|Preface Last Updated: 1/12/2004
The Czech Republic has a rich treasure in its own history, with
much of it still visible in the bridges, palaces, and streets of
Prague. The legacies of Charles IV, the Holy Roman Emperor; of Jan
Hus, the religious reformer; of Comenius, the educator; of King
George of Podebrady, the one Czech Hussite king; of Hasek and Capek
and other writers; of the composers Dvorak and Smetana; of Tomas
Masaryk, the philosopher and statesman, are still alive in Prague.
Few world capitals have preserved their past so visibly, and few are
Politically, the Czechs have endured centuries of storms and
trials. The Czech Republic’s people, property, and institutions were
decimated by the Thirty Years’ War; were dominated by the Hapsburg
Austrian Empire for 300 years; experienced a brief but brilliant
period of democracy and independence from 1918 to 1938; were
occupied by Hitler after the signing of the Munich Pact; had an even
briefer period of independence after World War II; came under
Communist control in 1948; were invaded by the Warsaw Pact in 1968
after a brief burst of freedom during the “Prague Spring”; threw off
communist leadership in 1989 during what is known as the “Velvet
Revolution” and elected Alexander Dubcek and Vaclav Havel to top
governmental posts in the country; and welcomed 1993 by officially
splitting their country into two independent states, the Czech
Republic and Slovakia. The political, social, and economic
situations here are dynamic as the country completes the
dismantlement of old structures and joins the NATO alliance and
prepares for EU membership, thereby furthering the transition to a
free market democracy along Western lines.
From 1918 to 1938, the U.S. was intimately involved with
Czechoslovak affairs. The millions of Americans of Czech and Slovak
ancestry created a special bond, and former President Woodrow Wilson
played a vital role in the creation of the Czechoslovak state.
Czechoslovakia’s first president, Tomas Masaryk, married an American
and was a great friend of the U.S. During the Cold War, the U.S.
provided political and moral support for the Charter 77 dissidents.
Today, the U.S. is an active partner of the young democracy that has
been reborn in this ancient land.
An assignment to the American Embassy in Prague can plunge you
into this history and this present. A tour in the Czech Republic,
which includes Bohemia, Moravia, and part of Silesia, is greatly
rewarding, and most Americans leave Prague with affectionate regret.
The Host Country
Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:43 AM
The Czech Republic lies in the heartland of Central Europe. It is
bordered to the west and northwest by Germany, to the northeast by
Poland, to the southeast by Slovakia, and to the south by Austria.
The Czech Republic is almost entirely surrounded by mountains. To
the north and northeast are the Sudetes Mountains, which include the
Krkonose Mountains and Mt. Snazka, the highest point in the country.
To the southeast along the Czech-Slovak border are the Carpathian
Mountains. The Sumava Mountains in the southwest form the border
with Germany. These mountain ranges protect the country from the
extremes of western and northern European winters.
The main geographic subdivisions are the Czech lands of Bohemia
to the west and Moravia to the east. In addition, a section of what
was once Silesia occupies the north-central part of the country. The
Czech Republic covers a total area of 30,332 square miles (78,864
square kilometers). The terrain is typically hilly with wide,
rolling plains. Bohemia has more low mountains and plateaus than
Moravia, which tends to be flatter. At 20,368 square miles (52,764
square kilometers), Bohemia is twice the size of Moravia and
includes the capital city of Prague. Prague lies on the Vltava River
(Moldau in German), which flows northward and joins the Labe (Elbe)
north of Prague. Prague, with an altitude of 800 feet, lies at the
center of the gently rolling Bohemian Plain.
Prague has a humid, continental climate, with warm summers and
cold winters. Temperatures range from January’s average daily high
of 32º F (0º C) and low of 22º F (-4º C) to July’s average daily
high of 76º F (24.5º C) and low of 56º F (14º) Average annual
rainfall is about 30 inches, distributed throughout the year.
Humidity averages about 80 percent. During the winter months, high
humidity makes the winter cold penetrating. Light to moderately
heavy snow can be expected during January and February. Pollution
can be severe during the winter months because of soft-burning coal
and frequent temperature inversions. Reduced hours of daylight from
November through March combined with smog and raw weather create a
gloomy atmosphere. In fact, from mid-October when Daylight Savings
Time ends until early April when it begins again, Czech law requires
drivers to drive with their headlights on at all times.
Population Last Updated: 1/6/2004 12:32 AM
The majority of the Czech Republic’s population of more than 10
million is ethnically and linguistically Czech (Bohemians, Moravians
and Silesians). After the 1993 division of Czechoslovakia, some
Slovaks remained in the Czech Republic and comprise roughly three
percent of the current population. Minorities include Poles,
Germans, Romany (Gypsies), and Hungarians. Before World War II,
about 3.5 million Germans lived in Czechoslovakia, but most were
expelled in 1945. Sixty-five percent of all Czech people live in
towns and cities. Prague has approximately 1.2 million people, which
is, by far, the largest population of any Czech city.
The area that is the Czech Republic today was a pagan nation
until the arrival of the Christian missionaries Constantine and
Methodius in 863 A.D. Christianity quickly spread and the Catholic
Church became very dominant. During the 40 years of Communist rule,
however, religion was virtually outlawed. Although the Czechs now
enjoy freedom of religion, the effect of years of communist control
of religion is a country in which nearly 40% of the people identify
themselves as atheists. Of those Czechs who do have a religious
affiliation, most are Roman Catholic. There is also a large
Protestant minority. Of the prewar Czechoslovak population of
360,000 Jews, fewer than 10,000 remain. Most live in the Josefov
district in central Prague.
A generation of Socialist rule has had no lasting effect on the
traditional cultural ties of Czechs to Western Europe — France,
Italy, Germany, and Austria. Czechs are proud of their earlier role
in European cultural and political history. Many Americans
(including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright) are of
Czech descent, and the bond between the Czech lands and the U.S.
Public Institutions Last Updated: 1/6/2004 3:33 PM
The Czech Republic, the western two-thirds of the former Czech
and Slovak Federal Republic, is a parliamentary democracy. On
January 1, 1993, the Czechs and Slovaks divided their common state
of more than 75 years.
The Czech Parliament is bicameral, consisting of the Chamber of
Deputies and the Senate. The Senate comprises 81 members elected to
six-year terms, with one third of the seats contested every two
years. The 200-seat Chamber of Deputies includes delegates elected
from seven districts and the capital for four-year terms, on the
basis of proportional representation.
The Czech Republic has both a president and a prime minister. The
president is elected by parliament for a five-year term and may not
serve for more than two consecutive terms. The president appoints
the prime minister. The president also appoints the 17 members of
the cabinet, with the advice of the prime minister.
The president of the republic, as the formal head of state, is
granted specific powers to nominate constitutional court judges, to
dissolve parliament under certain conditions, and to enact a
suspensive veto on legislation. He is also the Supreme Commander of
the armed forces.
The prime minister, who traditionally has represented the
majority party of coalition, has considerable power. These powers
include the right to set the agenda for most foreign and domestic
policies, to mobilize a parliamentary majority, and to choose the
The Czech political scene supports a broad spectrum of parties
ranging from the semi-reformed Communist Party on the far left to
the nationalist Republican Party on the extreme right. However,
Czech governments since the fall of communism in 1989 have been
coalitions of right-of-center and centrist parties, which have
derived most of their popular support from the swift, free market
reforms they have advocated. Today the largest parties in the Czech
Republic are the center-left Czech Social Democratic Party and the
center-right Civic Democratic Party. Other parties represented in
the parliament include the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia,
the centrist Christian-Democratic Union-Czech People’s Party, and
the conservative Freedom Union.
At the local level, the Czech Republic is administered by 75
local districts with power over taxation, schools, roads, utilities,
and public health.
Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 1/6/2004 3:33 PM
Prague was a major European cultural center prior to the
Communist era, and Czech intellectuals and artists have made
numerous and significant contributions to art, literature, and
music. Well-known Czech authors include Franz Kafka, Karel Capek,
Jaroslav Hasek, Milan Kundera, and former Czech president Vaclav
Havel. Bedrich Smetana, Antonin Dvorak, and Leos Janacek are the
three best known Czech composers.
Prague has a never-ending run of top quality concerts, operas,
ballet, and theater shows. The leading theatrical institution, the
National Theater, produces opera, ballet, and drama. Numerous
theaters in Prague and the provincial cities are well attended. The
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra has a worldwide reputation, and many
other excellent musical organizations exist. The annual Prague
Spring Festival is the cultural highlight of the year. Western
popular musicians now include Prague in their tour schedules.
Several theatrical groups have gained international recognition.
Czechoslovak movies of the 1960s are world-renowned, and American
movies play in Prague with Czech subtitles.
Nearly all adults in the Czech Republic are literate. Education
is compulsory from age 6 through 15. After completion of elementary
school, most students continue their education at a secondary school
or vocational secondary school, both of which offer four-year
programs. After secondary school, students can continue on to
university after passing discipline-related entrance exams. Entrance
requirements for Czech Universities are quite strict and very
Prague’s Charles University, founded in 1348 by the Holy Roman
Emperor Charles IV, is the oldest university in central Europe and
the most prestigious university in the Czech Republic. Other
important universities include Masaryk University in Brno and
Palacky University in Olomouc.
Prague’s Charles University, founded in 1348, is the oldest
university in central Europe. Czech science, education, and
technology, once compared with the best in the world, suffered from
the heavy hand of political control under the Communists.
Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:45 AM
As of mid-2003, more than a decade after the fall of Communism in
1989, the Czech Republic has a growing, fully functional market
economy that is more than 80% in private hands. The economy’s recent
growth is based in large part on substantial inflows of foreign
direct investment that is designed to capitalize on its strategic
location in Europe, its well-educated workforce and its low cost
structure. The Czech currency, the koruna, freely floats and is
rising in value against the dollar and the Euro because of these
inflows. This rise is helping to keep inflation low, but it has a
negative impact on the competitiveness of Czech exports. Although
government indebtedness is still low by international standards,
rising budget deficits are a potential threat to stability in the
long term. The Czech Republic still faces challenges in curbing
corruption, completing industrial restructuring, increasing
transparency in capital market transactions, covering losses piled
up by formerly state-owned banks, reforming the pension and health
care systems, and solving serious environmental problems.
The Czech lands were the most industrialized part of
Austria-Hungary and a key producer of consumer and industrial goods
for the former Soviet bloc. Today, the Czech Republic produces and
exports automobiles, machinery, chemicals, and other goods, mainly
to Western Europe. A classic example of a small, open economy, the
health of the Czech economy depends heavily on the state of the
economies of Western Europe, especially Germany. Because of economic
weakness in Europe and the strength of the crown, GDP growth in 2002
was 2% and may not be much more in 2003. Industrial production
constitutes 42% of GDP, services 54% and agriculture 4%. Partly in
anticipation of the country’s accession to the European Union
(expected in 2004), foreign investors poured $8.4 billion of direct
investment into the country in 2002, the most per capita of any
country in Central and Eastern Europe. This investment is
modernizing Czech plant and equipment and raising labor
productivity. Unemployment, at about 10% nationally, is stubbornly
high in the steel and coal producing regions of Moravia. Generous
benefits, ongoing industrial restructuring and limits on labor
mobility contribute to higher unemployment.
The Czech Republic has been less successful in attracting
portfolio investment. However, oversight of the stock market has
improved in recent years, as has banking regulation. Privatization
of the formerly state-owned banks into the hands of Western European
interests, completed in 2001, has curbed the sweetheart lending that
nearly brought the banking system to collapse in 1997–98. The
government is still in the process of liquidating the bad debts that
were piled up then. These costs are one reason the government’s
overall budget deficit reached 6.7% of GDP in 2002 (exclusive of
privatization income) and is expected to be more than 7% in 2002.
With a low birthrate and aging population, pension, health and other
social benefits could boost expenditures later this decade unless
the system is reformed. There is little room to increase taxes,
which already amount to 36% of GDP. Government indebtedness is only
19–20 percent of GDP, but is growing rapidly.
Since 1989, overall trade between the U.S. and the Czech Republic
has grown twelve-fold. According to U.S. figures, the Czechs had a
trade surplus of $524 million with the U.S. in 2002. U.S. companies
such as Conoco, Procter and Gamble, and Boeing are major investors
in the Czech Republic. The U.S. is the third-ranking source of
investment, after the Netherlands and Germany, with a total of $3.6
billion invested by end 2002.
Automobiles Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:47 AM
Public transportation within Prague is excellent, but you will
need a car to see the region easily. Embassy personnel can travel
freely within the Czech Republic and to neighboring countries.
Within the Czech Republic, traffic moves on the right, and road
signs and traffic conventions are similar to those used throughout
Europe. The Czech Republic’s main roads are adequate and in winter
are plowed and salted or “sanded” (actually heavily covered with
cinders). Compared to the U.S. or Western Europe, traffic on the
highways is light, although the traffic situation in Prague during
working hours and throughout the Czech Republic continues to worsen
as more vehicles take to the roads.
Although Czech authorities widely tolerate the use of U.S.
driving licenses, the law states that all Americans whose permanent
stay in the Czech Republic will exceed three months should also have
an International Driving License. An international license is
required for some neighboring countries; it is recommended that all
drivers obtain one before coming to post. International licenses can
be obtained by mail through AAA. Information is available on their
website at www.aaa.com. The International Driving License is valid
for one year and can be renewed by mail. International licenses can
also be obtained locally, but only on the basis of a Czech license.
Czech licenses can be obtained, though a brief test is required,
even for holders of valid U.S. licenses. Without a valid U.S.
license, a lengthy and expensive driver-training course and a
thorough exam are required.
Compact or smaller cars are preferred because of narrow city
streets, fuel economy, and resale value. Any standard make car is
suitable. Cobblestone streets and poor secondary roads are common
and can be hard on a vehicle’s suspension. Post personnel have a mix
of American, Asian, and European cars, which may be shipped to post
at government expense. Service facilities for most makes of European
and Asian cars are adequate. In addition, there are at least three
facilities in Prague that can service many U.S.-made, U.S.-model
cars that are not sold in Europe.
Service and spare parts for American cars may be available at a
military PX in Germany, or at local dealerships in Prague and the
surrounding country. It is sometimes necessary, however, to import
parts from the U.S., which may take several weeks. Repair facilities
are available for European and most Asian cars. However, the quality
of repairs varies. Some foreign residents take their cars to Western
Europe for service.
Czech law requires that cars be equipped with catalytic
converters, left and right outside rear view mirrors, mud flaps for
rear tires, a rear fog light, a European first-aid kit and
“triangle” emergency breakdown marker (available locally or at the
PX in Germany), a set of spare fuses and bulbs, one spare wheel
screw, and one spare spark plug. Snow tires are recommended for
winter driving and radials provide better traction in cities.
Austrian and German authorities often require that vehicles entering
their territory in winter have tire chains.
Gas station facilities are excellent, with newly built, modern
stations almost everywhere. Many stations are open 24 hours. Both
leaded and unleaded gasoline are sold at Czech gas stations.
Unleaded gas is sold as ‘normal’ or ‘natural’, and comes in 91, 95,
or 98 octane. Leaded gasoline is sold as ‘special’, and is usually
91 octane. Diesel fuel is also sold, and can be labeled as ‘diesel’
or ‘nafta’. Gasoline in the Czech Republic is about $3.50/gallon.
However, once one recovers the value-added tax and consumer tax, the
cost of gasoline is a bit lower than U.S. prices. The Embassy
imports lead-free gas and dispenses it at the chancery through the
Embassy commissary. Motor oil can be purchased in many local stores
and gas stations. Motor oil is also available through the commissary
and at PXs in Germany. Motor oil purchased locally is generally more
costly, particularly synthetic motor oil.
The Czech Republic places some limitations on the importation of
automobiles. Since the laws on vehicles continue to change,
personnel should check with post prior to shipping a personally
owned vehicle. The current applicable laws are described below.
A car can be imported into the country without being registered
in the Czech Republic by making sure that the vehicle continues to
be registered and properly insured (green card is needed) in a
foreign country and maintains that country’s license plates.
If a vehicle needs to be registered in the Czech Republic, as is
customary for diplomatic personnel, a car cannot be more than 8
years old when it is imported. Please note that the clock starts
ticking when the car is registered for the first ime in any country
(including the U.S.).
Also, it is the owner’s responsibility to prove that the vehicle
meets the EURO II emission standard. This can be problematic for a
U.S.-made car. A U.S.-manufactured vehicle may need to be tested. If
the technical inspection service does not find an identical engine
in their computer database, a test must be conducted to see if it
meets the standard. This test can cost as much as CZK 9,000. There
may be a minimal charge for vehicles whose engine data is already
stored in the lab’s computer.
If a vehicle cannot meet the EURO II standard it can be granted a
waiver. If this occurs, it will be impossible to transfer/sell the
vehicle to another owner (including diplomats) unless it is
modified. Please note that no waiver for emissions can be granted in
After the car is delivered to the Embassy and the customs
clearance is complete, GSO will arrange for the inspection and
emission’s test in an authorized facility. A copy of the owner’s
title, user manual and fees in the amount of CZK 2,100 are required
to begin this process. You can pay this amount to the GSO, who will
manage the registration process.
The Embassy mechanics check the vehicle and take it to the
inspection station where the import inspection will be performed.
The inspection station then issues a technical report. GSO will then
request that the Czech Ministry of Transport (MOT) to grant any
technical waivers (if needed). After the waivers are granted,
another MOT unit will issue license plates and vehicle registration
The process is similar if an individual buys a vehicle abroad
(e.g. at military base in Germany) and drives it to the country to
get it registered. If a vehicle is purchased at the local auto
dealer, the dealer should provide all necessary documents. No other
inspections are required (only the customs clearance if it is a
foreign-made car bought locally).
You may purchase a used European-made car on the open market from
a used auto dealer or through a private purchase. The previous owner
is responsible for recording your name on the Czech title. Required
inspections should still be valid and GSO will order the appropriate
diplomatic license plates.
After a vehicle is properly registered and licensed in the Czech
Republic, the technical inspection and emission test should be
repeated every two years. It is routine and a fee is about CZK 800.
As an alternative to bringing a car to post, many Embassy
personnel buy Czech-made (and Volkswagen-backed) Skodas. Several
foreign and American auto firms also have sales and service outlets
in Prague. A brand new car purchased at a local auto dealer is
subject to the technical inspection and emission test after four
years and there after every two years.
For information on selling a duty-free car, see “Taxes, Exchange,
and Sale of Property.”
All vehicles operating in the Czech Republic must carry Third
Party Liability Insurance. Vehicles not registered in the Czech
Republic must carry liability insurance. If an unregistered vehicle
is transported via car carrier then third liability insurance is not
needed, but if an unregistered vehicle is driven into the Czech
Republic, the car must have liability insurance (green card).
