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Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe comprising the three historical countries Bohemia (west), Moravia (east) and Czech Silesia (northeast) and borders Germany to the west, Poland to the north, Slovakia to the east and Austria to the south. The Czech Republic is member of the NATO and the European Union. Its capital is Prague, it covers an area of 78.864 sq km and counts about 10,5 m inhabitants.

The Czech landscape is built up of several sedimentary basins surrounded and divided by mountains: the Bohemian Forest, also referred to as the “green roof of Europe”, is located at the Austrian-German border in the southwest of the country and comprises large parts of the Šumava National Park. This park is both part of a precious nature reserve and a popular tourism destination. In the northwest, the Ore Mountains form a natural border to the German Saxony; to the southeast the Central Bohemian Uplands stretch along the River Elbe. The Sudetes form the north eastern edge of the Bohemian Basin. The 1602 m Sněžka Mountain located between the Czech Republic and Poland is the highest summit of the Giant Mountains. The Czech Republic has a temperate continental climate with relatively little rainfall. The country, however, is very fertile: Bohemia, a traditional beer brewing country, cultivates hop, Moravia, especially South Moravia, is well known for its white wine.

Situated on the River Vlatava in Central Bohemia, the Capital City of Prague is the tourism centre of the Czech Republic. Prague, also called the “Golden City“, is a city of many sights such as the Prague Castle with the St. Vitus Cathedral, the Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square with Týn Cathedral and City Hall. The Old Town of Prague is famous for its gothic buildings and romantic alleys. In the historic Malá Strana district there are several renaissance and baroque style palaces such as the Lobkowicz Palace. The New Town of Prague was established in the 14th century. There you find the New Town City Hall, many gothic and baroque churches and monasteries and Wenceslas Square. This is Prague’s most popular square and also place of the city’s biggest and most famous museum, the National Museum.

Other historic cities of the Czech Republic are the university town of Brno, the country’s second largest city and capital of Moravia, the university town and diocese of Plzeň, fourth largest city of the Czech Republic situated in the west of Bohemia, known for the Pilsener beer and the Škoda Works, the university town of Budweis (České Budějovice), biggest city in south Bohemia, worldwide known for Budweiser beer and Český Krumlov, city in south Bohemia, city centre is Unesco World Heritage Site.

Tourism, especially in the Giant Mountains, is one of the biggest and most important industries in the Czech Republic. Špindlerův Mlýn is a very well known tourism centre: in winter locals as well as tourists from Poland, Germany and the Netherlands enjoy perfect slopes, the big and clear net of cross-country tracks and ski trails. Summer tourists love the great variety of hiking trails and moutainbiking routes. Other well-known winter sports centres include Harrachov (downhill skiing, cross-country trails, ski jumps and ski flying hill) and the north Bohemian Liberec, host of the 47th Nordic World Ski Championships in 2009.