Prague, Czech Republic – Charles IV, the 14th-century king of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, is the most significant figure in Czech history according to his compatriots, a new survey shows.
According to a poll conducted by the CVVM agency in October, Charles IV, whose rule is widely seen as a golden age in the history of the Czech lands, is considered the most influential figure in Czech history by 20% of respondents.
The former Holy Roman Emperor, who gave his name to Prague’s most famous bridge and university, among other landmarks, is followed by Tomas Garrigue Masaryk (19%), one of the founders and the first president of Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of WWI.
Vaclav Havel (18%), the former anti-communist dissident and playwright who went on to become Czechoslovakia’s last and the Czech Republic’s first president, comes at the third place.
According to another poll conducted by CVVM last month, Vaclav Havel is also the best Czech President in modern history, beating his successor, Vaclav Klaus, and current head of state Milos Zeman.
In fourth place comes Czech pop singer and world icon Karel Gott, who died last month at the age of 80 – seen as the most influential figure in the Czech Republic by 16% of respondents, compared to only 1% in similar polls conducted in 2007 and 2013.
Although trailing far behind, other significant public figures in Czech history cited by respondents include religious reformer Jan Hus (4%), current President Milos Zeman (3%), 17th-century philosopher, pedagogue and educator Jan Amos Komensky (3%) and ice hockey legend Jaromir Jagr (2%).