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Czech Republic

Czech Republic
Czech Republic Česká republika Water (%) 2 ▲10,467,542 (78th) 10,230,060 132/km2 (77th) 341/sq mi 2008 estimate $262.169 billion[1] (39th²) $25,395[1] (33rd) 2008 estimate $217.077 billion[1] (36th) $21,027[1] (36th) 25.4 (low) (5th) ▲0.897 (high) (35th) Czech koruna (CZK) CET (UTC+1) CEST (UTC+2) right .cz³ +4204 Population - 20081 estimate - 2001 census - Density GDP (PPP) - Total - Per capita GDP (nominal) - Total - Per capita Gini (1996) HDI (2006) Currency Time zone - Summer (DST) Drives on the Internet TLD Calling code
1 2 3 Location of Czech Republic (dark green) 4


Coat of arms

Motto: "Pravda vítězí" (Czech)
"Truth prevails"

Anthem: Kde domov můj? (Czech)
"Where is my home?"

December 31, 2008 (See Population changes). Rank based on 2005 IMF data. Also .eu, shared with other European Union member states. Shared code 42 with Slovakia until 1997.

– on the European continent (light green & dark grey) – in the European Union (light green) — [Legend] Capital (and largest city) Official languages Demonym Government President Prime Minister Prague (Praha)
50°05′N 14°28′E / 50.083°N 14.467°E / 50.083; 14.467

Czech Czech Parliamentary republic Václav Klaus Jan Fischer (formed cca 870) October 28, 1918 January 1, 1993 May 1, 2004 78,866 km2 (116th) 30,450 sq mi

Independence - from Austria–Hungary - from Czechoslovakia EU accession Area - Total

Karlštejn Castle in the Central Bohemian Region, founded in 1348 by Charles IV. The Czech Republic /ˈtʃɛk rɨˈpʌblɪk/ [3] (Czech: Česká republika, pronounced [ˈtʃɛskaː ˈrɛpuˌblɪka] ( listen)), short form Czechia (Czech: Česko [ˈtʃɛskɔ]), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country borders Poland


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Czech Republic
to the northeast, Germany to the west, Austria to the south and Slovakia to the east. The capital and largest city is Prague (Czech: Praha). The country is composed of the historic regions of Bohemia and Moravia, as well as parts of Silesia. The Czech Republic has been a member of NATO since 1999 and of the European Union since 2004. As of 1 January 2009, the Czech Republic holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the Czech lands fell under Habsburg rule, later becoming part of the Austrian Empire and Austria–Hungary. The independent Republic of Czechoslovakia was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire after World War I. After the Munich Agreement, German occupation of Czechoslovakia and the consequent disillusion with the Western response and gratitude for the liberation of the major portion of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army, the Communist party won plurality (38%)[4] in the 1946 elections. In a 1948 coup d’état, Czechoslovakia became a communist-ruled state. In 1968, the increasing dissatisfaction culminated in attempts to reform the communist regime. The events, known as the Prague Spring of 1968, ended with an invasion by the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries (with the exception of Romania); the troops remained in the country until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed. On January 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into its constituent states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary representative democracy. President Václav Klaus is the current head of state. The Prime Minister is the head of government (currently Jan Fischer). The Parliament has two chambers: the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. It is also a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group. The Czech Republic made economic reforms such as fast privatizations and flat taxes. Annual gross domestic product growth has recently been around 6%. The country is the first former member of the Comecon to achieve the status of a developed country (2006), according to the World Bank.[5] The Czech Republic also ranks top among the former Comecon countries in the Human Development Index.[6]

Tábor, a town in the South Bohemian Region, founded in 1420 by the Hussites.

The English spelling of Czech derives from the Polish spelling of the original Čech.[7] Following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the Czech half of the former nation found itself without a common single-word name in English. In 1993, the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggested the name Czechia as an official alternative in all situations other than formal official documents and the full names of government institutions; however, this

Charles IV, eleventh king of Bohemia. Charles IV was elected the Největší Čech (Greatest Czech) of all time.[2]


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has not become widespread, despite the fact that many other languages have single-word names for the country.

Czech Republic
In the 15th century the religious and social reformer Jan Hus formed a movement, later named after him. Although Jan Hus was named a heretic and burnt in Constanz in 1415, his followers seceded from the Catholic church and in Hussite Wars (1419-1434) achieved to defeat five crusades organized by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. For next two centuries 90% inhabitants converted to hussite form of protestant religion. After 1526 Bohemia came increasingly under Habsburg control as the Habsburgs became first the elected and then the hereditary rulers of Bohemia. The Prague defenestration and uprisal against the Habsburgs in 1618 caused the Thirty Years’ War. After the military defeat Bohemia was conquered and became a province of Austrian monarchy. The war had a devastating effect on the local population, given the choice either to convert to catholic religion or leave the country. Czechs call the period from 1620 (the Battle of White Mountain), until the late 18th century, the "Dark Age". The population of the Czech lands declined by a third due to war, disease, famine and the expulsion of the Protestant Czechs.[12] The Habsburgs banned all religions other than Catholicism.[13] Ottoman Turks and Tatars invaded Moravia in 1663, taking 12,000 slaves.[14] The reigns of Maria Theresa of Austria (1740-80) and her son Joseph II (1780-90), Holy Roman Emperor and co-regent from 1765, were characterized by enlightened absolutism. In 1742, most of Silesia, then the possession of the Bohemian crown, was seized by King Frederick II of Prussia in the War of the Austrian Succession. After the fall of the Holy Roman Empire, Bohemia became part of the Austrian Empire and later of Austria–Hungary. The Great Famine, which lasted from 1770 until 1771, killed 12% of the Czech population, up to 500,000 inhabitants, and radicalized countrysides leading to peasant uprisings. Serfdom was not completely abolished until 1848. After the Revolutions of 1848, Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria attempted to rule as an absolute monarch, keeping all the nationalities in check.

