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Czech Republic Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Czech Republic

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The Czech Republic, often known as Czechia, is a nation state in Central Europe, bordered on the west by Germany, on the south by Austria, on the east by Slovakia, and on the northeast by Poland. The Czech Republic has a land area of 78,866 square kilometers (30,450 square miles) with a climate that is mostly temperate continental. It is a unitaryparliamentary republic with a population of 10.5 million. The capital and biggest city is Prague, which has a population of about 1.2 million. Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia comprise the Czech Republic.

The Czech state began as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire in the late ninth century. Following the collapse of the Empire in 907, the Pemyslid dynasty shifted the center of power from Moravia to Bohemia. The duchy was admitted to the Holy Roman Empire in 1004, renamed the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198, and expanded to its maximum size in the 14th century. Apart from Bohemia, the king of Bohemia controlled the Bohemian Crown’s territories, he had a vote in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor, and Prague served as the imperial seat between the 14th and 17th centuries. In the 15th-century Hussite Wars, sparked by the Bohemian Reformation, the kingdom suffered economic embargoes and fought five crusades declared by the Roman Catholic Church’s authorities.

Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia, together with the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary, was progressively incorporated into the Habsburg Monarchy. The Protestant Bohemian Revolt (1618–20) against the Catholic Habsburgs precipitated the Thirty Years’ War, during which the monarchy strengthened its authority, reinstituted Catholicism, and implemented a progressive Germanization program. When the Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1806, the Bohemian Kingdom became a member of the Austrian Empire, and the Czech language enjoyed a resurgence as a result of popular romantic nationalism. In the nineteenth century, the Czech lands developed into the monarchy’s economic powerhouse and became the nucleus of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, which was established in 1918 after the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War I.

In World War II, Germany controlled the Czech portion of Czechoslovakia, which was freed in 1945 by the forces of the Soviet Union and the United States. The Czech Republic lost the bulk of its German-speaking population after the war. Czechoslovakia’s Communist Party won the 1946 elections. Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet control after the 1948 coup d’état. In 1968, growing discontent with the government culminated in the Prague Spring, a reform movement that culminated in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until 1989, when the communist government fell and a multiparty parliamentary republic was established. Czechoslovakia was peacefully dissolved on 1 January 1993, with its component nations being the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004; it is a member of the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Council of Europe. It is a developed nation with an advanced economy, a high quality of life, and a high standard of living. According to the UNDP, the nation ranks 14th in terms of inequality-adjusted human development. Additionally, the Czech Republic is ranked as the sixth most peaceful nation in the world, with a good record of democratic government. It boasts the European Union’s lowest unemployment rate.

The Czech Republic is a small nation with a long and dramatic history. Czechs, Germans, Slovaks, Italian stonemasons and stucco craftsmen, French merchants, and Napoleon’s army deserters have all lived and worked here, influencing one another. For decades, they worked together to develop their land, producing works that adorn this tiny nation with hundreds of old castles, monasteries, and elegant homes, as well as whole cities that seem to be complete artifacts. The Czech Republic is home to a plethora of architectural marvels as well as stunning woods and mountains.

Geography

The Czech Republic is mostly located between latitudes 48° and 51° N (with a tiny region north of 51°) and longitudes 12° and 19° E.

The Czech terrain is very diverse. To the west, Bohemia consists of a valley drained by the Elbe (Czech: Labe) and Vltava rivers, bordered by mainly low mountains, such as the Sudetes’ Krkonoe range. Snkaat 1,602 m (5,256 ft), the highest peak in the nation, is situated here. Moravia, in the country’s east, is likewise very mountainous. It is mostly drained by the Morava River, although it also includes the Oder River’s headwaters (Czech: Odra).

The Czech Republic’s water flows to three distinct seas: the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Black Sea. The Czech Republic also rents the Moldauhafen, a 30,000-square-metre (7.4-acre) property in the heart of the Hamburg Docks that was given to Czechoslovakia under Article 363 of the Treaty of Versailles to provide a location for commodities carried down river to be transferred to seagoing ships. In 2028, the region reverts to Germany.

The Czech Republic is a phytogeographic province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom, located in Central Europe. The Czech Republic’s land is split into four ecoregions, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature: Western European broadleaf forests, Central European mixed forests, Pannonian mixed forests, and Carpathian montane conifer forests.

