Путеводитель - Прагa

Matters of Interest

Czech Most

  • The deepest gap - Hranická in Přerov region: 274,5 metres (1995)
  • The highest mountain - Sněžka at Krkonoše mountains: 1 602 metres above sea level
  • The biggest protected landscape area - Beskydy: 1 160 km2
  • The biggest national park - Šumava: 685,2 km2
  • The lowest point - outflow of river Labe at the border with Germany in Hřensko: 115 metres above the sea level
  • The longest river - Vltava: 433 km
  • The biggest dam reservoir - Lipno at Český Krumlov and Prachatice region: 4 870 hectares, max. depth 20 m
  • The biggest lake - Černé jezero at Šumava - glacial origin, the lake has got black colour because of dark woods around, 18,4 hectares, depth 39,8 metres. 1 008 metres above the sea level
  • The biggest pond - Rožmberk at Jindřichův Hradec region
  • The hotest spring well - Vřídlo in Karlovy Vary: 72°C
  • The oldest stone castle - castle Přimda at Plzeň region
  • The highest bridge - Žďákovský bridge over river Vltava by dam reservoir Orlík: 9 metres
  • The biggest chimes - Loreta at Prague castle (consists of 27 bells, weight 1 500 kilograms, poured off in 1694 by Claudy Fremy from Amsterodam)
  • The biggest public fontain - located at the square of Přemysl Otakar II. in České Budějovice
  • The first university in the middle Europe - Charles University (Karlov univerzita) 1348
  • The oldest glass school at the world - High glass school in Kamenický Šenov
  • The only theatre with rotating auditorium - park by the castle in Český Krumlov
  • The oldest and the biggest open-air museum - at Rožnov pod Radhoštěm (1925)
  • The most historically memorable mountain - Říp (closely connected with Czech history)
  • The most valuable jewel - crown of Saint Wencel (svatováclavská koruna)


Famous Czechs

There were and still are lots of famous and important Czech personalities who make big contribution to many socail spheres in our country and also abroad. Here are only some of them from the present time and recent history.

 

Czech sportsmen

Jaromír Jágr 

(* February 15th, 1972 in Kladno CZ)

He is the most famous ice-hockey  player in NHL. He played for New York Rangers, Pittsburg Penguins or Washington Capitals. Jágr wears the number 68 in honor of the Prague Spring rebellion that occurred in the Czech Republic in 1968, also the year in which his grandfather died while in prison.

 

Domink Hašek

also known by his nickname The Dominator and Dom, is a professional ice hockey goaltender for the Ottawa Senators. He has played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres, and Detroit Red Wings.He is a goalkeeper who helped the Czech representation ice-hockey team to get the Olympic Gold in Nagano. No other goaltender from Europe has rivaled his success in the NHL.

 

Martina Navrátilová

(* October 18th, 1956 in Praha CZ)

Czech tennis school is a world famous. Martina Navratilova is one of the most successful representative because she won the Wimbledon nine times and in total she has won 164 titles from international tournaments. Now she lives in ASpen - Colorado.

Ivan Lendl

(* March 7th, 1960 in Ostrava CZ)

is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player. He was one of the game's most dominant players in the 1980s, and remained a top competitor into the early 1990s. Lendl captured eight Grand Slam singles titles during his career. Nowdays he lives at Long Island, New York.

 

Kateřina Neumannová

(* 15th February 1973 in Písek CZ)

Kateřína Neumannová is a Czech cross country skier. made her first appearance in the Winter Olympics in 1992 in Albertville. On July 2, 2003, she became a mother for the first time, giving birth to a girl called Lucie. On February 17, 2005, she won the World Championships gold medal for 10km free. On February 24, 2006, in possibly her final Olympic race, she won her first ever Winter Olympics gold medal for 30 km free (Picture shown on right.). She was also the first Czech woman to start on both Summer and Winter Olympics. She started in mountain bike race in Atlanta 1996.

 

Emil Zátopek

(* 19th September 1922 in Kopřivnice CZ, † 22nd November 2000)

He was a Czech athlete and Olympic gold medalist in long distance running. Zátopek was the first athlete to break the 29-minute barrier in the 10,000 m run (in 1954). Three years earlier, in 1951, he had broken the hour for running 20 km. Zátopek is probably best known for his amazing feat of winning three gold medals in athletics at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki.

