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Facts about the Czech Republic


Famous persons from Czech history

photo:  (vlastenci.cz)


Sovereigns, politicians and statesmen

  • Charles IV – one of the most significant Czech sovereigns
  • Rudolph II – passionate sponsor of science and the arts
  • František Palacký – leading figure of the Czech National Revival
  • Edvard Beneš – the second Czechoslovak president
  • Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk – philosopher and the first Czechoslovak president


  • Saint Wenceslas – patron of Bohemia
  • Saint Adalbert (Vojtěch) – bishop and martyr
  • Jan of Nepomuk – patron of Bohemia, confessors, millers and raftsmen
  • Jan Hus – critic of clerical customs of the day
  • Petr Chelčický – founder of the Unity of Brethren church (Jednota bratrská)
  • Daniel Adam of Veleslavín – publisher and humanist known for contributions to the Czech language
  • Jan Blahoslav – translator of the New Testament for the Kralice Bible
  • Johan Amos Comenius – author of the modern conception of pedagogy and education
  • Jehuda Liva ben Becalel (Rabbi Low) – Talmudic teacher and alleged creator of Golem
  • Karel Havlicek Borovský – anti-absolutism satirist, journalist and critic
  • Josef Dobrovský – scientist of the period of enlightment and the greatest figure of the Czech National Revival
  • Josef Jungmann – initiator of Czech language's development during the Czech National Revival
  • František Xaver Šalda – new concept of criticism as independent artistic expression
  • Jan Patočka – philosopher and spokesman of Charter 77


  • Jaroslav Drobný – ice-hockey and tennis player, winner of Wimbledon in 1954
  • Ivan Hlinka – triple world champion in ice hockey, member of the Ice Hockey Hall of Fame, or International Ice Hockey Foundation
  • Eliška Junková – winner of the German Grand Prix in the vehicle category up to 3,000 c in 1927
  • Emil Zátopek – quadruple Olympic winner in long-distance running

Architects and sculptors

  • Matthias of Arras – designer and the first architect of the St. Vitus Cathedral in the area of the Prague Castle
  • Petr Parléř – Gothic designer and master builder, second architect of St. Vitus Cathedral
  • Matthias Bernard Braun – author of a sculptural group in Kuks Castle
  • Jean-Baptiste Gaspard Debureau – one of the most significant figures from European pantomime in the 19th century
  • Josef Václav Myslbek – one of the most important figures of Czech sculpture of the second half of the 19th century
  • Jaromír Funke – functionalist photographer
  • Otakar Dibíik – chief designer of the prestigioust Bonetto atelier
  • Josef Gočár – promoter of functionalism
  • Vladimír Preclík – internationally recognized sculptor


  • Pavel Josef Vejvanovský – the first Czech composer of Baroque instrumental music
  • Antonín Dvořák – composer, author of Rusalka opera and 9th New World Symphony
  • Bedřich Smetana – co-founder of Czech national music, author of e.g. The Bartered Bride
  • Ema Destinnová – opera interpreter who also acted with Enrico Caruso
  • Leoš Janáček – opera composer and author of e.g. Jenůfa (Her Step-Daughter)
  • Bohuslav Martinů – composer of orchestral, chamber and concerto music

Painters and artists

  • Mikoláš Aleš - one of the most significant representatives of Czech nationally oriented painting
  • Petr Brandl - Czech painter of the mature Baroque
  • Julius Mařák – leader of the school of landscape painters school at the Prague Academy
  • Josef Augusta – painter and promoter of paleontology
  • Vladimír Boudník – pioneer of Czech post-war abstract and action art
  • Zdeněk Burian – elaborated scientifically based paintings of prehistorical animals and people 
  • Jiří Kolář – poet and designer of worldwide-recognized collages
  • František Kupka – pioneer of Czech abstract painting
  • Mikuláš Medek – painter with an original visual metaphor for human existence
  • Alfons Mucha – top painter and Art Nouveau graphic designer
  • Josef Šíma – painter of Civilism and poeticism, later a surrealist
  • Max Švabinský – top representative of monumental art, author of the window painting in St. Vitus' Cathedral
  • Václav Hejna – painter and graphic artist who marked the Art Informel movement of the 1930s
  • Josef Váchal – painter, graphic designer and illustrator, sculptor, woodcutter, prose and poetry writer
  • František Drtikol – representative of modern photography 
  • Josef  Sudek – founder of Czech modern photography
  • Jitka Valová – painter and graphic designer
  • Květa Valová – painter and graphic designer
  • Jan Zrzavý – Czech painter, graphic designer, illustrator and set designer