Archaeologists have found evidence of prehistoric human settlements in the area, dating back to the Neolithic era. In the classical era, from the 3rd century BC Celtic migrations, the Boii (see Bohemia) and later in the 1st century, Germanic tribes of Marcomanni and Quadi settled there. During the Migration Period around the 5th century, many Germanic tribes moved westwards and southwards out of Central Europe. In an equally significant migration, Slavic peoples from the Black Sea and Carpathian regions settled in the area (a movement that was also stimulated by the onslaught of peoples from Siberia and Eastern Europe: Huns, Avars, Bulgars and Magyars). Following in the Germans’ wake, they moved southwards into Bohemia, Moravia and some of present day Austria. During the 7th century, the Frankish merchant, Samo, supporting the Slavs fighting their Avar rulers, became the ruler of the first known Slav state in Central Europe. The Moravian principality arose in the 8th century (see Great Moravia). The Bohemian or Czech state emerged in the late 9th century, when it was unified by the Přemyslid dynasty. The kingdom of Bohemia was a significant regional power during the Middle Ages. It was part of the Holy Roman Empire during the entire existence of that confederation.[8] In 1212, King Přemysl Otakar I (1198-1230), bearing the title “king“ already since 1198, extracted a Golden Bull of Sicily (a formal edict) from the emperor, confirming the royal title for Otakar and his descendants. The 13th century was also a period of large-scale German immigration. The Germans populated towns and mining districts on the Bohemian periphery and in some cases, formed German colonies in the interior of the Czech lands. In 1241, the mighty Mongol army launched an invasion of Europe and after the Battle of Legnica, the Mongols carried their devastating raid into Moravia.[9] King Přemysl Otakar II (1253–1278) earned the nickname of "the King of Gold and Iron" due to his military power and wealth. He met his death at the Battle on the Marchfeld in 1278, in a war with his rival, the Roman king Rudolph I of Germany.[10] In 1306, the Přemyslid line had died out and, after a series of dynastic wars, a new House of Luxembourg captured the Bohemian crown. The 14th century, particularly the reign of Charles IV (1342-1378), is considered the Golden Age of Czech history. Of particular significance was the founding of Charles University in Prague in 1348. The Black Death, which had raged in Europe from 1347-1352, decimated the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1380.[11]

An estimated 150,000 Czech soldiers died in World War I. More than 100,000 Czech volunteers formed the Legions in Russia fighting against the Central powers and later against bolshevik troops. [15] Following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I, the independent republic of Czechoslovakia was created in 1918. This new country incorporated regions of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Slovakia and the Carpathian Ruthenia (known as the Subcarpathian Rus at the time) with significant German, Hungarian, Polish and Ruthenian speaking minorities.[16] Although Czechoslovakia was a unitary state, it provided what were at the time rather extensive rights to its minorities. However, it did not grant its minorities any territorial political autonomy.


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Czech Republic
arrival of the Soviet and American armies and the Prague uprising.

Český Krumlov The failure to do so resulted in discontent and strong support among some of the minorities for a break from Czechoslovakia. Adolf Hitler took advantage of this opportunity and, supported by Konrad Henlein’s Sudeten German Party, gained the largely German speaking Sudetenland, through the 1938 Munich Agreement. Poland annexed the Zaolzie area around Český Těšín. Hungary gained parts of Slovakia and the Subcarpathian Rus as a result of the First Vienna Award in November 1938. The remainders of Slovakia and the Subcarpathian Rus gained greater autonomy, with the state renamed to "Czecho-Slovakia" (The Second Republic; see German occupation of Czechoslovakia). After Nazi Germany threatened to annex part of Slovakia, allowing the remaining regions to be partitioned by Hungary and Poland, Slovakia chose to maintain its national and territorial integrity, seceding from Czecho-Slovakia in March 1939 and allying itself, as demanded by Germany, with Hitler’s coalition.[17] The remaining Czech territory was occupied by Germany, which transformed it into the socalled Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The Protectorate was proclaimed part of the Third Reich and the President and Prime Minister were subordinate to the Nazi Reichsprotektor ("imperial protector"). Subcarpathian Rus declared independence as the Republic of Carpatho-Ukraine on 15 March 1939, but was invaded by Hungary the same day and formally annexed it on 16 March. Approximately 390,000 Czechoslovak citizens, including 83,000 Jews, were killed or executed, hundreds of thousands of others were sent to prisons and concentration camps or used as forced labour. A Nazi concentration camp existed at Terezín, to the north of Prague. There was Czech resistance to Nazi occupation, both at home and abroad, most notably with the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich, in a Prague suburb on May 27, 1942. The Czechoslovak government-in-exile and its army fighting against the Germans were acknowledged by the Allies (Czechoslovak troops fought in Great Britain, North Africa, Middle East and Soviet Union). The occupation ended on 9 May 1945, with the

Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, first president of Czechoslovakia. In 1945-1946, almost the entire German minority in Czechoslovakia, about 2.7 million people, were expelled to Germany and Austria. During this time, thousands of Germans were held in prisons and detention camps, or used as forced labour. In the summer of 1945, there were several massacres. The only Germans not expelled were some 250,000, who had been active in the resistance against the Nazis or were considered economically important, though many of these emigrated later. Following a Soviet-organised referendum, the Subcarpathian Rus never returned under Czechoslovak rule, but became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, as the Zakarpattia Oblast in 1946. Czechoslovakia uneasily tried to play the role of a "bridge" between the West and East. However, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia rapidly increased in popularity, with a general disillusionment with the West, due to the pre-war Munich Agreement and a favourable popular attitude towards the Soviet Union, due to the Soviets’ role in liberating Czechoslovakia from German rule. In the 1946 elections, the Communists gained 38% of the votes and became the largest party in the Czechoslovak parliament. They formed a coalition government with other parties of the National Front and moved quickly to consolidate power. The decisive step took place in February 1948, during a series of events


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characterized by Communists as a "revolution" and by anti-Communists as a "takeover", the Communist People’s Militias secured control of key locations in Prague, and a new, all-Communist government was formed. For the next 41 years, Czechoslovakia was a Communist state within the Eastern Bloc (see History of Czechoslovakia (1948–1989)). This period was marked by a variety of social developments. The Communist government completely nationalized the means of production and established a command economy. The economy grew rapidly during the 1950s and 1960s, but slowed down in the 1970s, with increasing problems during the 1980s. The political climate was highly repressive during the 1950s, including numerous show trials, but became more open and tolerant in the 1960s, culminating in Alexander Dubček’s leadership in the 1968 Prague Spring, that tried to create "socialism with a human face" and perhaps even introduce political pluralism. This was forcibly ended by the 21 August 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion. The invasion was followed by a harsh program of "Normalization" in the late 1960s and the 1970s. Until 1989, the political establishment relied on censorship of the opposition, though using more "carrot" than "whip" to secure the populace’s passivity. Dissidents published Charter 77 in 1977 and the first of a new wave of protests were seen in 1988.

Czech Republic
member of the Visegrád Group and from 1995, the OECD. The Czech Republic joined NATO on March 12, 1999 and the European Union on May 1, 2004.

See also: Geography of the Czech Republic and Protected Areas of the Czech Republic

Velvet revolution and the Czech Republic
In November 1989, Czechoslovakia returned to a liberal democracy through the peaceful "Velvet Revolution". However, Slovak national aspirations strengthened and on January 1, 1993, the country peacefully split into the independent Czech Republic and Slovakia. Both countries went through economic reforms and privatizations, with the intention of creating a capitalist economy. Due to deficiencies with the Soviet-style economy, voters embraced the neoliberal model of economics, friendly to globalization objectives favored by Western elites. This enabled the Czech Republic to become the first post-communist country to receive an investmentgrade rating from international credit rating agencies. Most state-owned heavy industries were privatized through voucher privatization systems, that essentially sold such assets to private concerns for a fraction of their actual value. The Czech Republic saw for a while modest budget deficits, low unemployment, a positive balance of payments, a stable exchange rate and a shift of exports from former communist economic bloc markets to Western Europe. This has changed over the past decade (see below). The most important change, since 1989, has been the return of the right to own property. From 1991, the Czech Republic, originally as part of Czechoslovakia and now in its own right, has been a

General map of the Czech Republic

Map of the Czech Republic showing cities and main towns The Czech landscape is quite varied. Bohemia, to the west, consists of a basin drained by the Elbe (Czech: Labe) and the Vltava (or Moldau) rivers, surrounded by mostly low mountains, such as the Krkonoše range of the Sudetes. The highest point in the country, Sněžka at 1,602 m (5,260 ft), is located here. Moravia, the eastern part of the country, is also quite hilly. It is drained mainly by the Morava River, but it also contains the source of the Oder River (Czech: Odra). Water from the landlocked Czech Republic flows to three different seas: the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea. The Czech Republic also leases the Moldauhafen, a 30,000-squaremetre (7.4-acre) lot in the middle of the Hamburg Docks,


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which was awarded to Czechoslovakia by Article 363 of the Treaty of Versailles, to allow the landlocked country a place where goods transported down river could be transferred to seagoing ships. The territory reverts to Germany in 2028. Phytogeographically, the Czech Republic belongs to the Central European province of the Circumboreal Region, within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the territory of the Czech Republic can be subdivided into four ecoregions: the Central European mixed forests, Pannonian mixed forests, Western European broadleaf forests and Carpathian montane conifer forests.