If the owner does not have a green card (proof of liability
insurance) when registering the car and operating it within the
Czech Republic, the owner must purchase a valid liability insurance
policy from a licensed insurance vendor. GSO Customs and Shipping
can help you arrange the proper insurance for your automobile. The
liability insurance that is customary only covers damage incurred in
the Czech Republic. Premium rate for liability insurance currently
costs Ck 4,700 per month.
Vehicles registered in the Czech Republic and driving with Czech
license plates must purchase liability insurance through Ceská
Pojištovna, a.s. It is the largest and most popular insurance
company with numerous branches all over the country. The premium is
based on the engine size of an automobile and is divided into five
categories. The rates are differentiated as follows:
STANDARD — Coverage is up to 18 millions CZK for health and death
and 5 millions CZK for damage to property.
BONUS EXCLUSIVE — Coverage is up to 50 millions CZK for health
and death and 50 millions CZK for damage to property.
The cost difference between the two rates is very small. The
premium is based on the engine size (i.e. how many cubic centimeters
or liters an engine is) varies from Ck 2,920 to Ck 11,260 (2003
rates). The premiums can be paid yearly, semi-yearly, quarterly or
monthly. Also, a driver that has no-claims is eligible for a premium
discount after one year.
Liability insurance covers damage caused by the driver to other
vehicles, property or persons and is purchased via GSO. If the
driver at fault also suffers damage to his own vehicle, he will not
be eligible for reimbursement from the insurance company. For this
and other cases (fire, explosion, flood, falling trees and/or
electrical poles, theft, etc.) a driver can insure himself with an
all-risk/collision policy. In these cases, you can arrange insurance
from companies in the
Czech Republic and in the United States.
Several Embassy vehicles have been involved in motor accidents,
and one should always keep in mind the possibility of an unexpected
hazard. In the event of an accident, you should stop; assess the
situation (skid marks, damage, etc.); identify possible witnesses,
and/or call the Police. You can dial 112 (Integral Emergency
System), 158 (Czech Police), or 261–214–141 (Traffic Police
Department of Prague) to reach the proper authorities. If you do not
speak Czech or the situation is difficult, you can contact the
Foreign Service National Investigator in the RSO’s office to help
you communicate with the parties involved. If damage does not exceed
CZK 20,000, injuries are non-existent or minor, and if participants
reach an agreement on who was at fault, the police do not need to be
If the police do investigate, be prepared to wait for several
hours. The police can take a long time to show up for a traffic
accident, and investigations at the accident scene for even a minor
accident may take hours while the police take measurements and
photographs, and interview the drivers. If the police do
investigate, try to make sure they determine that a driver is at
fault. In cases where negligence is not apparent or the Police don’t
assess blame, the case may be sent to another authority which can
complicate matters. In some cases, even this authority is not able
to determine who is at fault and the case may end before a court.
In any case, please inform GSO as soon as possible about the date
of the accident, place and the address of the police station
investigating the case. GSO will try to get the Police to issue an
accident report. Based on the report, GSO can assist you in
preparing a claim against the appropriate insurance company. If you
require compensation for damage, please do not repair the vehicle
until it is inspected by the insurance company’s loss adjustor!
Local Transportation Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:48 AM
Subway, trams, and buses are used in the city and suburbs. Metro
trains run from 5:00 to 24:00. Trains run frequently, with intervals
of 2 to 3 minutes during peak hours during the week. Off-peak and
weekend trains are less frequent, but the intervals are still less
than 10 minutes. Trams and buses run from 4:30 to 24:00. Most trams
and buses run every 8 minutes during the early morning and afternoon
peak hours. Trams and buses are less frequent during off-peak hours.
Tram and bus schedules are posted on at each stop.
After midnight, trams and buses continue on a reduced schedule.
Night trams — indicated at stops by a white number on a dark blue
background — run every 40 minutes. There are also twelve night buses
that run out to some of the farther reaches of the city. The metro
does not operate at all from midnight to 5 a.m.
Public transportation, frequently used by many Embassy employees,
is inexpensive, but prices are increasing. A single ticket costs
about $0.40 and a monthly pass about $16.50. Quarterly, six-month,
and year-long passes are also available. Passes for one month or
longer require a special picture identification card which can be
purchased at several of the larger metro stations. Fifteen-day
passes, which cost about $11 and do not require a picture
identification card, are especially useful for out-of-town guests.
Single trip tickets can be purchased at all Metro stations as well
as at many newspaper stands and Tabak shops. Single trip tickets can
also be purchased from the driver on a tram or bus, but there is a
small surcharge on the price. Tickets for children 5 to 15 years old
are also available for a reduced price. Children under the age of 5
ride for free.
Public transportation operates on an honor system. You do not
enter through a turnstile or have to produce your ticket upon
boarding. Single trip and fifteen-day passes require you to validate
them at the beginning of their use. Be aware that uniformed or
plainclothes police frequently patrol public transportation to check
for valid tickets. Passengers unable to produce a ticket will be
fined 800 KC, or 400 KC if paid on the spot.
Taxis are usually found at stands in the central part of town and
at the airport. In outlying sections, you must call for a taxi.
Outside of the tourist season, service is reasonably prompt up to 10
or 11 p.m. Most Embassy personnel, as do many ex-pats, use one or
two companies that are dependable and charge fair, reasonable rates.
Caution is advised for the many self-employed drivers, which have
the well-deserved reputation of practicing price gouging.
Regional Transportation Last Updated: 1/6/2004 1:33 PM
The Czech Republic is served by a comprehensive network of bus,
rail, and air transport; however, reservations are difficult to get
during the holidays, music festivals, and trade fairs. Embassy
personnel often prefer to travel by car within the Czech Republic.
Train service is good, and there are several modern international
express train services. Rail transport within the Czech Republic and
to other nearby European countries is inexpensive, though prices
continue to increase. Daily flights operate between Prague and other
major European capitals. The travel person in the embassy can assist
with reservations and the purchase of tickets.
Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 1/6/2004 1:34 PM
Local and long-distance telephone, telegraph, fax, and telex
services are available at reasonable cost within the Czech Republic.
Rather than a flat monthly rate for local calls, as is typical in
the United States, local phone charges are by the minute. Evenings,
weekends, and state holidays have reduced rates. Service outside the
country, and particularly outside Europe, is much more expensive. A
local service called X-Call, for which you to enter a 5-digit number
before the number you are dialing, offers substantially less
expensive rates to the U.S. and other countries when dialing
evenings, nights, weekends, and Czech holidays. USA Direct or
similar American credit card services can substantially reduce the
cost of personal calls to the United States. Call-back services,
which are another option for moderate long-distance calls, can also
Internet Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:48 AM
There are several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Prague of
varying quality, reliability, and cost. Generally, dial-up access is
free, but you are charged for each minute of telephone usage. ISDN
services are also offered in some areas of Prague, but they are
generally expensive and only cost-effective for heavy Internet use.
Some international ISPs, Compuserve, and ibm.net, for example, also
have points of presence in Prague. If you need access to a computer,
internet cafes can be found all around Prague.
Official e-mail is available through DOS net on the post’s
unclassified local area net. Classified e-mail is also available.
Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 1/6/2004 3:42 PM
American Embassy Prague’s APO support was terminated in early
1998. Assigned personnel must rely on the diplomatic pouch system or
international mail. Mail through the diplomatic pouch is extremely
slow. Round-trip communications typically take 24 days or longer.
Post personnel often find it impossible to make credit card payments
on time if they wait for bills before sending remittances.
Consequently, most Post personnel do their banking electronically.
It is recommended that personnel set up their electronic accounts
before coming to post.
Personal letter mail as well as small and medium-sized cushioned
mailers may be sent out through the pouch. Personal packages may not
however, with the exception of returned merchandise ordered from a
catalog. Such items may be returned to the original place of order
through the pouch system. Any other package mail must be sent using
the local postal system or through other private arrangements.
There are strict limitations on what can be received via the
pouch. Packages must be no larger than the combined length and girth
of 62 inches and must weigh no more than 40 lbs. Length is defined
as the measurement of the longest size and girth is the sum of the
other four sides. In addition, incoming packages may not contain
liquids, aerosols, or illegal substances. American postage must be
affixed to all personal mail sent through the Diplomatic Pouch
system. American and Czech stamps are sold at the commissary.
Previously, both official and personal mail sent through the
pouch used the same mailing address. In the wake of the anthrax
contamination in the U.S. postal system, separate addresses are now
used for official and personal mail. Official mail should be sent
through the official address and will be irradiated before it is
forwarded to the air carrier. Our official pouch address is:
Department of State
5630 Prague PL
Washington, DC 20521–5630
Personal packages and letter mail may be sent via the other
address, thereby avoiding irradiation and generally ensuring
speedier delivery. Using this address is particularly important for
medications and certain sensitive equipment. While personal mail may
be sent via the official address, official mail should not be sent
using this personal address to help retain its “clean” status:
5630 Prague PL
Dulles, VA 20189–5630
Personal mail sent to post through international mail should be
addressed as follows:
Ms. Jane Doe
118 01 Praha 1
Personnel may also receive international mail at their local
Radio and TV Last Updated: 1/6/2004 3:42 PM
There are many AM and FM radio stations, including the BBC (101.1
FM). Czech FM stations have play lists similar to many American pop
and country stations. Occasionally, there are special programs in
English. Some or parts of advertisements are even in English.
