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subota, 26. svibnja 2018.

A Street In Prague Has Been Named After Influential Croatian Politician Stjepan Radić & Some Other Croat-Czech Trivia

There are already streets, squares and buildings named after Stjepan Radić in Croatia, including the capital city of Zagreb seen above, however now the capital city of Prague in the Czech Republic will have one also.

This very recent bit of Croatian related news I found interesting enough to throw in here, since this is not a tourism blog it's time for something a little more relevant. Then I figured I'll add a little more information about the Croatia-Czech topic, some of which I already touched upon and some other stuff not generally known probably. Basically like mentioned in the below article, Stjepan Radić was one of the important and influential  Croatian politicians from the late 19th and early 20th century, when the Croatian crown lands were still part of the Habsburg ruled Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Radić is primarily known for and credited with galvanizing Croatian peasantry, uburban and rural farmers and working class voters into a viable political force with a voice, and to many more importantly for opposing the quickly assembled accidental country of Yugoslavia in the first place, which was first thrown together hastily during the political chaos immediately preceding and after WWI, primarily because there were no votes or elections or even a referendum to make the country, as well as for warning that the clash of civilizations. cultures, histories, already divergent views and especially the political aspirations in Serbia (who already had serious problems with their own minorities and neighboring nations, including Macedonians who's lands they preferred to call Southern Serbia etc) had already doomed the country from the start. He warned that quickly becoming part of a new country, with new peoples and their histories that was not part of Croatian history, and even temporarily relinquishing many centuries of autonomy and historical rights, would have dire consequences for Croatian history, culture and identity from the start, and he was absolutely right.

For example, to immediately break with Croatian political traditions and pluralism and any hope for a future democratic Croatian Republic, the first order of business in the new Belgrade regime and political entity was the complete dissolution of the Croatian Parliament (Hrvatski Sabor) in Zagreb which Radić considered a great crime and contrary to democratic and European principles (being that the historical national governing institution had roots from the 9th century and the Croatian Kingdom in the Middle Ages, that it had existed and freely exercised it's rights on behalf of the Croatian crown lands and Croatian people and citizenry continuously through Croatian Nobles, Dukes. Bans/Viceroys and Governors even after union with Hungary and the Habsburgs, ie: over 800 years of continued and recorded existence right up to 1918 had suddenly vanished overnight). As well as the important fact that even though the new political arrangement was meant to be only temporary at first, the Croatian Parliament still never gave consent to or approved any decision for the inclusion of the historical Croatian crown lands to join the new accidental country, or any other country or entity or club, so with no legitimate mandate from the Sabor/Pariament or Croatian people, by international law this made the new political entity including historic Croatian lands, as de jure and de facto illegal.

Besides the fact that a majority of the Croatian crown lands population were against any future union, the suddenly abolished many centuries old institution of the Ban/Viceroy of Croatia was another major political obstacle, (pronounced like Bahn) a high political position which also had roots from the Croatian Kingdom centuries in the Middle Ages and who were still legitimate and powerful political office holders as well as supreme military commanders even after 1102 during the union with Hungary and the Habsburg centuries (e.g.- Pribina was the first historically attested Ban of Croatia and served under King Michael Krešimir II from 930-969, Pribina on his territory was in charge of administrative, judicial and military authority for the Croatian Kings, even the future Croatian King Dmitar Zvonimir was originally a Ban in 1065 while serving under King Peter Krešimir IV). After 1102 the Croatian Bans eventually became chief government officials/governors in Croatia at the head of their own "Ban's Government", effectively they were the first Prime Ministers of Croatia. The autonomous institution and legitimate power of the Ban in Croatia persisted continuously all those centuries right up until 1918. (today the Banski Dvori (Ban's Court) is a historical baroque building in the Gornji Grad medieval section of Zagreb which served as residence of Croatian Bans from 1809 to 1918, the Serb controlled Yugoslav Air Force jets bombed Banski Dvori in 1991 with the aim to assassinate the elected Croatian President, it was later renovated and repaired and is again currently used for official meetings, conferences and press rooms by the Croatian Government).

Stjepan Radić speaking to an assembly of supporters during a convention in Dubrovnik in 1928. 

Radić however is also less well known for the promotion of Czech language, history and culture in Croatia. He studied and lived in Prague for a while and also married a Czech woman Marija (née Dvořáková) Radić, (who was also a Croatian teacher, librarian, publicist and publisher and wrote articles for the CPP/HSS party newspaper) and they raised their four children bilingually who were all later also partly schooled in the Czech Republic. Stjepan Radić's nephew Pavle Radić who also went on to become a student in Prague also had a Czech wife.

