name,
including the National Theater, the House of Representatives, the Vrtbovsky
Palace and Wenceslas Square. Ales also made a name for himself as a book and
- Master Theoderich from Prague (2nd half of the 14th century)
painter, in the 14th century in the service of Charles IV. His most
important works are the 127 paintings of saints in the Holy Cross Chapel of
Karlstein Castle. Some of his works can be admired in St. Vitus Cathedral in
- Frantisek Kupka (1871-1975)
painter and illustrator, known at the beginning of his career for satirical
drawings, was one of the first artists to switch from Art Nouveau to
abstraction. He is one of the founding members of the "Abstraction-Creation"
group, of which he became a board member.
- Josef Lada (1887-1957)
illustrator and children's book author; became known primarily through his
characters like the cat Mikesch and the illustrations for Jaroslav Hašek's
"The Adventures of the Good Soldier Schwejk".
- Josef Manes (1820-1871)
painter and illustrator. His works belong to the Italian Renaissance, known
is his so-called "certain types of folk figures", i.e. the images of normal
mortals from everyday life who represented the Slovak people. There are many
of his works in Prague, for example in the National Gallery in the Sternberg
Palace, the Old Town Hall.
- Alfons Mucha (1860-1939)
world-famous Art Nouveau painter and poster maker. His work "Slavic Epic",
which is probably the most monumental work of Art Nouveau, can be admired in
Moravsky Krumlov (Moravian Kronau, 30 km from Brno).
- Josef Vaclav Myslbek (1848-1922)
one of the most important Czech sculptors of the 2nd half of the 19th
century. Inspired by Gothic, Baroque, but also ancient times, he created
works that reflect the political and cultural rise of the Czech nation. His
statues and groups of statues can be admired in the National Theater, St.
Vitus Cathedral, on the Palacky Bridge or on Wenceslas Square.
- Ladislav Saloun (1870-1946)
sculptor, representative of Czech Art Nouveau. Many of his works have
monumental character, such as the monument by Master Jan Hus on the Old Town
Ring in Prague.
- Karel Skreta (1610-1674) an
important painter of the Czech Baroque. His works include altarpieces,
mythological pictures and portraits in which he masterfully immortalized the
mood of the person portrayed. His works adorn the St. Nicholas Cathedral and
St. Tomas Cathedral in Prague.
- Max Svabinsky (1873-1962)
painter and graphic artist, an important representative of Czech
modernism. Among other things, his monumental works such as the design for
the window decoration of St. Vitus Cathedral are known.
- Jan Zrzavy (1890-1977)
painter, graphic artist and illustrator, an important representative of the
Czech avant-garde of visual arts at the beginning of the 20th
century. During the German occupation, his works were considered "degenerate
art" and also contradicted communist ideologies. It was not until the 1960s
that he was recognized in the CSSR, and in 1965 he was given the honorary
title of "National Artist" (Narodni Umelec).
- Karel Ancerl (1908-1973)
conductor. Until the outbreak of the Second World War he worked, among other
things, as head of the Opera of May 5th and employee of the Czech
radio. After the German invasion he lost his job and was deported to
Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942 and later to Auschwitz. He was the
only one in his family to survive. Ancerl was the conductor of the Czech
Philharmonic from 1950 to 1968. During the Prague Spring he emigrated to
Canada, where he directed the Toronto Symphony Orchestra until 1972.
- Ema Destinnova (born Emilie Kittlova, 1878-1930)
soprano, in her day she was the most famous star of the opera
world. Although she was excellently trained and talented, she did not find a
permanent position in the first few years of her career. It was not until
1898 that she came to the stage at the Royal Court Opera in Berlin. Her
successful years began in 1908 with an eight-year engagement at the
Metropolitan Opera in New York. There she sang the role of "Marenka" in
Smetana's opera "The Bartered Bride" which was performed for the first time
in the United States. Puccini composed the opera "The Girl from the Golden
West" for Destinnova, which was a great success. In 1916 Ema Destinnova
returned to Bohemia, in 1923 she ended her career.
- Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904)
composer and, together with B. Smetana, the main exponent of Czech classical
music. His works include "Rusalka" (opera, 1900), "Requiem" (church music,
1890), numerous symphonies ("From the New World", 1893), chamber music,
piano works and choirs.