A hero in his native country, Zátopek was an influential figure in the Communist Party. However, he supported the party's democratic wing, and after the Prague Spring, he was removed from all important positions and forced to work in a uranium mine as punishment. Zátopek died in Prague, after a long illness, in 2000 at the age of 78. He was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal posthumously in December 2000.

His wife Dana Zátopková (born the same day as her husband) was an outstanding athlete in her own right in the javelin throw. She won the gold medal in the javelin in the 1952 Summer Olympics and the silver medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics.

 

Věra Čáslavská

(* 3rd May 1942 in Prague CZ)

Věra Čáslavská is a Czech gymnast. Blonde, cheerful and possessing impressive stage presence, she was generally popular with the public and won a total of 22 international titles.

Čáslavská was at her peak at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, clearly winning the overall title and taking gold medals in the balance beam and the horse vault as well. She was again dominant at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.  Her use of the "Jarabe tapatío" as the music for her floor routine made her immensely popular with the Mexican crowd. Shortly after the competitions had ended, Čáslavská married with Josef Odložil, winner of the 1500 m Olympic silver medal in 1964.

Čáslavská was by the Communist Party effectively forced into retirement, and was considered a "persona non grata" for many years in her home country.

After the fall of Communism in November 1989 Čáslavská's status improved dramatically. She became President Havel's adviser and Honorary President of the Czech-Japan Association. Later, after leaving the President's Office, she was elected President of the Czech Olympic Committee. She has been inducted into both the Women's International Hall of Fame, and the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame (1998).


Václav Havel

(* October 5th, 1936 Prague CZ)

Writer and playwright; one of the first spokespersons of Charta 77, a leading personality in the course of political changes in November 1989, the last President of Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic

He was the last President of Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic. Václav Havel grew up in a well-known entrepreneurial and intellectual family, which was closely linked to the cultural and political events in Czechoslovakia from the 1920's to the 1940's.

After having some peripetia with communists who did not allowed him to study formally, he finally finished the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (DAMU). Following the suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968 he was banned from the theatre and became more politically active.

This culminated with the publication of the Charter 77 manifesto. He became a leading figure in the Velvet Revolution of 1989. On December 29, 1989, as leader of the Civic Forum, he became president by a unanimous vote of the Federal Assembly. After the free elections of 1990 he retained the presidency. Despite increasing tensions, Havel strongly supported the retention of the federation of the Czechs and the Slovaks during the breakup of Czechoslovakia, known as the Velvet Divorce on July 3, 1992.

In December 1996 the chain-smoking Havel was diagnosed as having lung cancer. In 1997, less than a year after the death of his wife Olga, who was beloved almost as a saint by the Czech people, Havel remarried to actress Dagmar Veškrnová. Havel left office after his second term as Czech president ended on February 2, 2003.

He wrote about 15 theatre plays, 6 books and was interested also in poetry.

National Price Laureats

Jaroslav Heyrovský

(* December 20th, 1980 Prague, March 27th, 1967)

He was a Czech chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1959. The main field of work of Heyrovský was polarography. He had losts of other proffessional successes and  formed also a school of polarographers at the Charles University. He was interred in the Vyšehrad cemetery in Prague where are burried most of famous Czechs.

Jaroslav Seifert

(* September 23th, 1901 Prague, † January 10th, 1986)

was a Nobel prize winning Czech writer, poet and journalist. His first collection of poems was published in 1921. He was a member of the Communist Party, the editor of a number of communist newspapers and magazines - Rovnost, Srsatec, and Reflektor - and the employee of a communist publishing house. During the 1920s he was considered a leading representative of the Czechoslovakian artistic avant-garde.

In March 1929, he and six other important communist writers were expelled from the Communist Party for signing a manifesto protesting against Bolshevik tendencies in the new leadership of Czechoslovak Communist Party.

In 1949 Seifert left journalism and began to devote himself exclusively to literature. His poetry was awarded important state prizes. He was designated National Artist. He was the official Chairman of the Czechoslovakian Writer's Union for several years (1968-70). He was the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1984, and he died in 1986.


