100 Years is Just the Beginning

Tune in and come travel through the 100-year history of Czech Radio.

Two men in the interior of a tent in Kbely (1923) by UnknownCzech Radio

The first broadcast of Radiojournal

The transmitter stood near the Kbely airport just outside of Prague. The studio was right next to it, inside a tent borrowed from the Boy Scouts. A carpet was laid out on the grass and on it stood a piano, even though its wheels sank into the soil.

The first studio of the Czechoslovak Radio in the Postal Shopping Center building (1924)Czech Radio

The beginning of regular broadcasts in Kbely

A tent on loan from the scouts provided the modest facilities for the improvised studio in Kbely, from where the first regular public radio broadcast in the Czech lands commenced in the evening of 18 May 1923. Initially, the broadcasts only lasted an hour.

Probably the listeners from Štefultov, Slovakia in the 20s-30s. years, Unknown, From the collection of: Czech Radio
The youngest listener is Vlastička Porubská, Jan Porubský, 1928, From the collection of: Czech Radio
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The first listeners of Czechoslovak Radio.

TGM gives message to the Goverment (1928-10-28) by UnknownCzech Radio

TGM gives message to the Goverment

T. G. Masaryk gives a speech to the Goverment

The photograph from 28 October 1928 immortalises President Masaryk in the audience hall at Prague Castle during a speech to government representatives on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Czechoslovak Republic.

International broadcasts (1933) by UnknownCzech Radio

International broadcasts – Marie Provazníková's greetings to the falcons in America

International broadcasts

In the second half of the 1920s, Radiojournal began to participate in international broadcasts by connecting the Czechoslovak radio network to international networks. Domestic listeners were first able to hear a speech given by Edvard Beneš from Geneva in September 1926.

Radiojournal's promotional bus (1936) by UnknownCzech Radio

Radiojournal's promotional bus

In the 1930s, Radiojournal persistently organised a large number of promotional events intended to spread awareness of the significance of radio among the citizens of Czechoslovakia. A promotional bus equipped with speakers often travelled around the country.

Singer, pianist and composer R. A. Dvorský (1936) by UnknownCzech Radio

Singer, pianist and composer R. A. Dvorský – audio sample

Singer, pianist and composer R. A. Dvorský

Classical and popular music constituted the bulk of Radiojournal broadcasting throughout the entire interwar period. The most significant personalities without doubt included R. A. Dvorský, who was involved in regular radio programs from as early as 1924.

Edvard Beneš (1937) by unknownCzech Radio

Speech by Edvard Beneš

On 24 December 1937, the successor to President Masaryk, Edvard Beneš, gave his last presidential pre-war Christmas message in both Czech and in German on the radio.

A message of peace to the world: Otakar Matoušek, Karel Čapek, Vincenc Lesný (1937) by unknownCzech Radio

Peace message to the world by scientist František Křížek addressed to Albert Einstein

A message of peace to the world

During the period in which Nazi Germany was ramping up pressure on its surrounding states, Radiojournal broadcast a message of peace “to all people of good will” on Christmas Eve 1937. In it, the inventor František Křižík addressed Albert Einstein in the United States.

Prague Uprising - Rebel Broadcast from the basement of the radio building on Vinohradská Street (1945) by František ŠvejkovskýCzech Radio

Prague Uprising - Rebel Broadcast

Prague Uprising – Rebel Broadcast

Czech Radio played an exceptional role in the Prague Uprising of 1945. The photograph depicts radio personnel with weapons in the underground area of the radio building in Vinohrady.

Pavel Kohout and Karel Kyncl on Mevru (1948) by Oldřich CetlCzech Radio


In 1948, an exceptional celebration of a quarter-century of radio broadcasting took place in Prague in the form of the International Radio Exhibition. It presented the history of radio and its current technical facilities and gave space to a whole range of young creators.

Radiojournal's reporting vehicle (1949) by Oldřich CetlCzech Radio

Radiojournal's reporting vehicle

Reporters could not autonomously record radio reports from the field due to technical limitations, but they could do so using recording and outside broadcasting vehicles. The photograph shows a technician-operator as he monitors the recording of a report from ČKD in Komořany.

Jan Werich by UnknownCzech Radio

Jan Werich and the Karel Vlach Orchestra – Tmavomodrý svět (Dark Blue World)

Jan Werich and the Karel Vlach Orchestra

The Karel Vlach Orchestra, whose beginnings go back to 1938, represented Czechoslovak jazz in the late 1940s when it was still referred to as the “music of intellectual poverty”. A positive role was undoubtedly played by the legacy of JiVoskovec and Werich’s Osvobozené divadlo.

