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Czech Republic

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Czech Republic

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Population: 10,513,209 (est.)

Language(s): Czech

Capital: Prague

Interesting Facts:

  • The Czech koruna is the official currency of the Czech Republic.
  • The Czech Republic has one of the least religious populations in the world (along with Estonia, the Nordic countries, France, and The Netherlands). Historically, the Czech people have been characterised as “tolerant and even indifferent towards religion”.
  • According to the 2011 census, 34.2% of the population stated they had no religion, 10.3% was Roman Catholic, 0.8% was Protestant, and 9.4% followed other forms of religion both denominational or not, 45.2% of the population did not answer the question about religion.
  • The Czech Republic has a pluralist multi-party parliamentary democracy, and the Prime Minister is the head of the government.
  • Over 92% of the population is Czech, while the remaining population is divided amongst Slovaks, Germans, Poles, Ukrainians, Vietnamese, Hungarians, Russians, Romani, Bulgarians, and Greeks.
  • Czech Republic became a member of NATO in 1999 and of the European Union in 2004.
  • Czech people are the world’s heaviest consumers of beer.
  • Czech Republic is world renowned for its spa cities, especially those along the border with Saxony in Germany. Famous cities include Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad), Františkovy Láznì (Franzensbad), and Teplice (Teplitz).
  • Czech Republic is the second richest country in the Eastern Europe, after the minuscule Slovenia.
  • The Czech Republic is castle capital of the world. The country has more than 2000 castles. Prague castle is also the largest castle in the world by area at over 7 hectares (18 acres).
  • The country has the highest human development in Central and Eastern Europe, ranking as a “Very High Human Development” nation.

The Czech Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the north. Its capital and largest city, with 1.3 million inhabitants, is Prague. The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and Moravia and a small part of Silesia.

The Czech state, formerly known as Bohemia, was formed in the late 9th century as a small duchy around Prague, at that time under the dominance of the powerful Great Moravian Empire. After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power was transferred from Moravia to Bohemia, under the P?emyslids. Since 1002 it was formally recognized as part of Holy Roman Empire. In 1212 the duchy was raised to a kingdom and during the rule of P?emyslid dukes/kings and their successors, the Luxembourgs, the country reached its greatest territorial extent (13th–14th century). During the Hussite wars the kingdom faced economic embargoes and crusades from all over Europe. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the Kingdom of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg monarchy as one of its three principal parts, alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary. The Bohemian Revolt (1618–20) lost in the Battle of White Mountain, led to the further centralization of the monarchy including forced recatholization and Germanization. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian kingdom became part of the Austrian Empire. In the 19th century the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia which was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. After 1933, Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in central and eastern Europe.

After the Munich Agreement, Polish annexation of Zaolzie and German occupation of Czechoslovakia and the consequent disillusion with the Western response and gratitude for the liberation of the major portion of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the majority in the 1946 elections. In the 1948 coup d’état, Czechoslovakia became a communist-ruled state. In 1968, the increasing dissatisfaction culminated in attempts to reform the communist regime. The events, known as the Prague Spring of 1968, ended with an invasion by the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries (with the exception of Romania); the troops remained in the country until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into its constituent states, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

The Czech Republic is the first former member of the Comecon to achieve the status of a developed country according to the World Bank. In addition, the country has the highest human development in Central and Eastern Europe, ranking as a “Very High Human Development” nation. It is also ranked as the third most peaceful country in Europe and most democratic and healthy (by infant mortality) country in the region. It is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary representative democracy, a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group.

Source: Wikipedia

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