Traditional and Famous Czech Products
Just a short example of the vast line of traditional and famous products of the Czech Republic
As there are several tens of thousands of products made in the Czech Republic, the following selection can be nothing more than a brief list of the truly best-known, most important and most interesting products.
The glass-making industry has a very long tradition in the Czech Republic and Czech glass is well know the world over. It developed during the 13th century in the Jizerské and Lužické mountain ranges due to the locally available raw materials and the most renowned Czech glass comes from Jablonec nad Nisou and Nový Bor.
Glass products from the Czech Republic are prized on the world market and the most popular of which is lead crystal, cut glass and glass figurines, Christmas ornaments, domestic glass and chandeliers.
Lead crystal is more sparkly, resonant and resistant than any other type of glass, because lead crystal is made from the finest ingredients. Czech crystal contains at least 24% lead oxide (PbO) by law. Manufacturing methods also affect the quality of crystal - this is why the raw materials and every single stage of the manufacturing process are carefully controlled.
Moser, the Rolls Royce of Bohemian glass has produced luxury table and decorative glass products of classic and modern designfor more than 140 years. The factory was founded in the middle of the 19th century by glass cutter Ludwig Moser. The company was then managed by his descendants, who helped it achieve worldwide fame.
Although it contains no lead, glassware of the world-famous Moser Company in the Czech Republic is regarded as crystal because of its complex chemical makeup, remarkable hardness, clarity and overall high quality. Moser is what world leaders give and receive as gifts included Austrian Emperor Franz Josef I, King Victor Emanuel III of Italy, Pope Pius XI, the Shah of Iran, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, King Hussein of Jordan, King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra and Queen Elisabeth II of England, and many of other monarchs, maharajahs, princesses, presidents and ambassadors; in recent times, including Pope John Paul II and Emperor Akihito of Japan. Anything coming out of Moser Glassworks is as good as a collector's item. And even now a number of royal families, film stars and renowned jazzmen are among members of the Giant Snifters Club.
Branded porcelain has been a traditional Czech product for a long time. The best-known products include onion-pattern porcelain and the Thun-branded porcelain made in Karlovy Vary.
The corporation Český porcelán Dubí is one of four manufacturers of the highly demanded "porcelain of generations," i.e. onion-pattern porcelain. It continues the tradition that began as early as 1864 and now approximately 70% of the production of Karlovarský porcelán a.s. is exported to more than 90 countries on five continents.
Since 1997, the trademark registered in 1993 was enhanced with a designation of country of origin. To make the trademark text more legible, it is presently applied in a green-blue color.
Czech Jewelry has a long tradition and remains a favorite among women all over the world. Much like Czech glass, Czech jewelery is sought after the world over.
Bohemian garnet, which can only be found in Bohemia, has always maintained a unique position among other garnet stones due to its unique, fiery red color and the light refraction. It has been said to help overcome sorrow and bring vital power, spirit and the feeling of joy. It even well known to have adorned the dresses of Russian tsarinas at the Vienna congress after the fall of Napoleon in 1815.
The famous present-day manufacturer Granat Turnov has been continuing the tradition of manufacturing real Bohemian jewels and spreading their publicity abroad. It has 3,500 designs produced according to customer requirements Whether in sterling silver gold-plated silver, 14 kt or 18 kt gold which can be seen in fine jewelry shops not only in Europe but all over the world.
Czech beer is one of the best-known and most requested beers worldwide. The biggest Czech brewers include Plzeňský Prazdroj, Pivovary Staropramen, Budvar, Bernard, PMS Přerov, Drinks Union and Starobrno.
Plzeňský Prazdroj (Pilsner Urquell) is the leading brewery in Central and Eastern Europe. It has the highest annual beer production and is the biggest Czech beer exporter to nearly 50 countries worldwide.
The brewery is among the best known companies in the Czech Republic and has for more than 160 years, the Pilsner Urquell company has been making beer, which has become symbolic of the Czech brewer's art.
The popularity of beer has grown faster and it makes the city of Plzen became known worldwide as a city of beer. For more than 100 000 people visit the Plzen brewery in Every year.