Czech Republic
At the highest peak of Sněžka (1,602 m/5,260 ft), the average temperature is only −0.4 °C (31 °F), whereas in the lowlands of the South Moravian Region, the average temperature is as high as 10 °C (50 °F). The country’s capital, Prague, has a similar average temperature, although this is influenced by urban factors. The coldest month is usually January, followed by February and December. During these months, there is usually snow in the mountains and sometimes in the major cities and lowlands. During March, April and May, the temperature usually increases rapidly, especially during April, when the temperature and weather tends to vary widely during the day. Spring is also characterized by high water levels in the rivers, due to melting snow with occasional flooding. The warmest month of the year is July, followed by August and June. On average, summer temperatures are about 20 degrees higher than during winter. Especially in the last decade, temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) are not unusual. Summer is also characterized by rain and storms. Autumn generally begins in September, which is still relatively warm and dry. During October, temperatures usually fall below 15° or 10°C (59° or 50°F) and deciduous trees begin to shed their leaves. By the end of November, temperatures usually range around the freezing point.

Weather and climate

Rolling hills of Králický Sněžník

According to the 2001 census, the vast majority of the inhabitants of the Czech Republic are Czech (94.24%). The most numerous national minorities are: Slovaks (1.89%); Poles (0.51%); Germans (0.38%); Ukrainians (0.22%); Vietnamese (0.17%); Hungarians (0.14%); Russians (0.12%); Romani (0.11%); Bulgarians (0.04%); and Greeks (0.03%).[19] According to some estimates, there are actually more than 200,000 Romani people in the Czech Republic.[20][21] There were 431,215 foreigners residing in the country in 2008, according to the Czech Interior Ministry,[22] with the largest groups being Ukrainian (131,965), Slovak (76,034), Vietnamese (60,258), Russian (27,178), Polish (21,710), German (15,700), Moldovan (8,038), Mongolian (6,028), Bulgarian (5,046), Chinese (4,986), American (4,452), Belarusan (3,977), British (3,775), Serbian (3,615), Austrian (3,373), Romanian (3,298), Kazakh (3,038), Italian (2,351), Croatian (2,327), Dutch (2,240), French (2,140), Bosnian (2,093), Macedonian (1,787), Armenian (1,624), Japanese (1,494) and Uzbek (1,148).[23] The Jewish population of Bohemia and Moravia, 118,000 according to the 1930 census, was virtually annihilated by the Nazis during the Holocaust.[24] There were approximately 4,000 Jews in the Czech Republic in 2005.[25]

Šance Dam, part of the Moravian-Silesian Beskids The Czech Republic has a temperate continental climate, with relatively hot summers and cold, cloudy and snowy winters. Most rain falls during the summer. The temperature difference between summer and winter is relatively high, due to the landlocked geographical position. Within the Czech Republic, temperatures vary greatly, depending on the elevation. In general, at higher altitudes, the temperatures decrease and precipitation increases. Another important factor is the distribution of the mountains; therefore, the climate is quite varied.


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Population of the Czech lands[18] Year 1857 1869 1880 1890 1900 1910 1921 Total 7,016,531 7,617,230 8,222,013 8,665,421 9,372,214 10,078,637 10,009,587 Change — 8.6% 7.9% 5.4% 8.2% 7.5% -0.7% Year 1930 1950 1961 1970 1980 1991 2001 Total 10,674,386 8,896,133 9,571,531 9,807,697 10,291,927 10,302,215 10,230,060

Czech Republic

Change 6.6% -16.7% 7.6% 2.5% 4.9% 0.1% -0.7%

Immigration increased the population by almost 1% in 2007. The fertility rate is a low 1.50 children per woman.

The Czech Republic, along with Estonia, has one of the least religious populations in all of Europe. According to the 2001 census, 59% of the country is agnostic, atheist, a non-believer or a non-organized believer, 26.8% is Roman Catholic and 2.5% is Protestant.[26] According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll in 2005,[27] 19% of Czech citizens responded that "they believe there is a god" (the second lowest rate among European Union countries after Estonia with 16%),[28] whereas 50% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 30% said that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god or life force".

Political system

Václav Klaus, current President of the Czech Republic. The President of the Czech Republic is elected by a joint session of the parliament for a five-year term, with no more than two consecutive terms. The president is a formal head of state with limited specific powers, most importantly to return bills to the parliament, nominate Constitutional court judges for the Senate’s approval and dissolve the parliament under certain special and unusual circumstances. He also appoints the prime minister, as well the other members of the cabinet on a proposal by the prime minister. Václav Klaus, current President of the Czech Republic, former Prime Minister and chairman of Civic Democrats (ODS), remains one of the country’s most popular politicians.

Václav Havel, the first President of the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary representative democracy, with the Prime Minister as head of government. The Parliament (Parlament České republiky) is bicameral, with the Chamber of Deputies (Czech: Poslanecká sněmovna) (200 members) and the Senate (Senát)(81 members).


