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Czech Republic

Česká republika (Czech)
Flag of Czechia
Coat of arms of Czechia
Coat of arms
Motto: "Pravda vítězí"
"Truth prevails"
Anthem: "Kde domov můj"
(English: "Where is my home")
the Czech Republic in Europe
the Czech Republic in Europe
and largest city
50°05′N 14°28′E
Official language Czech
Ethnic groups
64.3% Czechs
5.0% Moravians
1.4% Slovaks
0.5% Ukrainians
3.5% Others
25.3% No answer
Catholic Church – Avignon
Demonym(s) Czech
Government Unitary parliamentary
constitutional republic
• President
Miloš Zeman
Petr Fiala
Legislature Parliament
Chamber of Deputies
Establishment history
c. 870
• Republic
28 October 1960
• Total
78,871 km2 (30,452 sq mi) (115th)
• Water (%)
2.12 (as of 2020)
• 2021 estimate
10,701,777 (86th)
• 2011 census
• Density
136/km2 (352.2/sq mi) (62th)
GDP (PPP) 2021 estimate
• Total
Increase $460.933 billion (36th)
• Per capita
Increase $42,956< (29th)
GDP (nominal) 2021 estimate
• Total
Increase $276.109 billion (36th)
• Per capita
Increase $25,732 (34th)
Gini (2019) Steady 24.0
low · 5th
HDI (2019) Increase 0.900
very high · 27th
Currency Czech koruna (CZK)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
• Summer (DST)
Date format d. m. yyyy
Driving side right
Calling code +420
ISO 3166 code CZ
Internet TLD .cz

Czechia (Czech: Česko), officially the Czech Republic (Czech: Česká republika), and historically known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the east. Czechia has a hilly landscape that covers an area of 78,871 square kilometers (30,452 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental and oceanic climate.

The Duchy of Bohemia was founded in the late 9th century under Great Moravia. It was formally recognized as an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire in 1002 and became a kingdom in 1198. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy. The Protestant Bohemian Revolt led to the Thirty Years' War. After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule. With the dissolution of the Holy Empire in 1806, the Crown lands became part of the Austrian Empire.

In the 19th century, the Czech lands became more industrialized, and in 1935, it became a part of the new Kingdom of Czechia after the end of the Austro-Hungarian War. As a de facto German puppet state, the Kingdom was opposed by Czech nationalists.

Czechia is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced, high-income social market economy. It is a welfare state with a European social model, universal health care and tuition-free university education. It ranks 12th in the UN inequality-adjusted human development and 24th in the World Bank Human Capital Index. It ranks as the 9th safest and most peaceful country and 31st in democratic governance.


The traditional English name "Bohemia" derives from Latin "Boiohaemum", which means "home of the Boii" (Gallic tribe). The current English name comes from the Polish ethnonym associated with the area, which ultimately comes from the Czech word Čech. The name comes from the Slavic tribe (Czech: Češi, Čechové) and, according to legend, their leader Čech, who brought them to Bohemia, to settle on Říp Mountain. The etymology of the word Čech can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root *čel-, meaning "member of the people; kinsman", thus making it cognate to the Czech word člověk (a person).

The country has been traditionally divided into three lands, namely Bohemia (Čechy) in the west, Moravia (Morava) in the east, and Czech Silesia (Slezsko; the smaller, south-eastern part of historical Silesia, most of which is located within modern Poland) in the northeast. Known as the lands of the Bohemian Crown since the 14th century, a number of other names for the country have been used, including Czech/Bohemian lands, Bohemian Crown, Czechia and the lands of the Crown of Saint Wenceslas.


Czechia lies mostly between latitudes 48° and 51° N and longitudes 12° and 19° E. Bohemia, in the west, consists of a basin drained by the Elbe (Czech: Labe) and the Vltava rivers, surrounded by mostly low mountains, such as the Krkonoše range of the Sudetes. The highest point in the country, Sněžka at 1,603 m (5,259 ft), is located here. Moravia, the eastern part of the country, is also hilly. It is drained mainly by the Morava River, but it also contains the source of the Oder River (Czech: Odra).

