Basic information and historical facts about the Czech Republic
Basic Information about the Czech Republic
The capital city of Prague is the largest city in the country, with the total population inside the borders of the Czech Republic amounting to around 10.2 million people. The total area of the country is just below 80,000 square kilometres and the Czech Crown (Ceska Koruna / CZK) is the primary currency used within the country.
While the predominate language spoken in the Czech Republic is in fact Czech, you will also find a fair number of people that speak Slovak because of the long-standing historical bond between the two countries. Most of the population is non-religious in the Czech Republic (59%), although the churches present in the country are breathtakingly beautiful to behold.
While the country is landlocked on all sides, there is one major European river that flows through the northern part of the country. This is the Elbe River (Labe) that originates from Germany and there are half a dozen important Czech cities and sites located along the banks of the Elbe River. There are two points where the Elbe meets the borders of the country (once with the flow from Germany and once with the flow into Poland) and there are major Czech cities and tourist attractions at both of those points.
Brief History of Czech Republic
Although the history of the Czech Republic itself is quite short, since the country has only existed in complete autonomy since 1993, Czech and Slovak history dates back to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy of the 19th and early 20th century or even further to the Great Moravia or Samo’s Empire in the 7th century. But it was only after the First World War with the collapse of Austria-Hungary that both the Czechs and the Slovaks received their freedom from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. At that point however, they choose to band together and form Czechoslovakia, a completely new country at that point in history.
With the coming of the Second World War, Czechoslovakia was occupied by the Germans as part of the policy of appeasement and after the war it fell under the influence of the USSR. This continued both by Communist coercion and by actual force in certain situations until 1989, when the Communist government in Czechoslovakia was deposed in a peaceful revolution. In 1993, the country split into Czech and Slovakian elements and in 1999 the Czech Republic joined NATO. It has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and has arrived on the world scene much to the delight of the millions of tourists that visit the country each year.