Didn’t We Discuss This in History Class?
“Czech Republic, also called Czechia, is a country located in central Europe. It comprises the historical provinces of Bohemia and Moravia along with the southern tip of Silesia, collectively often called the Czech Lands. In 2016 the country adopted the name “Czechia” as a shortened, informal name for the Czech Republic.” – Encyclopedia Britannica
My Story: Where Do I Begin?
You may have already learned my story—about me and my passion to help the world see things through different eyes. My name is Jonathan Dryer, and I am the Unofficial Traveler. I am honored you are joining my many adventures. Thank you for being my companion out here. With no further hesitation, let’s start our travels by looking at some facts about the Czech Republic.
Located in Central Europe, you will find this nice little country known as Czechia or the Czech Republic. Surrounding this country, you will find Austria, Slovakia, Germany, and Poland. It nestles comfortably in the center of these regions, and while I am not quite sure what tugged on me to visit this place, I am glad I did. The uncapped beauty of this country begs to be explored, and if you have not visited there, I hope that my story will help you envision the sights, sounds, and smells of this wonderful place. If you have been to Czechia, I hope that my experiences will bring you back to the time you were embraced by a country such as this.
“Beauty surrounds us, but the age-old ways of ill-willed anger still burns deep within those who remember this place before it became what it is today.” – Author Unknown
There is so much to learn about a destination such as this. You only have to open your mind and heart to the clear understanding that amongst the beauty, there was once a deep, dark past that many still clutch to, while others try moving forward in hopes that they will eventually forget the angry bitterness of the past. I learned about the unfortunate poverty-stricken state they are in, as well as the socioeconomic situations the residents here have found themselves in the middle of. While the Czech people seem to be proud and hardworking, this country has been a melting pot of change for centuries. These changes have been influencers for the people here, and walking through the streets I learned that spending time in the pubs, while grabbing a few beers, is the ideal part of social life there. It seemed to be the norm, and I promise you, I definitely did not oppose the occasional cold one.
Many people, to my understanding, are enjoying the freedom of being a country separate from Russia, but they don’t seem to harbor ill will against the Russians. Still, there are a few who are bitter. They remember things before the 1960s, and while that was a long time ago for some, to these individuals it seems like only yesterday.
According to a 2018 article in The Guardian, “In Slovakia and the Czech Republic there are those on both the far left and the far right who favor improved relations with Russia and dismiss the historical grievances as irrelevant. ‘Think of our history with the Germans, and now we are friends,’ said Jaroslav Doubrava, 70, a senator and one of the most enthusiastic supporters of modern Russia among Czech politicians.”
If you are into facts about Czech Republic, you should enjoy this one: During medieval times, the kings in the land, literally seeded every county in Europe with their children in marriage to all the other ruling monarchs. I learned this while touring the Prague Castle. There is still a memoir in the castle that shows how all the ruling families in this area are connected though the various lineages shared by those gone before. I found an extremely informative website to accompany the information I was gaining about Prague Castle.
Here’s a fun fact I learned while touring the Prague Castle: During medieval times, the kings of Europe literally seceded every country. The kings also took control of the European children and forced the women to marry the ruling patriarchs. There is a memoir that shows how all the ruling families with ties to this area are connected.
The Language: We Must Learn to Adapt, and Adapt to Learn
The language spoken in Czech is not predominantly English, but the people here really desire to learn the English language; the schooling they go through is taken extremely seriously. There are students who are able to take advantage of the central positioning of an English class taught here by a friend of mine named Melissa. She has been an English teacher for a while now, and while the children are learning multiple languages here, they strive through the difficulties of learning English. I found it interesting that they also are encouraged to experience many other cultures, too.
The Culture: Employment, Religion, Artwork, and Shops abound
The employment in Czech is really interesting! They give jobs to the Czech citizens first. If there are additional employment opportunities, they will offer those jobs to foreigners. The foreigners have to take a number, figuratively speaking. It appears that they love their country, and they value the independence of their people. This was such a refreshing and lovely display of loyalty to the people there.
The country’s religion has switched back and forth over the centuries. At one point, the main religion was Protestant and then Catholic. There are many medieval churches in Europe, and they are beautiful. But on Sundays, these beautiful churches stand empty, only to be used as a backdrop for a tourist selfie or the focal point of a beautiful photograph. These churches have become works of art and no longer places of worship. I took a moment to ask one of the locals in a small village outside of Prague why there was a lack of churches. He told me that the Czech people were confused about religion and tired of all the switching back and forth over the centuries. The majority of the Czech people prefer atheism. I can understand the confusion part, but does change negate God holistically? My concerns for this are my own, as I am a man of faith. I will pray.
Music and art have been influenced by the American culture in Czech. During my travels in Czech, the early 2000s and back seemed to be the preferred musical era. There are some mainstream artists that rule the day as well.
There is artwork everywhere in Czech. The buildings are decorated with artwork from different time periods and the influences of every ruling class and nation that has had their hands in this great country. An early morning or late-night walk will allow for an appreciation for what most don’t focus on during the day and how lovely this city flows.
The river has become a nice gathering spot with fresh and local marketeers flooding the Riverwalk. The walk to the river is worth the early morning rise and is a must-see experience when visiting the city.
The artwork here is simply exquisite, and I am in awe of the details given, which are displayed throughout various buildings here. If you do decide to travel here (and I really think you should), you will notice the intricacies from the multiple eras and the ruling class’s influences of days gone by. Taking an honest walk early in the morning (or late at night) can inspire a strong appreciation for what many may not focus on during the day, and how lovely this city flows. The Riverwalk provided a nice, fresh gathering spot for local marketeers. The air is clean, and if you hang out long enough, you might be able to catch a few swans swimming by. Stopping here will be a worthy experience, according to what I have witnessed.
You may find a few shops and street markets owned by outsiders, who, without this as a source of income, might not have been able to make it. The actual Czech shop owners are few and far between, because most of them are already working elsewhere. Be sure to stop when you visit. If this is your idea of a good time, this will probably leave you with memories for years to come.
Facts About the Czech Republic
Czech people seem to be a proud people and hardworking for sure in the center of Europe. This place has been a melting pot of change for centuries, which has added so many influences. These influences have ranged from the far west of England to the far west of Russia and Turkey. I was fortunate enough to walk the streets and spend time in the pubs, and sure, some beers, which is a huge part of being sociable here.
The fact that Czechia was able to become its own country and separate from Russia is just the tip of the iceberg! This event is what most people remember this great country for.