(Prague) The Czech town of Žatec and its fields of Saaz hops, the variety of which is used worldwide in the production of beer, were included on the UNESCO world heritage list on Monday.
“This is the first hop-producing region in the world to receive this prestigious status,” said the Czech Ministry of Culture, which supported this application together with the Municipality of Žatec and the Czech Union of Hop Growers.
On its webpage, UNESCO highlighted that the cultural landscape of the town and Žatec located 85 kilometers northwest of Prague and its surrounding area “has been shaped by centuries of living tradition of culture and trade of the most famous hop variety in the world, used globally in the production of beer”.
The World Heritage List includes hop fields, as well as historic villages and buildings related to its transformation, as well as the medieval center of Žatec, a town with 19,000 inhabitants.
“The ensemble illustrates the development of agro-industrial processes and the socio-economic system of hop cultivation, drying, certification and trade, from the late Middle Ages to the present,” UNESCO said .
Žatec and its hop fields are the seventeenth site in the Czech Republic included in this prestigious list.
The production of hoppy Pils lager is a tradition that dates back to the 19th century in Bohemia, a region of the Czech Republic where Žatec is located and where it was invented. Czechs regularly appear at the top of surveys relating to the number of liters of beer consumed per capita.