The direct predecessor of Budvar of Budějovice (Budweiser Budvar) was Český akciový pivovar (Czech Joint-Stock Brewery), founded in 1895 by Czech licensed brewers (entrepreneurs), who continued the historical tradition of beer brewing in České Budějovice.
It has been received an award in 1896 for high quality and exceptional taste, at the Industrial Exhibition in Prague. The lager from Český akciový pivovar was known abroad as early as in 1913. And it was due to its extensive exports that the brewery was revitalized very quickly after World War I.
The beer range is consisting of Budweiser Budvar Premium Lager, Budweiser Budvar Light Draft Beer, Bud Super Strong, Budweiser Budvar Free non-alcoholic beer and Budweiser Budvar Dark Lager.
The brewery located in the Prague quarter of Smíchov was founded in 1869, and the Staropramen brand was registered in 1911. At present, Pivovary Staropramen is the second-biggest beer producer in the Czech Republic, holding a 14% market share. The core product is again light draft beer and light lager, but on top of that Pivovary Staropramen produces a wide range of beer specialties, e.g. Velvet, Granát, Kelt, etc.
The family brewery in Humpolec, established in the 16th century and revived in 1991, was the first purely private brewery opened after 1989. In 2000, the brewery received a capital booster from Duvel Moortgat of Belgium, yet the production of traditional light, semi-dark, and unique dark beers, which are the only non-pasteurized beer products on the market, remained.
The Drinks Union, a.s., based in Ústí nad Labem, is mostly known as the producer of the very popular Zlatopramen 11-degree beer.
The biggest beer producer in Moravia, ranking fourth in the Czech market, is PMS, a.s. of Přerov. The company operates a brewery in Hanušovice, which produces the Holba beer products, the Zubr brewery in Přerov, and a small brewery in Litovel, producing beer of the same name.
The biggest and best-known brewery in Brno is Starobrno. Apart from the traditional range of light lager beer and several draft beers, this brewery is famous for its beer specialties - the Baron Trenek 14-degree beer and the Červený drak (Red Dragon) 15-degree red beer.
The brewery in Vysoky Chlumec established in 1466 and owned by the Lobkowicz family in 1474. Lobkowicz owned by The aristocratic family Lobkowicz is one of the oldest Czech beers that is worth trying. Some 60 000 hectoliters of first-class pasteurized are produced at the brewery annually. Quality ingredients go into making this beer, including water from the brewery's own artesian wells, barely grown in an ecologically pure region, hops and traditional yeasts. It is considered a small brewery with a capacity of 120 000 hectoliters, but its strategic production rests with the preservation of the production of classic Czech beer. It currently produces beer under the brand names Lobkowicz and Démon.
Jan Becher produces this drink according to a traditional secret recipe, without adding any chemical preservatives, artificial colors or emulsifiers. The old-fashioned formula is quite simply - it only contains quality water from Karlovy Vary, high-quality ethanol, natural sugar, and a very specific and harmonious mix of herbs and spices. Becherovka is known as the 13th spring at the spas at Karlovy Vary.
If you order mineral water in a Czech restaurant, you will likely get Mattoni, referred to in spoken Czech as "Matonka." This water comes from an area of healing springs near Karlovy Vary. In addition to the traditional Matonka, you can find other equally good mineral water products from other producers, e.g. Korunní, Bonaqua, Magnesii and many others. The chemical composition of these waters is very good for human health thanks to the presence of a variety of minerals.
Olomouc curd cheese
The curd cheese called "syrečky" in Czech from the town of Olomouc is a true curiosity and culinary delicacy. It started in the production of this curd cheese, , date to the 1500s.
Genuine Olomouc curd cheese represents the only original Czech cheese, the name of which has been registered as an internationally protected designation of origin. The name of A.W. company based in Loštice, came from the initials of the company founder, Mr. Alois Wessel. The company has produced this cheese since 1876.
With only 1% of fat, no preservatives and nutritional qualities with a lot of protein, calcium, and cultivated lactic cultures, Mr. Wessel's cheese fully meets the modern consumer and has produces around 2,000 metric tons of curd cheese annually and supply it to EU countries.
