Bohemia has given the world so much. Saint Václav—or Wenceslas—the good king who was really a duke, Franz Kafka, Gregor Mendel, and countless other intellectual, cultural, and spiritual giants have come from this little country. Astronomer Tycho Brahe may have been a Dane, but he worked, died, and was buried in Prague. You may know his assistant in Prague, German Johannes Kepler, who developed the laws of planetary motion that inspired Newtonian physics. Even in degenerate contemporary times, the Czechs continue to surprise the world. What other modern democracy has elected a head of state as worthy to lead as Václav Havel? Having some Czech ancestry myself, I may be somewhat biased, but Antonín Dvořák is perhaps my favorite composer, Prague is one of my favorite cities, and Plzeňský Prazdroj (Pilsner Urquell) is my favorite beer. Moreover, the Czechs are, in my opinion, one of the most attractive peoples in the world.
Of the notable men who have come from the land of the Moldau, we must not forget the composer Bedřich Smetana. I believe that his Má Vlast (My Country) ranks among the greatest works in Western music. You may listen below to the most famous piece from Má Vlast, Vltava or Die Moldau, named after the principal river in the Czech land. The concert was performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in A.D. 1990—soon after the Czechs and their fellow Slovaks regained their liberty from the Soviet monsters.
As I traveled through the Bohemian countryside, I played this song in my mind. I hope that I caught just a glimpse of the beauty that Smetana saw.