The Czech Republic is an important tourist destination. From the moment visitors cross the borders they enter a varied natural environment with changing landscape and many historic cities and towns, distinctive villages with beautiful folk architecture, numerous recently reconstructed chateaux, old castles and churches. They can also visit the impenetrable virgin forest in the Šumava Mountains, or the harsh Giant Mountains (Krkonoše) and Ore Mountains (Krušné hory). Rock climbers will enjoy the popular Prachovské skály and Bohemian Switzerland (Ceské Švýcarsko) with their sandstone cities and numerous karst areas and caves. The south Bohemian landscape with hundreds of lakes and the south Moravian region renowned for cultivating excellent wines are also popular.
The country has long been known for its renowned spas and mineral springs. In recent years, agro-tourism, theme holidays (e.g. brewery, gastronomy, viniculture), sports holidays, and recreation for families with small children or for seniors, have become common as well. The Czech Republic and its capital offer many protected cultural monuments, cities and villages.
Some of them are on the UNESCO list of world cultural and natural heritage sites: in addition to Prague’s historic centre, there are also Ceský Krumlov, Telc, Kutná Hora, the pilgrimage church of Saint John Nepomuk at Zelená hora, the Lednice-Valtice cultural landscape, the gardens and castle in Kromeríž, the south Bohemian village of Holašovice, Litomyšl – Renaissance castle and historic city centre, Olomouc – Holy Trinity Column, Brno – villa Tugendhat, Trebíc – Jewish Quarter and St Procopius’ Basilica.
Founded: 1 January 1993 (following the split of Czechoslovakia)
According to Article 1 of the Czech Constitution, the Czech Republic is a sovereign, unified, democratic, constitutional state, founded on the respect of the rights and freedoms of its people and citizens.
The people are the source of all state power, which is carried out through legislative, executive and judicial bodies. The Declaration of Basic Rights and Freedoms is part of the Czech Constitution.
The Parliament, made up of the Chamber of Deputies and of the Senate, has legislative power. The government, named by the country s president, has executive power and answers to the Chamber of Deputies. The Czech Republic s state symbols include large and small state emblem, state colours, state flag, the flag of the Czech president, state seal and state anthem.
Population: 10,515,818 (as of 30 June 2010)
Population density: 133 people per square km
Nationalities: 81.1% Czech, 13.2% Moravian, 0.4% Silesian (totalling 94.7%), 0.5% German, 3.1% Slovak, 0.3% Romanies, 0.6% Polish, 0.2% other.
78,866 square km
The Czech Republic is situated in Central Europe. It lies between 48 degrees, 33 minutes, 9 seconds and 51 degrees, 3 minutes and 22 seconds in the northern latitude and between 12 degrees, 5 minutes, 33 seconds and 18 degrees, 51 minutes, 40 seconds in the eastern longitude. The country s longest distance from east to west is 493 km, and its longest distance from north to south is 278 km. In terms of size, the Czech Republic is 21st in Europe, smaller than Hungary, Portugal and Austria but larger than Ireland, Lithuania and Latvia. The Czech Republic shares its borders with Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland. Its average elevation above sea level is 430 metres.
The first inhabitants of the Czech lands were the Celtic Boi (who gave us the name Bohemia). Slavs from the east settled in this region in the 6th century.
Samo’s Empire; the Great Moravian Empire; the Premyslid Dynasty and the Luxembourg Dynasty (Charles IV); the Hussite period; the Habsburg Monarchy; the Thirty Years War; the Czech National Revival; the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; founding of the Czechoslovak Republic under the presidency of T.G. Masaryk; German occupation; 40 years under communist totalitarianism, with centrally-planned, government-run economy; the Velvet Revolution in 1989 and the collapse of the socialist bloc; privatisation and transition to a free-market economy. On 12 March 1999 the Czech Republic joined NATO, and on 1 May 2004 it became part of the European Union.
The Czech Republic is an important tourist destination. It offers visitors not only a multitude of historical landmarks but also diverse natural sites: mountains, ponds, caves and spas with mineral springs. The capital city of Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with unforgettable atmosphere of a metropolis whose history spans a millennium. Other regions of the country, not just the capital, also offer countless museums, galleries and landmarks.