Roman Catholic, Hussite, Lutheran and other
Moravians, Slovaks, Silesians, Sorbs, Germans, Austrians,
Poles & other West Slavs
Czechs (Czech: Češi, pronounced [ˈtʃɛʃɪ]; singular
masculine: Čech [ˈtʃɛx], singular feminine: Češka [ˈtʃɛʃka])
or the Czech people (Český národ), are a West Slavic ethnic group
and a nation native to the
Czech Republic in Central Europe, who share
a common ancestry, culture, history and are native speakers of the
Czechs were called Bohemians in English until the early 20th
century, referring to the medieval land of
Bohemia which in turn was
adapted from late
Iron Age tribe of Celtic Boii. During the Migration
Period, West Slavic tribes of Bohemians settled in the area,
"assimilated the remaining Celtic and Germanic populations", and
formed a principality in the 9th century, which was part of great
Moravia, in form of Duchy of
Bohemia and later Kingdom of Bohemia, the
predecessors of the modern republic.
Czech diaspora is found in notable numbers in the United States,
Canada, Israel, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, Italy, the
United Kingdom, Australia,
Brazil among others.
3 Notable people
3.1 Historical figures
3.2 Modern politicians
3.5 The arts
3.5.3 Visual Arts
3.8 Czech ancestry
5 Czech language
8 See also
11 Further reading
12 External links
Part of a series on the
Culture of Czech Republic
Kingdom of Bohemia
Czech National Revival
Mythology and folklore
Music and performing arts
World Heritage Sites
Coat of arms
Czech Republic portal
The Czech ethnic group is part of the West Slavic subgroup of the
larger Slavic ethno-linguistical group. The
West Slavs have origin in
early Slavic tribes which settled in
Central Europe after East
Germanic tribes had left this area during the migration period.
The West Slavic tribe of Bohemians settled in the area of Bohemia
during the migration period, and assimilated the remaining Celtic and
Germanic populations. They formed a principality in the 9th
century, the Duchy of Bohemia, under the
Přemyslid dynasty which was
part of the Great
Moravia under Svatopluk I. According to mythology,
the founding father of the Czech people were Forefather Čech, who
according to legend brought the tribe of
Czechs into its land.
The Czech are closely related to the neighbouring
Slovaks (with whom
Czechoslovakia 1918–1993). The Czech–Slovak
languages form a dialect continuum rather than being two clearly
distinct languages. Czech cultural influence in Slovak culture is
noted as having been much higher than the other way around. Czech
(Slavic) people have a long history of coexistence with Germanic
people. In the 17th century, German replaced Czech in central and
local administration; upper classes in
Germanized, and espoused a political identity (landespatriotismus),
while Czech ethnic identity survived among the lower and lower-middle
Czech National Revival
Czech National Revival took place in the 18th and
19th centuries aiming to revive Czech language, culture and national
identity. The Czech were the initiators of Pan-Slavism.
The Czech ethnonym (archaic Čechové) was the name of a Slavic tribe
Bohemia that subdued the surrounding tribes in the late 9th
century and created the Czech/Bohemian state. The origin of the name
of the tribe itself is unknown. According to legend, it comes from
their leader Čech, who brought them to Bohemia. Research regards
Čech as a derivative of the root čel- (member of the people,
kinsman). The Czech ethnonym was adopted by the
Moravians in the
19th century. The name "Bohemia" (and "Bohemians") is Germanic;
English used that name until after the establishment of
Further information: Genetic history of Europe
Distribution of populations in selected nations according to their
Haplogroup frequencies, American Journal of Physical Anthropology,
The population of the
Czech lands has been influenced by different
human migrations that wide-crossed
Europe over time. In their Y-DNA
haplogroups, which are inherited along the male line,
shown a mix of Eastern and Western European traits. 34.2% of Czech
males belong to R1a, which is particularly common in a large region
South Asia and Southern
Central Europe and
Scandinavia. Within the Czech Republic, the proportion of R1a seems to
gradually increase from west to east  According to a 2000 study,
35.6% of Czech males have haplogroup R1b, which is very common in
Europe among Germanic and Celtic nations, but rare among
Slavic nations. A mtDNA study of 179 individuals from Western
Bohemia showed that 3% had East Eurasian lineages that perhaps entered
the gene pool through admixture with Central Asian nomadic tribes in
the early Middle Ages. A group of scientists suggested that the
high frequency of a gene mutation causing cystic fibrosis in Central
European (including Czech R.) and Celtic populations proves a
proto-Celtic population origin, besides the Slavic, in the Czech
Luca et al. 2007
Semino et al. 2000
Slavic tribes in
Europe in the 7th to 9th Century
Duchy of Bohemia, the early form of the Czech state pictured in the
11th century within the Holy Roman Empire
Forefather Čech on the Říp Mountain
The population of the
Czech Republic descends from diverse peoples of
Slavic, Celtic and Germanic origin. Presence of West Slavs
in the 6th century during the
Migration Period has been documented on
the Czech territory.