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Czech Republic

Regions and districts
See also: List of regions of the Czech Republic and Districts of the Czech Republic Since 2000, the Czech Republic is divided into thirteen regions (Czech: kraje, singular kraj) and the capital city of Prague. Each region has its own elected Regional Assembly (krajské zastupitelstvo) and hejtman (usually translated as hetman or "president"). In Prague, their powers are executed by the city council and the mayor. The older seventy-six districts (okresy, singular okres) including three "statutory cities" (without Prague, which had special status) lost most of their importance in 1999 in an administrative reform; they remain as territorial divisions and seats of various branches of state administration.[30]

Czech Air Force JAS 39 Gripen The Prime Minister is the head of government and wields considerable powers, including the right to set the agenda for most foreign and domestic policy, mobilize the parliamentary majority and choose government ministers. The members of the Chamber of Deputies are elected for a four year term by proportional representation, with a 5% election threshold. There are 14 voting districts, identical to the country’s administrative regions. The Chamber of Deputies, the successor to the Czech National Council, has the powers and responsibilities of the now defunct federal parliament of the former Czechoslovakia. The members of the Senate are elected in single-seat constituencies by two-round runoff voting for a six-year term, with one-third elected every even year in the autumn. The first election was in 1996, for differing terms. This arrangement is modelled on the U.S. Senate, but each constituency is roughly the same size and the voting system used is a two-round runoff. The Senate is unpopular among the public and suffers from low election turnout, overall roughly 30% in the first round and 20% in the second.

Map of the Czech Republic with regions.

Foreign policy
Membership in the European Union is central in Czech Republic’s foreign policy. The Czech Republic has taken over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first half of 2009. Czech officials have supported dissenters in Burma, Belarus, Moldova and Cuba.[29] Map with districts.

The Czech Republic possesses a developed,[31] high-income[32] economy with a GDP per capita of 84% of the European Union average. One of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states, the Czech Republic has seen a growth of over 6% annually in the last three years. Recent growth has been led by exports to the European Union, especially Germany and foreign investment, while domestic demand is reviving. Most of the economy has been privatised, including the banks and telecommunications. The current right-

Armed forces
The Czech armed forces consist of the Army, Air Force and of specialized support units. In 2004, the Czech armed forces completely phased out conscription and transformed into a fully volunteer military army and air force. The country has been a member of NATO, since March 12, 1999. Defence spending is around 1.8% of the GDP (2006).


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(Lic. plate)

Czech Republic
Population (2004 est.)


Population (2008


Prague, the Capital City (Hlavní město Praha) Central Bohemian Region (Středočeský kraj) South Bohemian Region (Jihočeský kraj) Plzeň Region (Plzeňský kraj) Karlovy Vary Region (Karlovarský kraj) Ústí nad Labem Region (Ústecký kraj) Liberec Region (Liberecký kraj) offices located in Prague (Praha) České Budějovice Plzeň Karlovy Vary Ústí nad Labem Liberec

1,170,571 1,144,071 625,712 549,618 304,588 822,133 427,563 547,296 505,285 635,126 1,257,554 1,123,201 590,706 517,153

1,223,368 1,214,356 634,408 565,029 308,450 835,260 435,755 553,503 513,949 641,897 1,250,066 1,143,389 591,026 514,470

Hradec Králové Region (Královéhradecký Hradec Králové kraj) Pardubice Region (Pardubický kraj) Olomouc Region (Olomoucký kraj) Pardubice Olomouc

Moravian-Silesian Region (Moravskoslez- Ostrava ský kraj) South Moravian Region (Jihomoravský kraj) Zlín Region (Zlínský kraj) Vysočina Region (Vysočina) Brno Zlín Jihlava

Škoda Auto is the largest car manufacturer in Central Europe. In 2007, 630,032 cars were sold worldwide, a record for the company. centre government plans to continue with privatisation, including the energy industry and the Prague airport. It has recently agreed to the sale of a 7% stake in the energy producer, CEZ Group, with the sale of the Budějovický Budvar brewery also mooted. The country has fully implemented the Schengen Agreement and therefore, has abolished border controls, completely opening its borders with all of its neighbours, Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia, on December 21, 2007.[33] The Czech Republic became a member of the World Trade Organisation. The last Czech government led by social democrats had expressed a desire to adopt the euro in 2010, but the current centre-right government suspended that plan in 2007.[34] An exact date has not been set up, but the

Finance Ministry described adoption by 2012 as realistic,[35] if public finance reform passes. However, the most recent draft of the euro adoption plan omits giving any date. Although the country is economically better positioned than other EU Members to adopt the euro, the change is not expected before 2013, due to political reluctance on the matter.[36] On January 1, 2009, former Czech PM, Mirek Topolánek, declared that on November 1, 2009, the Czech government will announce a fixed date for euro adoption, since the country "currently fulfills all criteria for adoption of the euro."[37] There are several challenges, however. The rate of corruption remains one of the highest among the other developed OECD countries and the public budgets remain in deficit despite strong growth of the economy in recent years. However, the 2007 deficit has been 1.58% GDP and the 2008 deficit is expected at 1.2% GDP,[38] according to EU accounting rules, far less than original projections. The Programme for International Student Assessment, coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks the Czech education system as the 15th best in the world, higher than the OECD average.[39]