Czech Musicians and Composers

Antonín Dvořák

(* September 8th, 1941, † May 1st, 1904)

was a Czech composer of Romantic music. He successfully combined folk melodies with symphonic and chamber music. Perhaps the best known examples of his wide and famous works are the two sets of Slavonic Dances.  In the winter and spring of 1893, while in New York, Dvořák wrote his most popular work, the Symphony No.9, "From the New World".

Dvorak's New York home was located at 327 East 17th Street near Perlman Place. It was in this home that the Ninth Symphony was written. Despite heavy activism from protesters, including Czech President Václav Havel, who wanted the house preserved as a historical site, it was demolished to make room for a Beth Israel Medical Center residence for people with AIDS. To honor Dvorak, however, a statue of him was erected in Stuyvesant Square.


Bedřich Smetana

(* March 2nd, 1924 in Litomyšl, † May 12th , 1884)

He is considered one of the greatest Czech composers of the 19th century. He is best known for his symphonic poem Vltava (The Moldau), the second in a cycle of six which he entitled Má vlast (My Country).

Smetana is noted as being the first composer to write music that was specifically Czech in character. Many of his operas are on Czech themes. He used many Czech dance rhythms and his melodies sometimes resemble folk songs. He was a great influence on Antonín Dvořák, who similarly used Czech themes in his works.

 

 

Other artists

Alfons Maria Mucha

(* 24th July 1860 in Ivančice CZ, † 14th July 1939)

He was a Czech painter and decorative artist.  Mucha is a defining artist of the Art Nouveau style.

Mucha moved to Paris in 1887, and continued his studies at Académie Julian and Academie Colarossi while also producing magazine and advertising illustrations. In 1894, he produced the artwork for a lithographed poster advertising Sarah Bernhardt at the Theatre de la Renaissance. Mucha's lush stylized poster art won him fame and numerous commissions.

When Czechoslovakia won its independence after World War I, Mucha designed the new postage stamps, banknotes, and other government documents for the new nation.

He spent many years working on what he considered his masterpiece, The Slav Epic (Slovanská epopej), a series of huge paintings depicting the history of the Slavic peoples, gifted to the city of Prague in 1928. He had dreamt of completing a series such as this, a celebration of Slavic history, since he was young. At the outbreak of the Second World War he was arrested and questioned by German occupiers. He never recovered from the strain of this event, or seeing his home invaded and overcome. He was interred in the Vyšehrad cemetery in Prague.

 

Franz Kafka

(* 3rd July 1883 in Prague CZ, † 3rd June1924)

Franz Kafka was one of the major German-language novelists and short story writers of the 20th century, whose unique body of writing has become iconic in Western literature.

His most famous pieces of writing include his short story Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis) and his unfinished novel Der Prozess (The Trial). The adjective "kafkaesque" has come into common use to denote mundane yet absurd and surreal circumstances of the kind commonly found in Kafka's work.

Kafka was born into a middle-class, German-speaking Jewish family in Prague in a kingdom that was then part of the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. Kafka first studied chemistry, but switched after two weeks to law. In 1917, he began to suffer from tuberculosis. In the early 1920s he developed an intense relationship with Czech journalist and writer Milena Jesenská. In 1923, he briefly moved to Berlin. In Berlin, he lived with Dora Diamant, a 19-year-old kindergarten teacher from an orthodox Jewish family, who was independent enough to have escaped her past in the ghetto. Dora became his lover, and influenced Kafka's interest in the Talmud. He was interred in the New Jewish Cemetery in Prague-Žižkov.

 

Milan Kundera

(* 1st April 1929 in Brno CZ)

is a Franco-Czech writer. He is best known as the author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Kundera has lived in France since 1975, and has been a French citizen since 1981. Kundera belonged to the generation of young Czechs who had not properly experienced the pre-war democratic Czechoslovak Republic. Their growing up was greatly influenced by the experiences of the Second World War and the German occupation. Milan Kundera joined the ruling Czechoslovak Communist Party in 1948.  In 1970, he was expelled from the Party.

Kundera, along with other Czech artists and writers such as Václav Havel, was involved in the 1968 Prague Spring, the brief period of reformist optimism that was eventually crushed by a Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August of 1968.

