Basic Facts


The Czech Republic


The flag of Czech Republic(chek, Czech, Česká republika, short form Česko) is a country in Central Europe. The country borders Poland to the northeast, Germany to the west and northwest, Austria to the south and Slovakia to the east. The capital and largest city is Prague (Czech: Praha). The country is composed of the historic regions of Bohemia and Moravia, as well as parts of Silesia. The Czech Republic has been a member of NATO since 1999 and of the European Union since 2004. The Czech Republic is also a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). As an OSCE participating State, the Czech Republic's international commitments are subject to monitoring under the mandate of the U.S. Helsinki Commission. From 1 January 2009 to 1 July 2009, the Czech Republic held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.


Geographical information


Name: The Czech Republic
Capital city: Prague
Location: 12`-19` eastern longitude, 48,5`-51` north latitude
Area: 78 866 km2
Population: 10,5 mil. (2014)
State constitution: Republic (from 1.1.1993)
Land use: Agricultural land (43,40%)
Forest 33,30%
Pasture 11,00%
Others 12,30%
Head of state: Milos Zeman
Currency: 1 Czech crown = 100 Hellers
Language: Czech

The Czech landscape


is exceedingly varied. Bohemia, to the west, consists of a basin drained by the Elbe (Czech: Labe) and the Vltava (or Moldau) rivers, surrounded by mostly low mountains, such as the Krkonoše range of the Sudetes. The highest point in the country, Sněžka at 1,602 m (5,256 ft), is located here. Moravia, the eastern part of the country, is also quite hilly. It is drained mainly by the Morava River, but it also contains the source of the Oder River (Czech: Odra).

Water from the landlocked Czech Republic flows to three different seas: the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea. The Czech Republic also leases the Moldauhafen, a 30,000-square-metre (7.4-acre) lot in the middle of the Hamburg Docks, which was awarded to Czechoslovakia by Article 363 of the Treaty of Versailles, to allow the landlocked country a place where goods transported down river could be transferred to seagoing ships. The territory reverts to Germany in 2028.

Phytogeographically, the Czech Republic belongs to the Central European province of the Circumboreal Region, within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the territory of the Czech Republic can be subdivided into four ecoregions: the Central European mixed forests, Pannonian mixed forests, Western European broadleaf forests and Carpathian montane conifer forests.

There are four national parks in the Czech Republic. The oldest is Krkonoše National Park (Biosphere Reserve), Šumava National Park (Biosphere Reserve), National Park Podyjí, České Švýcarsko National Park.


National Holidays


January 1 - New Year's Day
Easter Monday
May 1 - Labour Day
May 8 - Day of Liberation from Fascism
July 5 - Day of the Slavic Apostles Constantin and Methodius
July 6 - Jan Hus's Day
September 28 - Day of Czech Statesmanship
October 28 - Independence Day
November 17 - Student's Day (Day of the Fighting for Liberty and Democracy)
December 24 - Christmas Eve
December 25 and 26 - Christmas Holidays


Visiting hours


Visiting hours in most of Czech monuments are from 9 or 10 a.m. till 5 or 6 p.m. A number of museums, galleries and castles are closed on Mondays, so check ahead. The National Museum is closed on the first Tuesday of the month. The State Jewish Museum is closed on Friday afternoons and on Saturdays.
Shops in Prague are generally open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 18:00 or later and from 09.00 to noon on Saturday. Banks open from 8 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. Monday to Friday. Food stores a re open from 7am and many of them stay open on Saturdays till the evening. There are also some hypermarkets that are open non-stop. Many tourist shops in the centre are open daily till 8 p.m.


Emergency


158 - Police (Policie)
155 - Ambulance (Zachranna sluzba)
150 - Fire (Hasici)

Other useful numbers:
1180 - Operator and directory inquires (Czech Republic) - but expect to wait as much as 10 min before your call is actually answered
1181 - Operator and directory inquires (international)
133001 - Telegrams 1 'unit' currently costs 3 CZK

The most convenient way is to buy a phonecard. Cards of various denominations (50,100,200 units can be bought at post offices, newsagents, hotels, kiosks, and some other shops.


Religion


The Czech Republic, along with Estonia, has one of the least religious populations in the world. Historically, the Czech people have been characterised as "tolerant and even indifferent towards religion". According to the 2001 census, 59% of the country is agnostic, atheist or non-believer, 26.8% is Roman Catholic and 2.5% is Protestant. According to the census, the fastest growing religions during the intercensal period between 1991 and 2001 was the non religious by 19.1 percent. Christianity showed negative growth, especially the Roman Catholic Church which lost more than 1 million of its members in 10 years. The largest population increase was No-religion which increased by nearly 2 million people.

According to the most recent-5 year old-Eurobarometer Poll in 2005, 19% of Czech citizens responded that "they believe there is a God" (the second lowest rate among European Union countries after Estonia with 16%), whereas 50% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 30% said that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".


RELATED LINKS


Trips to Czech Republic and central Europe