Slavs settled in Bohemia,
Moravia and Austria
sometime during the 6th or 7th centuries, and "assimilated the
remaining Celtic and Germanic populations". According to a
popular myth, the
Slavs came with
Forefather Čech who settled at the
During the 7th century, the Frankish merchant Samo, supporting the
Slavs fighting against nearby settled Avars, became the ruler of the
first known Slav state in Central Europe, the Samo's Empire. The
principality Great Moravia, controlled by the Moymir dynasty, arose in
the 8th century and reached its zenith in the 9th (during the reign of
Svatopluk I of Moravia) when it held off the influence of the Franks.
Moravia was Christianized, the crucial role played Byzantine
mission of Cyril and Methodius. The Duchy of
Bohemia emerged in the
late 9th century. In 880,
Prague Castle was constructed by Prince
Bořivoj, founder of the
Přemyslid dynasty and the city of
established. Vratislav II was the first Czech king in 1085 and the
duchy was raised to a hereditary kingdom under Ottokar I in 1198.
The second half of the 13th century was a period of advancing German
immigration into the Czech lands. The number of
Czechs who have at
least partly German ancestry today probably runs into hundreds of
Monarchy focused much of its power on
religious wars against the Protestants. While these religious wars
were taking place, the Czech estates revolted against
1546 to 1547 but were ultimately defeated.
Part of a series on
United States (Baltimore, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas)
History of the Czech lands
Slovaks * West Slavs
Czech traditional costumes
Prague in 1618, signaled an open revolt by the
Bohemian estates against the
Habsburgs and started the Thirty Years'
War. After the
Battle of White Mountain
Battle of White Mountain in 1620, all
Czech lands were
declared hereditary property of the
Habsburg family. The German
language was made equal to the Czech language.
Czech patriotic authors tend to call the following period, from 1620
to 1648 until the late 18th century, the "Dark Age". It is
characterized by devastation by foreign troops; Germanization; and
economic and political decline. It is estimated that the population of
Czech lands declined by a third.
The 18th and 19th century is characterized by the Czech National
Revival, focusing to revive Czech culture and national identity.
Since the turn of the 20th century, Chicago is the city with the third
largest Czech population, after
Prague and Vienna.
During World War I,
Czechoslovak Legions fought in France,
Russia against the
Central Powers and in 1918 was proclaimed
Czechs formed the leading class in the new
state from the remnants of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy.
Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in central and
eastern Europe. However, in 1938 the
Munich Agreement severed the
Sudetenland, with a considerable Czech minority, from Czechoslovakia,
and in 1939 the German Nazi regime established the Protectorate of
Resttschechei (the rump Czech
Emil Hácha became president of the protectorate
under Nazi domination, which only allowed pro-Nazi Czech associations
and tended to stress ties of the
Czechs with the Bohemian
other parts of the German people, in order to facilitate assimilation
by Germanization. In Lidice,
Ležáky and Javoříčko the Nazi
authorities committed war crimes against the local Czech population.