The Czech Republic has four national parks. Krkonoe National Park (Biosphere Reserve), umava National Park (Biosphere Reserve), Podyj National Park, Bohemian Switzerland are the oldest.

The river basins of the Elbe (Czech: Labe) and the Vltava for Bohemia, the Morava for Moravia, and the Oder for Czech Silesia match nearly perfectly with the three historical territories of the Czech Republic (previously the core counties of the Bohemian Crown) (in terms of the Czech territory).

Climate

The climate of the Czech Republic is temperate continental, with pleasant summers and cold, gloomy, and snowy winters. Because of the landlocked location, the temperature difference between summer and winter is quite large.

Temperatures in the Czech Republic fluctuate significantly depending on height. In general, when one ascends higher in height, temperatures drop and precipitation rises. The wettest region in the Czech Republic is near Bl Potok in the Jizera Mountains, while the driest is the Louny District northwest of Prague. Another significant aspect is the location of the mountains, which results in a wide range of climates.

The average temperature at Snka’s highest point (1,602 m or 5,256 ft) is just 0.4 °C (31 °F), while in the lowlands of the South Moravian Region, the average temperature may reach 10 °C (50 °F). The average temperature of the country’s capital, Prague, is comparable, but this is affected by urban influences.

January is typically the coldest month, followed by February and December. During these months, snow is common in the highlands, as well as in large towns and lowlands. Over the months of March, April, and May, the temperature typically rises quickly, particularly in April, when the temperature and weather tend to fluctuate greatly during the day. Spring is also marked by high river water levels caused by melting snow, with occasional floods.

July is the hottest month of the year, followed by August and June. Summer temperatures are typically 20 °C (68 °F) – 30 °C (86 °F) higher than winter temperatures. Summer is also marked by rain and thunderstorms.

Autumn usually starts in September, while it is still warm and dry. Temperatures often dip below 15 °C (59 °F) or 10 °C (50 °F) in October, and deciduous trees begin to lose their leaves. Temperatures often hover around the freezing mark towards the end of November.

The lowest temperature ever recorded was 42.2 °C (44.0 °F) at Litvnovice near eské Budjovice in 1929, while the hottest was 40.4 °C (104.7 °F) in Dobichovice in 2012.

The majority of the rain occurs throughout the summer. Sporadic rainfall is fairly consistent throughout the year (in Prague, the average number of days per month with at least 0.1 mm of rain ranges from 12 in September and October to 16 in November), although concentrated heavy rainfall (days with more than 10 mm per day) is more common from May to August (average around two such days per month).

Demographics

According to preliminary census data from 2011, the majority of Czechs (63.7 percent ) live in the Czech Republic, followed by Moravians (4.9 percent ), Slovaks (1.4 percent ), Poles (0.4 percent ), Germans (0.2 percent ), and Silesians (0.1 percent ). Because ‘nationality’ was an optional field, a significant percentage of individuals left it blank (26.0 percent ). According to some estimates, the Czech Republic is home to about 250,000 Romani people.

According to the Czech Statistical Office, there were 437,581 foreigners in the country in September 2013, with the largest groups being Ukrainian (106,714), Slovak (89,273), Vietnamese (61,102), Russian (32,828), Polish (19,378), German (18,099), Bulgarian (8,837), American (6,695), Romanian (6,425), Moldovan (5,860), Chinese (5,427), British (5,413), Mongolian (5,30 (4,562).

During the Holocaust, the Nazi Germans nearly exterminated the Jewish population of Bohemia and Moravia, which numbered 118,000 according to the 1930 census. In 2005, there were about 4,000 Jews in the Czech Republic. Jan Fischer, the former Czech prime minister, is of Jewish background and religion.

In 2015, the total fertility rate (TFR) was projected to be 1.44 children born per woman, which is lower than the replacement rate of 2.1 and one of the lowest in the world. In 2015, unmarried women accounted for 47.8 percent of all births. In 2013, the average life expectancy was predicted to be 77.56 years (74.29 years male, 81.01 years female). In 2007, immigration boosted the population by almost 1%. Every year, about 77,000 individuals immigrate to the Czech Republic. Vietnamese immigrants first arrived in the Czech Republic during the Communist era, when the Czechoslovak government welcomed them as guest laborers. There were about 70,000 Vietnamese in the Czech Republic in 2009. The vast majority opt to remain in the nation indefinitely.