- Zdenek Fibich (1850-1900)
composer, wrote numerous operas, chamber music, three symphonies, songs and
vocal duets. In 1899 he was appointed opera dramaturge at the National
Theater in Prague. Fibich was buried on the Vyšehrad after his death.
- Karel Gott (born 1939)
popular pop singer, also known as "the golden voice from Prague"
- Leos Janacek (1854-1928)
composer; Breakthrough with the opera "Jenufa" (first performance in Prague
1916); further works include operas "Katja Kabanowa", "The clever little
fox" and "From a house of the dead", two string quartets, Sinfonietta and
the Glagolitic Mass.
- Jeroným Rafael Kubelík (1914-1996)
conductor and composer of Czech origin with Swiss citizenship. Conductor of
the Czech Philharmonic from 1942 to 1948. Rafael Kubelík is buried in the
Vyšehrad cemetery in Prague.
- Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959)
- Josef Myslive ? Ek (1737-1781)
composer; wrote numerous masses, cantatas, psalms, oratorios, operas and
- Václav Neumann (1920-1995)
conductor, violin and viola player; Co-founder and first violinist in the
Smetana Quartet, conductor in Karlsbad and Brno. In 1956 he became conductor
at the Komische Oper in Berlin and in 1964 conductor of the
Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig. From 1968 to 1990 he was the conductor of
the Czech Philharmonic. During the fall of the Wall, Neumann became the
artistic figurehead of the gentle revolution in Prague.
- Otakar Ostr ? Il (1879-1935)
composer and conductor; Student of Zdeněk Fibich. From 1920 to 1935 he was
the conductor and head of the Prague National Theater.
- Libor Pešek (born 1933)
conductor, pianist, cellist and trombonist; Chief Conductor of the Slovak
Philharmonic 1980/81, Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Orchestra
- Jakub Jan Ryba (1765-1815)
teacher, cantor and composer; mainly wrote church music (masses, e.g. "The
Bohemian Shepherd Mass")
- Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884)
composer. His works are a synthesis of passionate warmth and folk poetry,
which is probably best expressed in the cycle "My Fatherland", from which
the famous work "Moldau" comes. His most famous opera is "The Bartered
Bride" (1868), he also wrote "Dalibor" (1868), "Libuse" (1881) and other
operas. Because of progressive deafness Smetana withdrew from public life in
1874, in 1882 he fell into mental derangement.
- Josef Suk (1874-1953)
composer and violinist, studied composition with Dvorak and later married
his daughter. His works include orchestral compositions, stage music and
- Vaclav Talich (1883-1961)
first conductor of the Czech Philharmonic from 1919 to 1941
- Jaromir Vejvoda (1902-1988)
composer and Kapellmeister, who became famous for the 1927 hit "Skoda Lasky"
("Rosamunde", in English "Beer Barrel Polka"). There is a small memorial for
Jaromir Vejvoda on the main square in Zbraslav near Prague. In the Skoda
lasky restaurant, where the hit of the same name is said to have originated,
you can eat very tasty.
- Prokop Divis (1698-1765)
devoted his life to researching electricity. He studied the effect of
electricity on plants and used it to heal rheumatism and paralysis. His
greatest discovery is the grounded lightning rod, which he installed on July
17, 1754 in a garden in Primstice near Znojmo.
- Jaroslav Heyrovský (1890-1967)
physical chemist; developed the electrochemical analysis method of
polarography using the mercury drop electrode and received the Nobel Prize
for Chemistry in 1959.
- Frantisek Krizik (1847-1941)
explorer and electrical engineer, also called "Czech Edison". He became
famous for his development of the differential arc lamp, which he exhibited
in Paris in 1881 and won the gold medal for it. He later built electric
cars, electric threshers, and electric locomotives.
- Johann Gregor Mendel (1822-1884)
Austrian-Czech Augustinian monk and naturalist; he was an avid beekeeper and
studied the inheritance of traits in peas. In doing so, he discovered the
rules of inheritance and is therefore considered the father of genetics.
- Kaspar Graf Sternberg (1761-1838)
theologian, politician, mineralogist and botanist; He founded the Fatherland
Museum of the Kingdom of Bohemia in Prague (today: National Museum) and is
considered the founder of modern paleobotany.