Short-wave radios can pick up BBC day and night, VOA morning and
evening, and other European stations in English and other languages.
VOA may also be heard in English at various times in the day on 1197
Radios are available locally or at the PX in Germany at
American (NTSC) TVs can be converted to the PAL system used in
the Czech Republic, but with difficulty. Multi-system TVs capable of
processing both local PAL broadcasts and the NTSC system used by
American VCRs are available at the PX in Germany or they can be
mail-ordered if they meet the pouch’s size limits.
There are four TV channels, with most broadcasts in Czech. One
channel carries a mixture of foreign broadcasting. Broadcasts are
sometimes dubbed or subtitled, but often are in English, German,
French, Russian, and Spanish. Viewing is invaluable for studying the
Houses in the Mala Sarka development near the International
School all have cable hardwired into the houses. More than 20
channels including the four Czech channels, a few English language
channels (CNN, Sky News, BBC, CNBC, Eurosport), and numerous German
channels, are transmitted by installed cables straight to TV sockets
in the houses.
Some employees have installed satellite dishes that enable them
to receive English-language news programs and other broadcasts —
also using the PAL system — from one or more European satellites.
Dishes are available locally and in Germany. Post families are also
able to purchase Armed Forces Network (AFN) satellites at the
military bases in Germany. The AFN satellite picks up 6 channels,
all broadcast in English. These channels include a news channel, a
sports channel, and channels that broadcast a variety of American
VCRs and DVD players are also popular. The Embassy’s community
association has a video library with more than 500 titles, many of
which are specifically for children. These movies are available for
rent at the commissary. While most of the collection is comprised of
VHS videos, all newly purchased movies are DVDs. There is also at
least one video rental business, with thousands of English-language
tapes, that caters to the large American and British expatriate
Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 1/6/2004
International editions of news magazines, such as Time, Newsweek,
and The Economist, are available at local newsstands, as are a wide
variety of other popular magazines. There is an extensive paperback
library in the CLO. Current popular American paperbacks are
available at Army bases in Germany and in many Prague bookstores.
The Public Affairs Office has a reference library for Czech clients
that is also available to Embassy staff. Subscriptions to magazines
and newspapers, including the International Herald Tribune and USA
Today, can be ordered and delivered to your residence or office
usually on the day of the publication. Most newspapers also have a
free on-line version.
Another good source of local information is the Prague Post, an
English-language weekly, that provides news of the Czech Republic
and surrounding countries as well as lists of restaurants, movie
theater schedules, and cultural events.
Health and Medicine
Medical Facilities Last Updated: 3/25/2004 5:56 AM
The Embassy has one full-time direct hire Foreign Service Health
Practitioner as well as one full-time, American Registered Nurse
(R.N.) and a Czech Medical Office Assistant in the health unit.
Basic health care, including diagnosis and treatment of minor
illnesses and injuries, immunizations, and well child exams are
provided to all authorized U.S. Embassy personnel and their
dependents. The regional medical officer, posted in Warsaw, and the
regional psychiatrist, posted in Vienna, schedule visits throughout
the year. The medical unit has a small pharmacy, but does not have
X-ray or extensive laboratory facilities. Although many familiar
medications may be available locally at reasonable cost, people
requiring medication on a long-term basis should order from the U.S.
(See Mail and Pouch section).
Emergency medical services are provided to resident foreigners in
Prague at several local hospitals. Motol Hospital, which has a
24-hour emergency room, is used most often for serious illness or
injury and is the only hospital with 24-hour pediatric emergency and
in-patient facilities. It has a foreigner’s desk, staffed by people
who speak English and who will assist you in communications with
hospital staff. Many, if not most, of the doctors also speak some
English. Routine health care is available at several local clinics,
including the Canadian Medical Center, UNICARE, and Mediscan.
English speaking clerical staff makes utilizing these clinics easy.
In addition to their general practitioners, each clinic also has
numerous specialists available. Most clinics have a physician
on-call 24 hours/day who will make house calls.
Privatization of health care facilities is increasing, with many
private physicians available in most specialties. Costs for
outpatient care vary, with some costs comparable to U.S prices.
Routine and emergency care in Prague is adequate, but local
differences in the organization of medical care, a limited choice of
physicians, cultural differences, and the language barrier can
Good quality dental care provided by English speaking dentists is
readily available at several clinics. A few dentists offer
orthodontia, but they are often heavily booked.
The health unit will assist employees in arranging needed medical
Community Health Last Updated: 3/25/2004 5:58 AM
Community sanitation in the Czech Republic is high. Public health
controls help to prevent outbreaks of serious diseases. Milk
products are pasteurized and generally safe as long as they are
stored properly. In addition, the Embassy commissary stocks fresh,
UHT, and powdered milk purchased from U.S. military facilities in
Germany. The water in Prague is not fluoridated, and supplements,
available from the health unit, should be given to children up to
the age of 13. Generally, the water in Prague is safe to drink and
meets acceptable standards according to World Health Organization
guidelines for adults and children over one year of age. The nitrate
level in the water is potentially hazardous to small infants (under
one year of age). Bottled or distilled water is recommended for this
Preventive Measures Last Updated: 3/25/2004 5:59 AM
The most prevalent local diseases are hepatitis, measles,
whooping cough, and respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis and
pneumonia. Upper respiratory ailments are common during the winter
months. Prague’s damp and sooty winter often brings on or aggravates
bronchitis, viral influenza, head and chest colds, asthma, sinus
trouble, and other respiratory difficulties. Coughs, hoarseness, and
bronchial irritations seem to last longer, and people with a history
of asthma may experience flare-ups, probably due to chronic
irritation from the pollution. Ticks in the Czech Republic can
transmit a viral infection known as tick-borne encephalitis. An
effective vaccine is available at the Embassy Health Unit and is
given to all Post personnel and their families.
Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 1/12/2004
Full- or part-time employment opportunities for spouses and/or
dependents do exist, but are limited. There are some positions open
to dependents within the American Embassy and the International
School of Prague.
Positions at the Embassy include FMA positions, such as the CLO,
mail and pouch clerk, nurse, budget and fiscal assistant, GSO
assistant, Public Affairs assistant, and secretaries in DAO, MGT,
Under the State Department’s European Bureau’s Family Employment
Program, some FMA positions may be filled on a full-time basis by
dependents who, before their arrival at post, are hired for the
position and attend training at FSI on a paid basis. Prospective
candidates for the Family Employment Program should contact the
Executive Office of the European Bureau (EUR/EX) for information on
which positions may be available at the time of transfer.
Other applicants should write to the Embassy’s personnel officer.
Prospective teachers or teacher’s aides should write to the
director, International School of Prague, c/o the Embassy, as far in
advance as possible. There are several additional schools, which may
have positions for teachers or teacher’s aides. Some dependents have
found employment at the Riverside School and the British
International Schools, both of which follow a British curriculum.
All applications for Embassy local-hire positions are submitted
to the Embassy Dependent Employment Committee, which consists of
voting members drawn from as wide a spectrum of the Embassy staff as
possible to ensure a fair allocation of scarce work opportunities.
The committee, in close consultation with the section chief
involved, conducts interviews and reviews available jobs and
candidates’ qualifications. It is advisable to forward or bring an
updated SF-171 or OF-612 (employment form), and supporting material
to post. Dependents who participate in the FLO job skills bank
should send their current printout to post before arriving.
A formal bilateral work agreement that allows Embassy dependents
to work on the Czech economy went into effect on Oct. 1, 1993. While
this agreement allows Embassy dependents to legally work in the
Czech Republic, Czech wages are generally quite low and some fluency
in the Czech language is usually required. There are numerous
American companies with offices in Prague, however, and dependents
with particular education and skills backgrounds have found
employment at American wages. The Foreign Commercial Service or the
local American Chamber of Commerce can provide information on
American companies in Prague to assist interested dependents in
their job search.
American Embassy - Prague
Post City Last Updated: 1/6/2004 1:53 PM
Prague is an old city; a medley of Gothic, Renaissance, baroque,
and art deco architecture gives the city its particular charm and
makes it one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. In spite of the
turmoil in Czechoslovakia during World War II, Prague remained
mostly undamaged, and buildings dating back to the early medieval
period are still in evidence. The green of Prague’s numerous parks
and hills sets off its many historic buildings, making it
particularly attractive in late spring, summer, and early autumn.
Prague has a population of about 1.2 million. German and English
are the most widely understood foreign languages. Within the Western
foreign and diplomatic communities, English, French, and German are
spoken in addition to Czech. Americans are currently popular among
Czechs, and the opinion that Czechs have of our culture is high.
English is rapidly becoming the most-learned language, and is taught
in the Czech public schools.
Security Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:50 AM
The Department of State has issued several Public Announcements
since September 11, 2001 cautioning Americans worldwide to maintain
a level of vigilance against potential terrorist incidents. We do
not believe, however, that U.S. Government visitors in the Czech
Republic are especially at risk at this time. All Americans are
advised to be continually aware of their surroundings and be alert
to suspicious activities or individuals. With regard to crime,
visitors are encouraged to exercise common sense precautions and be
particularly wary of Prague’s famously efficient pickpockets.
Special caution is warranted in and around train stations and when
boarding and exiting trams. When taking taxis, it is recommended to
agree on an estimated fare with the driver in advance.