In 1896, Radić also wrote the first Croatian manuals for Czech, Czech language reading material and a Czech language dictionary for Croats. These works received their second revized and supplemented editions in 1902 under the title "Czech-Croatian Letters with Reader" and "Czech-Croatian Differential Dictionary", and the third edition published in 1911 entitled "Czech Language Exercises for Middle Schools and Similar Schools".

Pictured before a supporters speech with his nephew Pavle Radić (left) who was also killed at the parliament session.

In order to better acquaint the Croatian public with Czech history and present, in 1910 Radić published the book "Czech People at the Beginning of the 20th century", and in 1912 "Interior or Social Order of the Czech Peoples". Significant also is Radić's work "The World of Women", a collection of Czech women writer's works he published in 1902, because he wanted to encourage Croatian women to engage in public and political life more also. In 1906 Radić also translated Alois Jirásek's novel "Psohlavci" under the title "Pasoglavci ili Boj čeških graničara za seljačko pravo : povjestnička slika iz konca 17. stoljeća (Pasoglavci - or the Bohemian Czechs Struggles For Peasant's Rights : a historical review of the 17th century), a work title which influenced the naming of the political party.

About Czechs and Czechia, Radić also wrote other works, such as "Modern Colonization and the Slavs and Contemporary Europe", where regarding the Czechs in contrast to Serbs, among other things he wrote: "The Czechs are not megalomanized, they do not base themselves on a thirst for power and an exaggerated unfounded claim to glory, they possess no complex as being superior to Central Europe and the western world civilization nor a calling to take things that don't belong to them, but rather they call it their own right, their historic right, which is the main feature of culture. That is why the Czechs among the Slavic speaking nations are the best Europeans." To Radić the Czechs were important to Croats as a support because he considered them a mirrored example to the Croatian situation in the early 20th century, at a time when they were both fighting for and working towards complete independence and freedom.

 After a speech while campaigning on the road in 1921.

Radić learned Czech so well, in speaking and writing literary and other various publications works, that the oldest Czech literary society Svatobor honored him as a Czech writer also. (Radić was also fluent in all the Slavic languages as well as French, German and English, and was known to hold conversations in the Hungarian and Italian languages). Some of Radić's other Czech written books are A Czech Quickly Learns Croatian, Současné Chorvatsko (Contemporary Croatia) and Slavic Politics in the Habsburg Monarchy. Radić also wrote autobiographical texts in Czech, which were discovered only in 1983 by the Czech Croatist and historian Dušan Karpatský, and then translated into Croatian and published in his book Praški zapisi in 1985.

Interestingly, although Radić was a Roman Catholic and was married to Marija in a Roman Catholic church in Prague, at the same time he was extremely anti-clerical and politically a secularist, believing that religious authorities and leaders should only just deal and involve themselves with religious matters and related functions and not get involved with or aspire to political positions, he even supported the establishment of the Indigenous Croatian Catholic Church and its separation from the Vatican. Radić was also especially critical of the way the Serbian Orthodox Church (Српска православна црква) and leadership at the time in collusion with the dictator king Alexander I tried to portray itself as the official religious authority and organization of the new country, (because of continued financial assistance and privileges, tax-free status of SOC believers and freed from postal and various other taxes, the new Ministry of Justice even supervised the special autonomy of the church’s schools and promoted their establishment and curricula etc, so the Serbian patriarch unlawfully and totally without merit considered himself and his Serb church and leadership as second in importance only to the king, simultaneously the independent Macedonian Orthodox Church and free Montenegrin Orthodox Church before annexation by Serbia in 1918, were regarded as non-existent and treated as subservient to the Српска православна црква, even though the archbishopric founding origins of the MOC are 2 centuries older than the SOC). For this reason the secularist association "Voice of Reason - The Movement for a Secular Croatia" uses Radić's portrait as its logo, an association that promotes the same policies that no religion, religious leaders or religious organization will supersede the Republic of Croatia and citizens, and that no religion (including various cults, masonic & other secret societies, foreign televangelists & related voodoo groups, Salvation Army, Unitarianist, New Age, no Abrahamic religion or their various offshoot cults and even including political & social organizations/movements that are based on or influenced by any other religious movement/cult/organization/belief system by proxy), should ever be allowed to interfere or impede policies of the secular Croatian Constitution, Croatian society and the autonomous Croatian State, basically to prevent brainwashing of Croatian citizens from any religion or religious movement/association/beliefs including any proxy organizations and their agendas).

