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Czech Republic : General Information

Welcome to the Czech Republic!

  • Area: with a territory of 78,866 km², it ranks among the medium-sized European countries, comparable to countries such as Austria or Ireland; it is 3 times smaller than Great Britain

  • The country is divided into 3 historical regions: Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia

  • It borders Germany to the west, Poland to the north, Slovakia to the east and Austria to the south

  • Population: 10,526,937 in the third quarter of 2022

  • Language: Czech

  • Currency: Czech koruna

  • Climate: continental

  • Flag: tricolour, blue, white and red. It was officially adopted in 1920, some time after the declaration of independence of the Czechoslovak Republic. To the two traditional Slavic colours was added a blue corner on the side of the mast, a colour which had been gradually associated with the other two in the 19th century in the midst of the "pan-Slavism" movement. In 1993, at the time of the separation from Slovakia, the Czech Republic inherited the flag.

  • National Anthem: Kde domov můj? (Where is my home?). The anthem was adopted in 1993 after the separation from Slovakia. It was composed in the first half of the 19th century by František Škroup for a musical by Josef Kajetán Tyl, which was very popular at the time.

Political system

  • Regime: multi-party parliamentary democracy with a central position of the parliament

  • Constitution: adopted in December 1992 by the then Czech National Council

  • Institutions :

    • Chamber of Deputies: 200 deputies elected for 4 years by proportional representation

    • Senate: 81 senators elected for 6 years, renewable by thirds every 2 years

    • President of the Republic: Head of State and Head of the Armed Forces, elected for 5 years by direct universal suffrage since 2013 only. Officially head of state, his power is limited. The President appoints the Prime Minister, the members of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court and has a veto on proposed legislation.

    • Government: the government is formed by the Prime Minister and is responsible to the Chamber of Deputies.

The Czech Republic has been a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004. However, it is not yet a member of the Eurozone.

It joined the NATO collective security system in 1999.

Main cities

The capital, Prague, is the largest Czech city in terms of area and population (13% of the country's population).

Other important cities: Plzeň in the west, Brno in the southeast, Ostrava and Olomouc in the east.

Administrative division of the country

The Czech Republic is divided into 14 administrative regions ("kraj" in Czech), one of which is formed by the capital Prague. The largest region, Central Bohemia, surrounds it on all sides.

Landforms and landscapes

The Czech Republic is a hilly country, almost entirely surrounded by mountain ranges. They mark the historical borders of the Bohemian Kingdom.

The most important of these are: the Ore Mountains (Krušné hory) in the northwest; the Jeseníky and Giant Mountains (Krkonoše) in the north, where the highest point of the country is located, Sněžka or 'Snow Mountain' (1,602 m); the Šumava range in the southwest; the border with Slovakia follows the axis of the White Carpathians.

In the interior of the country there are two vast plains, important for the country’s agriculture - one along the Elbe River, the other in South Moravia.

Natural heritage of the country

The Czech Republic has much to offer hikers, cross-country skiers, nature lovers and castle enthusiasts. It offers:

  • 26 protected natural areas (known in Czech as CHKO), including 6 UNESCO biosphere reserves:

    • The Šumava Mountain Range, often called the "green roof of Europe"

    • Krkonoše (or Giant Mountains)

    • The Křivoklát region

    • The Třeboň region

    • The White Carpathians

    • Pálava

  • 4 national parks

  • Mountains that are not as high as in France or Austria, but are omnipresent

  • ponds and lakes, especially in South Bohemia

Architectural and cultural heritage

The Czech Republic has a rich architectural heritage with many historic towns with preserved centres and countless castles and chateaus throughout the country that are open to the public. In a relatively small area, it has one of the highest concentrations of UNESCO listed monuments in Europe.

UNESCO World Heritage monuments and historic centres:

In Prague and east of Prague:

In South Bohemia:

  • the historic centre of Telč
  • the historical centre of Český Krumlov
  • the village of Holašovice and its unique ensemble of farms and buildings in the so-called "rural baroque" style (selské baroko)

In Moravia:

Intangible cultural heritage