On May 2, 1945, the
Prague Uprising reached its peak, supported by the
Russian Liberation Army. The post-war expulsion of
Czechoslovakia and the immediate reprisals against
Germans and Nazi
Czech resistance and the Czechoslovak state
authorities, made Czechs—especially in the early 1950s—settle
Romani people in the former lands of the Sudeten
Germans, who had been deported to East Germany, West
Austria according to the
Potsdam Conference and Yalta Conference.
Warsaw Pact invasion of
Czechoslovakia in 1968 was followed by a
wave of emigration, unseen before and stopped shortly after (estimate:
70,000 immediately, 300,000 in total), typically of highly
Tens of thousands of
Czechs had repatriated from
Volhynia and Banat
after World War II. Since the 1990s, the
Czech Republic has been
working to repatriate
Romania and Kazakhstan's ethnic Czechs.
Following the Czech Republic's entry into the European Union in May
Czechs gradually gained the right to work in EU countries
without a work permit.
See also: List of Czechs
The last five Přemyslids were kings: Ottokar I of Bohemia, Wenceslaus
I of Bohemia, Ottokar II of Bohemia, Wenceslaus II of
Wenceslaus III of Bohemia. The most successful and influential of all
Czech kings was Charles IV, who also became the Holy Roman
Luxembourg dynasty represents the heights of Czech
(Bohemian) statehood territorial and influence as well as advancement
in many areas of human endeavors.
Many people are considered national heroes and cultural icons, many
national stories concern their lives.
Jan Hus was a religious
reformist from the 15th century and spiritual father of the Hussite
Jan Žižka and
Prokop the Great
Prokop the Great were leaders of hussite
George of Poděbrady
George of Poděbrady was a hussite king. Albrecht von
Wallenstein was a notable military leader during the Thirty Years'
War. The teacher of nations
Jan Amos Komenský
Jan Amos Komenský is also considered a
notable figure in Czech history.
Joseph Radetzky von Radetz
Joseph Radetzky von Radetz was an
Austrian general staff during the later period of the Napoleonic Wars.
Josef Jungmann is often credited for expanding the modern Czech
language, and preventing its extinction. The first modern Czech
politician was František Palacký, often called "father of nation".
One of the most notable figures are founders of Czechoslovakia, modern
state of independence of Czech and Slovak nations, Presidents Tomáš
Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Beneš, who was also leader of exile
government in World War II.
Ludvík Svoboda was a head of the
Czechoslovak military units on the Eastern Front during the World War
II (later president of Czechoslovakia). The key figures of the
Communist regime were Klement Gottwald, Antonín Zápotocký, Antonín
Novotný (and Slovak Gustáv Husák), the most famous victims of this
Milada Horáková and Rudolf Slánský. Jan Palach
committed self-immolation as a political protest against the end of
Prague Spring resulting from the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia
Warsaw Pact armies.
Another notable politician after the fall of the communist regime is
Václav Havel, last President of
Czechoslovakia and first President of
the Czech Republic. The current first directly elected president
is Miloš Zeman.
Czech Republic has had multiple Prime Ministers the first of which
was latter Presidents
Václav Klaus and Miloš Zeman. Another
Prime Ministers of the
Czech Republic were conservative politicians
such as Mirek Topolánek,
Petr Nečas and social democratic such as
Vladimír Špidla, Jiří Paroubek, Bohuslav Sobotka.
Madeleine Albright is of Czech origin and fluent in Czech.
