Charles IV. (Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia), John Amos Comenius (Jan Amos Komenský – father of modern education), Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1st president of Czechoslovakia, 1918), Sigmund Freud (founder of psychoanalysis), Gregor Mendel (founder of the modern science of genetics), Jan Evangelista Purkyně (biologist), Madeleine Albright (politician), Franz Kafka (writer), Milan Kundera (writer), Jaroslav Hašek (writer), Antonín Dvořák (composer), Leoš Janáček (composer), Bedřich Smetana (composer), Alfons Mucha (painter), David Černý (artist), Jan Saudek (art photographer), Petr Čech (football player) and many more.
Václav Havel (1936 – 2011)
Loved by most and loathed by few, Václav Havel is a Czech playwright and former dissident and was the former last president of Czechoslovakia and the former first president of the Czech Republic. Václav Havel is considered to be one of the top intellectuals in the world and is admired and respected for his humanitarian ideals and honesty.
Miloš Forman (1932 – 2018)
Miloš Forman is a Czech-American film director famous for his academy awards won for best direction of the films One Flew over the Cukoo‘s Nest, winner of 5 academy awards and Amadeus, winner of 8; both films are listed among the best movies in the history of film.
Tomáš Baťa (1876 – 1932)
Founder of Baťa shoe company, one of the world’s largest multinational retailers, manufacturers and distributors of accessories and footwear, Tomáš Baťa was born in 1876 in the town of Zlín. He is regarded not only as a fine businessman, but a fine businessman with a sense of social consciousness as he created jobs, housing facilities and cared for employee welfare and implemented social advancement programs. His grandson Thomas Baťa currently runs the company.
Jaromír Jágr (*1972)
Jaromír Jágr has previously played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames, serving as captain of the Penguins and the Rangers.
Karel Gott (1939 – 2019)
Karel Gott was a Czech recording artist and amateur painter, considered the most successful male singer in the Czech Republic. He was voted the country’s best male singer in the annual Český slavík (Czech Nightingale) national music award 42 times. He achieved considerable success in the German-speaking countries, where he was known as „the Golden Voice of Prague“. Over the course of his career he released over 100 albums and 100 compilation albums, and sold an estimated 50–100 million records worldwide.
Ester Ledecká (*1995)
Ester Ledecká is a Czech snowboarder and alpine skier. At the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Ledecká won gold medals in the super-G in alpine skiing, and in the parallel giant slalom in snowboarding, becoming the first person to win two gold medals at the same Winter Olympics using two different types of equipment (skis and snowboard). She was the second woman to win Olympic gold in two separate disciplines but the first to do so at the same Winter Olympics.
Famous Czech brands
The fame of Czech cars under the Škoda brand began to unfold in 1925, when the concern acquired the car manufacturer Laurin & Klement in Mladá Boleslav. Currently Škoda is one of the most visible and best-selling brands on the world market. You can learn about its history in comfort in the Škoda Museum in Mladá Boleslav. The exhibition is a modern concept, standing on 1,800 m2of exhibition grounds equipped with a multifunctional hall and restaurant.
There was, for example, the Tatra brand, the second oldest operating car manufacturer in the world. In 1897, the first car was made here, and the brand still enjoys high prestige in the truck category, which is well-known from the Dakar Rally. You can best learn about the history of the brand in the Technical Museum Tatra in the North Moravian town of Kopřivnice.
The company of Mr. Janeček and Mr. Wanderer – the first letters of their names combined to create the brand Jawa, which also focused on armaments production at first, but after the decline of interest it shifted towards motorcycle and car production. Jawa motorcycles are still popular and very successful in races on a flat track, Enduro, but also in the Dakar Rally. In the Jawa Museum in Konopiště (near the State Chateau Konopiště), you can view around 200 historical motorcycles.
In the Czech Republic, the name Baťa is still synonymous with successful business combined with social conscience and empathy. The footwear giant, who achieved global success, built houses, schools, and hospitals for his employees, and after WWII he discounted his goods to half price rather than lay off workers en masse. The entire city of Zlín still has the character impressed on it by Baťa’s genius. The notable Zlín museum “Building No. 14” of the Baťa Institute, located in one the Baťa-built buildings, offers an amazing journey through the history of the brand as well as the Baťa family. Enthusiasts can also visit the famous skyscraper, which, at the time, caused amazement due to its technical amenities.
The main attraction is an independently air-conditioned mobile office in a lift, which even contained a sink with hot water.
In 1930, the registered trademark of Budvar was created by connecting two Czech words, Budějovický and pivovar (brewery). Its extraordinary international success brought the local administrative board to incorporate it into the name of the brewery itself. Tourists can now visit this brewery in České Budějovice, and admire the production process of the world-famous lager. The tour, which is available in up to seven languages, is enhanced by a tasting. Thanks to it, visitors can sample the genuine South Bohemian recipe, whose origins date back to the 13th century.
The most famous brand of Czech beer was born in 1842in Pilsen, which is, with only a very slight exaggeration, said to be the world capital of beer. Beer that is valued by experts as well as lay people across the globe has been brewed here for more than 175 years. In the Brewery Museum in Pilsen, you will experience the story of beer from ancient times to the present. The exhibition is unrivalled in the world. You will discover the history of Pilsen’s pubs, see the complete facilities of the brewery, including the laboratory, and view beer curiosities – and you will even have a taste of the delicious local beverage.