Chicago had the third biggest Czech population, behind Prague and Vienna, at the beginning of the twentieth century. According to the 2010 US census, there are 1,533,826 people in the United States who are of full or partial Czech ancestry.

Religion

The Czech Republic has one of the world’s least religious nations, ranking third only behind China and Japan in terms of atheistic population proportion. Historically, the Czechs have been described as “tolerant, if not indifferent to religion.” Following the Bohemian Reformation, the majority of Czechs (85%) became supporters of Jan Hus and other regional Protestant Reformers. After the Habsburgs reclaimed control of Bohemia, the people were forced to adhere to Roman Catholicism. During the Communist period, the Catholic Church lost the majority of its followers, and it continues to lose in the contemporary, continuing secularization.

According to the 2011 census, 34% of the population claimed no religion, 10.3% were Roman Catholic, 0.8 percent were Protestant (0.5 percent Czech Brethren and 0.4 percent Hussite), and 9 percent practiced other denominational or nondenominational religions (of which 863 people answered they are Pagan). 45 percent of the population did not respond to the religious question. From 1991 to 2001, and again in 2011, allegiance to Roman Catholicism fell from 39 percent to 27 percent, then to 10 percent; devotion to Protestantism fell from 3.7 percent to 2 percent, then to 0.8 percent.

According to a Eurobarometer Poll conducted in 2010, 16 percent of Czech citizens said they “believe there is a God” (the lowest rate among European Union countries), 44 percent said they “believe there is some sort of spirit or life force,” and 37 percent said they “do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force.”

According to Eurobarometer’s latest surveys on religiosity in the European Union in 2012, nonbelievers/agnostics are the biggest group in the Czech Republic, accounting for 39 percent of Czech people. Christianity accounts for 34% of Czech people. Catholics are the biggest Christian group in the Czech Republic, accounting for 29% of Czech nationals, while Protestants account for 2% and Other Christian account for 3%. Atheists make up 20% of the population, while the undeclared make up 6%.

Economy

The Czech Republic has a sophisticated, high-income economy, with a per capita GDP rate that is 87 percent of the average for the European Union. The Czech Republic, the most stable and affluent of the post-Communist nations, had yearly growth of more than 6% in the three years before the onset of the current global economic crisis. Exports to the European Union, particularly Germany, and foreign investment have driven growth, while local demand is recovering.

The majority of the economy, including banking and telecoms, has been privatized. According to a 2009 poll conducted in collaboration with the Czech Economic Association, the majority of Czech economists favor continuing liberalization in most areas of the economy.

The nation has been a part of the Schengen Area since 1 May 2004, and on 21 December 2007, it eliminated border controls, fully opening its borders with all of its neighbors (Germany, Austria, Poland, and Slovakia). On January 1, 1995, the Czech Republic joined the World Trade Organization. In 2012, almost 80% of Czech exports went to other European Union member countries, while more than 65% of Czech imports came from them.

With a GDP of $342 billion, the Czech Republic would be the world’s 49th biggest economy by 2050.

The Czech National Bank, whose independence is guaranteed by the Constitution, is in charge of monetary policy. The Czech crown is the national currency, and it was freely floating until November 7, 2013, when the central bank temporarily fixed the exchange rate at 27 crowns per euro to combat deflation. The Czech Republic agreed to adopt the euro when it joined the EU, although the timetable has yet to be decided.

The Czech education system is presently ranked 15th in the world, higher than the OECD average, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment, which is administered by the OECD. In the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, the Czech Republic is placed 24th.

koda Auto (automobiles), koda Transportation (tramways, trolleybuses, metro), Tatra (the world’s third oldest vehicle manufacturer), Karosa (buses), Aero Vodochody (airplanes), and Jawa Motors are among the leading Czech transportation businesses (motorcycles). According to http://www.worlddiplomacy.org “Elections in 2013 resulted in the formation of a new administration in the Czech Republic. Although the economy began 2013 fairly poorly, it recovered significantly in the following quarters, and most recently (Q1,2015), the economy had the strongest GDP growth in the whole EU, clocking at 2.8 percent compared to Q4,2014, or 3.9 percent “year after year.”

Czech GDP growth in November 2015 was 4.5 percent, giving the Czech economy the best growth rate in Europe.

The Czech Republic has the lowest unemployment rate in the whole European Union, at 4.1 percent.