Politicians and rulers
- Madeleine Albright (born Marie Jana Korbel; born 1937)
daughter of the Czech diplomat Josef Korbel, who worked as a UN diplomat in
the USA and who later applied for political asylum. In 1957 Madeleine became
a US citizen. She began an academic career as a professor. Her political
career culminated under President Bill Clinton, who appointed her Secretary
of State in 1997.
- Edward Benes (1884-1948)
Co-Founder, Foreign Minister and President of Czechoslovakia. In 1938 he
went into exile in London, where he founded the Czech government in exile in
1940. On December 12, 1943 in Moscow he signed a Czechoslovak-Soviet
assistance treaty with Stalin, which also enshrined post-war
cooperation. After the Second World War, the so-called Beneš Decrees
determined the partial nationalization of the Czechoslovak economy as well
as the expropriation and resettlement of the Sudeten Germans.
- Alexander Dubcek (1921-1992)
Slovak politician, First Secretary of the Communist Party and leading figure
of the Prague Spring of 1968. After the reform movement was crushed, Dub ?
Ek had to resign as head of the CPČ in 1969. In 1989 he was rehabilitated
and elected President of the Czechoslovak Parliament.
- Emil Hácha (1872-1945)
President of Czechoslovakia 1938/39 and from 1939 President of the
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
- Charles IV (1316-1378)
Roman-German King from 1346, King of Bohemia from 1347 and Roman-German
Emperor from 1355. He is considered the most important emperor of the late
- Václav Havel (1936-2011)
writer and politician, one of the leading critics of the regime in the
ČSSR. After the reunification he was President of Czechoslovakia from 1989
to 1992 and President of the Czech Republic from 1993 to 2003. Havel died a
few days before Christmas of the consequences of his lung cancer
- Václav Klaus (born 1941), conservative-liberal
politician. He has been the country's president since 2003
- Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937)
founder and first President of Czechoslovakia
- Antonín Novotný (1904-1975)
President of the ČSSR from 1957 to 1968. He pursued a tough policy of
repression against the regime critics and continued the Stalinist policy
well into the 1960s. At the beginning of the Prague Spring on January 5,
1968, he was forced to resign as head of the Communist Party and as
- František Palacký (1798-1876)
historian and politician; he was involved in the Czech national movement of
the 1830s/40s, e.g. for the establishment of the national theater). He was
also politically active, for example as President of the first Slav
- Rudolf Slánský (1901-1952)
from 1945 to 1951 General Secretary of the Communist Party of
Czechoslovakia. After the Second World War he was involved in the
Communists' seizure of power in 1948 and in this context was responsible for
the persecution of numerous opponents of the Communist Party. In 1951 he was
arrested and charged with high treason. In addition to political reasons,
anti-Semitic motives probably also played a role in the indictment. Slansky
was sentenced to death in a show trial for allegedly "head of an anti-state
conspiracy center" and executed in 1952. In 1963 he was legally
- Ludvík Svoboda (1895-1979)
General and after the Prague Spring from 1968 to 1975 President of the
- Jan Zizka von Trocnov (around 1360-1424)
the most important military leader of the Hussites
- Věra Chytilová (born 1929)
film director and screenwriter
- Miloš Forman (born 1932)
Director, actor and screenwriter; including
director of "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" and the film adaptation of
Peter Shaffer's play "Amadeus" (both awarded numerous Oscars).
- Miroslav Horní ? Ek (1918-2003)
actor, writer, director, visual artist
and theater theorist
- Jan Svěrák (born 1965)
film director, actor and screenwriter; is
considered one of the most important Czech film directors since the
1990s. In 1997 he received an Oscar for best foreign film with "Kolya".
- Tomas Bata (1876-1932)
important Czech industrialist, founder of the Bata concern, one of the
world's largest shoe manufacturers. He is therefore considered the Czech
- Josef Dobrovský (1753-1829)
philologist and Slavist; is considered the founder of the modern written
- Jan Palach (1948-1969) and Jan Zajic (1950-1969)
students who burned themselves to death in public on January 19 and February
25, 1969, respectively, on Wenceslas Square in protest against the invasion
of Warsaw Pact troops during the Prague Spring of 1968.