The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 1/6/2004 3:45 PM
The Embassy’s chancery is the 17th century Schoenborn Palace, a
large building with four wings built around three courtyards with a
large terraced garden. Above the terraced garden and extending up
the hillside is a seven-acre orchard topped by the Glorietta, from
which the American flag flies. The chancery is located at Trziste 15
in the Mala Strana section of the old city, near the Mala Strana
Square and Charles Bridge, just below Prague Castle. Embassy
sections housed in the chancery include Executive, Political,
Economic, FSC, Consular, Management (including a Marine Guard
Security detachment), a Defense Attaché’s Office, and a Security
Assistance Office. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through
Friday. The telephone number is 420–257–530–663. The main Embassy
fax number is 420–257–530–920.
An Embassy representative normally meets new arrivals at the
airport or railroad station.
Housing Last Updated: 1/6/2004 1:57 PM
Every effort is made to place new arrivals in their permanently
assigned government quarters as soon as possible; however, it is
occasionally necessary for new arrivals to spend at least a few
weeks in U.S. government-owned or other temporary quarters.
(Apartments, rather than hotels, are the norm for non-U.S.
government temporary housing, when needed.)
Employees assigned to Prague should use airfreight to ship in
advance those supplies they will need until their household effects
arrive. The Embassy has welcome kits of household items to loan, but
during summer months demand may exceed supply.
Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 1/6/2004 1:58 PM
The Embassy has a 2-bedroom transient apartment on the
ambassador’s residence compound that is used to house new arrivals,
as necessary, and temporary duty personnel. The transient apartment
is completely furnished, including kitchen with microwave and dining
utensils. Cleaning is the responsibility of the occupants.
Permanent Housing Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:51 AM
Housing assignments are made by the Interagency Housing Board in
accordance with standards established by A-171, the post’s housing
profile and other guidelines. The quality of U.S. government-leased
housing varies. Extra bedrooms are in short supply. Some
accommodations have street parking only. Isolated instances of
vandalism directed at parked cars belonging to Embassy personnel
have occurred. Approximately half of post’s housing is leased.
U.S. government-owned property consists of:
The Ambassador’s residence, built in the late 1920’s and acquired
in 1948, is a large, well-furnished, three-story residence with
garden. The third floor has a self-contained four-bedroom apartment
and a two-bedroom transient apartment.
The DCM’s home is on the ambassador’s residence compound and was
also built in the 1920’s. The second floor has three double
bedrooms, each with bath, a small sewing room (or office), and a
veranda. The first floor has a dining room, a living room, a family
sitting room with fireplace, a powder room, a full kitchen, and a
large veranda overlooking the community’s pool. A second kitchen,
two additional bedrooms, laundry, bathroom, supply room, and
underground storage wine cellar are in the basement.
The Staff House, also on the ambassador’s residence compound, has
two spacious three-bedroom apartments. Renovation of the apartments
has just been completed. The basement of the Staff House houses a
small embassy preschool, called Green Tree Early Learning Center.
The former gate house of the Ambassador’s residence is now a
charming, one-bedroom house with living space on the basement,
ground level, and second floors.
Up the street from the Chancery is the so-called Volek House,
which used to be the gardeners’ quarters and later the USIS library.
It is a cozy two-bedroom house.
Not far from the Ambassador’s Residence is a building known as
the Marine House, which is used to house the Marine detachment
tasked with providing security for the embassy. The Marine House has
9 bedrooms and currently houses 9 Marines.
The Embassy took delivery of 13 brand new four-bedroom houses in
the newly built Mala Sarka housing development in late 1997. The
development is adjacent to the International School of Prague campus
on the edge of town, not too far from the airport. The houses have
two-car garages and small yards.
Many Embassy personnel live in apartments or houses that are
scattered throughout the city. Some are closer to the center of town
than others. Some are in the area called Dejvice, which is located
at a higher altitude than the city center and near Prague’s symbol,
the castle. Others are near the center, in Vinohrady, for example,
that are in older, charming neighborhoods, which are being
refurbished and upgraded, and are conveniently close to Old Town’s
attractions. Regardless of the locale, however, each of the living
quarters is in a neighborhood where residents can find the necessary
services: restaurants, pubs, dry cleaners, grocery stores, vegetable
and fruit stands, and other stores.
Furnishings Last Updated: 1/6/2004 2:03 PM
Government quarters are furnished as authorized in 6 FAM 782,
including furniture, rugs, lamps, chandeliers, draperies,
mattresses, major appliances, microwave ovens, and vacuums, as
available, and two 220v to 110v transformers. Since the Embassy has
little storage space, do not ship additional furnishings to post
without prior approval. The following are not provided and may be
brought to post or purchased locally: china, glassware, flatware,
kitchen utensils, linens, small appliances (TVs, VCRs, radios,
toasters, mixers, iron, etc.), baby cribs, furniture, card tables
and chairs, bedspreads, mattress covers, pillows, ironing boards,
adapter plugs, wastebaskets, and throw rugs. The Embassy also has a
few card tables, folding chairs, and tents, which it loans for
Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 1/6/2004 3:46 PM
Government-owned quarters have central heating and complete
bathrooms, including bathtubs with showers. Homes in the Mala Sarka
development have European stoves. Electric current is 220v,
50-cycle, AC. Voltage stabilizers are useful but not usually
required for delicate electronic equipment. Surge protectors for
computers and TVs/VCRs are recommended and can be purchased locally.
Cycles may vary slightly. Quarters have private telephones, though
phone installation at newly leased quarters can occasionally be
considerably delayed. Chancery apartments and the Ambassador’s and
DCM’s residences also have Embassy switchboard extensions. Kitchens
have gas or electric stoves, a refrigerator and freezer, and a few
transformers. Most quarters have dishwashers. Automatic washers and
dryers are provided, either in quarters or in a common area in the
same building. Additional appliances and transformers are available
locally or from the PX at U.S. military bases in Germany at
Food Last Updated: 3/25/2004 6:00 AM
Basic foods are regularly available in Prague. Fresh fruits and
vegetables have been a problem in the past, but large supermarkets
now offer a wide assortment of groceries, vegetables, and fruits,
both local and imported. Local food stores are beginning to have a
wider assortment and a more reliable supply of groceries.
Neighborhood fruit and vegetable shops usually have a good selection
of local and imported fresh fruit and vegetables. Post personnel
have shopping privileges at the U.S. Army bases in Germany, and many
families travel there regularly to stock up on favorite American
products and convenience foods.
Once a month, the Prague Embassy Community Association’s
commissary ships in supplies from U.S. Army training bases in
Germany and sells them in the small commissary in the Embassy. The
Embassy commissary stocks groceries, toiletries, household supplies,
liquors, and frozen foods, including meat, chicken, and fish.
Individuals may place a monthly order from the commissary for fresh
fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, bakery goods, baby foods, and case
lots of canned goods. Other items sold at the Army training bases,
such as car tires, electronics, and garden furniture can also be
ordered. Most orders are picked up at the embassy commissary, but
orders can be delivered to your home for a fee. Orders must usually
be placed a month in advance. Write to the commissary before arrival
if you wish to place an order. A commissary membership deposit of
$300 is required, but it is returned prior to your permanent
departure from post.
Clothing Last Updated: 1/6/2004 2:08 PM
Though acceptable clothing can be found, and both quality and
selection are getting better, you may still wish to purchase or
order outside of the Czech Republic. Many items are available at
military PXs. Prices of products on the German economy are higher
than in the U.S. In addition, Post personnel and their families take
advantage of the many companies that sell clothing on-line.
Mail-orders can be shipped through the pouch address.
Military personnel should contact the Defense Attaché’s Office
for any special clothing requirements. Army uniforms can be
purchased at the clothing sales stores on the U.S. Army bases in
Germany. Uniforms and related items for all of the services can also
be ordered online through AAFES.
No unusual clothing is required for Prague. A fall and winter
wardrobe suitable for damp New York weather should be satisfactory.
Bring many pairs of low-heeled, perhaps crepe-soled, shoes or boots
for Prague’s cobblestone pavements. Overshoes, galoshes or boots,
raincoats, and umbrellas are needed. Because of the soft coal used
for heating in the Czech Republic, light-colored clothing requires
frequent cleaning in the winter.
Winter is the formal season in Prague. Senior male officers need
a dinner jacket. Other male staff members and dependents taking part
in representational activities may find a dinner jacket useful,
although a dark suit is acceptable. Female officers and dependents
taking part in representational activities need cocktail dresses and
perhaps one evening dress, particularly for the Marine Ball. Short
dinner dresses are a real necessity. White tie is never worn.
Supplies and Services
Supplies Last Updated: 1/6/2004 2:09 PM
Basic toiletries, cosmetics, tobacco products, medicines, and
household supplies are readily available in the local stores and
pharmacies. They can also be purchased from the Embassy commissary,
ordered by mail, or purchased at PXs in Germany.
Basic Services Last Updated: 1/6/2004 2:10 PM
Good, reasonably priced tailors and dressmakers are available in
Prague. Local dry cleaning, laundry, and shoe repair services are
adequate. Beauty and barbershops are widely available. The beauty
shops, which cater to foreigners, charge rates typical in the United
States. Hair care products can be purchased at large grocery stores
as well as pharmacies. Some women prefer to supply their own hair
care products and these are readily available at military PXs in
Repair facilities for many makes of newer automobiles, audio and
video equipment, and household appliances are available. However,
parts may be unavailable. Repairs can take a long time, and the
quality of the work varies. More complex repairs are sometimes done
abroad, at the PX (for American and some foreign products), or on
the German market (for European products).
