The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe.It is frequently referred to as being in the heart of Europe.The Czech Republic borders on Germany (in the West), Poland (in the North), Slovakia (in the East, forming part of Czechoslovakia until the end of 1992) and Austria (in the South).


The Czech Republic, with an area approaching 79,000 km², is a medium-sized European country. It is roughly the same size as Austria and Ireland.It takes up just over two per cent of the total area of the European Union. The Czech Republic comprises three historical territories – Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia. Administratively, the Czech Republic has fourteen regions (kraj), one of which is the City of Prague. The Czech Republic’s largest cities by area are Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Plzeň and Olomouc.

Mountain ranges and bodies of water 

The Czech Republic is hemmed in by mountains on almost all sides. The largest chain of mountains in the Czech Republic is Krkonoše (the Giant Mountains), the ridge of which forms the natural border with neighbouring Poland. The highest Czech mountain, Sněžka, which rises to an elevation of 1,602 metres, can also be found here. In view of its natural assets, Krkonoše has been named one of four national parks.

The Czech Republic lacks access to the sea. However, the territory is a watershed area for the river basins of the North, Baltic and Black Seas. The main river axes in Bohemia are the Labe [Elbe] (370 km) and the Vltava (433 km), in Moravia the Morava (246 km) and the Dyje (306 km) and in Silesia the Odra [Oder] (135 km) and the Opava (131 km). From the perspective of water management, reservoirs play a crucial role. The most important reservoirs today are formed by dams primarily built in closed river valleys. There are around 150 in the Czech Republic, and the best known are Lipno, Orlík and Vranov. The Vltava Cascade, the largest system of dams in the Czech Republic, was built in the second half of the 20th century. There are approximately 21,000 artificial lakes forming an essential part of the Czech landscape. The tradition of constructing artificial reservoirs in the Czech Lands dates back to the Middle Ages. The pond system in the Třeboň Basin, most of which was built in the 16th century on the estate of the powerful Rožmberk family, is a magnificent piece of work. In the Czech Republic, there are large numbers of mineral springs (acidulous waters containing carbon dioxide, thermal and radioactive springs) which are used for therapeutic purposes. In particular the West Bohemian spas – Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), Mariánské Lázně (Marienbad) and Františkovy Lázně (Franzensbad) – have been welcoming guests from across Europe and other continents for centuries.


The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in the temperate latitudes of the northern hemisphere.Therefore, the Czech climate is mild.However, the climate varies significantly from place to place depending on the elevation.

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Last update: 16.8.2011 16:02

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