1000 Czech crown banknote
On this banknote there is Frantisek Palacky who was a significant Czech historian and a politician. He was born in 1798 and died in 1876 which was, thanks to Palacky himself, a time period of the Czech National Revival – a movement which aimed to revive the Czech language, culture and history.
In this time, Czechs were part of the Austrian Habsburk empire – German was the official language back then. Theatres, newspapers, schools, just everything was in German and Czech language was fading away. And that is when Palacky came up with his monumental work The History of Bohemia, the first great synthesis of Czech history.
This book, which comes down to the year 1526, was founded on laborious research in the local archives of Bohemia and in the libraries of the chief cities of Europe. This book, although first printed in German and then translated into Czech, shook Czech national consciousness by reminding the nation’s past. And that is when the Czech National Revival started. It took few more decades till people were not ashamed to speak Czech anymore.
Palacky is the founder of modern Czech historiography and a leading figure in the political life of 19th-century Bohemia. Without Palacky, Czechs would most probably have spoken German by now.
See also Czech crown