Domestic Help Last Updated: 1/6/2004 3:47 PM
Many Embassy personnel employ part-time or full-time domestic
help. Waiters and cooks are often employed for representational
dinners. Household help is particularly useful for local shopping or
various errands if you know there will be a language barrier in
local shops. Inform the Embassy in advance of the sort of domestic
help you will need, and the staff will begin looking for you.
Qualified personnel are available, but it can sometimes be
difficult to find someone who has satisfactory English skills.
Minimum wages are set by Czech regulations and are still not high by
U.S. standards. The average price for domestic help is approximately
$4.50 USD per hour.
Many embassy families hire domestic help through several agencies
in Prague. These agencies can provide English-speaking babysitters;
housekeepers do not generally speak English well. The agencies set
the wage paid to the housekeeper or babysitter, and the domestic
help hired through these agencies are responsible for paying their
own Social Security tax. Vacations and holidays are negotiated
between the family and the help. It is customary to pay the domestic
help a bonus at the end of the year.
Religious Activities Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:52 AM
Prague now has services in English for those of the Anglican,
Baptist, Interdenominational Christian, Lutheran, Roman Catholic,
and Jewish faiths. There are also several discussion groups in
English for various religions. A listing of times and places for
services can be found in the English-language weekly, the Prague
Post. Czech-language Protestant services are held in local churches.
Roman Catholic Mass is said regularly in Czech in local churches,
including St. Vitus Cathedral in the Prague Castle, and traditional
Czech Masses are sung for religious holidays. Jewish services are
held in the Old-New Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter, the Jerusalem
Synagogue, and Bejt Simcha.
At Post Last Updated: 1/6/2004 3:48 PM
The International School of Prague (ISP), founded in 1948, was for
many years located in the U.S. Embassy. Now it is housed on a
beautiful new campus in Prague 6 (an administrative district in the
northwestern part of the city), next to the Mala Sarka housing
development, where the Embassy owns 13 homes. The school is governed
by a nine-member board, most of which is elected by parents, but
with an Embassy representative as well. The school is fully
accredited by the Middle States Association in the U.S. and the
European Council of International Schools. The school employs an
American director, and many of the teachers are recruited from the
U.S. The enrollment has grown rapidly in the last few years and now
has about 600 students representing more than 60 nationalities.
Grade levels offered are preschool through grade 12, with both the
U.S. and the International Baccalaureate diplomas offered. Children
must be 3 by September 1 to be enrolled in preschool.
The school follows a U.S.-based curriculum, enriched by
international perspective and content. Re-entry into U.S. schools is
generally not a problem. Facilities include a large library, two
computer labs, four science labs, two gymnasiums, and a theater as
well as outdoor playgrounds, sports fields, and basketball and
tennis courts. No boarding facilities are available. The school has
a full extracurricular activity program, which includes intramural
and interscholastic sports (soccer, volleyball, basketball,
softball, and swimming), drama productions, student newspapers,
student government, literary magazines, band, and choir. Transport
to and from school is a parental responsibility via private car,
taxi, or public transportation. The school year is divided into
trimesters and runs from late August to the second week of June,
with a one-week vacation in October, a two- to three-week
Christmas/New Year’s break, a one-week winter break in February, and
a week off in April.
Contact the ISP Admissions Officer in care of the Embassy in the
early spring for applications for the following academic year. Early
application is encouraged because of increasing enrollment.
In addition to ISP, some Embassy personnel have enrolled their
children in schools that follow a British curriculum, as well as a
German-language school. The Riverside School is a Christian-based
school that follows a British curriculum. They have classes from
preschool through grade 12. The British International Schools also
have classes from preschool through grade 12 and follow a British
An elementary school, including nursery and kindergarten, is run
by the French Cultural Center in Prague. The demand for enrollment
in the nursery and kindergarten often exceeds available space.
Instruction is in French and follows a standard French curriculum.
The Staff House on the grounds of the Ambassador’s residence
houses a preschool for children 2 to 5 years old. The school, called
the Green Tree Early Learning Center, has a board comprised of
parents of embassy children attending the school. The board sets
policy for the school, including class size, and works with the
embassy commissary association board to set tuition rates. The
school is run by a director who reports to the parent advisory board
and the commissary board.
Other options for younger children include a number of privately
run English-language schools, some recently opened. These schools
take children as young as 18 months old until 6 or 9 years of age;
others enroll children at 3 or 4 years of age until they are 18.
There are at least two Montessori preschools in Prague.
Embassy nursery and kindergarten-aged children have attended the
schools described as well as Czech public nursery schools and
kindergartens. There may be some delay before a child may attend a
Czech school. For current enrollment information about nursery
schools or kindergartens, write the Embassy CLO in spring for
assistance with the following academic year.
Away From Post Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:52 AM
The Office of Overseas Schools (A/OPR/OS) has determined the
International School of Prague to be adequate for grades K–12. “Away
From Post” education allowance rates for grades 10–12 are the same
as the “at post” rates.
Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:53 AM
Adults may attend Charles University in Prague; generally,
however, diplomatic personnel have attended only for language
instruction. The Prague Center for Further Education (PCFE) offers
continuing education classes for the adult English-speaking
community in Prague. Courses usually convene once a week for a total
of eight sessions. Classes are offered in the evenings and on
weekends to accommodate working schedules. Courses offered in the
past have included Czech Language, Contemporary Czech Art, Prague
Art and Architecture, Czech Film, The Great Czech Composers, Acting,
Writing, Drawing, Photography, International Cuisine, Fashion
Design, Wine Tasting, Yoga, etc.
Private instruction in art and music can also be arranged.
Recreation and Social Life
Sports Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:53 AM
A large, outdoor swimming pool and a tennis court are available
to Embassy staff members and their families on the ambassador’s
residence compound. Indoor tennis courts are available around
Prague, as well as squash and other exercise facilities. Rates are
reasonable, and instruction is available. Embassy personnel
participate on a regular basis in a local softball league. In
addition to the outdoor swimming pool on the ambassador’s residence
compound, there are several indoor swimming pools and water parks in
and around Prague. Children of embassy personnel have taken
inexpensive private swimming lessons at a local hotel.
There are numerous golf courses in the Czech Republic. Golf Club
Praha has a small, but challenging, 9-hole course in the Motol area
of Prague. There are excellent golf facilities near the town of
Karlstejn, about 30 minutes from Prague and Konopiste, about 45
minutes from Prague. Farther afield, there are first-class 18-hole
courses at Marianske Lazne and Karlovy Vary, both of which are about
two hours from Prague. In order to golf in the Czech Republic, you
will need a handicap card (called a ‘'green card’). Those not having
a green card already can usually obtain one by being checked out by
a pro at the club, or by becoming a club member.
Skiing and ice skating are popular winter sports. The nearest ski
slopes can be reached in a day’s outing. Small hotels can
accommodate overnight trips, but reservations must be made well in
advance. Ski lift tickets in the Czech Republic are generally much
less expensive than U.S. prices. U.S. Army recreation facilities in
Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Bavaria and other resorts in
Austria and Germany also provide both summer and winter sports on a
space-available basis for U.S. government employees assigned outside
Germany. Skis, boots, clothing, and other equipment can be obtained
both locally and from outside sources. Several ski shops in Prague
sell previously owned equipment. New equipment is much less
expensive in the Czech Republic than in the United States. Indoor
ice skating rinks are open to the public in Prague. Weather
permitting, skaters use outdoor rinks and ponds, though indoor
facilities are also available and inexpensive. Skating instruction
is readily available and inexpensive. Through the auspices of a
local skating club, an ice skating rink is made available to
foreigners for two hours on Sundays during winter months for a
Hunting and fishing have long traditions in the Czech Republic
and can be excellent. Several Embassy personnel have become
associate members of local hunting clubs. Pheasants, ducks, red
deer, wild boar, stag and other game is plentiful. Membership in
hunting clubs, as well as individual hunts for big game, can be
expensive, and those wishing to hunt must pass appropriate firearms
tests (see “Firearms and Ammunition”). Fly-fishing in the Czech
Republic is very good, and licenses and permits can be arranged.
Well-marked hiking trails cover the countryside. Riding horses
are available. Boating on both rivers and lakes, camping with tents
or trailers, and outdoor bathing are popular. Cycling is a favorite
Czech activity, and there are bike paths all over the Czech
Republic. Maps of marked bike paths can be purchased at local
bookstores and sports shops. Equipment for sports and outdoor
activities is available locally or at the PXs in Germany, or it can
be imported from the U.S.
Children’s sports are most easily pursued through intramural and
inter-scholastic school programs. Some American children have
participated in Czech youth sports programs, such as ice hockey,
basketball, and baseball. The Czech programs tend to require almost
year-round practice and can be very intense with little possibility
of pursuing more than one sport in a year.
Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 1/6/2004 3:50 PM
The opportunities for sightseeing and exploring in and around
Prague are many. Prague is an architectural and historical gem —
walking is a pleasure. Parks, both large and small, public gardens,
and a zoo add to the variety of things to be admired. The Czech
Republic is a small country, making it possible to get to any sight
within several hours. Many sightseeing and picnic areas are in the
immediate vicinity of Prague, and weekend excursions to castles and
historic cities and sites are popular. There are also numerous
museums and historic buildings that can be visited in and around
Prague. Prague Castle offers tours of the castle itself as well as
St. Vitus Cathedral. Several other well-known Czech castles,
including Karlstein, are within an hour’s drive from Prague. Tours
of Czech breweries and wineries are also popular weekend trips.
