Czech Cities with Hotels
Czech Republic, landlocked republic in central Europe, comprising the historic regions of Bohemia and Moravia, and part of Silesia. The republic borders Poland to the north, Germany to the northwest and west, Austria to the south, and Slovakia to the east. Prague is its capital and largest city.
The Czech-inhabited lands of Bohemia and Moravia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from the early 17th century until 1918, when they were united in a common state with Slovakia and part of Silesia. The new federation, a democratic republic known as Czechoslovakia, was broken up during World War II, but was reestablished at the end of the war in 1945. From 1948 to 1989 the federation was ruled by a Communist regime. In November 1989 the Communist government was ousted and Czechoslovakia again became a democratic state. During the early 1990s, political and economic conflicts developed between the Czechs and Slovaks, and leaders of both groups decided to dissolve the federation. In January 1993 Czechoslovakia was replaced by two independent states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
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Land and Resources
The total area of the Czech Republic is about 78,864 sq km (about 30,450 sq mi). The maximum distance from east to west is about 490 km (about 305 mi), and the maximum distance from north to south is about 280 km (about 175 mi). Mountain ranges bound much of the country.
The Czech Republic contains two main regions-Bohemia, located in the west, and Moravia, located in the east. Part of the region of Silesia occupies the north-central section of the country.
The central part of the Czech Republic is dominated by the elevated plateaus of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and the low plains and rolling hills of the Bohemian Basin. A number of rivers drain these areas, and much of the country's farmland is located there. Rising along the edges of these central regions and extending outward to form much of the country's natural border are a number of mountain ranges. The Bohemia Mountains, a series of mountain ranges that include the Ore Mountains in the north and the Å umava Mountains in the west, are known for their spas and ski resorts. The Å umava comprise part of the Bohemian Forest, a highland region located in the west and southwest that forms the country's border with
Germany. The Sudeten Mountains are located in the north and form part of the border with
Poland. The Sudeten range contains the country's highest point, SnÃ¨"ka (1602 m/5256 ft), in addition to one of the country's largest nature reserves. Extending along the Czech-Slovak border in the southeastern part of the country is a section of the Carpathian Mountains. Also located in the southeast are the Moravian Lowlands, which contain the fertile valley of the Morava River where a variety of crops are grown.
Rivers and Lakes
The main rivers of the Czech Republic are the Elbe (known locally as the Labe), the Vltava, the Ohre, the Morava, the Lu"nice, the Jihlava, and the Svratka. The SÃ¡zava, Odra (Oder), and Opava rivers are also important.
Plant and Animal Life
Most of the forest vegetation in the Czech Republic is evergreen. The main deciduous trees are oaks, beeches, birches, poplars, and willows. Wildlife includes rabbits, pheasants, deer, and boar. Environmental damage has severely reduced the number of wildlife and damaged many of the country's forests.
The Czech Republic has relatively few natural resources and is heavily dependent on imported energy and raw materials. Large deposits of lignite (a type of coal), the country's main domestic source of energy, are found near the cities of Chomutov, Most, Karlovy Vary, Teplice, and CeskÃ© BudÃ¨jovice. Hard coal is found near Ostrava, PlzeÃ±, and Kladno. Sizable uranium deposits and smaller deposits of mercury, antimony, and tin are located in the Ore Mountains. There are also small amounts of lead and zinc ore in central Bohemia and iron ore near Prague. About one-third of the country is forested. The Bohemian Forest is an important source of lumber.
The soils of the Czech Republic vary by topography. The country contains more than 3 million hectares (more than 7.4 million acres) of arable land. About 8 percent of the country's soil is of top quality.
The Czech Republic has a humid, continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. The average temperature range in Prague is -13Â° to 10Â° C (9Â° to 50Â° F) in January and 9Â° to 33Â° C (48Â° to 91Â° F) in July. Temperatures generally decrease with increasing altitude. Prague receives an average of about 410 mm (about 16 in) of precipitation annually. Precipitation is generally heaviest during the summer months.
"Czech Republic," MicrosoftÂ® EncartaÂ® 97 Encyclopedia.
Â© 1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
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January 15, 2010 02:54 PM.