Radić was greatly influenced by and supported the efforts and ideals of a number of 19th century Croatian politicians with similar views and aims such as Ante Starčević, Eugen Kvaternik and especially the work and accomplishments of Ivan Mažuranić who was the Ban (Viceroy/Governor) of Croatia between 1873-1880, (Ivan Mažuranić was also a Croatian poet, linguist, lawyer and politician considered to be one of the most important figures in Croatia's political and cultural life in the mid-19th century and he was also the first Ban not to hail from old nobility, ie: originally a commoner/working class. Mažuranić accomplished the Croatian transition from a semifeudal legal and economic system to a modern civil society similar to those in other countries in Central Europe, and he modernized Croatia's educational system by forming a public school network for the modernization and secularization of Croatian society. He also emphasized the importance of the Constitution, individual rights, education, science and the main goal of his reforms was to form foundations of the organization of autonomous Croatian government and establishment of a modern and efficient political-administrative system, which later Radić strived for also. Ivan Mažuranić is also known for his 40,000-entry German-Croatian dictionary with coined words that have become commonplace in standard Croatian, as well as being fluent in 9 languages himself. Another high point of Mažuranić was his speech in front of the Croatian Parliament (Sabor) on December 13th 1886 in the Croatian language when he said "Vjerujem u Hrvatsku, u njezinu prošlost, u njezinu sadašnjost i u njezinu budućnost" (I believe in Croatia, in its past, in its present and its future) at a time when the Croatian crown lands were still part of the Habsburg Monarchy, and likewise Mažuranić's portrait is depicted on the obverse of the Croatian 100 Kuna banknote).

I should note that in addition to Stjepan Radić, by decision of the City Council of Prague, public squares were named after several other important persons, including recently deceased Czech film director Miloš Forman, as well as Ukrainian Vasyl Makukh who committed self-immolation in November 1968 in protest of the Soviet occuation of Ukraine, two months before the Czech student Jan Palach did likewise during the Prague Spring.

That's just some brief extra background information to the topic which sheds more light about the new Prague street name topic, I added some more probably less well known Croatia-Czech tidbits below after the article...

Stjepan and Marija Radić with first daughter Milica in 1900.


One of the most important Croatian politicians of the last century, Stjepan Radić, has had a street named after him in the Czech Republic capital of Prague, the Croatian-Czech Society reported.

The decision to name a street after Radić, who is described as the greatest promoter of Croatian-Czech relations at the turn of the 20th century, was made on 15th May 2018 by the Prague City Council after an initiative was launched by the Croatian-Czech Society from Zagreb.

The decision was made in the year in which the 90th anniversary of Radić’s death is marked. As stated in the decision, which of the Croatian-Czech society reported on Friday, Stjepan Radić was “a Croatian patriot, inter-ethnic politician and popularizer of Czech language, history and culture in Croatia.”

The newly-built and currently unnamed street, which will officially be called “Radičova”, is located in the Břevnov, a district in the west of Prague, located in Prague 6 where the Croatian Embassy is situated, as well as the church of St. Norbert in which Radić married his wife in 1898.

Radić, who spent time living and studying in Prague, was the founder of the Croatian People’s Peasant Party and is credited with galvanizing Croatian peasantry and working class into a viable political force. Throughout his entire career, he was opposed to the union and the later attempts of Serb hegemony, for this he became an important political figure at the time.

He was shot during a session of parliament in Belgrade by the Serbian People’s Radical Party politician Пуниша Рачић (Punisha Rachich) on 20th June 1928, and died several weeks later from complications of the serious stomach wound at the age of 57. Five other Croatian front-bench Members of Parliament were also shot during the parliamentary session which further deepened the already divided big gap and political orientation between the two nations, resulting in more permanent-rifts in relations.

The event even made the news in many parts of the world especially in Europe and North America, the London Times and American Time magazine reported on the assassination and its consequences, it was one of the first cases of assassination during a parliament session by an MP against another MP. Because of his vocal stand against the Belgrade regime, promoting Croatian historical rights and becoming a voice for the rural and worker class, his popularity grew among other nationalities in the country also, especially in Macedonia as Macedonian people, history and language were non-existent to the Serbian leadership. Just weeks preceding the parliament session there had been demonstrations in many Croatian cities regarding tyrannical Serbian police oppression, censorship and unjustified court proceedings and jailings, Stjepan Radić had entered parliament that day in spite of rumours and published threats against his life in a Serbian newspaper on 14th June 1928. Just as he warned over 10 years earlier, similar occurrences had already started early on and gradually more often. (Ironically the former prince regent of Serbia and later dictator of Yugoslavia Александар I, (Alexander I, not to be confused with Александар I of Serbia who along with his wife was assassinated by Serbs and their bodies mutilated and disemboweled in 1903), ended up himself also on the wrong side of a bullet in Paris just a few years later, compliments of a Macedonian).

