|Form of government||Parliamentary republic|
|Time zone||UTC +1 (CET)|
|Telephone area code||00420 (Source: ALLCITYCODES)|
The Czech Republic (also: Czech Republic) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered to the west and northwest of Germany,to the north and northeast of Poland,in the southeast on the Slovakia and on the south by Austria. With a state area of 78 864 km², the republic is slightly larger than the German state of Bavaria.
In the Czech Republic, there are two historical regions, Bohemia in the west and Moravia in the east.
The central part of the country is the Bohemian Basin. It has small low mountain ranges and is surrounded by the Bohemian Forest in the southwest, the Ore Mountains in the northwest and the Sudeten and Giant Mountains in the northeast. The highest mountain in the Giant Mountains is the Schneekoppe with 1.603 m.
Moravia (named after the tributary of the Danube, the March, Czech Morava) in the east is located between the Bohemian-Moravian Heights in the northwest, the Carpathians in the southeast and the eastern Sudetes in the northeast. The March basin forms its core.
The Czech Republic is also known as the “roof of Europe” because all rivers flow out of the country, but none flows in. The Elbe (Czech Labe) rises near the Polish border and flows to Germany, the Oder (Czech Odra) rises in the northeast in the Oder Mountains and flows north to Poland, the Vltava (Czech Vltava) – longest river in the country – rises in the Bohemian Forest and flows near Melnik in the Elbe, the March (Czech Morava) rises at the Schneeberg Glatz and flows into the Danube at Bratislava (Slovakian Bratislava) in Slovakia.
The climate in the Czech Republic is characterized by continental and oceanic influences. It is moderately continental in the east, but mild in the west. The surrounding mountains form a natural protective wall against extreme cold spells from the east.
The average temperatures in Prague are -1.5 °C in January and 20 °C in July. The annual amount of precipitation in the capital of the Republic is 410 mm. At the ridges of the Bohemian outskirts, the annual rainfall increases to over 1,000 mm.
Flora and fauna
About 30% of the country’s territory is covered with forest – preferably beech and spruce, more rarely oak. Even after intensive deforestation in the past centuries, these forests are characteristic of the natural landscape. In the highest plains of the low mountain ranges there is also taiga and tundra vegetation with low bushes and grasses.
The country’s wildlife is diverse, but large mammals such as wolves and bears are in danger of extinction due to intensive land use and pollution. In addition to lynxes and wild cats, wild sheep such as the mouflon are found, especially in the more remote mountain regions of the country. Marmots, martens, minks and otters are among the smaller species of mammals that are found primarily in the forests and marshes. Pheasants, wild geese, capercaillie and wild ducks as well as partridges are native bird species, owls, storks, ospreys and vultures as well as buzzards are less common. A specialty of the bird world is the great bustard, which can grow to over one meter tall.
The Czech Republic has a total population of around 10.3 million. The largest city in the country is the capital Prague with 1.31 million residents. Other major cities are Brno (German Brno, 380,000 residents) in South Moravia, Ostrava (German Ostrava, 310,000) in North Moravia, Plzen (German Pilsen, 165,000) in West Bohemia and Olomouc (German Olomouc, 100,000) in North Moravia on the March.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 90% of the population are Czechs (almost a quarter of whom are Moravians) and around 4% are Slovaks. Small minorities make up the Poles, Germans, Sinti and Roma, Hungarians and Ukrainians.
The majority of the population is non-denominational. The largest religious group in the country with about 43% are Christians, of whom the vast majority are Roman Catholic.
The national language is Czech, a West Slavic language that uses the Latin alphabet.
Population growth in the Czech Republic is only 0.4% due to the low birth rate. The average life expectancy is 76 years. Literacy is almost complete.
According to the 1993 constitution, the Czech Republic is a multi-party parliamentary democracy. The head of state is the President (Miloš Zeman since March 2013), who can be elected for a maximum of two five-year terms. He is the military commander and represents the country in foreign policy. He can influence the legislation through a veto right. The government, which is responsible for the National Council, is headed by a prime minister (since January 2014 Bohuslav Sobotka).
The parliamentary two-chamber system consists of the House of Representatives with 200 members elected for four years and the Senate, whose 81 members are elected for a period of six years. The most important parties are the Social Democratic Party (CSSD), the Democratic Citizens’ Party (ODS), the “Tradition, Responsibility and Properity 09” party (TOP 09) and the Communist Party (KSCM).
The country is divided into 13 regions (Kraje) and the capital district (Hlavni Mesto) for administrative purposes.
After the economic reforms initiated in 1990, the former planned economy was converted into a market economy system. After setbacks in 1998/99, there was an economic recovery from 2000, and the structural reforms bore fruit. The global financial crisis from 2008 was overcome in autumn 2013. The unemployment rate peaked at 8.6% in early 2014.
The Czech Republic is a highly industrialized country. 36% of the gross domestic product (GDP) is achieved in the growing industrial sector, only 2.3% in the shrinking agricultural sector. The most important industrial sectors are heavy industry, mechanical engineering (specializing in heavy and precision machines and vehicle construction) and the chemical industry. However, there are also numerous companies in the field of electrical engineering, the glass and ceramic as well as the food and beverages industry. Agriculture focuses on the areas of wheat, barley and rye cultivation as well as sugar beet, potatoes, flax, vegetables, fruit, wine and hops. In cattle farming, the focus is on cattle, pigs and poultry.
The most important export partners are the other EU countries (including Germany in an exposed position). Finished products, machines, vehicles and chemical products in particular are exported; imported goods are machines, vehicles, finished products and fuels. Imports are also mainly from the EU countries and from China.
The Czech Republic has its own commercial fleet, whose home ports are the free ports of Hamburg and Szczecin. Major airports are Prague, Brno, Ostrava and Karlovy Vary.
The currency is the Czech koruna (= 100 hellers).