Tuesday, 01 May 2012 17:37 | By Francis Whittaker

Ten things you never knew about the Czech Republic



Czech Republic (© Reuters)

1) Czechs are the world's biggest consumers of beer. The average Czech will drink about 160 litres a year.

2) A Czech chemist named Otto Wichterle invented the soft contact lens in 1959.

3) Forests in the Czech Republic are the most severely affected by acid rain in Europe.

4) Prague's castle has housed Czech Kings, Presidents and even Roman Emperors. It boasts the largest castle area in the world, covering 18 acres with several courtyards and other buildings located within its grounds.

5) The word ''robot" is Czech. It first appeared in a play by the writer Karel Capek entited R. U. R. (Rossum's Universal Robots). It's thought Capek's artist brother Josef coined the word.

6) The first sugar cubes were created by industrious, sweet-toothed residents of the Czech town of Dacice in 1841.

7) Sticking to the sugary theme - the Czech for 'white granulated sugar' is 'bílý krystal' - just like the Hollywood actor!

8) The first music on the moon was Czech. Neil Armstrong took composer Anonin Dvorak's New World Symphony on his 1969 voyage.

9) The Sedlec Ossuary, near the Czech city of Kutná Hora, is one of the most macabre attractions in the world. It contains the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people whose bones have been arranged to form ornaments, decorations and furniture around the chapel.

10) Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, was born in the Czech town of Príbor.

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