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The Czech Republic

 
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The Czech Republic is divided into 14 self-administrating regions. 5 regions are in Moravia and 9 are in Bohemia. They have much to offer - beautiful nature, countless historic and cultural monuments. They offer a wide range of cultural and sports activities. You can also find several universities and important industrial factories in the Czech Republic.

 
 
Bohemia consists in 9 regions – the Prague, Central Bohemia, South Bohemia, Pilsen, Carlsbad, Ústí, Liberec, Hradec Králové and Pardubice Regions. Most of Bohemia is covered by hilly country, with fertile lowlands surrounding the Elbe River in the northern half, with the historically important, but quite small, Mount Říp (456 m) rising above the area.
The country is bordered on all sides by a circle of mountains (clockwise from the south-east): The Nové Hrady Mountains, Šumava, Bohemian Forest, Ore Mountains, Lusatian Mountains, Jizera Mountains and Giant Mountains, with Sněžka (1,602 m) the highest peak in the country, the Eagle Mountains and to the east, the extensive area of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands.

Practically the entire territory of the Czech Republic is part of the Elbe catchment area. However, the longest Czech River is the Vltava, which is 430 kilometres long. The largest lake is Black Lake in Šumava. The largest reservoir is Lipno, which is also located in Šumava.

Prague
Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic. According to the Czech Statistical Institute it had 1,233,211 inhabitants as at 1/1/2009 .
One of the oldest European universities is located in Prague – Charles University M, which was established in 1348. The Czech Polytechnic, which dates from the 18th century, is also an important university.
The metropolis also attracts visitors to its numerous historic monuments. You can find architecture here ranging from 13th-century to modern, all in an area you can walk comfortably within a few days. The entire historic centre of Prague has been a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 1992. Its most important monuments include the Prague Castle , Charles Bridge and the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas.
Many exhibitions also take place here; you can visit theatres, for instance the National Theatre or the Prague State Opera . Naturally, there are also plenty of opportunities for sports activities and there are even golf courses in Prague.

Central Bohemia Region The Central Bohemia Region also boasts a number of historic monuments. Wikipedia states that the town of Kutná Hora , which is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, has the greatest concentration of monuments in this region. The Gothic castle of Karlštejn , which King Charles IV had built, is also worth a visit.
One of the most famous golf courses is located in the municipality of Karlštejn. The region also includes several protected landscape areas. The most valuable of these is the protected landscape area of Křivoklátsko, which is included in the list of biosphere reserves. Other interesting areas include the Protected Landscape Areas of Kokořínsko, Český kraj, Český ráj, Brdy and Džbán.
Central Bohemia is not only a place of nature and history, it is also the location of important industrial subjects, chiefly from the automotive industry – for instance, Škoda Auto Mladá Boleslav and TPCA Kolín.
The Slapy Reservoir is a site that attracts visitors interested in recreation.

South Bohemia
When you mention South Bohemia, the first thing that comes to mind is the ponds. These chiefly attract swimmers and fishermen. Carp is the typical fish here and it is prepared in many dishes in the local restaurants.
The Orlík water reservoir is a site of tourist interest. There are also many historically valuable monuments and comprehensive urban monument reserves in the South Bohemia Region. The centre of Český Krumlov is a UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site. One of the most beautiful châteaux is Hluboká nad Vltavou, which is a popular place for weddings. This region also deserves attention due to its picturesque South Bohemian farming villages with their Rustic Baroque architecture. The most famous of these is Holašovice, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
West Bohemia
The Carlsbad and Pilsen Regions make up East Bohemia. The centre of the Pilsen Region is the town of Pilsen, chiefly famous due to the beer of the same name – Pilsen - known worldwide as Pilsner. The ŠKODA holding factory is also well-known.

The national park of Šumava, which is the largest protected natural territory here, is located in the Pilsen Region. It also extends partially into South Bohemia. Šumava is, naturally, not only a national park. For instance, throughout the year the Lipno Reservoir attracts visitors who are interested in recreation. The best known centre in this locality is Lipno nad Vltavou – in summer you can bathe in the Lipno Reservoir or play golf, in winter you can ski at the X11 Lipno ski complex .

There are also many historic monuments in this region. For instance, the Plasy Monastery, the Kozel Mansion and Manětín are all well known. From the ethnographic aspect the Chodsko Region is of great interest. It surrounds the town of Domažlice. You can enjoy traditional Chodsky Kolave (sweet cakes) here, perhaps during a visit to the Chodsko Celebrations.
When you mention the Carlsbad Region, everyone immediately thinks of the world-famous
spa towns of - Carlsbad –, Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně . Their lesser-known siblings are Lázně Jáchymov X16 , also called the radon spas, Lázně Kynžvart and Konstantinovy Lázně . The best-known local mineral water is Mattoni.