Jiří Hanzelka and Miroslav Zikmund (1958) by Jiřina CinybulkováCzech Radio

Miroslav Zikmund remembers in the program "Kava u Kische"

Jiří Hanzelka and Miroslav Zikmund

Two engineers who became famous due to their around-the-world journey in a Tatra 87 car. Between 1948–50, they visited 42 countries. Czechoslovak Radio broadcast reports from these travels and continued to do so even two years after Hanzelka and Zikmund had returned home.

Filming of the radio play Ruy Blas (1961) by Petr BöhmCzech Radio

Filming of the radio play Ruy Blas

The repertoire of plays recorded in the 1960s was very wide-ranging. There was room for contemporary Czech authors, as well as international authors. The photograph shows the recording of Hugo’s novel Ruy Blas in an adaptation by František Kožík.

Oldrich Novy and Anna Suchankova at the studio tape recorder (1965) by UnknownCzech Radio

Oldřich Nový and Anna Suchánková at the studio tape recorder

In the first half of the 1960s, the editing of compiled material on tapes was primarily undertaken on Jansen studio tape recorders, as documented by this picture of actor Oldřich Nový and technician Anna Suchánková. It was a proven device of East German production.

Jiří Šebánek a Zdeněk Svěrák ve vinárně U Pavouka (1965) by UnknownCzech Radio

Army Radio Broadcasts: Winebar U Pavouka

The army radio broadcasts were entirely unique: nowhere else in the world was this cultivated than in Czechoslovakia. It shifted away from educational sections in support of military discipline and focused on having a real dialogue with listeners.

Vinohradská street during the occupation, Unknown, 1968-08-21, From the collection of: Czech Radio
Occupation, in the picture an overturned bus in front of the radio building in Vinohrady, Unknown, 1968, From the collection of: Czech Radio
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The small revolution that Czechoslovak Radio underwent in the 1960s ended with the Warsaw Pact invasion. The radio building on Vinohradská Street in Prague became the site of the most severe clashes between the outraged public and the soldiers of the foreign armies.

The funeral of Milan Kadlec (1968)Czech Radio

Sláva Volný’s survey among Praguers on the day of the Warsaw Pact troops invasion of CS

Survey on the day of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia

The radio survey conducted among Prague residents on 21 August 1968 is fascinating due to the respondents’ uninhibited reactions and the natural interview style of reporter Sláva Volný, who emigrated to Munich soon after the beginning of normalization.

Actress Hana Maciuchova and actor Jiri Adamira during the filming of the radio play Life for Real (1981) by Helena MárováCzech Radio

Filming of the radio play Life on the Edge

In the 1970s, radio plays had to adhere to a realistic form and draw from the classical repertoire. However, in the following decade, original Czech radio dramas once again came to the forefront, thanks in part to the Prix Bohemia festival.

The radio is on strike (1989) by UnknownCzech Radio

Radio on strike

State-run Czechoslovak Radio initially informed the public about the events of 17 November 1989 and the subsequent protests in a somewhat non-specific and distorted manner. The first breakthrough in the broadcasts occurred in the program Microforum Magazine.

A new odyssey – Mongolia (2006) by Khalil BaalbakiCzech Radio

A new odyssey – Mongolia

Miroslav Bobek, an editor from the station Czech Radio 2 Prague, came up with the original idea of following the stork migration live in the mid-1990s. The program was very popular with listeners and it was subsequently followed by a number of other expeditions.

The live broadcast of Jules Verne's radio play From the Earth to the Moon (2018) by Khalil BaalbakiCzech Radio

The live broadcast of radio play From the Earth to the Moon

Dvojka station presents a unique live broadcast of a play every summer. The actors perform in the presence of an audience and are accompanied by musicians and Foley artists. In 2018, Jules Verne’s play was broadcast using an parabolic antenna pointed at the moon.

Award-winning Concert for animals in the Beskydy countryside (2020) by Jiří ŠedaCzech Radio

Award-winning Concert for animals in the Beskydy countryside

Ladislav Železný’s Concert for Wildlife project for CRo’s Vltava station received the prestigious Prix Europa award in 2021. Musicians and sound artists played a unique concert as a thank you to nature for permanently creating an environment, in which we are capable of living.

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