The Czech Republic is situated in the centre of Europe and sometimes it is called the heart of Europe. It has a population of 10,2 million people and covers an area of about 78 864 sq. km. The Czech borders are the oldest ones in the Europe. We border with Germany on the west with a nature border made by the Krušné Mountains, the Czech Forest and Šumava range. The border with Poland is made by the Jizerské Mountains, Krkonoše, Orlické Mountains and the Jeseník Mountain range. The border with Austria is made by the Dyje river and the border with Slovakia is made by the Morava river and Bílé Karpaty hills. The Czech Republic consists of three lands: Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia. Sněžka reaches a height of 1602m in Krkonoše Mountains and the longest river is the Vltava. Other important rivers are the Labe, Jizera, Ohře, Svitava, Svratka, Dyje, Morava and Odra. In southern Moravia fertile lowlands can be found. Our republic lies in the Temperate Zone. We haven’t a sea. The warmest areas are in Southern Moravia and the coldest areas are in the Krkonoše Mountains.
In 1968 Czechoslovakia was oppressed by the invasion of the Soviet army and the “normalisation” lasted about another 20 years till the “velvet revolution” in 1989. That resulted in the splitting of the republic and in 1993 two new states appeared – the Czech republic and the Slovak Republic. Our president is Václav Havel.
The biggest city is the capital, Prague and it has about one million inhabitants. The other big cities are Brno, Ostrava, Plzeň, České Budějovice, Hradec Králové. The major nationalities living here are Czech and Moravian, but there are also minority groups such as the Silesians, Romes, Poles, Germans, Ukrainians and Russians.
Economy and industry:
The most important part of our economy is engineering (machine tools, locomotives, tractors, and agricultural machines). Other important branches are metallurgical and chemical industries and tourism, textile and glass industries have a long tradition. One of our most significant raw materials is coal. Also agriculture in our republic is developed enough. The most fertile soil is in South Moravia. The main items grown there are wheat, sugar-beet, maize, grapes, hops and fruits. In animal production the most important are cattle-breeding and pig-breeding. Fish-breeding, especially carp-breeding can be found in South Bohemia, in the region called Třeboňsko. Bohemia and Moravia are quite rich in mineral springs and spas (Karlovy Vary, Mariánské lázně, Františkovy lázně, Poděbrady, Luhačovice,…).
There are many spots of great natural beauty in the Czech Republic, as well as areas totally spoiled by industries. South Bohemia is particularly rich in ponds. The most beautiful natural places are the Czech Paradise, “rock town” in Prachov rocks, the Děčín walls, Czech Switzerland, the Boubín virgin forests, Macocha abyss and so on. We have also some protested areas, some of them are really very nice (for example one of the protected areas is the region near river Dyje) and National parks. There are also many places associated with our history. Among the most beautiful historic towns belong Prague, Kutná Hora, Tábor, Telč, Olomouc, Kroměříž,… Also many castles, ruins and chateaux can be found in our republic. To the most interesting ones belong Karlštejn, Křivoklát, Bezděz, Hluboká, Zvíkov, Loket, Kuks, Lednice and of course the Prague castle. I have visited Lednice with my family and every year we spend our 14 days in Moravia between Lednice and Břeclav. I love Lednice and her sights and nature. I would live here.