Film and theater

  • Vaclav Kliment Klicpera – playwright, author of conversational comedies
  • Matěj Kopecký – patriarch of the Czech marionette tradition
  • Ladislav Stroupežnický – author of the play Our Swaggerers (Naši furianti)
  • Jan Nepomuk Štěpánek – dramaturgist of the National Theater
  • Josef Kajetán Tyl – leading figure of the Czech theater art after the death of Jan Nepomuk Stepanek
  • Vlasta Burian – one of the most popular Czech film stars
  • Ladislav Fialka – founder of the Czech modern pantomime
  • Hugo Haas – player who asserted himself also in American studios
  • Gustav Machatý – one of the first international Czech directors
  • Anny Ondra – leading woman character in the first Alfred Hitchcock film with sound, Blackmail
  • Alfred Radok – author of the unique Laterna Magika project which connected theater and film arts 
  • Josef Skupa – introduced a new type of puppets, the couple Spejbl and Hurvínek
  • Jiří Trnka – director of puppet films, his Anderson’s Fairytales was declared the most beautiful book for children in France
  • Hermína Týrlová – first lady of Czech animated film
  • Vladislav Vančura – film director, author of Markéta Lazarová
  • Eduard Vojan – great figure of Czech dramatic art
  • Jiří Voskovec – member of the famous player-and-playwright duo dubbed V+W together with Jan Werich, star of the avant-garde Liberated Theater (Osvobozene divadlo)
  • Jan Werich – star of the Liberated Theater (Osvobozene divadlo) together with Jiri Voskovec, universal dramatic player
  • Miloš Kirschner – confirmed leading interpreter of the Spejbl and Hurvinek Theater
  • Karel Zeman – leading representative of animated film with special effects

Scientists and pioneers

  • Johan Gregor Mendel - founder of genetics
  • Jan Jessenius – executor of the first public necroscopy of the human body
  • Prokop Diviš – inventor of electropathy and the lightning conductor
  • Jan Evangelista Purkyně – author of cell theory
  • Josef Ressel – inventor of the screw propeller
  • Emil Škoda – founder of Škoda works, one of the most significant machine works in Czechoslovakia
  • Eduard Babák – researcher of oxygen's effect on somatic economy
  • Tomáš Baťa – founder of the Baťa worldwide shoemaking industry
  • Sigmund Freud – inventor of deep psychology
  • Jaroslav Heyrovský – founder of the Czech polarographic school
  • Emil Holub – physician and traveler, explored central Africa three times in the 19th century
  • Frantisek Křižík – built the first electrified tram line to Stromovka 
  • Ernst Mach – theoretically deduced and experimentally proved the existence of shock waves
  • Otto Wichterle – inventor of silon (Czechoslovak version of nylon) and contact lenses

Writers and poets

  • Cosmas – the first Czech historian, author of Cosmas' Bohemian Chronicle (Kosmova kronika česká)
  • Bohuslav Hasištejnský of Lobkovice – writer from the humanist era
  • Václav Hájek of Libočany – historian, author of The Bohemian Chronicle (Kronika česká)
  • Adam Michna of Otradovice – one of the most significant Baroque poets
  • Bohuslav Balbín – author of the "A Defense of the Slavic Language, Particularly Czech," a significant booster for the first wave of the Czech National Revival
  • Svatopluk Čech – popular poet and prose writer
  • František Ladislav Čelakovský – publisher of Slavonic songs and poems
  • Václav Thám – author of the first neo-Czech poetical anthology 
  • Karel Ignác Thám – author of the most popular defense of the Czech language at that time: “A Defence of the Czech Language against Its Mischievous Slanderers"
  • Karel Jaromír Erben – poet and collector of folk literature 
  • Alois Jirasek – author of an extensive novel works inspired by Hussitism
  • Karel Hynek Mácha – the greatest Czech romantic poet
  • Alois Mrštík – co-author of the famous realistic drama Maryša
  • Vilém Mrštík – co-author of the famous realistic drama Maryša
  • Božena Němcová – beloved Czech writer
  • Jan Neruda – author of five short-story collections that constitute pillars of Czech poetry
  • Otokar Březina – representative of Czech Modernism
  • Karel Čapek – writer and philosopher
  • Josef Čapek – poet, playwright, painter and illustrator, inventor of the word "robot" for his brother´s drama R. U. R.
  • Jaroslav Hašek – author of the world-famous The Good Soldier Švejk (Osudy dobrého vojáka Švejka)
  • Bohumil Hrabal – author of poetic prose with grotesque fates of people
  • Franz Kafka – writer of German-Jewish origin, author of short stories Metamorphosis and The Trial
  • Vítězslav Nezval – original representative of poetics
  • Jaroslav Seifert – recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1984
  • Josef Václav Sládek – greatest translator of Shakespeare in the 19th century
  • Jaroslav Vrchlický – Czech poet and translator


  • Jan Žižka of Trocnov – radical Hussite commander
  • Albrecht of Valdštejn – one of the richest Czech aristocrats, enemy of the king and owner of the biggest army
Added: 08.02.2010

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