Czech Republic Tourism: Best of Czech Republic

Czech Republic Tourism: TripAdvisor has 1,, reviews of Czech Republic Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Czech Republic resource. Czech Republic. Czech Republic Tourism We check up to sites for the latest and lowest prices. Shop Hotels. See all traveler photos. Popular Destinations in Czech Republic #1.

During this time, thousands of Germans were held in prisons and detention camps or used as forced labour. Bohemia , to the west, consists of a basin drained by the Elbe Czech: The Czech Republic ranks as the 7th safest or most peaceful country. In general, the outstanding feature of the years of federation was stable population growth. National Parks grey and Protected Landscape Areas green.

The Czech Republic is famous for its beer, which is the best in the world, but the local clubs and bars can offer not only an excellent atmosphere and entertainment, but also make great mixed drinks and offer the best whiskey in the world.
Czech Republic Tourism: TripAdvisor has 1,, reviews of Czech Republic Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Czech Republic resource. Czech Republic. Czech Republic Tourism We check up to sites for the latest and lowest prices. Shop Hotels. See all traveler photos. Popular Destinations in Czech Republic #1.
Czech Republic: Czech Republic, country located in central Europe. It comprises the historical provinces of Bohemia and Moravia along with the southern tip of Silesia, collectively often called the Czech Lands. In the country adopted the name “Czechia” as a shortened, informal name for the Czech Republic.
Czech Republic: Czech Republic, country located in central Europe. It comprises the historical provinces of Bohemia and Moravia along with the southern tip of Silesia, collectively often called the Czech Lands. In the country adopted the name “Czechia” as a shortened, informal name for the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic is famous for its beer, which is the best in the world, but the local clubs and bars can offer not only an excellent atmosphere and entertainment, but also make great mixed drinks and offer the best whiskey in the world.

The Czech Republic is famous for its beer, which is the best in the world, but the local clubs and bars can offer not only an excellent atmosphere and entertainment, but also make great mixed drinks and offer the best whiskey in the world.

Education in the Czech Republic is compulsory for 9 years and citizens have access to a tuition-free university education , while the average number of years of education is Healthcare in the Czech Republic is similar in quality to other developed nations.

The Czech universal health care system is based on a compulsory insurance model , with fee-for-service care funded by mandatory employment-related insurance plans. Theodoric of Prague was the most famous Czech painter in the Gothic era. For example, he decorated the castle Karlstejn. In the second half of the 19th century had the main say the so-called "National Theatre generation": At the end of the century came a wave of Art Nouveau. Alfons Mucha became the main representative.

He is today the most famous Czech painter. The 20th century brought avant-garde revolution. In the Czech lands mainly expressionist and cubist: The Czech Republic is known worldwide for its individually made, mouth blown and decorated Bohemian glass. The earliest preserved stone buildings in Bohemia and Moravia date back to the time of the Christianization in the 9th and 10th century.

Since the Middle Ages, the Czech lands have been using the same architectural styles as most of Western and Central Europe. The oldest still standing churches were built in the Romanesque style St. George's Basilica , St. Vitus Cathedral , St. During the Hussite wars , many of them were damaged or destroyed. An outstanding example of the pure Renaissance architecture in Bohemia is the Royal Summer Palace , which was situated in a newly established garden of Prague Castle.

In the 17th century, the Baroque style spread throughout the Crown of Bohemia. Very outstanding are the architectural projects of the Czech nobleman and imperial generalissimo Albrecht von Wallenstein from the s Wallenstein Palace. His architects Andrea Spezza and Giovanni Pieroni reflected the most recent Italian production and were very innovative at the same time. In the first third of the 18th century the Bohemian lands were one of the leading artistic centers of the Baroque style.

In Bohemia there was completed the development of the Radical Baroque style created in Italy by Francesco Borromini and Guarino Guarini in a very original way. In the 18th century Bohemia produced an architectural peculiarity — the Baroque Gothic style , a synthesis of the Gothic and Baroque styles. This was not a simple return to Gothic details, but rather an original Baroque transformation. During the 19th century, the revival architectural styles were very popular in the Bohemian monarchy.

Peter and Paul in Brno. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the new art style appeared in the Czech lands — Art Nouveau. Bohemia contributed an unusual style to the world's architectural heritage when Czech architects attempted to transpose the Cubism of painting and sculpture into architecture House of the Black Madonna.

During the first years of the independent Czechoslovakia after , a specifically Czech architectural style, called Rondo-Cubism , came into existence. Together with the pre-war Czech Cubist architecture it is unparalleled elsewhere in the world.

The first Czechoslovak president T. Between World Wars I and II, Functionalism , with its sober, progressive forms, took over as the main architectural style in the newly established Czechoslovak Republic.

In the city of Brno, one of the most impressive functionalist works has been preserved — Villa Tugendhat , designed by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Hotel International in Prague is a brilliant example of the so-called Socialist realism , the Stalinistic art style of the s.

The Czechoslovak avant-garde artistic movement known as the Brussels style named after the Brussels World's Fair Expo 58 became popular in the time of political liberalization of Czechoslovakia in the s. Brutalism dominated in the 70s and 80s Kotva Department Store. Even today, the Czech Republic is not shying away from the most modern trends of international architecture.

In a strict sense, Czech literature is the literature written in the Czech language. A more liberal definition incorporates all literary works written in the Czech lands regardless of language.

Thus Franz Kafka , who—while bilingual in Czech and German [] [] —wrote his works The Trial , The Castle in German, during the era of Austrian rule, can represent the Czech , German or Austrian literature depending on the point of view. Bible translations played an important role in the development of Czech literature and the standard Czech language. The oldest Czech translation of the Psalms originated in the late 13th century and the first complete Czech translation of the Bible was finished around The first complete printed Czech Bible was published in Prague Bible.

