Otázka: The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a state in Central Europe. It has about 10.33 million inhabitants.
The Administrative division consists of 76 districts. The head of the state is president, elected for a five-year period by the Parliament of the Czech Republic by an assembly of both parliament chambers. Executive power is the Government of the Czech Republic. Assembly is Parliament of the Czech Republic, which comprises two Houses – the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.
Our state has a varied landscape. Bohemia is surrounded by a ring of mountains – the Šumava range, the Czech Forest, the Ore Mountains, the Jizerské Mountains, the Giant Mountains and the Eagle Mountains. The Moravian plain is protected on the West by the bohemian-Moravian highlands and on the North by the wooded mountainous ranges of Jeseníky and Beskydy. Fertile lowlands can be found in the valleys of big rivers – the Vltava, the Elbe (flowing into the North Sea), the Oder (flowing into the Baltic Sea) and the Morava (flowing into the Danube and thence into the Black Sea). The climate is mostly continental, the warmest area being in South Moravia.
One of our most significant raw materials is coal. Black coal and anthracite are to be found mainly in the Ostrava Coal Basin, but also in the area of Kladno and elsewhere. The most significant supplies of brown coal or lignite are in the North Bohemia Coal Basin and in Western Bohemia in the Sokolov Basin. There are also minor deposits of iron ore, uranium, oil and so on. The rich deposits of kaolin and clay are important for the ceramics and glass industry. The Czech Republic is traditionally an industrial country. The greatest percentage is represented by the engineering industry. Besides this there are the chemical industry, food industry, textile industry, metallurgy and other sorts of industry. Also the agriculture is developed enough to feed the population and be able to export its products, too.
From the historical point of view our territory has been inhabited by Slavonic tribes since the 5th century A. D. The first Slavonic state was Samo’s Empire which was founded here in 623. The early mighty feudal Great Moravian Empire was formed in the 9th century. State activities were concentrated in the Czech lands, where in the 9th century power was taken over by the Czech tribe headed by the Přemyslid family. The first historically documented Czech prince Bořivoj I. ruled over the territory of the Czech Lands and over a considerable part of Great Moravia. The Czech Kingdom became also the centre of the Holy Roman Empire mainly during the reign of Charles IV. and his son Wenceslav IV. In 1348 Charles University was founded in Prague. The first part of the 15th century is marked by the Hussite Movement. It is named after Jan Hus (John Huss), professor, dean and later rector of Charles University. The Battle on the White Mountain was in 1620, followed by 300 years of germanization and the liquidation of Czech literature and culture as a whole, and re-catholicization. When World War I. ended in 1918, the Czech nation changed into the newly established Czechoslovak Republic. Though this was destroyed by the German occupation (from 1939 to 1945), it appeared again after World War II., when in 1948 the power was taken over by the communists directed by the Soviet Union. In 1993 two new states appeared – the Czech and the Slovak Republic.
Large state emblem of the Czech Republic – the first and the fourth red part shows a silver, two-tailed rampant lion with a golden crown and golden harness. The other two parts consist of a silver-and-red-checkered eagle. Small state emblem – a silver, two-tailed lion rampant with golden crown and golden harness. State official colours of the Czech Republic – white, red and blue in the order. State anthem – the first verse of a song composed by František Škroup for J. K. Tyl’s libretto „Kde domov můj“ (Where My Home Is). The Czech Republic is a member, for example, of European Union (associate membership February 1, 1995), European Council (June 30, 1993) or North Atlantic Co-operation Council (January 1, 1993).