- Emil Skoda (1839-1900)
founder of the legendary Skoda factory in Pilsen. The Skoda-Werke first
became the most important arms factory in Austria-Hungary and later the most
important mechanical engineering factory in what was then
Czechoslovakia. The group was briefly (1925-45) merged with the Czech car
manufacturer Skoda, which produces one of the oldest car brands in the world
- alongside Mercedes Benz and Peugeot - the Skoda.
- Josef Skupa (1892-1957)
gifted doll maker, whose characters Spejbl and Hurvinek are also very
popular in Germany.
- Max Wertheimer (1880-1943)
psychologist; together with Wolfgang Köhler and Kurt Koffka is considered to
be the founder of Gestalt psychology and Gestalt theory
- Věra Čáslavská (born 1942)
gymnast; seven-time Olympic champion. She dedicated her international medals
to the heroes of the Prague Spring of 1968. Because she wrote the "Manifesto
of 2000 Words", one of the most important texts of the Prague Spring (aka
"2000 Words, addressed to workers, farmers, civil servants, artists and
everyone." are "), initially did not get a job after completing her sports
career. After the fall of the Wall, she was rehabilitated.
- Helena Fibingerová (born 1949)
athlete, shot putter; World champion and former world record holder
- Ivan Hlinka (1950-2004)
one of the most famous ice hockey players in
the world. Triple world champion, coach of the Czech Olympic champion in
Nagano in 1998.
- Jan Kodeš (born 1946)
tennis player; won three Grand Slam tournaments
- Jan Koller (born 1973)
- Jarmila Kratochvílová (born 1951)
athlete, middle distance
runner; Twice world champion, current world record holder over 800 m and
world record holder over 400 m, whereby she was the first woman in the world
to run under 48 seconds.
- Ivan Lendl (born 1960)
tennis player, won eight Grand Slam tournaments
in his career
- Martina Navrátilová (born 1956)
American tennis player of Czech
origin, is considered one of the best tennis players of all time; including
nine-time Wimbledon individual winner and countless Grand Slam tournament
- Pavel Nedved (born 1972)
- Kateřina Neumannová (born 1973)
cross-country skier; won her first
Olympic gold medal (over 30 km) at the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, probably
her last Olympic race
- Tomáš Rosický (born 1980)
- Roman Šebrle (born 1974)
athlete, decathlete; Olympic champion and
current world record holder; the first to score more than 9,000 points
- Helena Suková (born 1965)
- Emil Zátopek (1922-2000)
athlete, long-distance runner; Four-time
Olympic champion (1948 in London over 10,000 m and 1952 in Helsinki over
10,000 m, 5,000 m and the marathon). He commented on his performance in 1952
with the now famous words: "Fish swims, bird flies, man runs." Zatopek was
also a multiple world record holder and was considered a popular hero in
- Dana Zátopková (born 1922)
athlete, javelin thrower; Wife of Emil Zatopek. She became Olympic champion
in Helsinki in 1952.
- Jan Železný (born 1966)
athlete, javelin thrower; three-time Olympic champion and current world
Theologians and philosophers
- Hroznata (around 1170-1217)
Bohemian martyr; joined the Premonstratensian Order in Rome in 1198 and
founded a monastery for the Premonstratensians. Later he was imprisoned by
knights from the Egerland in the castle Königsberg an der Eger and died
there. In 1897 he was declared a martyr by the Pope.
- Jan Hus (around 1369-1415)
priest, Christian reformer and martyr. The Hussite movement named after him
was initiated by him. In his teachings he criticized the secular possessions
of the church and the greed of the clergy.
- Jan Amos Komensky (Latin Comenius, 1592-1670)
theologian, educator, philosopher, religious thinker. He developed a
coherent school concept in which the natural development of children was
taken into account, and described childlike thinking and behavior in his
work. His works include "Orbis Sensualium pictus", "Schola ludus" and
- Karl Klemens Serol (1740-1801)
philosopher; he developed the principle of dyadic dialectic, a special
theory of progress.
- Cardinal František Tomášek (1899-1992)
Archbishop of Prague
Czech Republic: animals
Most of the animals in the forests in the Czech Republic are roe deer and
deer. Mouflons, wild boars, lynxes, wild cats, brown bears and wolves also
live in the forest areas, although these are rare.