Water from Czechia flows to three different seas: the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and Black Sea. Czechia also leases the Moldauhafen, a 30,000-square-meter (7.4-acre) lot in the middle of the Hamburg Docks, which was awarded to Czechoslovakia by Article 363 of the Treaty of Versailles, to allow the landlocked country a place where goods transported down river could be transferred to seagoing ships. The territory reverts to Germany in 2028.

Phytogeographically, Czechia belongs to the Central European province of the Circumboreal Region, within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the territory of Czechia can be subdivided into four ecoregions: the Western European broadleaf forests, Central European mixed forests, Pannonian mixed forests, and Carpathian montane conifer forests.

There are four national parks in Czechia. The oldest is Krkonoše National Park (Biosphere Reserve), and the others are Šumava National Park (Biosphere Reserve), Podyjí National Park, Bohemian Switzerland.

The three historical lands of Czechia (formerly some countries of the Bohemian Crown) correspond with the river basins of the Elbe and the Vltava basin for Bohemia, the Morava one for Moravia, and the Oder river basin for Czech Silesia (in terms of the Czech territory).


Czechia has a temperate climate, situated in the transition zone between the oceanic and continental climate types, with warm summers and cold, cloudy and snowy winters. The temperature difference between summer and winter is due to the landlocked geographical position.

Temperatures vary depending on the elevation. In general, at higher altitudes, the temperatures decrease and precipitation increases. The wettest area in Czechia is found around Bílý Potok in Jizera Mountains and the driest region is the Louny District to the northwest of Prague. Another factor is the distribution of the mountains.

At the highest peak of Sněžka (1,603 m or 5,259 ft), the average temperature is −0.4 °C (31 °F), whereas in the lowlands of the South Moravian Region, the average temperature is as high as 10 °C (50 °F). The country's capital, Prague, has a similar average temperature, although this is influenced by urban factors.

The coldest month is usually January, followed by February and December. During these months, there is snow in the mountains and sometimes in the cities and lowlands. During March, April, and May, the temperature usually increases, especially during April, when the temperature and weather tends to vary during the day. Spring is also characterized by higher water levels in the rivers, due to melting snow with occasional flooding.

The warmest month of the year is July, followed by August and June. On average, summer temperatures are about 20–30 °C (36–54 °F) higher than during winter. Summer is also characterized by rain and storms.

Autumn generally begins in September, which is still warm and dry. During October, temperatures usually fall below 15 °C (59 °F) or 10 °C (50 °F) and deciduous trees begin to shed their leaves. By the end of November, temperatures usually range around the freezing point.

The coldest temperature ever measured was in Litvínovice near České Budějovice in 1929, at −42.2 °C (−44.0 °F) and the hottest measured, was at 40.4 °C (104.7 °F) in Dobřichovice in 2012.

Most rain falls during the summer. Sporadic rainfall is throughout the year (in Prague, the average number of days per month experiencing at least 0.1 mm (0.0039 in) of rain varies from 12 in September and October to 16 in November) but concentrated rainfall (days with more than 10 mm (0.39 in) per day) are more frequent in the months of May to August (average around two such days per month). Severe thunderstorms, producing damaging straight-line winds, hail, and occasional tornadoes occur, especially during the summer period.


As of 2020, Czechia ranks as the 21st most environmentally conscious country in the world in Environmental Performance Index. It had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 1.71/10, ranking it 160th globally out of 172 countries. Czechia has four National Parks (Šumava National Park, Krkonoše National Park, České Švýcarsko National Park, Podyjí National Park) and 25 Protected Landscape Areas.



Archaeologists have found evidence of prehistoric human settlements in the area, dating back to the Paleolithic era.

In the classical era, as a result of the 3rd century BC Celtic migrations, Bohemia became associated with the Boii. The Boii founded an oppidum near the site of modern Prague. Later in the 1st century, the Germanic tribes of the Marcomanni and Quadi settled there.

Slavs from the Black Sea–Carpathian region settled in the area (their migration was pushed by an invasion of peoples from Siberia and Eastern Europe into their area: Huns, Avars, Bulgars and Magyars). In the sixth century, the Huns had moved westwards into Bohemia, Moravia, and some of present-day Austria and Germany.