Other well-known Czech diplomats were
Jan Masaryk or Jiří
Czechs established themselves mainly in Biology, Chemistry, Philology
Jaroslav Heyrovský (Nobel Prize 1959), Zdenko Hans
Biology – Jan Evangelista Purkyně, Carl Borivoj Presl, Jan
Svatopluk Presl, Karel Domin, Kaspar Maria von Sternberg, Friedrich
von Berchtold, Ferdinand Stoliczka, Wenceslas Bojer, Jan Janský,
Alberto Vojtěch Frič, August Carl Joseph Corda
Mathematics – Eduard Čech, Miroslav Katětov, Petr Vopěnka
Physics and Engineering – Ignaz von Born, Otto Wichterle, František
Běhounek, Jan Marek Marci, Josef Ressel, František Křižík,
Vincenc Strouhal, Prokop Diviš, František Josef Gerstner
Astronomy – Antonín Mrkos, Antonín Bečvář
Astronautics – Vladimír Remek
Philology – Bedřich Hrozný, Josef Dobrovský, Josef Jungmann,
Vilém Mathesius, Julius Pokorny, René Wellek, Jan Mukařovský
Medicine – Carl von Rokitansky, Joseph Škoda
Archeology – Pavel Pavel, Lubor Niederle, Karel Absolon, Miroslav
Anthropology and Ethnography – Aleš Hrdlička, Emil Holub, Alois
History – František Palacký, Bohuslav Balbín, Konstantin
Jireček, Max Dvořák, Miroslav Hroch
Philosophy – Jan Patočka, Karel Kosík, Egon Bondy, Ladislav Klíma
Psychology – Stanislav Grof
Theology – Jan Hus, Jerome of Prague, Petr Chelčický, Jan
Rokycana, Tomáš Špidlík, Tomáš Halík
Modern occultism – Franz Bardon
Pedagogy – Jan Amos Komenský
Folklorists – František Ladislav Čelakovský, Karel Jaromír Erben
Literary theory – Karel Teige, Pavel Janáček
Sports have also been a contributor to famous
tennis, football, hockey, and athletics:
Tennis – Jaroslav Drobný, Jan Kodeš, Martina Navrátilová, Ivan
Lendl, Hana Mandlíková, Jana Novotná, Helena Suková, Petr Korda,
Petra Kvitová, Tomáš Berdych, Karolína Plíšková
Football – Oldřich Nejedlý, Antonín Puč, František Plánička,
Josef Bican, Josef Masopust, Ivo Viktor, Antonín Panenka, Zdeněk
Nehoda, Tomáš Skuhravý, Pavel Nedvěd, Karel Poborský, Jan Koller,
Milan Baroš, Marek Jankulovski, Vladimír Šmicer, Tomáš
Rosický, Petr Čech
Hockey – Jaromír Jágr, Dominik Hašek, Vladimír Růžička,
Jiří Šlégr, Ivan Hlinka, Jiří Holeček, Jaroslav Pouzar, Jiří
Hrdina, Petr Sýkora, Patrik Eliáš, Bobby Holík, Michal Rozsíval,
Milan Hejduk, Petr Nedvěd, Martin Straka, Václav Prospal, Jakub
Voráček, Tomáš Plekanec, František Kaberle, David Výborný,
Pavel Patera, Martin Procházka, David Krejci
Athletics – Emil Zátopek, Dana Zátopková, Jarmila
Kratochvílová, Roman Šebrle, Jan Železný, Barbora Špotáková
Chess – Wilhelm Steinitz, Věra Menčíková, Richard Réti, Salo
Flohr, David Navara
Others – Věra Čáslavská, Martina Sáblíková, Martin Doktor,
Štěpánka Hilgertová, Josef Holeček, Kateřina Neumannová, Filip
Jícha, Jiří Zídek Sr., Jan Veselý
Bedřich Smetana Among his Friends, 1865; oil painting by František
Czech music had its first significant pieces created in the 11th
century. The great progress of Czech artificial music began with
the end of the
Renaissance and the early Baroque era, concretely in
works of Adam Václav Michna z Otradovic, where the specific character
Czech music was rising up by using the influence of genuine folk
music. This tradition determined the development of
Czech music and
has remained the main sign in the works of great Czech composers of
almost all eras –
Jan Dismas Zelenka
Jan Dismas Zelenka and
Josef Mysliveček in
Bedřich Smetana and
Antonín Dvořák in Romanticism, Leoš
Bohuslav Martinů and Josef Suk in modern classical or Petr
Miloslav Kabeláč in contemporary classical music.