Several towns in the Czech Republic, particularly Marianske Lazne
and Karlovy Vary, are built around thermal springs and are spa
destinations. The Czech Republic boasts numerous caverns for
exploration, including the Konepruske Jeskyne which are about 40
minutes from Prague. Hiking in the warmer months and skiing in the
winter can be done in the Krkonose Mountains to the north or the
Sumava Mountains to the south. Vienna, Berlin, Budapest, Munich, and
Nuremberg are each within five to six hours by car. Other European
centers can be easily reached by air.
Entertainment Last Updated: 1/6/2004 3:50 PM
Prague provides a varied and entertaining musical diet. The Czech
Philharmonic, one of Europe’s outstanding musical organizations,
performs twice a week, except in summer. During summer, the
philharmonic has out-door concerts. Light classical music is
performed in Prague’s public gardens. Both Western and Czechoslovak
operas are performed, and some foreign operas are translated into
Czech. In addition, numerous recitals and performances by the Prague
Symphony, the country’s second most famous orchestra, are given. The
famous Prague Spring Music festival in May boasts performers from
around the world.
Numerous theatrical presentations, classical and modern, are
performed, usually in Czech. Puppet shows, pantomime, and operettas
are performed, as are some world-renowned theatrical performances
unique to Prague, including the Black Light Theater and Magic
Prague also has several movie theaters showing U.S., British,
French, and Italian films in the original language, with Czech
subtitles or dubbing. The Italian and French cultural centers have
regular film programs in Italian and French. The British and
Canadian clubs sponsor regular film showings and social activities
at their embassies. Membership is open to all American personnel for
a nominal fee.
Prague has many museums and a fine National Gallery of Art.
Soccer, known as “fotbal”, is the most popular spectator sport.
Czechs have always placed well in international soccer tournaments.
Hockey is also extremely popular in the Czech Republic, and the
Czech National Hockey Team is currently ranked 2nd in the world.
Other spectator events include horseracing, such as the famous
steeplechase at Pardubice, tennis, basketball, softball, and ice
hockey. Occasionally, American athletes participate in international
competitions, and some exhibition teams visit Prague.
Although it is not known for its fine cuisine, Prague has good
restaurants, as do other large cities, such as Brno. Prices are
considerably lower than in the U.S. and Western Europe. New
restaurants are opening seemingly every day. The variety of ethnic
restaurants ranges from Indonesian to vegetarian to Thai to Chinese
and Tex-Mex. Pubs also offer traditional Czech food. Traditional
Czech dishes consist of fried or roasted meat, usually pork or beef,
covered in a simple sauce and served with dumplings, potatoes, or
sauerkraut. Several restaurants have picturesque interiors. Some
provide dinner music. Western jazz and country music are popular.
Good dance music can be found in nightclubs. Czech beer is excellent
and inexpensive. Moravian wine is also quite good and inexpensive.
Among Americans Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:54 AM
Social life among Americans is informal. A bar (the Dobry Den) is
located in the Chancery and is used occasionally for Marine- or
community association-sponsored events. It is also available for
private parties and functions.
The CLO organizes frequent events for the Embassy community,
including the annual Christmas party, Easter Egg Hunt, pool party,
and New Year’s Eve Party. The CLO also organizes periodic excursions
such as ski trips and tours of local wineries and breweries.
The American Women’s Group, founded in 1999 by an embassy wife,
has nearly 100 members. The group is open to American citizens
living in Prague and their spouses. Through information and
activities, the organization seeks to promote a better quality of
life and foster a sense of community among Americans in the Czech
Republic. They have a meeting the first Wednesday of every month.
Membership is 300 Kc/year. The AWG also maintains a website with
information about living in Prague which is very useful for those
planning a move to Prague.
The Marine Security Guard detachment sponsors an annual birthday
ball in early November. The Marine Ball is a formal event which is
usually held at a local hotel, and which is attended by most of the
In addition, there are several American-owned restaurants and
clubs in Prague that provide natural gathering places for Americans.
International Contacts Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:55 AM
Relations with Czech officials are formal, though close personal and
social relations with Czech citizens are common, as Czechs remain
attracted to contacts with Americans. The diplomatic and American
business communities maintain an active social life.
There is an International Women’s Group, begun in 1991, that now
has more than 600 members. The purpose of the IWAP is to welcome
women to the Czech Republic, to promote friendship among them and to
acquaint them with the local culture by organizing various
activities for members and their families. The IWAP is also involved
in raising funds for the benefit of selected charities in the Czech
Republic. They have a coffee meeting the last Tuesday of every month
and a newcomer’s coffee the second Tuesday of every month, either in
the morning or the evening to accommodate members’ working
schedules. Membership is Kc 1,500/year. A monthly newsletter is
distributed to members. The club is advertised in the local English
weekly, the Prague Post.
Nature of Functions Last Updated: 1/6/2004 2:37 PM
Most official Americans take part in the annual Independence Day
reception at the Ambassador’s residence. Official Americans,
particularly those with Czech-language skills, can expect to be
invited to other official receptions for visiting groups, such as
trade missions. In general, only senior officers and their spouses
are invited to official receptions given by other embassies or Czech
Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 1/6/2004 2:38 PM
Most officers do not use formal calling cards but have business
cards printed locally or in the U.S. Most official entertaining
takes place at representational lunches or evening receptions.
Business cards and personal invitations can be purchased very
inexpensively through the Embassy commissary.
Military Personnel. Military personnel attached to the Embassy
generally wear civilian attire. Uniforms are normally worn for
receptions, when conducting official business within the Ministry of
Defense and General Staff buildings, when escorting U.S. official
military visitors in uniform, and when meeting host-national
military in uniform.
Special Information Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:55 AM
Post Orientation Program
Orientation of newcomers is done on a formal basis organized by
the Community Liaison Officer and a sponsor. Czech-language training
is available, though generally at personal expense. Depending on
each agency’s policy and funding situation, some reimbursement may
be possible. FSI tapes and materials are available at post.
Notes For Travelers
Getting to the Post Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:56 AM
No special precautions are necessary for shipping effects to the
Czech Republic. Shipments should be insured and securely sealed to
reduce pilferage and weather damage. If necessary, temporary storage
for sea freight can be arranged at ELSO Antwerp. Household effects
and airfreight for Prague should be clearly marked:
for (owner’s name)
Prague, Czech Republic
Post strongly recommends routing surface shipments (HHE) through
ELSO Antwerp. The Embassy must arrange customs clearance before
trucks can be unloaded. Prague has no storage facilities available
for HHE and is unable to accept delivery of the shipments until the
employee occupies permanent quarters, which may be several weeks
after arrival at post. In the event the post of origin routes the
shipment directly to Prague, rather than via ELSO, it is essential
that the Embassy be notified well in advance. Delivery to Prague
should be performed by an international company that has its agent
and warehouse in Prague (e.g. AGS, Allied Pickfords, Corstjens,
Interdean). Only the availability of a branch office and a warehouse
guaranties that the company is capable of providing customs,
unloading and destination services. A packing list and at least an
approximate value of the HHE shipment must be available for customs
Air shipments (UAB) should be shipped directly to Prague. UAB,
HHE, and POV may be cleared through customs prior to the owner’s
arrival. However, POV registration requires the owner’s presence at
post and the owner’s registration with the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (see vehicle registration). Liftvans’ size limitations:
liftvans dimensions should not exceed the following: length: 220 cm;
width: 140 cm; height: 220 cm.
Automobiles may be shipped directly to Prague. As noted above
(see “Automobiles”), any car imported must be able to pass a
technical inspection and be equipped with a catalytic converter
installed for it to be licensed in the Czech Republic.
Customs, Duties, and Passage
Customs and Duties Last Updated: 1/6/2004 2:43 PM
All personnel are entitled to duty-free entry of personal effects
imported during the whole tour. Included in this category are
clothing, new and used household equipment of all kinds, and other
nonexpendable household supplies for personal use. Please note that
customs regulations are being reviewed by the Czech Government at
this time and may be made more restrictive.
Embassy personnel also enjoy duty-free entry for automobiles and
household appliances, such as freezers and refrigerators. Czech
regulations on importing motor vehicles are under review. Do not
plan to ship any vehicle before contacting the general services
section for the most current information.
Passage Last Updated: 3/25/2004 6:17 AM
Permanently assigned personnel and personnel assigned TDY for
more than 30 days should apply several weeks before traveling for an
"entry-only" visa from a Czech Embassy, which is usually valid for
one entry within five months of issue. After arrival, a
multiple-entry visa will be issued. (No visas are necessary for
American tourists for visits of up to 30 days.) Dependent students,
traveling with diplomatic passports, who visit post during their
school holidays and stay more than six months require a visa as
No immunizations are required, unless the traveler comes from
areas where yellow fever or cholera is endemic.
All arrivals aged 12 or older need a minimum of six small photos
(American military ID card size, maximum 1 x 2 inches) for
identification cards. If not brought, photos may be obtained in
Prague at reasonable cost.
Pets Last Updated: 11/3/2004 9:47 AM
As of October 1, 2004, the regulations governing the importation
of pets into the Czech Republic are set forth in the New EU Pet
Scheme, which lays down the animal health requirements for both the
movement of pets between Member States and from third countries. For
more information, please refer to the following web site:
For pets entering the Czech Republic from within the EU the
following are requirements:
· A valid rabies vaccination.
· A pet Passport. You must contact a veterinarian at your present
post. The national authorities in every EU country are responsible
for issuing the passport to the vets. Please note that the European
Commission does not issue the pet passport. The pet passport is only
used for pets traveling between Member States of the European Union.