He separates from Czech culture and life, he forbids translation of his French books into Czech and he has approved to publish or re-publish only some of his older books in the Czech Republic after 1989.

Milan Kundera uses a technique called psychological realism in order to describe his characters.

 

Josef Sudek

(* 17th March 1896 Kolín CZ, † 15th September 1976)

Josef Sudek was a Czech photographer, best known for his haunting night-scapes of Prague.

Sudek was badly injured during action by the Hungarian Army on the Italian Front of World War I in 1916. Although he had no experience with photography and was one-handed due to his amputation, he was given a camera and studied photography for two years in Prague under Jaromir Funke.

Sudek's photography is sometimes said to be modernist. Primarily, his personal photography is neo-romantic. His early work included many series of light falling in the interior of St. Vitus cathederal.

Known as the "Poet of Prague", Sudek never married, and was a shy, retiring person. He never appeared at his exhibit openings and few people appear in his photographs. Despite the privations of the war and Communism, he kept a renowned record collection of classical music.

 

František Peřina

(*  8th April 1911 in Morkůvky u Břeclavi, † 6th May 2006)

František Peřina was a Czech fighter pilot. In 1939, following the first dissolution of Czechoslovakia and the annexation of Bohemia and Moravia by Nazi Germany, he fled the country. He travelled to France where he was shot down and seriously injured and later served with the RAF as a pilot in the 312. (Czechoslovak) Squadron. He shot down about fifteen German airplanes during World War 2nd and became one of the most successful Czechoslovak fighter pilots.

After the war he returned to Czechoslovakia, where his wife Anna had been imprisoned in his absence. But in 1949 he was expelled from the army by communists and forced to flee again. He, his wife Anna and a friend of them flew to Germany in a small plane. In 1950 he was readmitted into the RAF and continued to serve here for about 10 years. In 1960 he moved to USA, where he worked in Webber Aircraft. In 1993 Peřina returned to Czech Rebublic.

He died in Prague’s military hospital. He was 95 when he died. His wife Anna Peřinová (née Klimešová) had died several days before his admission to hospital on April 21, Radio Prague reported.

He had been awarded many Czech and Allied orders and medals and was made a General of the Czech army. One school in Prague has been given his name.

 

Jan Tomáš Forman better known as Miloš Forman

(* 18th February 1932 in Čáslav CZ)

 Miloš Forman, is a film director, actor and script writer. Forman was born  to a Jewish father and a Protestant mother.

After the war, Miloš attended King George College public school in the spa town Poděbrady, where his fellow students were Václav Havel and the Mašín brothers. He moved to New York, where he later became a professor of film at Columbia University.

In spite of initial difficulties, he started directing in his new home country, and achieved success in 1975 with the adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which won five Academy Awards including one for direction. In 1977, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Another notable success was Amadeus, which won eight Academy Awards. His later movies haven't enjoyed as much success.

Forman's early movies are still very popular among Czechs. Many of the situations and phrases made it into common use.

Filmography: Audition (1963), Black Peter (1964), Loves of a Blonde (1965), The Firemen's Ball (1967), Taking Off (1971), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Hair (musical, 1979), Ragtime (1981), Amadeus (1984), Valmont (1989), The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), Man on the Moon (1999), Goya's Ghosts (2006) (currently filming)

The Greatest Czech Top 10

  1. King Charles IV, Bohemian king (1346 - 1378) and Emperor (1355 - 1378), founder of Charles Bridge or Charles University - 68,713 votes
  2. Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk - first Czechoslovak president (1918 - 1935) - 55,040 votes
  3. Václav Havel - last Czechoslovak (1989 - 1992) and first Czech president (1993 - 2003) - 52,233 votes
  4. Jan Amos Komenský - "Teacher of nations"
  5. Jan Žižka - genial hussite leader
  6. Jan Werich - actor, playwright and writer
  7. Jan Hus - religious thinker
  8. Antonín Dvořák - composer
  9. Karel Čapek - writer, coined the word "robot"
  10. Božena Němcová - writer who wrote highlight piece of Czech literature "Babička ("Granny")

