Statue of Charles IV next to Prague's Charles Bridge via Wikimedia / Michal Kmínek

Charles IV crowned greatest Czech in new poll; Karel Gott surges to #4

One-fifth of Czechs believe that 14th-century King of Bohemia and Roman Emperor Charles IV is the greatest Czech personality

Prague, Nov 29 (CTK) – One-fifth of Czechs believe that 14th-century King of Bohemia and Roman Emperor Charles IV is the greatest Czech personality, followed by Czechoslovakia’s founder Tomas Garrigue Masaryk and former president Vaclav Havel, according to the CVVM poll conducted in October and released to CTK today.

The Charles IV era and the period after the overthrow of the Communist regime in 1989 are the best epochs before the mid-20th century and after it, respectively.

The fourth place was occupied by recently died pop star Karel Gott, who scored the biggest increase of 15 percent as compared with the poll conducted in 2013.

The four personalities are followed by a large margin by 15th-century religious reformer John Huss, President Milos Zeman and 17th-century “teacher of nations” Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius).

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Two percent of Czechs believe ice hockey star Jaromir Jagr is the most outstanding Czech personality. Out of the list of 70 names, 1 percent also chose Hussite general Jan Zizka, former president Vaclav Klaus and fictitious “genius” and polymath Jara Cimrman.

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The respondents were also presented individual historical periods and were to select the one they consider the best epoch of Czech history.

The eras of Charles IV and interwar Czechoslovakia were chosen by 36 percent and 22 percent, respectively. They were followed by the national revival era in the 19th century and the 15-century Hussite epoch from the priod until the mid-20th century.

The respondents were asked to cite three events they consider most important since the end of World War One. Most often, they chose the 1989 Velvet Revolution, followed by the break-up of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the 1948 Communist coup, World War Two and the Prague Spring reform movement.

The poll was conducted on a sample of 1,021 Czechs over 15 between October 5 and 20.

The greatest Czech personality in 2007, 2013, 2019 (percent):

 200720132019
Charles IV282420
Tomas Garrigue Masaryk222319
Vaclav Havel112018
Karel Gott1116
Jan Hus554
Milos Zeman-13
Jan Amos Komensky643
Jaromir Jagr-12
Jan Zizka311
Vaclav Klaus311
Jara Cimrman121
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