Czech musicians also played an important role in the development of
European music. Jan Václav Antonín Stamic in 18th-century
contributed to the creation of
Classicism in music by innovations
of compositional forms and the founding of the Mannheim school.
Similarly, Antonín Rejcha's experiments prefigured new compositional
techniques in the 19th century. The influence of Czech musicians
expanded beyond the borders of the European continent, when Antonín
Dvořák created a new American classical music style, using the
richness of ethnic music of that country during his mission in the US.
The contribution of
Alois Hába to microtonal music in the 20th
century must be also mentioned.
Czech music reached as far as Qing China.
Karel Slavíček was a
Jesuit missionary, scientist and sinologist who was introduced to the
Kangxi Emperor on February 3, 1717, in Beijing. The emperor favored
him and employed him as court musician. (Slavíček was a Spinet
Some notable modern Czech musicians are US-based composer and
guitarist Ivan Král, musician and composer
Jan Hammer and the rock
The Plastic People of the Universe
The Plastic People of the Universe which played an important part
in the underground movement during the communist regime.
Czech Republic first entered the
Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest in 2007.
Czech performer qualified for the grand final for the first time in
2016 when singer
Gabriela Gunčíková finished in 25th place.
Other important names: Franz Benda, Rafael Kubelík, Jan Ladislav
Dussek, Vítězslav Novák, Zdeněk Fibich, Jan Kubelík, Jiří
Antonín Benda, Julius Fučík, Karel Svoboda, Karel Kryl, Václav
Neumann, Václav Talich, František Xaver Richter, Jan Křtitel
Vaňhal, Vojtěch Živný, Josef Bohuslav Foerster, Magdalena
Kožená, Karel Ančerl, Ema Destinnová, Maria Jeritza, František
Xaver Brixi, Jiří Bělohlávek, Oskar Nedbal, Karel Gott.
Jaroslav Seifert was awarded the
Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature for his
Božena Němcová has become a cultural icon and gained
much fame for her book Babička. Other important Czech writers
include Milan Kundera, Karel Čapek, Jaroslav Hašek, Jan Neruda,
Franz Kafka, Bohumil Hrabal, Viktor Dyk, Kosmas, Pavel Kohout, Alois
Jirásek, Josef Škvorecký, Karel Jaromír Erben, Jiří Wolker,
Karel Hynek Mácha, Vítězslav Nezval, Arnošt Lustig, Jaroslav
Vrchlický, Karel Havlíček Borovský, Ivan Klíma, Egon Erwin Kisch,
Julius Zeyer or Svatopluk Čech. From contemporary
Czech writers can be mentioned Jáchym Topol, Patrik Ouředník,
Michal Viewegh or Daniela Hodrová. Important playwrights were Karel
František Langer or Josef Kajetán Tyl. Strong was also the
theatrical avant-garde (Jan Werich, Jiří Voskovec, Emil František
Burian). Known journalists were Julius Fučík,
Milena Jesenská or
The Slav Epic
The Slav Epic by Alfons Mucha
Mikoláš Aleš was a painter, known for redesigning the Prague
Alphonse Mucha was an influential artist in the
Art Nouveau movement of the Edwardian period.
František Kupka was a
pioneer and co-founder of the abstract art movement. Other well-known
painters are Josef Čapek, Josef Lada, Theodoric of Prague, Wenceslaus
Hollar, Toyen, Jan Kupecký, Petr Brandl, Vladimír Vašíček,
Václav Brožík, Josef Mánes,
Karel Škréta or Max Švabinský.
Renowned sculptors were
Josef Václav Myslbek
Josef Václav Myslbek or Matyáš Bernard
Braun, photographers Jan Saudek, Josef Sudek,
František Drtikol or
Josef Koudelka, illustrators
Zdeněk Burian or Adolf Born, architects
Jan Kotěra or Josef Gočár.
