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2. The Czech Republic (Česká republika)

The Czech Republic, which is situated in central Europe, is an inland state with moderate climate. Here we can find valleys, lowlands, high grounds (The Bohemian – Moravian Highland, The Central Bohemian Highland) and mountain ranges. It is a country with nice nature, rich culture and history which makes it very popular for tourists.

There are three historical parts of the country: Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the east and the smallest Silesia in the northern part of Moravia. There are differences between these regions in dialects and folk traditions. Politically the Czech Republic is divided into 14 districts.

Some basic facts:
Covering an area: 78,864 km2

Border countries: Poland in the north, Germany in the west, Austria in the south, Slovakia in the east.

Population: 10,3 million inhabitants

Minorities: Slovaks, Poles, Germans, Russians, Romanies, ….others

The highest mountain is Sněžka in the Giant Mountains near the Polish border. The longest river is Vltava, which springs in the Šumava and flows into the Labe river. Other important rivers are Labe, Odra, Morava, ….

Agricultural production: sugar beet, maize, hop, sunflower, fruit, vegetable, wheat, oats (the Labe River Lowland, the river Morava valleys); barley, rye (in the higher parts of the country), potatoes in the highlands.

Industries: metallurgy (Ostrava), chemical industries (Ústí nad Labem, Neratovice, Kralupy nad Vltavou, Pardubice), textile – clothes and leather industry (Northeast Bohemia, Liberec, Prostějov, Prague …), food industries (all big cities), breweries (Plzeň, Prague, České Budějovice, ….), glass, jewelleries, porcelaine (Karlovy Vary, Jablonec nad Nisou, Nový Bor), wood and paper industries, …
There are deposits of brown, black coal and iron ore.

Some of the most often visited places:
West Bohemian Triangle of spa towns – Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně, Františkovy Lázně. The most famous of these – Karlovy Vary, was founded in the 14th century by the Emperor Charles IV and has remained a popular place for patients from all over the world, especially those suffering from stomach, gallbladder and liver disorders. Mariánské Lázně with its numerous parks and flower beds which make it one of the most attractive Czech spa towns, is popular for patients suffering from kidney disorders, asthma, or nervous diseases. Located in the middle of woods and parks, Františkovy Lázně is a famous spa for patients with women and heart diseases.

The south of Bohemia belongs to the most beautiful regions of Europe. The Šumava Mountains which are – even today – covered with charming woods and swamps, are a summer and winter holiday region, with nice trips as well as sporting opportunities such as cycling or skiing.

South Moravia has a beautiful place called the Moravian Karst with underground caves. The cave labyrinth can be seen from boats floating on the underground river called the Punkva.
In the north of the country, the Krkonoše Mountains are the highest mountain range with Sněžka as its highest peak (1602 m). Krkonoše Mountains together with Orlické Mountains and Jizerské Mountains are very popular destinations for winter holidays. Unfortunately, air pollution has led to huge damage to the forests in the past decades

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