As criminal and unjustified as the assassination was, however strangely more of the same continued afterwards in frequency and brutality instead of less, and not just for Croats either by far. For instance as just one equally disgusting example, 9 years after the killing of Stjepan Radić, one of the most blatant terrorist acts of the Belgrade regime in Croatia took place in the northern coastal town of Senj on May 9, 1937, another historical Croatian town going back to the Early Middle Ages and a former seat of Croatian nobles after the 13th century especially. That was when Serb gendarmes acting on behalf of the Serb dictator king, opened fire on a crowd and killed and wounded several young people just for displaying the Croatian flag and singing folk songs. The killed were: Katica Tonković (girl), Marko Smolčić, Franjo Jelaca, Nikola Bevandić, Tomo Niksić, and Petar Frković, and the wounded: Jakov Milković, Ante Dosen, Branko Milinković, Zlatko Vlahinić, Vladimir Nizija, and Mile Biljan. The above picture was taken during the funeral mass of the killed at St. John’s Church in Gospić(Extremist beastial actions like this increased since the very start of the newly made accidental country and then declared dictatorship, tragic scenes like this were not even seen oe experienced during Habsburg Austro-Hungarian empire centuries, when on the contrary Croatian flags and historic symbolism of the Croatian lands was used in numerous ways and the norm as they were legal and official government symbology as well as Croatian symbols). As was the Serbian custom through the centuries to proclaim as "Serb lands" wherever any Serbs migrated to in Europe, this tradition continued well after 1919 and increased through the years. Areas previously attempted at being "Serbianized" were in Montenegro, Macedonia, BIH and areas elsewhere which have never been Serbian, but even populated by Non-Slavic peoples. The Serbian Orthodox Church acted as a de facto national church of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia imposing it's policies in collusion through the dictator king, attempting to usurp itself as the only allowable church organization. During this period as just one example, a Serbian Orthodox church was built on the almost entirely Catholic Croat populated island of Vis and a part of the local population was threatened and ethnically intimidated to convert or leave. This was also to become the modus operandi of the the Royalist Serbian chetniks and armed nationalists in the first few months of WWII as well, when numerous large scale atrocities were committed against Croatian civilians, women, children and other Non-Serbs again, by far most of the killings happened in the rural areas but it was kept hush in the following decades as Serb church patriarchs and leadership supported the actions as well as calling for an increase in occurrences(video about this particular event). More at and

Stjepan Radić was buried in the renowned Mirogoj Cemetery in Zagreb, the image of Stjepan Radić was used extensively during the Croatian Spring movement in the early 1970s and today many streets, squares, folk groups, clubs, primary and secondary schools and buildings in the country are named after him. Since 1995 the Republic of Croatia has awarded the Order of Stjepan Radić and his portrait is depicted on the obverse of the Croatian 200 Kuna banknote.

- I'm sure Stjepan Radić would feel satisfied to know that today Croatia is a free progressive democratic and secular republic just as he envisioned and worked towards, (with its very own Constitution, Parliament/Sabor, protected culture, representation as an equal independent member in various organizations etc), so that his work and efforts were not in vain. And since already on the topic, here's some stuff from way back and from modern times:

...and here's a few other interesting Croats-Czechs connections...

"Dolazak Hrvata na Jadran" (The Croats' arrival at the Adriatic Sea) by painter Oton Iveković, 1905. The scene portrays the moment the Croat tribes arrived to the Adriatic sea in ancient Dalmatia according to recorded historical sources. Based on the most referenced primary source the imperial foreign policy manual "De Administrando Imperio", which relied on old imperial library written material from emissaries, ecclesiastics, ambassadors, military notes and journals and records from their expeditions particularly from the times of Emperor Heraclius, it also reports the well known folk tradition that a part of the Croats arrived to ancient Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum in the early 7th century from areas north of the Danube, including even areas that are today in and around the Czech Republic. 

