You probably already know that writer Franz Kafka was one of the famous people born in Prague. He is not only one of the most prominent writers of the 20th century, but also Prague’s most famous face.
But did you know Prague is also home to many other great name? Here are three other famous people who were born in Prague.
Born in the former Czechoslovakia in 1956, Navratilova is considered one of the best females tennis players of all time. She grew up and lived in Prague until 1975, when she requested political asylum in the US.
Navratilova won 59 major titles, the most Gran Slam titles of any player during the Open Era. These included 31 women’s doubles titles and 10 mixed doubles titles. She’s also won the women’s singles title at Wimbledon nine times – a record that still hasn’t been broken.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Kafka isn’t the only renowned writer who was born in Prague. Rilke has been recognized as one of the “most lyrically-intense poets in the German language” and considered a key figure in the transition between traditional and modernist writers. Although he was born in Prague, Rilke is considered an Austrian poet, as in 1875 Prague was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Neo-Romantic Dvořák wasn’t the first famous Czech composer (many call his predecessor Bedřich Smetana “the father of Czech music”) but he was certainly the first one to achieve worldwide recognition. Dvořák was a child prodigy, already playing the violin expertly by the time he was six years old. By the 1880s, he was performing in both London and the US to sold out audiences and in 1892, he took over NYC’s National Conservatory of Music of America as director.
Dvořák incorporated aspects of Bohemian folk music into his classic string symphonies for a unique, majestic sound. As a result, many of his most famous works sound like they could be movie soundtracks.
You can listen to some of the best Dvořák’s works here.