Mouflons are also known as European wild sheep. They reach a size of 65 to 90
cm and live on average 8 to 10 years. Typical are the gray to yellowish colored
saddle spots on the brown fur and the horns of the males, which grow throughout
life and can reach a length of 0.45 m. The horns of the females are much shorter
or nonexistent. The mouflons have a well-developed sense of hearing and smell,
but the sense of sight is best developed. Their diet includes grasses, herbs and
woody plants, but also mushrooms and fruits.
The mammals found in the Czech Republic also include marmots, Otters, various
species of marten, the European ground squirrel, which belongs to the
squirrel-like family, foxes and mink.
The largest lizard in Europe, the green lizard, lives in the Bohemian Central
Uplands. With a body length of around 50 cm, it is one of the four largest
lizards in the world, even if 2/3 of them are on the tail.
Their diet consists of insects, spiders, worms and snails. A special feature
that it has in common with some other lizard species is that it can actively
detach its tail from its body in a dangerous situation. This wriggles for around
20 minutes and thus distracts the robber from the fleeing lizard. After a while
the tail grows back, but then it can no longer be separated. The green lizard
inhabits mostly dry terrain with a lot of sunlight, meadows with bushes, scree
slopes, light hedges and rocky slopes.
The amphibian and very frightening water frog can also be found at the
smallest water points.
The European pond turtle can be encountered in the east of the Czech
Republic. It has a shell length of less than 25 cm, rarely 30 cm. Her belly
armor has a transverse joint, which enables her to fold this armor in front and
behind in case of danger and thus protect herself from predators. Their habitat
is limited to standing or flowing water with dense bank vegetation. Their diet
consists mainly of animal food such as tadpoles, small frogs, newts, water
snails, crabs, dead or dying fish.
Besides the Czech Republic she is also in Israel,Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco,
the Iberian Peninsula,
Corsica, Sardinia, Italy, Sicily, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, northern
Iran, Cyprus and northern Lebanon. But despite this widespread distribution,
the European pond turtle is in decline.
Among the non-poisonous snakes one can find the grass snake and the Aesculapian
snake and the common viper as a venomous snake.
Marsh harriers, black-headed gulls and pochards can be found in the pond and
wetlands north of Prague.
Black-headed gulls are often seen on coasts and inland, where they breed at
"Lachen", which is where they get their name from.
In the breeding season from spring to summer, you can recognize them very well
by the black hood on the head, which is otherwise replaced by a black spot on
the ear. The beak and legs of the smallest of the most common seagulls are
red. Black-headed gulls breed in colonies in the reeds or in calm, stagnant
waters; they can also often be seen looking for food in freshly mown or plowed
fields. They look for earthworms, beetles and larvae. But they also feed on
crabs and small fish. The black-headed gull is widespread almost everywhere and
is only absent in Antarctica.
Common migratory birds in this area include terns. The birds of the wetlands
near the Austrian border are warblers, herons, black kites and the white storks,
which can often be seen on the roofs of the surrounding villages.
In the Krkonoše National Park you can hear the common pine jay, titmouse, water
pipit and alpine brown ella.
Common forest birds include hazel grouse, wood grouse and flycatcher. Crossbills
and siskins can also be seen in the Bohemian Forest.
Other birds are pheasants, partridges, woodpeckers and the great bustard in the
lowlands of the south.
The latter belongs to the order of the crane birds and is a very shy and
sensitive bird. It lives in the steppe areas that have remained originally or in
areas used for agriculture.
But despite this closeness to humans, you rarely see them, not least because of
the inconspicuous coloration outside of the courtship. Both males and females
have brown-black patterned plumage and a light gray head and neck. The main
difference between the two is in size.
The males weigh 8-16 kg, while the females weigh just 3 - 5 kg.
However, during courtship the male changes significantly. Its underside is
colored white, and this is turned upside down, so that it finally turns into a
white pile of feathers.
The food of the great bustard includes buds, shoots, leaves, seeds, but also
mice, lizards, grasshoppers and other small animals. Despite its relatively wide
distribution, the Great Bustard is on the red list.