Now then on to a few other related Croats-Czechs tidbits from over the years, just a few highlights but interesting enough to mention. Probably many people don't know that in the Middle Ages Czechs believed that they originated from Croatia migrating north and that their forefather Čeh was born in Krapina in northwestern Croatia. I don't have the time and space to get all into all the details but the legend is still popular there today, and a number of other folk legends and written accounts dating from the Middle Ages also revolve around the topic of Croats and Czechs. Of course there are also the historical written sources from the Middle Ages which recorded that some of the ancient pagan "White Croats" in the 6th-7th century had come from areas of today's Czech Republic (as well as from areas corresponding to Slovakia, Poland, Belarus and western Ukraine and who eventually assimilated into those nations by the 12th century, but here I'm focusing on just the known Czechs-Croats connection)

Recorded extent of areas where Croats are mentioned in written records before the 8th century and afterwards.

The book and imperial foreign policy manual "De Administrando Imperio", written around the year 950, is the Latin title of a Greek work written by the 10th-century Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VII, it is also the most referenced source on the migration of various Slavic languages speaking peoples, and of even other peoples in Central and Eastern Europe, but especially noteworthy for mentioning the Croat's arrival to ancient Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum and the Adriatic sea from various areas north of the Danube. It states that they migrated and settled first before others arriving from the regions that are now (roughly) Galicia and Silesia near Bavaria, centered at the Vistula river and areas of the Pannonian/Transcarpathian (referred to as Great and White Croatia in the book and other sources, signifying the northern pagan yet still free Croat populations) arriving to the province of ancient Dalmatia ruled by the Roman Empire. De Administrando Imperio also reports the well known folk tradition that the tribes of Croats were led into the Roman provinces of Dalmatia, Pannonia and Illyricum by a group of five brothers, Klukas, Lobel, Kosenc, Muhlo and Hrvat, and their two sisters, Tuga and Buga, invited to settle on this vastly depopulated area by Roman Emperor Heraclius (610–641) in order to defeat and establish a shield against nomadic pillaging Avars for him, and then to settle there permanently...

The Croatian realms which bordered along the periphery of the Carolingian Empire, seen located within the continental political and monarchial map of 9th-12th century Europe approximately during the times of Duke Vojnomir (reigned 791-810) Duke Vladislav (reigned 821-835) Duke Trpimir I (reigned 845–864) to Duke Branimir (reigned 879–892). By this time the Croatian and early Czech realms still formed a vertical continuity of realms and common civilizational sphere that lasted for many centuries within the same political frameworks.

However, versions of folk legends regarding the beginnings of the Polish, Czech and Russian nations are also fairly well known, especially amongst members of those nations. Lech, Čech (or Czech), and Rus are three legendary brothers who founded three Slavic nations: Lechia (Poland), Czechia (Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia; thus modern Czech Republic), and Ruthenia (Rus', modern Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine). There are multiple versions of the legend, including several regional variants that mention only one or two of the brothers. In the Polish version of the legend, three brothers went hunting together but each of them followed a different prey and eventually they all traveled in different directions. Rus went to the east, Čech headed to the west to settle on the Říp Mountain rising up from the Bohemian hilly countryside, while Lech traveled north. There, while hunting, he followed his arrow and suddenly found himself face-to-face with a fierce, white eagle guarding its nest from intruders. Seeing the eagle against the red of the setting sun, Lech took this as a good omen and decided to settle there. He named his settlement Gniezno (Polish gniazdo - 'nest') in commemoration and adopted the White Eagle as his coat-of-arms. The white eagle remains a symbol of Poland to this day, and the colors of the eagle and the setting sun are depicted in Poland's flag.  Other variations of Lech's name (pronounced [ˈlɛx]) include: Lechus, Lachus, Lestus, and Leszek. Czech, or Praotec Čech (pronounced [ˈpra.otɛts ˈtʃɛx]; Forefather Čech) also comes under the Latin name Bohemus, and Boiohaemum was used for Czech lands.

A variant of the well known Lech, Czech, and Rus legend, known as the Czech version and involving only two brothers is well known in the Czech Republic. As described by the Czech writer Alois Jirásek in Staré pověsti české, two brothers came to Central Europe from the east: Čech and Lech. As in the Polish version, Čech is identified as the founder of the Czech nation (Češi pl.) and Lech as the founder of the Polish nation. Čech climbed up the mountain Říp, looked across the landscape and settled with a tribe in the area, whereas Lech continued to the lowlands of the north. The two brothers who founded the early Czech and Polish nations lived in Charvátská země (ie: pronounced as Harvatska country, ie: the early White Croatia). Alois Jirásek believed that this was the first great original homeland of the Slavs - north of the Tatra Mountains and the basin of the Vistula. The first chapter of the Old Czech Legends begins: "In the Tatras, in the plains of the river Vistula, stretched from time immemorial Charvátská country, (pronounced as Harvatska in the Czech language), part of an initial large Slavic country." Probably this is the territory of the White Croats (Bili Chorvati) that ranged from Ostrava to Lviv and also to Kievan Rus'. It is also known from legends that Kiev was co-founded by the brothers Kije and Chorivem (pronounced Horivem, each on its hill) and Šček (probably Forefather Čech). Some researchers believe that the Slavniks belonged to the White Croats. In the old legendary epic sagas that reach back to the 4th century, these geographically coterminous areas around the Carpathians were called the Harvaða mountains.