Ruzyně International Airport is the main international airport in the country. In 2007, it handled 12.4 million passengers, which makes it one of the busiest airports in Central Europe. In total, Czech Republic has 46 airports


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Czech Republic
loop unbundling began and alternative operators started to offer ADSL and also SDSL. This and later privatisation of Český Telecom helped drive down prices. On July 1, 2006, Český Telecom was renamed to Telefónica O2 Czech Republic. As of January 2006, ADSL2+ is offered in many variants, both with data limit and without with speeds up to 10 Mbit/s. Cable internet is gaining popularity with its higher download speeds beginning at 2 Mbit/s up to 30 Mbit/s. The largest ISP, UPC (which recently acquired another CATV internet provider Karneval in 2007), provides its service in the cities of Prague, Brno and Ostrava.

New commuter trains called CityElefant made by Škoda Works operate near larger cities with paved runways, six of which provide international air services. České dráhy is the main railway operator in the Czech Republic, with about 180 million passengers carried yearly. Its cargo division, ČD Cargo, is the fifth largest railway cargo operator in the European Union. In 2005, according to the Czech Statistical Office, 65.4% of electricity was produced in steam, combined and combustion power plants (mostly coal); 30% in nuclear plants; and 4.6% from renewable sources, including hydropower. Russia, via pipelines through Ukraine and to a lesser extent, Norway, via pipelines through Germany, supply the Czech Republic with liquid and natural gas. The Czech Republic is reducing its dependence on highly polluting low-grade brown coal as a source of energy. Nuclear energy presently provides about 30% of the total power needs, its share is projected to increase to 40%. Natural gas is procured from Russian Gazprom, roughly three-fourths of domestic consumption and from Norwegian companies, which make up most of the remaining one-fourth. Russian gas is imported via Ukraine (Druzhba pipeline), Norwegian gas is transported through Germany. Gas consumption (approx. 100 TWh in 2003-2005) is almost two times higher than the electricity consumption. South Moravia has small oil and gas deposits.


After the fall of Iron Curtain in 1989, Prague has become one of the most visited cities in Europe. The Czech economy gets a substantial income from tourism. In 2001, the total earnings from tourism reached 118.13 billion CZK, making up 5.5% of GNP and 9.3% of overall export earnings. The industry employs more than 110,000 people - over 1% of the population.[44] In 2008, however, there was a slump in tourist numbers in Prague, possibly due to the strong Czech koruna making the country too expensive for visitors, compared to the level of services that were available.[45] The country’s reputation has also suffered with guidebooks and tourists reporting overcharging by taxi drivers and pickpocketing problems.[45][46] Since 2005, Prague’s mayor, Pavel Bém, has worked to improve this reputation by cracking down on petty crime[46] and, aside from these problems, Prague is a relatively safe city; most areas are safe to walk around even after dark.[47] Also, the Czech Republic as a whole generally has a low crime rate. [48] There are several centres of tourist activity. The historic city of Prague is the primary tourist attraction, as the city is also the most common point of entry for tourists visiting other parts of the country.[49] Most other cities in the country attract significant numbers of tourists, but the spa towns, such as Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně, are particularly popular holiday destinations. Other popular tourist sites are the many castles and chateaux, such as those at Karlštejn Castle, Český Krumlov and the Lednice–Valtice area. Away from the towns, areas such as Český ráj, Šumava

The Czech Republic has the most Wi-Fi subscribers in the European Union.[40][41] By the beginning of 2008, there was over 800 mostly local WISPs,[42][43] with about 350,000 subscribers in 2007. Mobile internet is quite popular. Plans based on either GPRS, EDGE, UMTS or CDMA2000 are being offered by all three mobile phone operators (T-Mobile, Vodafone, Telefonica O2) and U:fon. Government-owned Český Telecom slowed down broadband penetration. At the beginning of 2004, local-


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and the Krkonoše Mountains attract visitors seeking outdoor pursuits. The country is also famous for its love of puppetry and marionettes with a number of puppet festivals throughout the country. The Pilsener style beer originated in western Bohemian city of Plzeň.

Czech Republic
international match of the Czech ice hockey or football national team draws attention, especially when played against a traditional rival: Germany in football; Russia, Sweden and Canada in ice hockey; and Slovakia in both.



Vepřo-knedlo-zelo (Roast pork with dumplings and cabbage) Czech cuisine is marked by a strong emphasis on meat dishes. Pork is quite common; beef and chicken are also popular. Goose, duck, rabbit and wild game are served. Fish is rare, with the occasional exception of fresh trout and carp, which is served at Christmas. Aside from Slivovitz, Czech beer and wine, Czechs also produce two uniquely Czech liquors, Fernet Stock and Becherovka. Kofola is a non-alcoholic Czech soft drink, somewhat similar in look and taste to Coca-Cola, which is also popular.