Carlsbad is also famous thanks to the International Film Festival, which has been held here every year for more than four decades. The herbal liqueur Becherovka has contributed to this region’s fame. This region is also famous for its products from the Moser company glassworks and rose porcelain, which are exported worldwide.

North Bohemia
Both the Liberec and Ústí Regions are located in North Bohemia. The centre of the Liberec Region is the town of Liberec , chiefly known thanks to Ještěd, with an architecturally unique building located on its peak. This building serves as a hotel with a lookout restaurant and there is a 92-metre-tall transmission tower above it.

Ještěd is also a well-known skiing centre, which was modernised recently. There are ski-jumps here. Skiing enthusiasts will also enjoy other centres in the Jizera Mountains, for instance, Bedřichov. The Jizera Mountains are chiefly famous for their cross-country skiing opportunities. The Jizera 50 race takes place here every year. After skiing, you can relax in Liberec in the Babylon Centre, which also includes an aquapark.
During the rest of the year, this region also has excellent conditions for cyclists. As well as the Jizera Mountains the Ralsko Area is of interest; it used to be a closed military area.
The Mácha Region is attractive due to its offer of bathing opportunities. It boasts many bodies of water, the most famous of which is Mácha Lake, as well as interesting cliff formations. It is also worth visiting Český Ráj (Czech Paradise) if you are interested in seeing the cliff formations.
There are also many historic monuments in the Liberec Region. We can list Sychrov Château, where many cultural events take place, Hrubý Rohozec, Frýdlant and Bezděz Castle, among others.
The North Bohemian town of Terezín has a truly tragic past. This is the site where Jews were transported from all over Europe during the Second World War and the town was transformed into a concentration camp. In 1947 the Terezín Memorial was established here.
The Ústí Region has been chiefly linked to brown coal mining for many years and to this day it is linked to the chemicals industry. In spite of this, we can still find sites of beauty and interest here. One of the most important of these is the Czech Switzerland National Park, which also contains the Elbe Sandstones with their unique cliff towns, towers and gorges. The Teplice Spa also welcomes visitors.

East Bohemia
East Bohemia includes the Hradec Králové Region and the Pardubice Region. The town of Pardubice is the centre of the Pardubice Region, and is renowned for its Pardubice gingerbread and the Velká Pardubická Steeplechase.

Hradec Králové – the town of Bohemian Queens, Eliška Rejčka (Elisabeth Richenza) and Eliška Pomořanská (Elizabeth of Pomerania). The town boasts many historically valuable monuments, of which we can mention the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit dating from the 14th century, the Renaissance White Tower, the Baroque Bishop’s Palace and the Old Town Hall. Hradec Králové is also a university town.

Chlum is located not far from Hradec Králové. This is a town in which a bloody Prussian-Austrian battle took place on 3 July 1866. Memorial events take place every year on the anniversary of this battle.
East Bohemia also offers the opportunity to visit many beautiful castles and châteaux. The château in Litomyšl is actually a UNSECO World Cultural Heritage Site. This is a Renaissance château, the outer walls and chimneys of which are covered in sgraffito designs. More than 8,000 of them cover the building. A classical music festival titled “Smetana's Litomyšl“ is also held in Litomyšl regularly.

Hrádek u Nechanic is also beautiful and is frequently called “Little Hluboka“. However, the château park has been transformed into a golf course.
The Baroque Karlova Koruna mansion in Chlumec nad Cidlinou, by the world-famous builder J. A. Santini, the château in Častolovice, the château in Nové Hrady and the castles of Litice nad Orlicí and Kunětická Hora, Rychmburk, Lichnice and Svojanov are also worth a visit.
The horses from the National Stud in Kladruby nad Labem are famous worldwide.

The region also offers many areas of natural beauty. The Adrspach-Teplice Rocks and the Broumov Cliffs are a frequent tourist destination. The Eagle Mountains are popular with cyclists and skiers. The best-known centres are Říčky , Deštné, Rokytnice in the Eagle Mountains and Čenkovice. In summer, the Sečska Reservoir provides an opportunity for bathing.

Author: Dana Jakešová

Useful links:
Bohemia – in general http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohemia
Prague http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prague
Central Bohemia Region http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Bohemian_Region
East Bohemia (Hradec Králové + Pardubice Regions)
http://www.east-bohemia.info/
North Bohemia (Liberec + Ústí Regions)
http://www.severnicechy.info/en/
West Bohemia (Pilsen + Hradec Králové Regions)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plze%C5%88_Region
South Bohemia
Wikipedia – South Bohemia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Bohemian_Region

http://www.jiznicechy.org/cz/ (English and German versions on the web pages)
 
Author: Dana Jakešová
 
Added: 25.01.2010
 
 
 

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