Why are Czechs called Czechs?

A long time ago, as the old Czech legends say, there lived a man called Czech and his brothers Lech and Rus in Charvát country by the river Visla. There were a lot of battles and so this country became very unfavourable for the people who used to live in peace, wanted to cultivate land and grow grain. One day, they decided to find a new place to live for their tribes and themselves, and so they all set out for a long journey across Europe. After some days had passed, the brother Rus suddenly said. „This is the new home for me and my tribe!“ and so they stayed and founded Russia.

The two brothers and their tribes walked for many days. They walked long and far across deep forests and swamps. People were tired of the way and began to miss their land. Duke Czech pointed to a high mountain in front of them which lifted in the flat landscape, and said that under it they will rest. They came and spread themselves at the foot of the mountain which is called Říp. Next morning Czech went alone to the hill. There he had a wonderful view of the land, full of forests, meadows and rivers and called it „the land of milk and honey“, and decided to settle there with his tribe. He told others what he had seen. To honour this great man, the people of his tribe started to call themselves Czechs and name this new country after Czech. And they still do now.

And brother Lech? He continued his journey with his people and settled in present-day Poland.

by Kateřina Malá and Veronika Válková

Marta Ehmigová,
21. 3. 2012 14:15