A diagram illustrating Mendelian inheritance. The Czech Republic has a rich scientific tradition. From pioneering the Pilsener and Budweiser-style lagers (named after Plzeň and České Budějovice respectively), through the invention of the modern contact lens and separation of modern blood types, to the production of the Semtex plastic explosive, the world owes much of its scientific insight to prominent Czech scientists, including: • (1592 - 1670), educator and national hero, often considered the founder of modern education for his work in pedagogy.[50] • (1793 - 1857), inventor of the screw propeller.[50] • (1822 - 1884), often called the "father of genetics", is famed for his research concerning the inheritance of genetic traits.[50] • (1879 - 1952), decyphered the Hittite language.[50] • (1890 - 1967), first Czech Nobel Prize laureate, awarded the prize in 1959 for pioneering research in polarography and electroanalytical chemistry.[50] • (1913 - 1998) and Drahoslav Lím (1925 - 2003), Czech chemists responsible for the invention of the modern contact lens.[51] A number of other scientists are also connected in some way with the Czech Republic, including the founder of

See also: Sport in the Czech Republic and Czech Republic national football team Sport plays a part in the life of many Czechs, who are generally loyal supporters of their favourite teams or individuals. The two leading sports in the Czech Republic are football (soccer) and ice hockey, both drawing the largest attention of both the media and supporters. The many other sports with professional leagues and structures include basketball, volleyball, team handball, track and field athletics and floorball. Sport is a source of strong waves of patriotism, usually rising several days or weeks before an event and sinking several days after. The events considered the most important by Czech fans are: the Ice Hockey World Championships, Olympic Ice hockey tournament, UEFA European Football Championship, FIFA World Cup and qualification matches for such events. In general, any


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psychiatry, Sigmund Freud and prominent physicist Albert Einstein.

Czech Republic

International rankings
• Human Development Index 2007: Ranks 32nd out of 178 countries • Index of Economic Freedom 2007: Ranks 31st out of 157 countries • Reporters Without Borders worldwide press freedom index 2007: Ranks 14th out of 169 countries • Global Competitiveness Report 2006: Ranks 29th out of 125 countries • Democracy Index (January 2007): Ranks 18th of 167 countries (the highest rank of functioning democracy, along with only 27 others) • It was also ranked as the highest alcohol-consuming nation by The Economist in 2006.

Music in the Czech Republic has its roots both in highculture opera and symphony and in the traditional music of Bohemia and Moravia. Cross-pollination and diversity are important aspects of Czech music. Composers were often influenced by traditional music; jazz and bluegrass music have become popular; pop music often consisted of English language hits sung in Czech. Notable Czech composers include Leoš Janáček, Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana. Great classical composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are also linked closely to the Czech Republic throughout the period of the Habsburg Empire.

Czech literature is the literature of the historical regions of Bohemia, Moravia and the Czech-speaking part of Silesia, (now part of the Czech Republic, formerly of Czechoslovakia). This most often means literature written by Czechs, in the Czech language, although Old Church Slavonic, Latin and German were also used, mostly in the early periods. Modern authors from the Czech territory, who wrote in other languages (e.g. German), are generally considered separately and their writing usually existed in parallel with Czech-language literature and did not interact with it. Thus Franz Kafka, for example, who wrote in German (though he also knew Czech rather well), falls within Austrian literature, though he lived his entire life in Bohemia. Czech literature is divided into several main time periods: the Middle Ages; the Hussite period; the years of re-Catholicization and the baroque; the Enlightenment and Czech reawakening in the 19th century; the avantgarde of the interwar period; the years under Communism and the Prague Spring; and the literature of the post-Communist Czech Republic. Czech literature and culture played a major role on at least two occasions, when Czech society lived under oppression and no political activity was possible. On both of these occasions, in the early 19th century and then again in the 1960s, the Czechs used their cultural and literary effort to create political freedom, establishing a confident, politically aware nation.

See also
• Cinema of the Czech Republic • Communications in the Czech Republic • Karlovy Vary International Film Festival • List of cities in the Czech Republic • List of Czech musical groups • List of Czech Republicrelated topics • List of postal codes in the Czech Republic • Lists of Czechs • National Theatre (Prague) • Public holidays in the Czech Republic • Spa towns in the Czech Republic • Television in the Czech Republic


[2] [3] [4] [5]

Theatre of the Czech Republic has rich tradition with roots in the Middle Ages. In the 19th century, the theatre played an important role in the national awakening movement and later, in the 20th century it became a part of the modern European theatre art.

[6] [7] [8] [9]

^ "Czech Republic". International Monetary Fund. weodata/ weorept.aspx?sy=2006&ey=2009&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1 Retrieved on 2009-04-22. Emperor Charles IV elected Greatest Czech of all time, Radio Prague Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, Oxford University Press, 1989. t98.html (in Czech) Velinger, Jan (2006-02-28). "World Bank Marks Czech Republic’s Graduation to ’Developed’ Status". Radio Prague. Retrieved on 2007-01-22. Statistics of the Human Development Report. czech?view=uk Oxford English Dictionary The Přemyslid Dynasty - Czech republic The Annals of Jan Dlugosz


