José Rizal

José Rizal was born on June 19, 1861, in the town of Calamba in Laguna province. He started his studies at the University of Santo Tomas where he decided to focus on medicine. Later, he continued to the Complutense University of Madrid. In addition to ophthalmology, he also took courses in philosophy and literature. After finishing the studies, he travelled to Paris and Heidelberg.

At this time, he met Professor Ferdinand Blumentritt from Leitmeritz who became his best friend. Rizal even came to the Czech Republic to visit him. He spent four days in Leitmeritz and after continued to Prague. While he was travelling, he also passed Brno, where rooted in the place where the Grand Hotel is currently situated.

He spoke fluently more than ten languages including Latin, Spanish or Hebrew. He is the author of novels Noli Me Tángere (Do not touch me) and El filibusterismo (The Subversion), which were an inspiration for Philippine Revolution.

The begging of the Philippine Revolution was fatal for Rizal. Despite the fact, there was no evidence about Rizal being part of the nationalist movement led by Andrése Bonifacio, he was convicted from rebellion, sedition and conspiracy and sentenced to death. José Rizal was executed on December 30, 1896. Before his death, he sent two letters, one to his mother and one to his best friend Ferdinand Blumentritt.

José Rizal is widely considered one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines. On July 4, 1946, the independence of the Philippines was declared on the place of his death. His pictures are hanging in Philippine schools and he is also on Philippine peso. His remains are allocated in Rizal Park in Manila. Around his monument, people celebrate his birth and death every year. These days are national holidays for Filipinos.

In 1911 was established Order of the Knights of Riza which has its subsidiaries all around the world, particularly in the United States, Canada, Middle East, and Europe. Even the Czech Republic is not an exception. The mission of the organization is to inculcate and propagate the teaching of José Rizal not only to Filipinos but to foreign nationals as well. The members are usually ex-politicians and ambassadors, including famous personalities such as Henry Kissinger. Between Czech members belongs Honorary Consul General of the Philippines Ing. Břetislav Skácel or doc. Ing. Petr Kupec PhD from Mendel University. Leitmeritz, Prague and Brno were officially declared as Rizal Heritage Trail in the Czech Republic.