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Photo: GlobalComplianceNews.com

The Czech Republic is one of the most misunderstood countries in Europe. Each day, visitors to Prague (the one and only city everybody knows about) make a lot of mistakes while talking about this Central European country, especially because some of them still use “Czechoslovakia” to refer to the whole country.

Here’s 7 interesting facts you didn’t know about this wonderful country located in the heart of Europe.

1. Czechoslovakia ceased to exist ages ago

Ever since 1991, the political union called Czechoslovakia peacefully ceased to exist and two new countries were born: The Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic. And no, Communism hasn’t been present ever since 1989 when the Velvet Revolution took place.

Today, Czechs feel insulted if you label them as Eastern Europeans instead of Central Europeans.

2. The Czech invented the art of defenestration

Defenestration consists of throwing someone out of a window and the Czechs were the first ones to coin the term back in 1618 when two Imperial Governors and their secretary were thrown out of a window of Prague Castle and started the 30 years war.

Ever since, defenestration has been a part of Czech culture with the last one taking place in 1948 where the Czechoslovakian minister of foreign affairs was thrown from a window.

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Photo: AmericaninPrague.com

3. The Czech Republic is west of the west.

During the Cold War, Czechoslovakia was considered part of Eastern Europe. However, Prague is actually further west than Vienna, Austria, which is considered part of Western Europe. Historically speaking, the Czech Republic should be considered part of Central Europe rather than Orthodox Eastern Europe.

Historically, the borders of the modern day Czech state were similar to that of what was Bohemia and Moravia. The Czech language used to be known as Bohemian as early as the 19th Century, according to Everything-everywhere.

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4. It’s the #1 beer-drinking country in the world.

The Czechs drink more beer per capita than anyone else in the world, consuming on average 43 gallons (160 liters) per person, per year. The original Budweiser can be found in the Czech Republic.

The Czech city of Pilsen is the home of pilsner. Former Czech president Václav Havel used to take visiting heads of state to local pubs to have a beer. Beer is known to have been brewed in the Czech Republic since 993 AD.

5. It’s the most castle-rich country in Europe.

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Photo: TravelTriangle.com

As mentioned earlier, there are all kinds of outdoor activities on offer, so why not include a tour of Czech castles? You’ll need to allow plenty of time…

There are over 200 castles in the Czech Republic, which makes it the most castle-rich country in Europe. Some of the most beautiful include Prague Castle (the biggest), Orlik (set on a volcano above a lake), Cesky Krumlow (perched on a sheer drop over a medieval village) and Cervena Lhota, a gorgeous red castle surrounded by gardens and a pond, Topuniversities pointed out.

6. The most popular sport is ice hockey.

The men’s national ice hockey team is one of the major powers in world hockey. Many Czech players have been successful in the NHL, most notably Jaromir Jagr, who is considered one of the greatest NHL players ever.

The highest-level ice hockey league in the Czech Republic is Czech Extraliga. The league usually takes place between September and April and features 14 professional teams, Czechuniversities noted.

7. The Country’s standard of living is tops.

The Czech Republic has the highest standard of living of any former Soviet Bloc country. Current per capita GDP is on a par with western European countries like Portugal and Greece. Czech also has the most hospital beds per capita in the EU, the highest rate of secondary education, and the fifth freest press in the world according to Reporters Without Borders.

Per capita GDP in Prague is higher than any other EU country except for Luxembourg. I’m sure I could cut and paste the bit above about beer consumption here, too.

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