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The history of the Czech Republic began with the migration of various groups, including Germanic tribes, the Celts and Slavs, the Huns, Avars, Bulgars, and Magyars. The principality of Moravia was established in the 8th century, and the Duchy of Bohemia came about in the 9th century. Bohemia's name was derived from the Boii people, a Celtric group who arrived in the region around the 3rd century BC.
The Bohemian territory became ruled by the Habsburg monarchy around 1526, along with modern-day Austria and Hungary. When the Holy Roman Empire dissolved in 1806, the region of Bohemia was incorporated in to the Austrian Empire, which later became Austria-Hungary. When the Habsburg Empire collapsed after World War I, Czechoslovakia emerged as an independent republic in 1918.
In 1946, Czechoslovakia became a communist ruled state as part of the Eastern Bloc. The 1968 Prague Spring was the start of liberalization of the country, which ended with military invasion under the Warsaw Pact. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution was the end of communist control of Czechoslovakia. Shortly afterward, in 1993, the nation of Czechoslovakia divided into Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, in one of the most peaceful dissolutions ever seen. Since then, Czechoslovakia has developed immensely and has thrived as a democratic nation, and is now a member of the EU, NATO, Council of Europe, and many other political unions.
Czech Republic shares borders with Slovakia, Germany, Austria, and Poland.
- Prague (capital)
- Ceske Budejovice
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is surrounded by hills and mountain ranges, including the Sudetes, which contains Snezka, the highest peak in the country, standing 1,602 meters (5,256 feet) above sea level. Major rivers in the Czech Republic include the Vltava River, Morava River, Oder River, and the Elbe River.
Points of Interest
The rich history and natural beauty of the Czech Republic provide a wide variety of attractions for visitors to experience. Prague is a beautiful and historical city with unique architecture in its medieval city center and a variety of cultural experiences. The historic center is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, with cobblestone streets, the Astronomical Clock, a Gothic Tyn Church, and other churches and remarkable architecture. Alongside the city is Prague Castle, which is set atop a hill overlooking the city. One unique modern site in Prague is the Prague Dancing House, also known as the Fred and Ginger building, which resembles two dancers in motion.
Around the country there are many towns with historic cathedrals, castles, and other attractions worth seeing. The reknowned Pilsner Urquell Beer is made in the town of Pilsen in West Bohemia. Outside of cities, the Karlstejn Castle and its holy cave monastery is a unique site of the Czech Republic, while the Bohemian Paradise region features castles and rock formations. The Czech Republic also has several resort towns, including Marianske Lazne and Karlovy Vary.
The main international airport in the Czech Republic is Vaclav Havel Airport outside of Prague, which offers service primarily around Europe. Smaller airports are located in Brno, Ostrava, Pardubice, and Karlovy Vary. Low-cost European airlines can make travel into the Czech Republic, the cheapest option. Trains are a fairly quick and inexpensive method for travel into the Czech Republic from surrounding nations, as there are direct lines from Slovakia, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Russia, and several other European nations.
Buses are another options from across Europe with inexpensive tickets and decent road conditions. Trains and buses are also good methods of getting between cities in the Czech Republic, although buses are likely to be cheaper than trains. Driving in the Czech Republic requires paying tolls for the highways, though most roads are well maintained with a few exceptions. Prague is fairly walkable, though there is a subway system, boats down the river, and plenty of taxis.
Last Updated : November 12, 2014
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