Jiří Kylián was an important ballet
Film director Miloš Forman
Film director Miloš Forman, known best for his movie, One Flew over
the Cuckoo's Nest is of Czech origin and started his career in
Czechoslovakia. Forman was a member of the so-called Czech New
Wave. Other members included
Jiří Menzel (Oscar 1967), Věra
Elmar Klos (Oscar 1965). Academy Award for Best Foreign
Language Film has also
Jan Svěrák (1996). The influential surrealist
filmmaker and animator
Jan Švankmajer was born in
Prague and has
resided in the
Czech Republic throughout his life. In the field of
animation and puppet film made famous Zdeněk Miler,
Karel Zeman and
Actors Zdeněk Svěrák, Vlastimil Brodský, Vladimír
Libuše Šafránková or
Karel Roden have also made a
mark in modern Czech history. The most successful Czech erotic actress
is Silvia Saint.
The first Czech models have made a breakthrough in the international
Paulina Porizkova or Ivana Trump. After the fall of
Czechoslovakia many other models succeeded: Karolína
Kurková, Eva Herzigová, Taťána Kuchařová,
Petra Němcová and
John of Nepomuk
John of Nepomuk (Jan Nepomucký)
Czech culture involves many saints, most notably St. Wenceslaus
(Václav), patron of the Czech nation, St.
John of Nepomuk
John of Nepomuk (Jan
Nepomucký), St. Adalbert (Vojtěch), Saint Procopius or St.
Bohemia (Anežka Česká). Although not a Christian,
Judah Loew ben Bezalel
Judah Loew ben Bezalel of Prague, a 16th Century scholar and one
of the most influential figures of Jewish history, is considered to be
part of the country's religious legacy as well.
Modern Czech nation was formed in process of Czech national revival.
In it, he pushed linguistic concept of the nation (particularly
promoted by Jungmann), i.e. "Czech = one who has
Czech language as
their first language - naturally or by choice." (That is why they are
often considered the Czechs,
Slovaks who have chosen the Czech
language as their literary language, such as
Ján Kollár or Pavel
Jozef Šafařík). Like other nations, the
Czechs also discuss two
alternative concepts - land concept (Czech is one who is born in the
historic Czech territory), which in times of Jungmann success
primarily nobility, and ethnic concept. Definition by the territory is
still discussed alternative, from time to time is indicated
Czechs number of natives (speaking mostly German, English or
otherwise) - these include US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright,
film director Karel Reisz, actor Herbert Lom, the founder of
psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, the founder of genetics Gregor Mendel,
logician and mathematician Kurt Gödel, the philosopher Edmund
Husserl, scientists Gerty Cori,
Carl Cori and
Peter Grünberg (all
Nobel Prize winners) and Ernst Mach, economists
Joseph Schumpeter and
Eugen Böhm von Bawerk, philosophers Bernard Bolzano, Ernest Gellner,
Vilém Flusser and Herbert Feigl, Marxist theoretician Karl Kautsky,
astronomer Johann Palisa, legal theorist Hans Kelsen, inventors Alois
Senefelder and Viktor Kaplan, automotive designer Ferdinand Porsche,
psychologist Max Wertheimer, a geologist Karl von Terzaghi,
Eduard Hanslick and Guido Adler, chemist Johann Josef
Heinrich Wilhelm Schott and Georg Joseph Kamel,
the founder of the dermatology Ferdinand Ritter von Hebra, peace
Bertha von Suttner
Bertha von Suttner (Nobel Peace Prize), the composers Gustav
Mahler, Heinrich Biber, Viktor Ullmann, Ervin Schulhoff, Pavel Haas,
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Ralph Benatzky, writers Franz Kafka,
Reiner Maria Rilke, Max Brod, Karl Kraus, Franz Werfel, Marie von
Ebner-Eschenbach, Leo Perutz,
Tom Stoppard and Egon Erwin Kisch,
Anton Raphael Mengs
Anton Raphael Mengs and Emil Orlik, architects Adolf Loos,
Peter Parler, Josef Hoffmann,
Jan Santini Aichel
Jan Santini Aichel and Kilian Ignaz
Dientzenhofer, cellist David Popper, violist Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst,
Alice Herz-Sommer and Rudolf Serkin, president of Austria
Karl Renner, Prime Minister of
Poland Jerzy Buzek, industrialist Oskar
Schindler, or chess player Wilhelm Steinitz.