Another well known early Slavic legend is the Czech legend of St.Wenceslaus, regarding the early 10th century Czech Duke Wenceslaus. We find that when his mother Drahomira was mourning his death, her other son Boleslav tried to murder her and so she fled to the Croats/Croatia. This would most likely refer to the still present "White Croats" who still inhabited Silesia and/or parts of northern Bohemia rather than the Croatian Kingdom already formed to the south. (These Croats formed a part of the Croat migrations of the early 7th century mentioned in the 10th century work "De Administrando Imperio" as coming from "White and Great Croatia", and who are also mentioned in Nestor's "Primary Chronicle." (More on Drahomira and these Croats HereHere and Here). After the Croatian Kingdom joined into a political union with Hungary in the 12th century and then Habsburg Monarchy era, through those centuries Croatia and the Czechs lands many times had the same common Monarchs. Of course the Czech and Croat realms also were instrumental during the Renaissance centuries, being of the same Central European civilizational sphere they both produced similar art and the arts, architecture, literary movements and printing and publishing of books etc.

Besides the various sources mentioning the remaining Croats north of the Danube regions, it is also interesting that many scholars consider that some of the Croats could also have been mentioned in the Old English and Nordic epic saga poems that are rooted in real 4th century events. The verse in the Old English poem Widsith (10th century), also using old sources that were passed on it reads: "Wulfhere sohte ic ond Wyrmhere; ful oft þær wig ne alæg, þonne Hræda here heardum sweordum, ymb Wistlawudu wergan sceoldon, ealdne eþelstol Ætlan leodum. (Modern) English translation:..."I visited Wulfhere and Wyrmhere; there battle often raged, when the Hræda with their sharp swords, in the Vistula woods had to defend, their ancestral seat against Attila's host." The mentioned "Hræda" is genitive plural of "Hraede", and is sometimes related with the Goths (Hred-Gotum, Hreth-Gotan, Hreidhgotar). However, this verse is very similar to the one found in the Old Norse Hervarar saga, where the exact same events are being mentioned and prior to the battle between Goths and Huns, the King Heidrek died in the Harvaða fjöllum (ie: the Harvaða mountains, located in and around today's Carpathian mountains and precisely the name used for the Carpathians during that time) which is often translated as "beneath the mountains of Harvathi" and as "beneath the mountains of the Harvaði/Hrvati-Croats" and the original saga sources for this one also dates back to the real 4th century events. Alfred the Great in his Geography of Europe (888–893) relying on the 4th century writings of Orosius, also recorded that the Horithi (ie: Choroti/Choriti, generally believed by historians to have been Croats, while also known as the larger overall Veneti/Veneði/Venedi populations) were also located at the same Oder and Vistula Rivers areas, (these same areas from western Bohemia to eastern Poland at least just as mentioned in the other sources, and over 500 years before some of these northern Croats were part of the formation of the early Kievan Rus' history also). Polish historian Anatol Lewicki in his Zarys Historii Polski i Krajów Ruskich z nią połączonych (Outline of the History of Poland and the Ruthenian countries connected to it) and many other historians have pointed out that it was not uncommon for western sources, as in the case of Alfred the Great, to often distort unfamiliar foreign names).

The Croats in general remained still largely pagan up to even the late 10th century, and when the written history of Zagreb begins around 1094 it is actually with a Czech being the first bishop of Zagreb who was named Duh. Invited in the mid 14th Century to Prague by the Czech king, Croatian Glagolists brought the Croatian form of the old Glagolitic script. Words with accents/diacritics are thought to have been invented by Jan Hus as the author of Czech spelling who adopted it from the Glagolitic letter for ž. Those letters were then officially adopted to Croatian spelling in the 19th Century by Croatian linguist, writer, journalist, publisher and politician Ljudevit Gaj, although the Czech alphabet Č, Š, Ž was already being used for the Croatian alphabet and written material in the 16th century for the same sounds, (Interestingly, the Croatian Dž digraph later entered the Slovak standard alphabet, the Croatian alphabet Ć diacritic came from the Polish alphabet for the same sound and interestingly again Ly, Ny, Sz, and Cz entered the Hungarian alphabet in the 16th century from a 5 language Croatian dictionary by lexicographer/writer/polymath/inventor Faust Vrančić, just some supplementary extra info).

