The Czech Republic celebrates 100 years!

The Czech Republic celebrates 100 years!

The Czech Republic celebrates its birthday: 100 years! Is it an old or a young lady? How did „she“ come into existence? What happened in a hundred-year period? And do you know any of famous Czech people?

Beginning of the Czech history

Czech history begins in the 9th century. Czech kingdom existed till the beginning of the 20th century but it was a part of the Habsburk Monarchy from the 17th century. In 1918 the world war I ended. The Austro-Hungarian Empire (the Habsburk Monarchy) suffered a defeat and new states originated on its territory. Czech and Slovak people had a similar language, culture and history. They arranged to establish one state – Czechoslovakia (CSR). And France, USA and the Great Britain accepted this new state and promised to help.

The Czechoslovak Republic

The Czechoslovak Republic was founded 28th October 1918. It was a democratic republic where the Czechs, Slovaks, Germans, Polish, Hungarians, Jewish and Russians lived. Did you know that Zakarpattya region was a part of the Czechoslovak Republic?

Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk became the first Czechoslovak president. Edvard Beneš helped him a lot and started to work as a head of Ministry of External Affairs. In 1935 Beneš became the second Czechoslovak president.

Watch a short film about Czechoslovak formation.

Would you like to know more about Czechoslovakia 1918–1938? Read an article The First Republik and „Daddy“ Masaryk 

The war

Czechoslovakia quickly stabilized politically and economically. But in 30´s economical crises started in the world and in CSR as well. Adolf Hitler became a German chancellor. In 1938 he wanted Czechoslovakia to give him Sudety – a part around Czechoslovak-German borders because Germans lived there and some of them wanted to be a part of Germany. He threatened with the war when Czechoslovakia wouldn´t accept his demands. CSR was a small country, had a small army and no other country wanted to help in fight against Germany. That´s why Czechoslovakia agreed and Hitler took over Sudety. It happened 30th September 1938. In this year Slovakia separated, Slovak people wanted to have their own state. But Hitler wanted whole Czechia – he started to occupy all country from 15th March 1939. Existence of Czechoslovakia stopped, Protektorate of Bohemia and Moravia was established – until the end of the war in 1945.

Modern history

After the war democratic Czechoslovakia was re-created but without Zakarpattya region. In 1948 the communists staged a coup and the communist era of Czechoslovakia started. It ended with the Velvet Revolution in 1989, 17th Nobember. Czechs and Slovaks were living together till 1992. Then each of them wanted to have its own state so from 1st January 1993 independent Czech Republic and Slovak Republic have been existing.

Read also an article It was before the Velvet Revolution


Do you know Czech symbols?

Czech flag

Red, blue and white

are Czech state colours.

Czech anthem

Listen to the Czech anthem which tells about Czech land beauty. In video you can see the text in English and German.

Czech nation emblem

Czechs have a lion in their emblem. But lion doesn´t live in CR! Dou you know a legeng about Bruncvík? Watch this video and you grasp.

The big national emblem looks like this. Each part of the country (Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia) has its part there.

Czech standard

Czech president has his flag calling standard. There is a Czech emblem, linden tree leaves and a title „The truth always wins“. When president is „at home“ = in the Prague Castle, you can see the standard. When he travels it is down.

Czech national tree

Linden is a Czech and also Slavic national tree. It symbolizes protection (it is big), help (its fruit heals) and love.


Some famous Czech men and women

  • Karel IV. – Czech king and Roman emperor (14th century)
  • Jan Amos Komenský – teacher, creator of modern pedagogy. He said as first: Education should be a game. (17th century)
  • Emma Destinová – opera singer, she was singing in Germany, USA and all over the world
  • Antonín Dvořák – composer (e.g. opera Rusalka/ Water nymph)
  • Bedřich Smetana – composer (e.g. symfonie Má vlast/My country)
  • František Kupka – painter, abstract painting co-creater, „the most expensive“ Czech artist (his pictures have been sold for 60 milions CZK)
  • Franz Kafka – writer, he wrote in German, accented existencialism, influenced many other writers from all the world
  • Tomáš Baťa – businessman, founder of shoe brand Baťa, his shops are around the world
  • Alfons Mucha – painter, active also in France
  • Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk – first president of CSR
  • Edvard Beneš – politician, second president of CSR
  • Václav Havel – drama writer, president of CSR and CR 1989–2003 (Photo:
  • Otto Wichterle – contact lenses inventor
  • Jaroslav Heyrovský – chemist, Nobel Prize in chemistry, polarography founder
  • Jaroslav Seifert – poet, Nobel Prize in Literature
  • Karel Čapek – writer
  • Eliška Junková – automobile female racer, in 20´s of the 20th century the world fastest woman in Grand Prix
  • Miloš Forman – director, two Oscar Prizes for Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo´s Nest
  • Madeleine Albright – first female United States Secretary of State, she is Czech origin (Photo:
  • Eva Jiřičná – architect designer, active mainly in London and CR
  • Milan Kundera – writer living in France


Some famous Czech products

  • Škoda car
  • Czech beer
  • Czech crystal
  • Jawa motorbike
  • Remoska – mini electric oven


We are celebrating!

We celebrate 28th October when Czechoslovakia was founded as a state holiday. Celebrate with us! All over the country a lot of events take place. Choose a concert, exhibition, military parade, theatre …

This web speaks English 😊.


Modern Czech history

  • 28th October 1918 – democratic Czechoslovak Republic was founded
  • 1938–1945 – Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany
  • 1945–1948 – democratic Czechoslovakia again
  • 1948–1989 – communist Czechoslovakia
  • 17th November 1989 – the Velvet Revolution
  • since December 1990 – democratic Czechoslovakia again
  • 1st January 1993 – Czechoslovakia divided into independent Czech Republic and Slovak Republic


Read also:

This article in Czech version

23rd October 2018


About the Author

Jitka Pourová administrator

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