St Nicholas Church and the Old Town Square, Prague

The Czech Republic, Czechia - in a Nutshell

Author: Sue
Date: 15th June 2020

What is the History of The Czech Republic?

  • Historically, the Czech Republic (or Czechia) was composed of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the March of Moravia, both part of the Holy Roman Empire (800-1806), then also a constituent of the Habsburg Empire (1526-1918)
  • The defeat of the Austria-Hungary Empire in World War I cleared the way for the foundation of an independent state of Czechoslovakia on October 28, 1918. However, Czechoslovakia’s independence was relatively short lived. At the Munich Conference in 1939 Great Britain, France and Italy (without the presence of Czechoslovakia) agreed to allow Adolf Hitler’s Germany to annex certain parts of the country.
  • After World War II, the restored republic became part of the Soviet sphere of power.
  • President Alexander Dubček’s attempts at liberalisation (The Prague Spring) were brutally suppressed in August 1968.
  • In 1989 the Communist regime finally collapsed, thanks to the Velvet Revolution. On January 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia was peacefully divided into two independent states: Czech and Slovak Republics The Velvet Divorce). Václav Havel was elected the first president of the Czech Republic. In the following years, the Czech Republic joined the OECD (1994), the NATO (1999)

Facts and Factoids

  • The Czech Republic's official formal and short names at the United Nations are Česká republika and Česko in Czech, and the Czech Republic and Czechia in English. All these names derive from the name of the Czechs, the West Slavic ethnic group native to the Czech lands.
  • It's frequently referred to as Bohemia, though as you can see from above, that's like calling The Netherlands, Holland. You'll also have heard of a bohemian lifestyle.
  • The Czech people are the world's heaviest consumers of beer.
  • The currency used in Czech Republic is the Czech Crown (Koruna).

Is the Czech Republic in the EU?

  • The Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004. It is part of the Schengen Zone.

Is the Czech Republic a Poor Country?

  • Poverty rates in the Czech Republic are the second lowest in the European Union, with 3.4 percent of working people in the country threatened by poverty compared to the EU average where the rate is around one in ten.

What is There to See and Do in Czechia?

The landscape of the country is dominated by hills and medium-high mountains: the Ore Mountains in the northwest, the Giant Mountains and the Eagle Mountains in the North, to Beskids in the East, the Carpathians in the Southeast, the Umava Mountains in the South and Southwest and the Bohemian Forest in the West.

Prague, the capital, is a great city for a weekend break - or longer.

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