Other famous Czechs

  • Karel Gott - most famous Czech singer (more than 30 Golden nightingale)
  • František Palacký - national revivalist
  • Saint Wenceslas - first Bohemian saint and Bohemian duke 922 - 935
  • Václav Klaus - second Czech president (2003 to present)
  • Jaroslav Heyrovský - Czech chemist (Nobel price in 1959)
  • Saint Agnes of Bohemia - Bohemian princess and saint, founder of first Prague hospital
  • Tomáš Baťa - first republic businessman (Baťa is the most famous Czech shoe mark)
  • Edvard Beneš - second Czechoslovak president (1935 - 1938, in exile 1940 - 1945, 1945 - 1948)
  • Otto Wichterle - inventor of contact lenses
  • Zdeněk Svěrák - Czech playwright, screenwriter, actor and cimrmanolog
  • Emmy Destinn - Czech opera singer
  • Maria Theresa - Ruler of Danubian personal union and reformer
  • Karel Kryl - Czech anticommunist songster and emigrant
  • Vlasta Burian - Czech "king of comedians"
  • Roman Šebrle - Czech decathloner
  • Ivan Hlinka - coach of Czech ice-hockey representation in Nagano 1998
  • Karel Havlíček Borovský - Bohemian journalist, satirist, and antiaustrian martyr
  • Jaroslav Hašek - Czech writer
  • Jan Evangelista Purkyně - Bohemian biologist and doctor
  • Pavel Nedvěd - Czech football player (European footballer of year 2003)
  • Jan Janský - Czech neurologist and psychiatrist
  • František Křižík - Czech inventor, engineer and industrialist
  • Jan Železný - Czech olympic winner
  • Jan Palach - Czech protestor against Soviet invasion (suicide by burning)  
  • Leoš Janáček - Czech composer
  • Alois Jirásek - Czech playwright and prose-writer
  • Jaromír Nohavica - Ostravian songster and guitarist
  • Jan Masaryk - politician
  • Bohumil Hrabal - writer
  • Jan Neruda - writer
  • Josef Jungmann
  • Gregor Mendel  
  • Josef Kajetán Tyl - playwright
  • Karel Hynek Mácha
  • Saint Ludmila
  • Boleslav Polívka - actor
  • Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
  • Josef Dobrovský
  • Josef Lada
  • Rudolf Hrušínský - actor
  • Madeleine Albright - politician
  • Milan Baroš - football player
  • Karel Jaromír Erben
  • Jaroslav Foglar - writer
  • Ladislav Smoljak - actor and writer
  • Olga Havlová
  • Pavel Tigrid - writer
  • Vladimír Remek - cosmonaut
  • Magdalena Dobromila Rettigová - writer
  • Mikoláš Aleš - painter
  • Emil Holub - doctor, traveller and writer
  • František Fajtl - the Worl War 2nd pilot
  • Jiří Voskovec - actor
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Jan Saudek - photographer

Jára Cimrman

Jára Cimrman is a Czech fictional character created by Jiří Šebánek and Zdeněk Svěrák. He was one of the greatest Czech playwrights, poets, composers, teachers, travellers, philosophers, inventors, detectives and sportsmen of the 19th and early 20th century.

Although he was originally meant to be just a caricature of the Czech people, history, and culture, he became an immensely popular character of modern Czech folklore, and an artificial national hero.

Cimrman is a major character or the putative author of a great number of books, plays, and movies. The Jára Cimrman Theater in Žižkov is one of Prague's most frequented theatrical houses.

Jára Cimrman proposed the Panama Canal to the U.S. government, including a libretto for an opera of the same name. He reformed the school system in Galicia. With Count Zeppelin he constructed the first rigid airship using Swedish steel and Czech wicker (the wicker being for the cabin). He conducted investigations about the life of Arctic tribes who eat their fellows; and once, while running away from a furious tribe, he missed the North Pole by a mere seven meters. In Paraguay he created the first puppet-show. In Vienna he established a school of criminology, music and ballet. He corresponded with G.B. Shaw for many years, but unfortunately the dogged Irishman never replied. He invented yoghurt. He generously helped many great scientists: on his own back he carried forty five tubs of pitchblende to the basement of Mr. and Mrs. Curie, he assisted Prof. Burian with his first plastic surgery, he reworked the electrical contact on Edison's first lightbulb, and he found an underlease for Mr. Eiffel. He is the creator of the philosophy of Externism. Because of his enthusiasm for natural sciences, he discovered the monopole (as opposed to the then well known dipole), but this discovery fell into oblivion until it was confusedly revived by 20th century economists.