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Czech Republic

[10] The rise and fall of the Przemyslid Dynasty 12/13/czech-republic-to-join-schengen.php. Retrieved on [11] The flowering and the decline of the Czech 2007-10-08. medieval state [34] "Finance Ministry backtracks on joining the Euro by [12] The Thirty Years’ War - Czech republic, 2012". Radio Praha. Retrieved on 22 December 2008. [13] RP’s History Online - Habsburgs [35] "Czech government adopts euro adoption plan". [14] Lánové rejstříky (1656 - 1711) EUbusiness. 2007-04-11. [15] Radio Praha - zprávy Euro/czech-euro.83/. Retrieved on 2007-06-01. [16] "Tab. 3 Národnost československých státních příslušníků [36] (2008-08-05). Euros in the wallets of the podle žup a zemí k 15.2.1921" (in Czech) (PDF). Czech Slovaks, but who will be next?. Press release. Statistical Office. 8BE4678613181F2AC1256E66004C77DD/$File/tab3_21.pdf. sportal.portal;jsessionid=qhHSJ0FRvFSBNdNpZkKJVhvhHLJD4v1T2d1BG3 Retrieved on 2007-06-02. Retrieved on 2008-12-21. [17] Gerhard L. Weinberg, The Foreign Policy of Hitler’s [37] "Czech PM: On Nov 1 Govt Will Set Euro Adoption Date". Germany: Starting World War II, 1937-1939 (Chicago, 1980), pp. 470-481. article.aspx?StoryId=82909ae5-94b8-4124-8dcf[18] Czech Statistic Office d9a1203ea4fb. Retrieved on 2009-01-01. [19] "Zjišťování národnosti ve sčítání lidu, domů a bytů v [38] "Czech 2008 budget gap much lower than expected". období 1921 - 2001" (in Czech) (PDF). Czech Statistical Office. 2. 01/01/afx5872811.html. Retrieved on 2009-02-01. C2002D382C/$File/Kapitola1.pdf. Retrieved on [39] 2007-05-24. [40] 2007 WiFi survey EN [20] The History and Origin of the Roma [41] - Czech Republic [21] British Immigration Aides Accused of Bias by [42] "Wi-Fi: Poskytovatelé bezdrátového připojení". Gypsies [22] Number of foreigners in the CR, Czech Statistical translate?, 31 October 2008 poskytovatele.php&hl=cs&ie=UTF8&sl=cs&tl=en. [23] "Number of foreigners in the CR". Czech Statistics Office. Retrieved on 2008-03-17. 31 October 2008. [43] "Bezdrátové připojení k internetu". engkapitola/ciz_pocet_cizincu. Retrieved on 2008-12-16. [24] The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia translate? [25] The Virtual Jewish Library - Jewish population of Retrieved on 2008-05-18. Czech republic, 2005 [44] "Promotion Strategy of the Czech Republic in 2004 [26] "Obyvatelstvo hlásící se k jednotlivým církvím a 2010". Czech Tourism. náboženským společnostem" (in Czech). Czech Statistical index.php?show=001006&lang=3. Retrieved on Office. 2006-12-19. 4110-03-[45] ^ Prague sees significant dip in tourist numbers obyvatelstvo_hlasici_se_k_jednotlivym_cirkvim_a_nabozenskym_spolecnostem. [46] ^ Prague mayor goes undercover to expose the Retrieved on 2006-12-19. great taxi rip-off, January 15, 2005 [27] "Eurobarometer on Social Values, Science and [47] Tips on Staying Safe in Prague, technology 2005 - page 11" (PDF). public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_225_report_en.pdf. [48] Czech Republic - Country Specific Information, U.S. Retrieved on 2007-05-05. Department of State [28] "Social values, Science and Technology" (PDF). [49] "Czech sights". Discover Czech. Eurobarometer. June 2005. public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_225_report_en.pdf. Retrieved on 2006-12-19. Retrieved on 2006-12-19. [50] ^ - Ingenious inventions. Accessed 3 [29] The Economist: Czechs with few mates March 2009. [30] The death of the districts, Radio Prague January 3, [51] The History of Contact Lenses. Accessed 3 March 2003. 2009. [31] Getting to know Czech Republic, from, the • Some of the material comes from the CIA World Factbook official site of the Czech Republic 2000 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website. [32] World Bank 2007 [33] "Czech Republic to join Schengen". The Prague Post. 2006-12-13. • Czech Republic

External links


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
• Expats Radio Online Free online radio from the centre of Europe specifically for expatriates Czech Language • Free Czech Language Resource Archive Government • Governmental website • Presidential website • Portal of the Public Administration • Chamber of Deputies • Senate • Chief of State and Cabinet Members General information • Czech Republic entry at The World Factbook • Czech Republic information from the United States Department of State • Portals to the World from the United States Library of Congress • Czech Republic at UCB Libraries GovPubs

Czech Republic
• Czech Republic at the Open Directory Project • Wikimedia Atlas of the Czech Republic News • CzechNews • Czech News Agency news • The Prague Post • Prague Daily Monitor • The Prague Tribune • Radio Prague Statistics • Economic & Social Data Ranking Photos • Photos of the Czech republic Travelling • Czech Republic at Wikitravel • CzechTourism • Tourist accommodation in Czech Republic

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