The Czech National Anthem has its origin in the opera Fidlovačka, which was a patriotic opera written by Josef Kajetan Tyl (lyrics) and Frantisek Skroup (music), first performed on December 21, 1834, in the Prague Estates Theatre.
At the time, Czechs were only an ethnic minority in the Austrian Empire where the German language dominated. The main goal of this play was to strengthen the national feeling and break the cultural oppression.
A song called Kde domov můj, in English “Where Is My Home” was performed in the opera by a man portraying a blind violinist. This scene was very emotional and the song became widely sung.
It is thus no surprise that it was recognized as the official National Anthem in 1918 when independent Czechoslovakia was born. And in January 1st, 1993, the song became the anthem of the Czech Republic.
However, there was a long debate going on as to whether a more serious piece should be composed for similar purposes, for example by famous Czech composer Bedrich Smetana.
If we had to describe the anthem with one word only, it would be the word peaceful. The Czech National Anthem is really more like a love song – slow and praising the beauty of the Czech land.
There are no battle cries or praise of king or kingdom, there is just the humble admiration of the people for the beauty of Czech rivers, woods, meadows, and majestic mountains. In the Czech National anthem, there is a reverence to homeland as a paradise on earth.
It goes like this:
Where is my home, Where is my home.
Waters murmur through the meadows,
Pines rustle over the mountains,
Spring blossoms glitter in the orchard,
Earth’s paradise on sight,
And that is that beautiful land,
Czech land, my home! Czech land, my home!
When Czechoslovakia split up in 1992, the Czech Republic decided to maintain it among its state symbols, and it is the national anthem to this day.