The first-time visitor to the Czech Republic is in for a treat. For centuries, businesspeople, traders, travelers, artists and the curious have come to the Czech lands and Prague for inspiration, business or just plain pleasure. From the fairy-tale castle of Český Krumlov to the splendid esplanade and mineral waters of Karlovy Vary to the quaint charm of Prague’s Old Town, the Czech Republic has something to offer nearly every taste bud.
The history of this region is rich and varied, with Prague playing a pivotal role over the centuries. Prague has served as the seat of the Holy Roman Empire; Prague has served as a trade route between East and West; Prague has offered artists from around the globe inspiration. Alchemists have come to Prague in attempts to turn base metals into gold; famed astronomers have charted the stars. Upon these lands, scientists have made great discoveries; musicians have penned masterpieces; business transactions have been made, uniting East and West.
Today, the Czech Republic thrives as an international hotspot, with more annual visitors than the country’s population: 10 million. Since the country became open to the world a decade ago, tourists have flocked to see and experience the delights of the country.
For basic information on how to get around the Czech Republic, click here
Czech Republic Seen by Statistics – It is also possible to receive this publication in the Prague Congress Centre at the Host Government Publications Desk.
EXPERIENCE THE DELIGHTS OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC
A number of tours will be offered to experience the beauties of the Czech Republic.
Český Krumlov is among the cities to be visited. This delightful city served as home to the Rosenberg family of the ruling Habsburg dynasty for some 300 years. The river Vltava swirls around the city in nearly a 360 degree arc; this, with the castle towering above the city, lend it a fairy tale-like effect.
Karlštejn is another gem. This castle, just a quick jaunt from Prague, is perched upon craggy rocks above the Berounka valley. Emperor Charles IV stored the crown jewels here. Restaurants in this town offer an excellent array of wild game.
Plzeň, home to Pilsner style of beer, is also an architectural gem. The main square is the largest in Bohemia, and is testimony to the city’s historical significance. The Gothic Madonna and Child is historically important, and is on display at the St. Bartholomew church, which boasts the largest steeple in the Czech Republic, at 310 feet. Of course, beer lovers may want to tour the brewery and sample its product.
Karlovy Vary, the country’s main spa town, has hosted many a distinguished visitor. Medicinal and relaxing spas are offered here, with the country’s natural hot mineral springs. Visitors may be seen strolling through this elegant town, sipping the waters of the mineral springs on the promenade, or taking in the sights along the river winding through the pedestrian zone.
For more information on Czech castles and chateaux, check this website: http://www.zamky-hrady.cz/index-e.htm
Czech accomplishments have been many. Nobel Prize winners, writers, artists, scientists, and statesmen have made history books and are the pride and joy of Czech heritage. Many Czechs have become well-known internationally:
Antonin Dvorak. Composer, New World Symphony.
Bedrich Smetana. Composer, Libuse.
Leos Janacek. Composer.
Bohuslav Martinu. Composer.
Franz Kafka. Writer, The Castle.
Bohumil Hrabal. Writer, I Served the King of England.
Milan Kundera. Writer, Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Ivan Klima. Writer, The Trial.
Karel Capek. Writer, War with the Newts.
Josef Capek. Painter and inventor of word “robot” (which appeared in his brother Karel’s novel.)
Jaroslav Seifert. Writer, Nobel Prize winner for literature.
Milos Forman. Filmmaker, Oscar winner, Amadeus.
Jiri Menzl, Filmmaker, Closely Watched Trains.
Jan Sverak, Filmmaker, Oscar winner, Kolya.
Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalyst.
Alfons Mucha. Art Nouveau artist. Designer of jewelry, costumes for Sarah Bernhardt
Ivan Lendl. Tennis player.
Martina Navratilova. Tennis player.
Martina Hingis. Tennis player.
Petr Korda. Tennis player.
Emil Zatopek. Runner, winner of four gold Olympic medals.
Czech Hockey Team. Olympic gold medal winners.
Jaroslav Heyrovsky. Scientist, Nobel Prize winner for advancement in polarography
Gregor Johann Mendel. Genecist and Augustine monk from Brno, considered “Father of Genetics”.
Zdenek Skvor. Inventor, tweeter, which transmit high-frequency sound waves.
Josef Ressel. Inventor, boat propeller.
Otto Wichterle. Inventor, contact lens.
Jakub Rad. Inventor, sugar cube.
Vaclav Cerveny. Inventor, tuba.
DOING BUSINESS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
The Czech Republic boasts high-tech modern facilities and a mature infrastructure to support the needs of today’s business person. Excellent, modern highways connect Prague to Germany, Slovakia and Austria. A direct highway also connects Prague with Brno, the capital of the eastern region of the Czech Republic.
International airports in Prague and Ostrava provide daily flights to Europe. Czech Airlines (CSA) offers daily flights to New York, London, Paris and Berlin. Major airline companies are represented in Prague.
A number of conference centers have opened over the past decade in the Czech Republic’s major cities. An excellent service industry has blossomed over the past decade as well, to accommodate the needs of today’s economy.
The benefits to investing in the Czech Republic are many: a skilled local workforce, excellent infrastructure, vibrant service sector, combined with the convenient locale of the Czech Republic, in the center of Europe. Prague serves as headquarters for a number of international businesses which operate west and east of the Czech Republic. A number of foreign and Czech business partnerships have been forged over the past decade, with advantageous results gained from both sides.
An introduction to goodies offered in the Czech Republic. As far as Czech cuisine goes, be prepared for a hearty meal. Those wishing to try wild game while in the Czechlands would follow the long tradition of Czech kings and Hapsburgs; don’t miss divoký kanec, or wild boar. Quail or křepelka, pheasant or bažant, goose or husa, and duck or kachna also are Czech specialties, and are served with dumplings and tasty sauerkraut. On Sundays, Czech Grandmother’s houses often are scented with the aroma of svíčková pečeně na smetaně, a beefsteak in a scrumptuous cream sauce, usually served with brusinky, or cranberries. Of course, goulasch with dumplings are another favorite, as well.
Czech meals traditionally are accompanied by Czech beer or wine. Czech beer is, by the experts’ accounts, among the best in the world. The combination of the country’s rich mineral waters, and fertile soil that nurtures the hops, plus a recipe for brewing that has been perfected over the centuries, makes the beer halls hum with Czechs and visitors alike. The western city of Plzen, or Pilsen, is home to the famous Pilsner style of brewing beer. Pilsner Urquell can be found, on tap, in many pubs. Dark and light beers are plentiful – hundreds of breweries around the country offer wide selection – and beer lovers would be in for a treat to try a mixture of the two, a řezené.
The wine region of the Czech Republic is Moravia, the eastern half of the countrz. Frankovka is a popular red wine; Tramín is a light, dry white wine. Those interested in trying the local spirits should try Becherovka, an herbal liquor with a recipe that has been kept secret. Becherovka hails from the mineral spa town of Karlovy Vary, and is known as the 13th spring. Another Czech favorite is fernet – a dark, bitter spirit, which does not suit all taste buds (a number of Czech jokes are based upon this liquor).
To find a good restaurant in Prague, try the restaurant guide on this link: Prague Post Restaurant Section