First time visitors to Prague may be surprised by some of the records that the city an country holds. Test your knowledge, and see how many of these five fascinating Prague facts you already know about this beautiful city, and wider country.
Five fascinating Prague facts
Home to the world’s largest stadium
The abandoned Strahov stadium is a relic from communist times. It’s the world’s largest stadium and is the size of eight football pitches. It was once capable of hosting 220,000 people, and hosted gymnastics displays to celebrate the liberation of Czechoslovakia. As many as 750,000 gymnasts performed synchronised routines in skimpy outfits in front of huge crowds. Truly bizarre right?
It is now a crumbling reminder of a different age and serves as a training ground for Sparta Prague and occasional concerts. To give you an idea of the mammoth size of this hulking concrete leftover, North Korea’s Rungrado 1st of May stadium has a capacity of 114,000. It is now officially considered the largest in the world.
World’s largest castle
The Czech Republic claims the greatest number of castles of any country in the world, in excess of 2,000 . This includes Prague castle, the largest castle in the world. Its huge grounds cover a whopping 70,000 m2 and include a basilica, cathedral, gardens and palaces. It’s a sprawling complex occupying a prime spot high above the river with stunning views over the many bewitching panoramas of Prague.
World’s least religious country
Not specific to Prague, but nonetheless astonishing, is that The Guardian describes the Czech Republic as the least religious country in the world.
Religion was almost outlawed during communist times but the country now enjoys religious freedom. Yet a survey conducted by the Pew Research Centre in 2017 found that 72% of the population had no religious affiliation. This contrasts markedly with other neighbouring countries where the majority of citizens claim to believe in god.
What makes this fact even more bizarre is that Prague is said to be home to more than 500 church spires. That’s a lot of churches for such a small percentage of believers!
World’s greatest beer drinkers
The Czech republic consumes more beer per head than any other nation in the world. According to the Telegraph, it has held this title for 24 consecutive years. In 2016, Czechs drank 143.3 litres per person, equivalent to 287 pints. The UK drank a paltry 67.7 litres per person in comparison, and even the Germans failed to usurp the Czechs of their crown. They drank just 104.2 litres per person putting them in fourth place globally for beer consumption.
Constant changes in national rule
And finally, a person born in 1918 and still living in the Czech Republic has seen a lot of change. In 1918, Czechoslovskia was formed by the Czech and Slovaks joining forces after gaining independence from the Hapsburg Empire. It’s freedom was short-lived, as Germany took control in 1939, followed by the Soviets in 1945. In 1989, the country regained its independence only to undergo an amicable divorce in 1993. The Czech Republic and Slovakia were born. Since then the Czech Republic has officially changed its name to Czechia, but it seems this name has failed to catch on. It would be hardly surprising if this country suffered from identity crisis!
Do you have any other fascinating Prague facts?
Many people know Prague as a beautiful medieval city, lined with tourist stores and beer halls. However, during our recent visit to the city we uncovered a bunch of fascinating Prague facts we felt compelled to share. If you know of any others, be sure to share them in the comments as I am sure they are equally fascinating.
Need to know
We booked reward business class flights with British Airways. To find out how we earned a ton of air miles, first read the best UK Airmiles Credit Card post. Then sign up for a AMEX Gold or British Airways premium card. We paid £50 each per flights in tax.
We then stayed at an Airbnb in Prague costing £247 for four nights over New Year. Use this referral link to get £25 off your first stay using Airbnb. If you prefer hotels, I recommend hotels.com as you will earn one free night for every ten stayed.
In total therefore, for a four night break, we paid just £347 for two people. That included business class flights – what an absolute steal.