How To Travel To Czech Republic

By planeVáclav Havel Airport, situated approximately 10 kilometers west of the center of Prague (Praha in Czech), serves as a hub for Czech Airlines (SA), a SkyTeam member.Brno (with flights to London, Moscow, Rome, Bergamo, Eindhoven, and Prague), Ostrava (with flights to Vienna and Prague), Pardubice, and Karlovy Vary...

How To Travel Around Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is serviced by the multimodal IDOS traveler router, which includes all Czech trains, buses, and municipal transportation, as well as numerous rail and bus lines from other countries.By planeCSA Czech Airlines operates domestic flights from Prague to Brno and Ostrava.By busStudent Agency buses are an inexpensive...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Czech Republic

As a Schengen signatory state, non-EU/EFTA nationals who qualify for a visa exemption may only remain in the Schengen zone (including the Czech Republic) for a maximum of 90 days in a 180-day period.Non-EU/EFTA citizens whose home country/territory had an existing bilateral visa exemption agreement with the Czech Republic...

Destinations in Czech Republic

Cities in Czech RepublicPrague is the Czech Republic's capital and biggest city, having a vast and attractive historic center.Brno — the largest city in Moravia and its former capital, it has several excellent museums, the annual Moto GP Grand Prix, the annual international fireworks festival Ignis Brunensis, the second-largest...

Things To See in Czech Republic

UNESCO sitesPrague is the capital, and it has an amazing historic center (and famous monuments such as the Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle).Olomouc is a lively university town with the second biggest historic center in the Czech Republic after Prague.Český Krumlov - Lovely city with a castle.Holašovice...

Things To Do in Czech Republic

HikingThe Czech Republic has a great and complex trail blazing system, with designated trails almost everywhere. Choose a hiking region, get a hiking map (the finest brand is "Klub eskch turist," 1:50000 military-based maps covering the whole nation, available in most major bookshops), and go.SwimmingMany locations in the Czech...

Food & Drinks in Czech Republic

Food in Czech RepublicThe overwhelming majority of excellent restaurants in big cities take credit cards (EC/MC, VISA), but don't be shocked if a handful do not. When entering the restaurant, look for the appropriate card logos on the door or ask the waiter before ordering. In certain restaurants, Czechs...

Money & Shopping in Czech Republic

CurrencyThe Czech Republic's currency is the koruna (crown), plural koruny or korun. The currency sign K (for Koruna eská) is used both globally and locally, while the currency code CZK is often used both internationally and locally. However, it is more common to see quantities written as "37,-" with...

Internet & Communications in Czech Republic

The GSM standard is used by three major mobile phone carriers, and its coverage is excellent (except in some remote, mostly uninhabited areas). If roaming with your own operator is too costly for you, or if you wish to have a Czech phone number, you may get an anonymous...

Language & Phrasebook in Czech Republic

The primary language is, unsurprisingly, Czech. As there is a large Slovak population, the Slovak language is often heard, and both languages are mutually intelligible up to a degree. Czechs are extremely proud of their language, therefore you won't find many signs in English even in Prague (outside of...

Traditions & Customs in Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a country in Central Europe, along with Slovakia, Austria, Poland, and Hungary. It is often erroneously referred to as a "Eastern European" nation in Western Europe and North America, and most Czechs are extremely sensitive about this—many would even pre-empt the ignorance of certain visitors...

Culture Of Czech Republic

ArtThe Czech Republic is famous throughout the globe for its handcrafted, mouth-blown, and hand-decorated art glass and crystal. Alphonse Mucha (1860–1939) was a well-known Czech painter and decorative artist, best known for his art nouveau posters and his cycle of 20 huge paintings titled the Slav Epic, which depicted...

History Of Czech Republic

PrehistoryArchaeologists have discovered evidence of ancient human dwellings going back to the Paleolithic period in the region. The figure Venus of Doln Vstonice discovered here, along with a few others at adjacent sites, is the world's earliest known ceramic item.Celtic migrations, the Boii, and subsequently in the 1st century,...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Czech Republic

Stay Safe in Czech RepublicTaxi drivers: Caution: Before using a cab or using a reliable business, negotiate the price (e.g. Liftago, Uber). Taxi drivers in Prague are notorious for driving you the longest route possible in order to make more money. The Prague City Council has enacted new rules...

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