Transportation and machinery
Skoda was founded as a family business by Laurin and Klement in 1895. The company is the only four car manufacturers in the world can boast more than 100 years of tradition. First, the two young men produced bicycles in Mladá Boleslav, and followed with motorbikes. In 1905, they produced the "Grandfather Automobile" - L&K Sd Limousine. That was when the successful era of car manufacturing began. After merging with Škoda Plzen in 1925, great development followed.
The company produced cars with a number of artistic details, which were successful in international car contests. The developing business was dampened by World War II and the subsequent nationalization. In 1991, Škoda Auto became the fourth brand of the VW group. It presently employs about 20,000 people and produces around half a million cars per year for both the domestic and foreign markets.
The tradition of more than 150 years places TATRA from Kopřivnice among the oldest car manufacturers in the world. The heavy off-road trucks, commercial trucks and the vehicles that are famous with their ability passing through most difficult terrains has been exported all over the world.
Tramcars and Machines
Škoda Holding, a.s., continues the production activities commonly connected with its traditional Czech name of Škoda Plzen. Škoda Holding, a.s., is wholly owned by Appian Group, an international investment group. Together with its subsidiaries, Škoda Holding, a.s., employs nearly 3,000 people. The company produces a wide range of transportation equipment (of which the currently best known model is the Škoda-Inekon 10T, a tramcar you can encounter in many cities worldwide). Other products include machine tools, center lathes, milling cutter machines and drilling machines, and power-generation and distribution equipment.
Under Škoda Holding there is Škoda Power which is responsible for the manufacture of machine parts for steam turbines and heat exchangers in engine rooms. Its clients include power stations (steam and nuclear) and waste burning stations. Additionally, Škoda Power offers a host of related services for the long-term maintenance and upkeep of its products.
Military equipment: Radars
Products made by the ERA company based in Pardubice are well-known in the world of military technologies, and they are for example used by the U.S. military. The core products include the VERA-E passive surveillance system with a 450-kilometer radius, a successor of the well-known TAMARA. However, in contrast to TAMARA, it renders the target position in all three dimensions. In the near future, the company will compete in a tender for a passive surveillance system for NATO.
The copany ELDIS Pardubice was established in July 1991 in order to support complex solution of customers' demanding requirements in the area of the Air Traffic Control and Air Defense such as Primary & Secondary Surveillance Radar, Precision Approach Radar and Radars Modernization. In 2007 – 2008 it has realised the delivery of RL2000/MSSR-1 new primary and secondary surveillance radar for the ATC of the Indonesia Republic.
The manufacturing of paragliders (parachute gliders) is quite extensive in the Czech Republic, which is proof of the ability of Czech manufacturers to follow the latest trends and to use state-of-the-art technologies (Macpara) in designing this aircraft. The products have of course received safety attestations from the DHV and AFNOR international test laboratories.
The company was established in 1864 by Antonín Petrof, originally a joiner, and the biggest piano manufacturer in Europe has borne his name to the present. Currently, Petrof, based in Hradec Králové, is managed by the fifth generation of this family.
More than 1,000 employees produce five core types of grand pianos, differing in length. Concert grand pianos are manufactured individually by the most experienced specialists of the firm. Petrof also produces most of the required semi-finished products, such as pegs, keys, etc. Many leading music interpreters have fallen in love with the master grand pianos of Petrof, such as Svyatoslaw Richtier, Arturo Benedetti and Hiroko Nakamurado. Many other artists also have been accompanied by these noted musical instruments, like Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti during their concerts in the Czech Republic. Instruments of this brand are also used in La Scala in Milan, the Sydney Opera House, the Paul IV Auditorium in Vatican City, and in many television and radio studios.
Just a few people in the world are aware of the fact that the Baťa footwear company was founded in 1894 by Tomáš Baťa, a shoemaker from the Czech town of Zlín, together with his siblings Antonín and Anna. Currently the company employs 50,000 staff and operates 50 production plants in 68 countries around the world and has sold over 221 million pairs of shoes.