Prague Travel Guide

 

About Prague - About Czech Republic - general info

The Czech Republic is a small country in Central Europe, landlocked among Germany on the west, Poland on the north, Slovakia on the east and Austria on the south. Czech Rep. is the succession state of the former Czechoslovakia. Czech and Slovak Republic dissolved at the end of 1992, after 74 years of the common state (with small break during the World War II).

Historical division of Czech lands

The country consists of three historical lands – Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia

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Bohemia is one the three historical Czech lands. With several exceptions during the history, this part with its centre in Prague was always a political and business centre of Czech kingdom. It covers the western part of Czech Republic on the area of around 52 thousand sq km with more than 6 million inhabitants living there.

Some other important cities and town in Bohemia are: Pilsen in the west, České Budějovice in the south, Hradec Králové in the eastern Bohemia or tourist Český Krumlov.

Moravia is the second largest land in the Czech Republic. It covers the eastern part of the country and the area of more than 22 thousand sq km and about 3 million people living there. Metropolis of the region is the largest city Brno, but within history, Olomouc was historical, political and religious centre of the region.

Silesia is now divided between Czech Rep. and Poland, Czech part of the territory with around 1 million people living there. It covers the area of northern-east part of CR of 4452 sq km (as a strip next to the Polish boundary). The historical centre of the Silesia land was Opava, near today's administration centre of the region, Ostrava, which is the largest city of North Moravia (and Moravia-Silesia district).

Today's administrative division counts with 14 district or regions (in Czech: kraj) including Prague as one of the districts.

Czech Geography and orientation

Czech territory is lies on the boundary line of two mountain ranges. These create a perfect natural boundary, which were hardly accessible during the history and the Czech kingdom was quite good fortress. However, the territory of the Czech Rep. is strategically located astride some of oldest and most significant land routes in Europe; Moravian Gate was a traditional military corridor between the North European Plain and the Danube in central Europe. Several wars took place on the territory during the history.

The hilly western and middle part of Bohemia is formed by the Czech highlands and the slightly higher mountain ranges of Šumava, Český les, Krušné hory, Krkonoše (with the highest Czech peak of Sněžka - 1602 meters above sea level), Orlické hory and Jeseníky. The West Carpathian Mountains (Beskydy) lie in the eastern part of the country.

Our state lacks the access to the see or ocean. Main rivers flow into the North sea (via Elbe), Baltic and Black seas (via Morava that flows into Donau). However, the longest river on the Czech territory is the Vltava (that runs through Prague) flows into Labe (called in German Elbe) and its length is 433 km.

Basic facts about Czech Republic

  • Area: 78,866 sq km
  • Population: 10,235,455 (July 2006 est.)
  • Ethnics groups: Czech 90.4%, Moravian 3.7%, Slovak 1.9%, other 4% (source: 2001 census)
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 26.8%, Protestant 2.1%, other 3.3%, unspecified 8.8%, unaffiliated 59%
  • Administrative division: 14 districts (including Prague)
  • Time zone: Central European (GMT+1), summer time - Central European +1 (GMT+2)
  • Chief of state: President - Vaclav Klaus