· A "chip." The animal shall be identified by an electronic
identification system (transponder), or by a clearly readable
tattoo. The tattoo, as a means of identification will only be
accepted until 3 July 2011 and not for movements to the UK, Malta
and Ireland (transponder obligatory). From 3 July 2011, the
transponder will be the only identification system allowed.
For pets entering the Czech Republic from a country outside the
· If you are coming from one of the countries listed below, which
have a favorable situation regarding rabies and animal health, the
following is required:
1. A valid rabies vaccination
2. A health certificate for non-commercial movements of pets
(cats, dogs and ferrets) entering the EU from Third Countries, which
can be found on the Embassy intranet web page at http://prague.state.gov/clo/clo.htm
or by contacting GSO.
3. A "chip" as above
* Currently (September 2004), these countries are: Ascension
Island, Antigua and Barbuda, Netherlands Antilles, Australia, Aruba,
Barbados, Bahrain, Bermuda, Canada, Croatia, Fiji, Falkland Islands,
French Polynesia, Jamaica, Japan, Cayman Islands, Mayotte,
Montserrat, Mauritius, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Saint Helena,
Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Saint Vincent and
the Grenadines, Singapore, United States of America, Vanuatu, Wallis
· If you are coming from a country that does not appear on the
list above, which means that rabies may be endemic among domestic
pets in that country, your pet must be vaccinated and tested three
months before entering all EU countries except for Ireland, Sweden,
Malta and the UK, where quarantine will be required. The following
1. Vaccination and testing carried out by an approved lab on a
blood sample taken three months before movement will be required for
entry. (Note: The only approved laboratories in third countries are
in Australia, Switzerland, Israel, and the United States. This means
that those in other countries can expect to have to pay for the cost
of the blood test in addition to the shipment cost).
2. A health certificate for non-commercial movements of pets
(cats, dogs and ferrets) entering the EU from Third Countries, which
can be found on the Embassy intranet web page at http://prague.state.gov/clo/clo.htm
or by contacting GSO.
3. A "chip" as above
In both cases, the health certificate for non-commercial
movements of pets (cats, dogs and ferrets) entering the EU from
Third Countries must be completed by a veterinarian. The form must
be stamped with the official stamp of the state veterinary service
of the third country (for import from the U.S.A. by the specific
State veterinary service).
The health certificate will need to be printed on a single sheet
of paper in the language of the Member State of entry or in English
and completed in block letters either in the language of the Member
State of entry or in English.
The certificate must be accompanied by supporting documentation,
or a certified copy of it, including vaccination details and the
result of the serological test. This documentation must bear the
identification details of the animal concerned.
The certificate is valid for movements within the EU for a period
of four months from the date of issue or until the date of expiry of
the vaccination, whichever is earlier.
Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:58 AM
The Czech government revised the firearms laws in 2002 to come
into line with EU norms. The new law has been valid since January 1,
2003. Importation of firearms (both shoulder arms and hand guns) is
permitted. Individuals wishing to bring firearms into the Czech
Republic must obtain written permission from a Czech Embassy or
Consulate before shipping the weapons. All firearms brought into the
Czech Republic must be re-exported. Post policy permits importation
in household effects of only the following non-automatic firearms
Rifles, caliber .22 through .458 3
Shotguns, gauge 20, 16, or 12 3
Ammunition for above firearms 1,000 rounds
Prior approval of the Chief of Mission is unnecessary for the
above-listed arms; to bring additional firearms and ammunition into
the country, individuals must seek permission of the Chief of
Mission in advance.
All firearms imported to the Czech Republic must be registered
with the police presidium. The RSO will help with the registration
process. Shipping and customs can help with the de-registration
process and export.
All individuals wishing to use firearms for any purpose must pass
an examination. The test has both a written section and a practicum,
which is held at a shooting range. The test is administered in
Czech, but individuals are permitted to employ a certified
translator. There are fees for both the test and the translation
services, which must be borne by the individual.
If you receive permission from your next Chief of Mission to ship
firearms and ammunition in excess of those prescribed, and will ship
them between foreign countries only, no license is necessary from
PM/MC. No Department of State license need be issued if you ship
only shotguns (with barrels 18 inches and over in length) and
shotgun ammunition in excess of quantities listed. You must,
however, comply with the Chief of Mission’s determination and with
export regulations of the Office of Export Control, U.S. Department
Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 1/6/2004
The official currency unit of the Czech Republic is the crown
(koruna), abbreviated “Kc,” which is divided into 100 hellers.
Exchange rates vary, but are about US $1 = 27.80 CZK.(Aug 2003).
Bills come in a variety of denominations from 50 to 5,000 KC. Coins
come in denominations of 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 KC. Fifty-crown coins
exist but are no longer minted. Coins also come in 50, 20, and 10
heller denominations, but hellers are being phased out because of
their low value. Large shops and restaurants accept credit cards,
but smaller establishments, including markets and restaurants,
accept only cash.
The Embassy cashier is open for accommodation exchange Monday
through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. U.S. and foreign currencies
may also be obtained from the local banks or exchange dealers for a
commission. ATMs are readily available throughout Prague, and many
American residents obtain Czech crowns through these machines, which
take CIRRUS, PLUS, MOST, and leading credit cards. However, there is
usually a charge for these transactions.
Embassy personnel usually maintain a dollar checking account with
an American bank for buying local currency, paying commissary bills,
etc. Travelers checks in dollars are sold through the Embassy
Czech banks provide the usual banking services, although checking
accounts are not used that often, as the banks charge for each
transaction. Embassy personnel generally have little occasion to use
local banks, except for purchase of other foreign currencies (which
may be done by personal dollar check), and occasional transmittal of
funds to other European countries.
The metric system of weights and measures is used.
Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 1/6/2004 3:02 PM
Embassy personnel pay local value-added and consumer taxes, then
file reimbursement forms quarterly for return of the taxes. Embassy
personnel must purchase a yearly highway usage sticker for each
vehicle. This sticker allows you to drive on the main highways that
are subject to fees. These roads are denoted by blue highway signs.
Highway tickets can be purchased at post offices, filling stations,
border crossings, and motor associations. Fines of up to CZK 5,000
can be assessed for driving on these roads without the sticker.
Regulations require that all personal property imported or
purchased tax-exempt be used by an American employee and his or her
dependents or for use as a bona fide gift and not be held primarily
for sale or barter. No imported, tax-exempt item may be bartered for
other goods or sold to anyone other than another American official
without the express permission of the DCM. Permission for sale of
automobiles, high-cost household furniture, and electrical
appliances is generally granted upon receipt of onward-assignment
orders. Permission may be obtained for sale of tax-free items
imported during your tour of duty, provided evidence indicates that
the items were imported for you or your family’s use. Proceeds of
sale in crowns may be converted to dollars up to limits, which are
specified by the ambassador and are subject to change. Czech
regulations permit the sale of imported, tax-free automobiles to
other nonpermanent resident foreigners with or without tax-free
status. But, because waivers for a nonconforming car are not
transferable, the new owner must bring the car up to Czech standards
before he or she may acquire a registration booklet and obtain a
Czech title. Bringing the car up to standards can be difficult. Cars
may also be sold to private companies or as spare parts. Both
options may not bring a high price.
Recommended Reading Last Updated: 1/6/2004 3:09 PM
These titles are provided as a general indication of the material
published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse
Bugajski, Janusz. Czechoslovakia: Charter 77’s Decade of Dissent.
Praeger: New York, 1987.
Cornej, Petr and Jiri Pokorny. A Brief History of the Czech Lands
to 2000. Prah Press: Prague, 2000.
Demetz, Peter. Prague in Black and Gold. Hill and Wang: New York,
Golan, Galia. The Czechoslovak Reform Movement: Communism in
Crisis 1962–1968. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1971.
Hasek, Jaroslav, trans. Cecil Parrott. The Good Soldier Svejk.
Kennan, George F. From Prague After Munich: Diplomatic Papers,
1938–1940. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1968.
Korbel, Josef. Communist Subversion of Czechoslovakia. Princeton
University Press: Princeton, 1959.
Leff, Carol Skalnik. National Conflict in Czechoslovakia: The
Making and Remaking of a State, 1918–1987. Princeton University
Press: Princeton, 1988.
Levy, Alan. So Many Heroes. Second Chance Press: Sagaponack,
Little, Robert, ed. The Czech Black Book. Avon Books: New York,
Masaryk, Thomas G. The Making of a State. Fertig: New York, 1970.
Mlynar, Zdenek. Nightfrost in Prague. Karz: New York, 1980.
Skilling, H. Gordon. Charter 77 and Human Rights in
Czechoslovakia. George Allen & Unwin: London, 1981.
Skilling, H. Gordon. Czechoslovakia’s Interrupted Revolution.
Princeton University Press: Princeton, N.J., 1976.
Sterling, Claire. The Masaryk Affair. Harper & Row: New York,
Taborsky, Edward. Communism in Czechoslovakia, 1948–1960.
Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1961.
Local Holidays Last Updated: 1/12/2004 9:58 AM
Most Czech offices and facilities are closed on the following
New Year’s Day Jan. 1
Easter Monday Varies
Labor Day May 1
Liberation Day May 8
St. Cyril and Methodius Day July 5
Jan Hus Day July 6
Czech Statehood Day Sept 28
Founding Day Oct 28
Freedom and Democracy Day
(Velvet Revolution) Nov 17
Christmas Eve Dec. 24
Christmas Day Dec. 25
St. Stephen’s Day Dec. 26