People with Czech ancestry include the astronauts
Eugene Cernan and
Jim Lovell, film directors Chris Columbus and Jim Jarmusch, swimmer
Katie Ledecky, politicians
John Forbes Kerry
John Forbes Kerry and Caspar Weinberger,
chemist and Nobel Prize laureate Thomas Cech, physicist Karl Guthe
Jansky, economist Friedrich Hayek, painters Jan Matejko, Gustav Klimt,
Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka, actors Ashton Kutcher, Sissy Spacek
and Kim Novak, tennis players Richard Krajicek,
Jakob Hlasek and Stan
Wawrinka, singer Jason Mraz,
Brazil president Juscelino Kubitschek,
McDonald's company Ray Kroc, writers
Georg Trakl and Robert
Musil, mayor of Chicago
Anton Cermak and
Ivanka Trump and her brother
Donald Trump Jr.
Greater coat of arms of the
Czech Republic shows symbols of historical
lands Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia
Czechs live in three historical lands: Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech
Silesia; these regions make up the modern Czech Republic. However,
the country is now divided into 14 administrative regions. The
local culture varies somewhat in each of the historical regions.
Moravians are usually more nationalistic regional patriots of Moravia,
but they also speak Czech. Local dialects (such as Central Bohemian,
the Chod dialect, Moravian, Cieszyn Silesian, etc.) are found in
various parts of the country.
Main article: Czech Language
See also: History of the Czech language
Czech language is spoken by approximately 12 million people around
the world, but the vast majority are in the Czech Republic. It
developed from the
Proto-Slavic language in the 10th century
and is mutually intelligible with the Slovak language.
Predecessor to Protestantism, Jan Hus
See also: Religion in the Czech Republic
Richard Felix Staar described
Czechs as "tolerant and even indifferent
towards religion as a rule".
After the Bohemian Reformation, most
Czechs (about 85%) became
followers of Jan Hus,
Petr Chelcicky and other regional Protestant
Reformers. Bohemian Estates' defeat in the Battle of White Mountain
brought radical religious changes and started a series of intense
actions taken by the
Habsburgs in order to bring the Czech population
back to the Roman Catholic Church. After the
control of Bohemia, Czech people were forcibly converted to Roman
Catholicism. All kinds of Protestant communities including the various
branches of Hussites,
Reformed were either expelled,
killed, or converted to Catholicism. The Catholic Church lost the bulk
of its adherents during the Communist era and continues to lose in the
modern, ongoing secularization.
As of 2015, Pew Research Center found in that 72% of the population of
Czech Republic declared to be irreligious, a category which includes
atheists, agnostics and those who describe their religion as "nothing
in particular", 26% were Christians, while 2% belonged to other
See also: Demographics of the
Czech Republic and Czech diaspora
In the Czech Republic, the nation state of the Czech people, 6,732,104
(63.7%) declared as ethnic Czech according to the 2011 census.
Notably, another 2,742,669 (26%) were undeclared, and 522,474 (4.9%)
declared as Moravians. There is a large Czech diaspora, which
includes 1,703,930 Americans of Czech/Czechoslovak ancestry,
94,805 Canadians of Czech ancestry, an estimated 45,000 Czech-born
residents in the United Kingdom, and ca. 31,000 in Australia.
There are smaller communities throughout Europe.
List of Czechs
The Greatest Czech
List of Bohemian monarchs
List of Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic
List of Prime Ministers of Czechoslovakia
List of Presidents of Czechoslovakia
List of Presidents of the Czech Republic
^ This number is a lower estimate, as 2,742,669 people opted out
declaring ethnicity in 2011.
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Czechs.
Official Czech website, links to multiple articles regarding the Czech
Slavic ethnic groups
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United States (Baltimore, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas)