The Czech Republic, along with Estonia, has one of the most non-religious populations in the European Union. According to the 2001 census, 59% of the people are either atheists, non-believers or believers who are not members of any particular denomination. 26.8% of Czechs are Roman Catholics and 2.5% are Protestants.
The composers Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček, writer Franz Kafka, painter Toyen, Oscar-winning director Miloš Forman, writer Milan Kundera and singer Magdalena Kožená were all born in the Czech Republic, and their work is known around the world. The Czech writer Josef Čapek invented the word robot, in his play RUR.
|Antonin Dvorak - source|
Jan Hus (1369/1370-1415) – famous Czech religious thinker, reformer and preacher of the medieval period.
Jan Amos Komenský (Comenius) (1592-1670) – Czech writer and teacher whose work and achievements are known worldwide.
|J.A. Komensky- source|
Božena Němcová (1820-1862) – a famous 19th century Czech autor.
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937) – a Czech philosopher, historian and the first president of Czechoslovakia.
Jaroslav Hašek (1883-1923) – a writer, publicist and journalist.
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) - a Prague-based writer in the German language who was of Jewish background, and one of the most influential and prized authors of the 20th century.
Karel Čapek (1890-1938) – author, journalist, playwright, philosopher and translator.
Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997) – novelist and one of the most influential and unique writers of the late 20th century.
Arnošt Lustig (*1926) – a Czech writer and publicist and the author of a number of works on the Holocaust.
Milan Kundera (*1929) – a Franco-Czech writer, widely translated author of Czech origin.
Václav Havel (*1936) – an author and playwright, one of the initial members of the Charta 77 dissident movement and a leading figure in thevpost-November 1989 political changes and the first president of the post-communist Czechoslovakia
Michal Viewegh (*1962) – author and publicist, currently the best selling Czech novelist.
Karel Hynek Mácha (1810-1836) – poet and a leading figure in the Czech Romantic Movement.
|7.Statue of Karel Hynek Mácha in Petřín Park, Prague - source|
Karel Jaromír Erben (1811-1870) – writer, poet, translator, literary historian and collector of Czech folk tunes and fairy tales.
Jan Neruda (1834-1891) – famous Czech poet and journalist.
Vítězslav Nezval (1900-1958) – poet, writer and translator, the leading figure in Czech Surrealism.
Jaroslav Seifert (1901-1986) – Czech poet, writer, journalist and translator, Winter of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Karel Kryl (1944-1994) – Czech poet and song writer, one of the leading protagonists in the Czech political protest song movement from 1968 – 1989.
You can listen to audio samples of Czech Music at Audio
There are almost two million people abroad who claim Czech origin – a figure representing one-fifth of the current Czech population (see table ). Many of them do not speak Czech, but still feel a sense of solidarity with the Czech nation and the culture of their ancestors.