Otázka: The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a land-locked country, meaning, it doesn’t have a border with the sea, but is surrounded by other countries (Poland, Germany, Slovakia and Austria). There are three historical parts of the country: Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the east and the smallest Silesia in the northern part of Moravia. There are differences between these regions in dialects and folk traditions.
SOME BASIC FACTS:
Covering area: 78, 864 km2
Population: 10,3 milion inhabitants
The highest mountain is Sněžka (1602 m) in the Giant Mountains near the Polish border.
The longest river is the Vltava, which springs in the Šumava and flows into the Labe river.
Capital city: Prague
Government: Parliamentary republic
President: Miloš Zeman
National symbols: The Czech Republic’s flag is red, white and blue which are traditionally slavic colors and many of it’s neighbor flags include them. On the left is a blue triangle, which was added to the flag in 1918 to present Slovakia. The top band is white; the bottom band is red, the traditional colors of Bohemia and Moravia. The Czech anthem is the song “Where my home is” by J.K.Tyl. The Czech emblem is a coat of arms devided into quaters. In the first and fourth there is a silver, twotailed rampant lion with a golden crown. In the second and third field there is the Moravian and Silesian engle.
In the 4thcentury BC, Celtic tribes settled here and named the land Bohemia. Then several years later, in the 9thcentury,Czech state was unified by the Přemyslids and prospered. During the Middle Ages, Bohemia had really important role in Europian part of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1355 Czech king Charles IV of the luxemburg dynasty became the Holy Roman Emperor. Charles IV was known as one of the most popular Czech kings. Someone would tell he was very wise and also higly educated because of the numerous languages he was able to speak. He was also a big culture-lover, he let build Charles bridge in 1357, Karlštejn castle and many others and made Prague become the royal seat. One of the most impressive facts about Charles IV is that he elected the very first university in 1348 called Charles university.
In the 15thcentury, Hussite wars started after Jan Hus, czech harbinger, was burnt to death. Then in the 17thcentury started Thirty years war. After all this, the Czech language was slowly driven away and was not spoken by upper classes. This process was finally stopped by the Czech National Revival in the 18th and 19thcenturies, which managed to revive the Czech language, culture and whole national identity.
At the end of WWI, Czechs and Slovaks joined together and formed the independent Czechoslovak Republic in 1918. During WWII, Slovakia broke away and the Czech state was occupied by the Germans. Czech Republic was called The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia then.
Let me mention one important person. It would be Tomas Garrigue Masaryk – a Czech statesman who supported democratic policies and defended Czechoslovak independence during WWII. He was also first Czechoslovakian president.
After the war, Czechoslovakia was restored but soon it fell under the rule of the communist party and the influence of the Soviet Union. Then in 1993 it split into two independent states. In 2004 both, the Czech Republic and Slovakia joined the Europian Union.
Czech cuisine is marked by a strong emphasis on meat dishes. Pork is quite common; beef and chicken are also popular. Fish is rare, with the occasional expection of fresh trout and carp, which is served on Christmas.Unique Czech dishes include roast pork with bread dumplings and stewed cabbage, roast sirloin beef with steamed dumplings and cream-of-vegetable sauce. Czech beer has a long and important history. The first brewery is known to have existed in 1118.
Sports play a part in the life of many Czechs, who are generally, loyal supporters of their favorite teams or individuals. The three leading sports in the Czech Republic are ice hockey, football and sport shooting. Tennis is also very popular sport in the Czech Republic. The many other sports with professional leagues and structures include basketball, voleyball, team handball, track and field athletics and floorball.
Czech literature is the literature written by Czechs, mostly in the Czech language, although other languages like Old Church Slovanic, Latin or German have been also used, especially in the past. A famous antiwar comedy novel The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek is the most translated Czech book in history.
Theatre of Czech has rich tradition with roots in the Middle ages. In the 19th century, the theatre played an important role in the national awakening movenent and later, in the 20th century it became a part of modern European theatre art.
Spots of beauty and interesting place to go:
In the Czech Republic there are many spots of great natural beauty as well as areas totally spoiled by industries.
Castes, ruins chateaux: Hluboká, Weltrusy Spas and minerals springs: Karlovy Vary, Františkovy Lázně, Luhačovice
UNESCO protected: Praha, Český Krumlov, Lednice, Valtice, Mikulov, Kutná Hora, Telč, Kroměříš
Natural places: the Czech paradise, rock town in Prachov rocks, the Děčín wall, Czech Switzerland, the Boubín virgin forest, Koněprusy caves, Macocha abyss Economy:
More than 40 years have were a state monopoly system. It is reconstructed into prosperous free market system with the help of privatization. The country tries to follow the principles of democracy. If only we could reach prosperous ecpnomic standart and at the same time not lose our best cultural and spiritual traditions. The most important part of our economy is engineering. Other important branches are metallurigal, chemical industry and tourism. Textile and glass indistries have a long tradition. The main items of our agriculture are wheat, maize, sugar beet, grapes, hops and fruit. There is also animal production – cattle and pig breeding has a long tradition in South Bohemia ponds.