In early 2005, the Czech Television started a contest to choose The Greatest Czech (inspired by the British show 100 Greatest Britons). Surprisingly it seemed that most of the votes had gone to Jára Cimrman. However, the Czech Television decided to disqualify Cimrman, saying that only real people were eligible for the contest — a decision that was strongly criticized by the public.

There is not any extant picture of Jara Cimrman. However, you can visit an exhibition of his life and work at Petřím Tower.

Dictionary

Fortunately in Czech, spelling is far more phonetic than in English, so the way a word is spelled is usually the way it is pronounced.  Vowel length is very important; it can completely change a word's meaning.  For example, there is rada (advice) and jsem ráda (I am happy; spoken by a female); also vina (fault) and vína (the wines).  The accent falls on the first syllable of a word. 
 

The Czech Alphabet

 

 

Letter

Pronunciation

Example and how it might be written in English (if different)

A a

like u in cup but clearer

anglický (English) anglitskee ano (yes)

Á á

a lengthened as in mama

(I) yah

B b

same as in English

babička (grandmother) babichka

C c

ts as in cats

proces (trial) protses

Č č

ch as in Czech

český (Czech) cheskee

D d

same as in English

Dobrý den! (Good day!)   dobree den

Ď ď

like dy in duty

teď (now) tedy

E e

e as in set

žena (woman) zhena

É é

e lengthened; something like the a in care

Dobré ráno! (Good morning!) dobray rahno

Ě ě

y before e; when after m an n is inserted before e 

Němcová   Nyemtsovah 
němec (German) nyemets

F f

same as in English

František (Francis or Franz) Frantishek

G g

g as in good

logika (logic) 

H h

h as in hand

hrad (castle)

Ch

like German ch as in Bach

chlapec (boy)

I i

i as in pit;  same as y

pivo (beer)

Í í

i lengthened as in meet; same as ý

Jiří (George)Yirzhee

J j

y as in yes

Jesenská  Yesenskah Jan (John) yahn

K k

same as in English

kavka (jackdaw)  král (king) krahl

L l

same as in English

láska (love) lahska

M m

same as in English

muž (man)  muzh město (city) mnesto

N n 

same as in English

náměstí (town square) nahmnestee 
ne (no)

Ň ň

y after n; like ny in new

žizeň (thirst) zhizeni

O o

o as in lost

roh (corner)

Ó ó

o lengthened as in lawn or call

balón (balloon) balohn

P p

same as in English

prosím (please) proseem

Q q

another rare letter found only in borrowed words

quisling (a quisling, a traitor)

R r

rolled a bit, but don't overdo it!

robota (forced labor) yes, robot comes from this word

Ř ř

pronounced sort of like an r with ž; this is the most difficult sound in Czech

Dvořák dvorzhahk

S s

same as in English

sýr (cheese)  seer

Š š

sh as in shell 

Staša (a name) Stasha

T t

same as in English

tady (here)

Ť ť

like ty in Tuesday

Dobrou chuť! (bon appétit!) dobrow 

U u

oo as in book put

ulice (street) ulitse

Ů ů

u lengthened; oo as in school

stůl (table) stool

Ú ú

same as ů; usually used only at the beginning of a word

úkol (homework)

V v

same as in English

voda (water)

W w

same as in English, but this letter is only found in borrowed foreign words

whiska (whisky)

X x

Another rare letter found only in foreign words

xylofon (xylophone)

Y y

same as i; i as in sit

ty (you informal) tee 
vy (you plural and formal) vee

Ý ý

y lengthened; same as í

černý (black) chernee 
bílý (white) beelee

Z z

same as in English

zámek (castle, lock)  zahmeck

Ž ž

s as in pleasure or ge as in rouge frequently spelled zh

Božena Bozhena

 

N.B.  That thing above the letters that looks like a small v is called the háček in Czech.