A main reason for the massive decline is the increasing industrialization of
Czech Republic: plants
The most common deciduous trees in the Czech Republic are beech, oak,
chestnut, willow, birch, poplar, linden and maple. The most common conifers
include pines, spruces and firs.
The upper tree line extends to 1,200 - 1,300 m, above which is the subalpine
zone with mountain pines.
The most important crops in the Czech Republic are potatoes, cereals such as
wheat, barley, rye, oats and maize, and hops in northern Bohemia. Sugar beet,
rapeseed, various forage crops as well as tobacco and fruit are also grown.
A well-known medicinal plant is arnica, which is popularly
It belongs to the sunflower family and grows above 800 m in the Ore
Mountains. Its flowers and the rhizome are used for homeopathic tinctures. The
ingredients have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Arnica is therefore
used for bruises, joint inflammation, rheumatism, varicose veins, heart
problems, bruises and sprains. The plant is a very powerful remedy, so it is
advisable to use it only externally and only very diluted, as otherwise skin
irritation can result.
In the Bohemian Central Uplands, the Adonis flower, which
belongs to the buttercup family and has become very rare, grows. It is also
known as the "devil's eye". The perennial herb, up to 30 cm in size, has a
strong and dark rhizome and a yellow single flower that appears in early spring.
They can be found on calcareous soils, on sunny slopes, on dry meadows and in
The distribution area includes not only Europe but
also Asia and America. Although all parts of the plant are poisonous, the
leaves are collected and dried during the strongest flowering period (April -
May), as they also contain heart-active glycosides.
Therefore, the Adonisröschen is used as a cardiac tonic, but also as a sedative
for dry coughs, asthmatic and epileptic attacks, cramps and rheumatic pain.
However, teas and infusions should only be consumed according to a doctor's
prescription, otherwise there is a risk of poisoning.
The mullein from the fig family grows up to 2 m tall and has
large yellow flowers, which are used in medicine. When dried, they help with dry
coughs, bronchitis, inflammation of the upper airways and asthma, as the active
ingredients of the plant are known to be expectorant and cough-relieving.
The mullein grows in Central, Southern and Eastern Europe as well as in Asia
Minor, North Africa and Ethiopia.
The globe flower with the yellow spherical flowers at the end of the stem
belongs to the buttercup family.
These bloom May - June and reach a diameter of 3 cm.
It grows in moist meadows, but mainly in the mountains, Alps and Northern
Due to the alkaloid magnoflorin, it is slightly toxic and causes burning of the
oral mucous membranes, gastrointestinal complaints, diarrhea and severe
cramps. Circulatory problems and fever can also occur, as well as skin
irritation and blisters on the skin.
The globe flower owes its name to the spherical appearance of its flowers, since
the Latin translation of "trulleus" means "round vessel" and the name was
slightly modified in Old German. The globe flower is protected.
The Adonis is poisonous, but it is also a well-known medicinal plant.
The rare holly from the holly family is an evergreen shrub
or tree that can reach a height of 6 m and live up to 300 years. Other names are
piercing sleeve, piercing oak and palm thorn. It is named after its leathery and
thorny toothed leaves, which are brightly colored on the underside and dark
green on the upper side. It blooms with inconspicuous small white flowers
between May and June, so that the fruits ripen in autumn. These are first green,
later coral red. Both the leaves and the fruit are poisonous, and children in
particular should be careful as a dose of 20-30 berries is considered fatal to
them. The symptoms of poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea and drowsiness. The holly
can be found in beech and spruce forests on moist, lime-poor soils.
The Bohemian Karst grows the hornbill, the monkey boy herb and the yellow
This plant grows to between 20 and 60 cm, and its clog-like flowers are golden
yellow and purple-blue veined. It grows mainly in light mixed forests as well as
on the edges of forests and bushes.
This orchid is common and very rare in the Alps, the Pyrenees and Norway.
The Bohemian Central Uplands is a nature reserve with numerous protected plants.
These include various types of cuckoo flowers, adonis, forest anemones, irises,
mullein, alpine roses, Ivan's awl grass, moon violets, daisies, cuckoo peacock
The poisonous globe flowers are characteristic plants of the Ore Mountains. But
arnica and the nutrient ring also thrive here.