St. Mark’s Square in the medieval section of Zagreb, the seat of political power of Croatia, is full of Czech traces also. The church portal was made by students of the Prague builder Petr Parler. The government building was designed in the 19th Century by Moravian builder Ivan Either, with the parliament building constructed by Czech Lav Kalda. Architectural connections include the design of the streets of the Lower Town by Czech Rupert Melkus. He also designed the Zrinjevac park and the Mirogoj cemetery, although Herman Bolle is mostly known for building the arcades. Croatia did repay part of the architectural gesture through the symbol of modern Prague, The Dancing House, was designed together with Frank Gehry and by Croat Vlado Milunić. The famous song "My Homeland" was created in the beginning of the Homeland War in Croatia, and it was recorded in 1991 in the Czech House in Zagreb, used by the Croatian Radiotelevision at the time. Between the two world wars, the first lady of Prague was Opatija-born Amelija Jurković, wife of Mayor Karel Baxe, while at the same time the first lady of Zagreb was Prague-born Berta Heinzel, wife of Mayor Vjekoslav Heinzel. The first Croatian newspaper, called Ephemerides Zagrabienses, was published in 1771 by Czech Antun Jandera. The inventor of the propeller, Josef Ressel, lived in Motovun for a while, and one of the reasons that the Motovun Film Festival prize is named the Propeller of Motovun. A number of Croatians since the 19th century have been given honorary citizenship and even had squares named after them in Prague. The famous Zagreb "Well of Life" sculpture by Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović and situated in front of the Croatian National Theatre building, was built in Brandýs near Prague, while one of Meštrović’s last works is a monument to Czech composer Antonín Dvořák in New York.

The Czech surname Horváth is another interesting case to mention, it is an older version of the noun "Hrvat" which is the Croatian-language name for a Croat. (Actually the surname "Horvat" is the most common surname in Croatia including in the Croatian diaspora, it's the 2nd most frequent in Slovenia and even the most common in Slovakia, "Horváth" is also the 4th most common surname in Hungary, slight variations also include Horwath, Horvát, Hrovat. Of course it doesn't necessarily mean that you are Croatian with a surname such as these, although many are, it's just cool that they're all etymologically based on the Croatian language name for a Croat, which is good to know).

An excerpt from a previous post about Czechs and the town of Daruvar explains some more interesting connections in Croatia today...Daruvar (Croatian: Daruvar, Czech: Daruvar, German: Daruwar, Hungarian: Daruvár, Latin: Aqua Balissae, is a town in central Croatia, population 9,815 (2001), total municipality population 13,243 (2001). Daruvar is a spa town, located in the western part of the Croatian plains, on the foothills of the fruitful Papuk mountain, with a wine tradition stretching back more than 2200 years, and along the fertile Toplica river. And it is also the main political and cultural centre of the Czech national minority in Croatia.

Croats and Czech minority dressed in folk costumes in the town of Daruvar during the Days of Czech Culture festivities. More information at Daruvar Croatia, Tourism Website Award, Czechs & Beer.

According to the census of 2011, the population of the Daruvar municipality (township) was 11,633. the majority being Croats with a Czech minority of around, 2,400 or 21.36%. The Czech population is of significant size having its own newspaper, schools, societies and clubs, (Česká beseda or Czech wordJednota - Unity in Czech language), publishing company. The entire area, (Veliki Zdenci, Grubišno Polje, Končanica), is actually bilingual with Czech being the second official language. Since mixed, there are numerous local ethnic festivities celebrating important points in different cultures — youth, harvest etc, with most interesting and picturesque that of the Czech minority alongside with the Croatian. The food is reflecting full range of tastes, from sarma (stuffed cabbage rolls) to stuffed peppers (punjene paprike), mlinci, knedlichke and kolach(i)y biscuits in both Croatian and Czech language. Croatian food mixed with Czech gastronomical traditions. The Daruvar Brewery has also been making Staro Češko pivo (Old Czech beer) since 1840.


