The Czech Republic
is a landlocked country in the centre of Europe. Its neighboring states are Germany (to the west), Poland (to the north), Slovakia (to the east) and Austria (to the south).
- Established: 1 January 1993
- Total area: 78,867 square kilometers.
- Consists of three historical territories: Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.
- Capital: Prague.
- Population: 10 446 157
- Official language: Czech.
- Currency: Czech crown (koruna) – CZK
- Time: Central European (GMT+1), summer time - Central European +1 (GMT+2)
- Climate: average year temperature is 9.0°C
(average winter temperature -0.9°C, summer temperature 19°C)
- Geographical position: 49 - 51° N and longitude 12-19° E
- Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic 27%, agnostic 59%
- System of government: Republic.
- Member of NATO: since 12 March 1999
- Accession to the EU: 1 May 2004
- Integration to the Schengen Area: 21 December 2007
- The history of the Czech Lands stretches back over ten centuries – Bohemia emerged in the late 9th century. However, people inhabited the area in the early Stone Age.
- The important historical era of the Czech Lands is the reign of the Bohemian princes and kings of the house of Premyslids in the 9th – 13th centuries. At the beginning of the 13th century the Czech principality is raised to a kingdom.
- A period of great prosperity and growth came in the 14th century with the rule of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV (1346-78) - the 14th century is considered the Golden Age of Czech history and Prague was the greatest centre of the European empire.
- The Kingdom of Bohemia fell under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy between 1526 -1918. The Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolf II, is considered to be the most important Habsburg Emperor for the Czech lands as Prague became the centre of his empire.
- Towards the end of the First World War, on 28 October 1918, the Lands of the Bohemian Crown were merged with what is today the Slovak Republic to form the Czechoslovak Republic.
- The forty-year Communist regime, which began in 1948, changed the name of the state to the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (in 1960).
- The peaceful ‘Velvet Revolution’ in 1989, which overthrew the totalitarian regime, resulted in another new name for the state, this time the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic.
- On 1 January 1993, the republic split and two new states were formed – the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. At present, the Czech Republic is a modern and democratic country with a rich cultural and historical heritage.