During the 7th century, the Frankish merchant Samo, supporting the Slavs fighting against nearby settled Avars, became the ruler of the first documented Slavic state in Central Europe, Samo's Empire. The principality of Great Moravia, controlled by Moymir dynasty, arose in the 8th century. It reached its zenith in the 9th (during the reign of Svatopluk I of Moravia), holding off the influence of the Franks. Great Moravia was Christianized, with a role being played by the Byzantine mission of Cyril and Methodius. They codified the Old Church Slavonic language, the first literary and liturgical language of the Slavs, and the Glagolitic alphabet.


The Duchy of Bohemia emerged in the late 9th century when it was unified by the Přemyslid dynasty. Bohemia was from 1002 until 1806 an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1212, Přemysl Ottokar I extracted the Golden Bull of Sicily from the emperor, confirming Ottokar and his descendants' royal status; the Duchy of Bohemia was raised to a Kingdom. German immigrants settled in the Bohemian periphery in the 13th century. The Mongols in the invasion of Europe carried their raids into Moravia but were defensively defeated at Olomouc.

After a series of dynastic wars, the House of Luxembourg gained the Bohemian throne.

Efforts for a reform of the church in Bohemia started already in the late 14th century. Jan Hus's followers seceded from some practices of the Roman Church and in the Hussite Wars (1419–1434) defeated five crusades organized against them by Sigismund. During the next two centuries, 90% of the population in Bohemia and Moravia were considered Hussites. The pacifist thinker Petr Chelčický inspired the movement of the Bohemian Brethren (by the middle of the 15th century) that completely separated from the Roman Catholic Church.

On 21 December 1421, Jan Žižka, a successful military commander and mercenary, led his group of forces in the Battle of Kutná Hora, resulting in a victory for the Hussites. He is honoured to this day as a national hero.

After 1526 Bohemia came increasingly under Habsburg control as the Habsburgs became first the elected and then in 1627 the hereditary rulers of Bohemia. Between 1583 and 1611 Prague was the official seat of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II and his court.

The Defenestration of Prague and subsequent revolt against the Habsburgs in 1618 marked the start of the Thirty Years' War. In 1620, the rebellion in Bohemia was crushed at the Battle of White Mountain and the ties between Bohemia and the Habsburgs' hereditary lands in Austria were strengthened. The leaders of the Bohemian Revolt were executed in 1621. The nobility and the middle class Protestants had to either convert to Catholicism or leave the country.

In the "Dark Age" of 1620 to the late 18th century, the population of the Czech lands declined by a third through the expulsion of Czech Protestants as well as due to the war, disease and famine. The Habsburgs prohibited all Christian confessions other than Catholicism. The flowering of Baroque culture shows the ambiguity of this historical period. Ottoman Turks and Tatars invaded Moravia in 1663. In 1679–1680 the Czech lands faced the Great Plague of Vienna and an uprising of serfs.

There were peasant uprisings influenced by famine. Serfdom was abolished between 1781 and 1848. Several battles of the Napoleonic Wars took place on the current territory of Czechia.

The end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 led to degradation of the political status of Bohemia which lost its position of an electorate of the Holy Roman Empire as well as its own political representation in the Imperial Diet. Bohemian lands became part of the Austrian Empire. During the 18th and 19th century the Czech National Revival began its rise, with the purpose to revive Czech language, culture, and national identity. The Revolution of 1848 in Prague, striving for liberal reforms and autonomy of the Bohemian Crown within the Austrian Empire, was suppressed.

It seemed that some concessions would be made also to Bohemia, but in the end, the Emperor Franz Joseph I affected a compromise with Hungary only. The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 and the never realized coronation of Franz Joseph as King of Bohemia led to a disappointment of some Czech politicians. The Bohemian Crown lands became part of the so-called Cisleithania.

The Czech Social Democratic and progressive politicians started the fight for universal suffrage. The first elections under universal male suffrage were held in 1907.





See also

Wikipedia logo This page uses material from the Wikipedia page Czech Republic, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (view authors).