The event in which the Czech minority displays their traditional and contemporary culture through theatre screenings, exhibitions, presentations of old crafts, Staročeško fair on King Tomislav Square, where books, handcrafts, Czech pastries and other products of Czech's beseda (Czech's society) and schools are presented. A traditional concert and rich folklore program take place and in the evening a Garden party is organised at the playground of the Czech primary school J. A. Komensky. The town's website is

As mentioned, Daruvarska Pivovara (Daruvar Brewery) in the town of Daruvar has been producing beer officially since 1840 and today it brews mainly popular regional beers. It makes Daruvarsko beer but its most well known popular brand is Staročeško beer (Old Czech Beer). It was named after Czech immigrants to the Daruvar town region and has been produced under this name since 1893, it is also the only Croatian beer using a traditional Czech recipe. (The town of Daruvar today is also still the political and cultural centre of the Czech minority in Croatia, see post daruvar-croatia-festival-beer). In addition to light beer, under the same name the Daruvar brewery makes Staročeško red, Staročeško winter, Staročeško 10 (slightly less alcohol) and Staročeško limun (lemon radler). More interesting background information about this less well known Daruvar Brewery and their beers at the website, but it's in Croatian though. (More about this and other Croatian beers at croatians-beers-world-lists)

I of course would have to be a moron if I didn't mention this interesting Croats-Czechs fact. Since 2001 a plaque hangs at the U Fleku pub in Prague where in 1911 the Hajduk Split football club was founded. The pub's official website is

That's right, an excerpt from a previous post hajduk-split-plaque-hangs-in-u-fleku explains...Most of you have probably already heard of and know about centuries U Fleků pub and restaurant in the former Bohemian and now Czech capital city Prague, (Czech: Praha) but probably many of you don't know that the Croatian football club HNK Hajduk Split has an important history connected to it also, a history reaching back to the club's very existence. (This is not a soccer or sports post btw, this is strictly a history post for the benefit of the reader). The club was founded by a group of 4 students visiting from Split (Fabijan Kaliterna, Lucijan Stella, Ivan Šakić and Vjekoslav Ivanišević). They went to the pub right after watching a match between Sparta Prague and Slavia Prague and decided that since the sport was very popular in Split also, that they their city should have a team as well. (At the time the Croatian and Czech lands were still a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire for those not in the know).ů

HNK Hajduk Split fans fans celebrating the 100th anniversary of the club's founding at U Fleků in Prague on February 13, 2011.

It was on February 13, 1911 that they formally established approval from the Imperial Governor's Club in Zadar, and with the help of Vladimir Šore, and Professor Joseph Barač who introduced the idea of naming the new the club Hajduk along with it's official team logo, the historic process was begun. The team logo with the checkered field was later forbidden throughout both failed Yugolavias and was replaced with the bolshevik communist star for a time, as any connection of the team with it's Croatian origins and identity was vehemently discouraged by the central regime. However, the team proudly carries the original team name and logo again today. The teams official name was and still is HNK Hajduk Split. (Croatian: Hrvatski Nogometni Klub/ie: Croatian Football Club Hajduk Split). The rest is history and since 2001 the commemorative plaque seen above still hangs at the same spot in U Fleků pub to mark this historic occasion. More information at its-official-hajduk-split-celebrate-100.

Of course I should mention even the chequy symbology from the Croatian coat of arms and the Czech historical region of Moravia coat of arms is very noticeable with the predominant red and white chequy patterns. Below is a 16th century Croatian coat of arms that is still seen today in the famous Cathedral of St. Vitus located in the Hradčany Castle District of Prague, Czech Republic (the cathedral contains the tombs of many Bohemian Kings and Holy Roman Emperors also, as well as the skull, helmet and armour of Wenceslaus I who was Duke of Bohemia, inside the Prague Castle)

A closer look at the Czech Republic coat of arms on the left, with the Greater coat of arms of the Czech Republic representing Bohemia and whole Czech lands, and the Silesia and Moravia historical regions. To the right is the Croatian Triune Kingdom (Trojedna Kraljevina) coat of arms from the 19th century, likewise with the Greater chequy coat of arms representing Croats and the whole Croatian lands, as well as the Dalmatia and Slavonia historical regions, below that is obviously today's modern day Croatian coat of arms and flag with the historic coats of arms crown. You'll notice that the red and white chequy symbology features predominately in both cases, just another interesting observation and feature that goes back many centuries. (I already posted about this topic before showing examples of the Croatian chequy motif carved in stone dated to the 9th century). That is your brief supplementary Croats-Czechs trivia for the day.

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