The first complete Czech Bible translation from the original languages was published between and and is known as the Bible of Kralice. The Codex Gigas from the 12th century is the largest extant medieval manuscript in the world.

Czech-language literature can be divided into several periods: The Czech Republic has the densest network of libraries in Europe. Czech literature and culture played a major role on at least two occasions when Czechs lived under oppression and political activity was suppressed. On both of these occasions, in the early 19th century and then again in the s, the Czechs used their cultural and literary effort to strive for political freedom, establishing a confident, politically aware nation.

The musical tradition of the Czech lands arose from first church hymns, whose first evidence is suggested at the break of 10th and 11th century. The first significant pieces of Czech music include two chorales, which in their time performed the function of anthems: In , in the beginning of the Czechoslovak state, the song was discussed as one of the possible choices for the national anthem. The wealth of musical culture in the Czech Republic lies in the long-term high-culture classical music tradition during all historical periods, especially in the Baroque , Classicism , Romantic, modern classical music and in the traditional folk music of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.

Since the early era of artificial music, Czech musicians and composers have often been influenced the folk music of the region and dances e. Czech music can be considered to have been beneficial in both the European and worldwide context, several times co-determined or even determined a newly arriving era in musical art, [] above all of Classical era, as well as by original attitudes in Baroque , Romantic and modern classical music.

The most famous music festival in the country is Prague Spring International Music Festival of classical music, a permanent showcase for outstanding performing artists, symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles of the world. The roots of Czech theatre can be found in the Middle Ages, especially in cultural life of gothic period.

In the 19th century, the theatre played an important role in the national awakening movement and later, in the 20th century it became a part of the modern European theatre art.

Original Czech cultural phenomenon came into being at the end of the s. This project called Laterna magika The Magic Lantern was the brainchild of renowned film and theater director Alfred Radok , resulting in productions that combined theater, dance and film in a poetic manner, considered the first multimedia art project in international context. The tradition of Czech cinematography started in the second half of the s.

However, dramatic movies were more internationally successful. Another Czech cultural phenomenon came into being at the end of the s.

This project called Laterna magika "The Magic Lantern" , resulting in productions that combined theater, dance and film in a poetic manner, considered the first multimedia art project in international context mentioned also in Theatre section above.

The hallmark of the films of this movement were long, often improvised dialogues , black and absurd humor and the occupation of non-actors. Directors are trying to preserve natural atmosphere without refinement and artificial arrangement of scenes. He is a self-labeled surrealist known for his animations and features, which have greatly influenced many artists worldwide. The Czech Lion is the highest Czech award for film achievement.

The Barrandov Studios in Prague are the largest film studios in country and one of the largest in Europe with many many popular film locations in the country. Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the oldest in the world and has become Central and Eastern Europe's leading film event.

Since the Czech Republic is a democratic republic, journalists and media enjoy a great degree of freedom. There are restrictions only against writing in support of Nazism , racism or violating Czech law. The most watched main news program is TV Nova. Newspapers are quite popular in the Czech Republic. The best-selling daily national newspapers are Blesk average 1. The Czech Game of the Year Awards are held annually to recognize accomplishments in video game development.

Czech cuisine is marked by a strong emphasis on meat dishes. Pork is quite common; beef and chicken are also popular. Goose, duck, rabbit and wild game are served. Fish is rare, with the occasional exception of fresh trout and carp , which is served at Christmas. Czech beer has a long and important history. The first brewery is known to have existed in and the Czech Republic has the highest beer consumption per capita in the world.

Apart from these and other major brands, the Czech Republic also has a growing number of small breweries and mini-breweries. Aside from slivovitz , Czech beer and wine, the Czechs also produce two unique liquors , Fernet Stock and Becherovka.

Kofola is a non-alcoholic domestic cola soft drink which competes with Coca-Cola and Pepsi in popularity. There is also a large variety of local sausages, wurst, pâtés, and smoked and cured meats. Sports play a part in the life of many Czechs, who are generally loyal supporters of their favorite teams or individuals.

The two leading sports in the Czech Republic are ice hockey and football. The many other sports with professional leagues and structures include basketball, volleyball, team handball , track and field athletics and floorball.

The country has won 14 gold medals in summer plus 49 as Czechoslovakia and five gold medals plus two as Czechoslovakia in winter Olympic history. Czech hockey school has good reputation. The Czech ice hockey team won the gold medal at the Winter Olympics and has won twelve gold medals at the World Championships including 6 as Czechoslovakia , including three straight from to The Czechoslovakia national football team was a consistent performer on the international scene, with eight appearances in the FIFA World Cup Finals, finishing in second place in and The team also won the European Football Championship in , came in third in and won the Olympic gold in After dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the Czech national football team finished in second and third place at the European Football Championship.

Czech Republic women's national basketball team win EuroBasket Women. Czechoslovakia national basketball team win EuroBasket Sport is a source of strong waves of patriotism, usually rising several days or weeks before an event.

The events considered the most important by Czech fans are: One of the most popular Czech sports is hiking, mainly in the Czech mountains. The word for "tourist" in the Czech language, turista , also means "trekker" or "hiker". For hikers, thanks to the more than year-old tradition, there is a Czech Hiking Markers System of trail blazing , that has been adopted by countries worldwide.

The most significant sports venues are Eden Arena e. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Czechia disambiguation. For other uses, see Czech Republic disambiguation. Greater coat of arms. The question is rhetorical , implying "those places where my homeland lies". Code 42 was shared with Slovakia until Name of the Czech Republic. History of the Czech lands. Maximum Celtic expansion by the s BCE.

Areas that remain Celtic-speaking today. Velvet Revolution and Dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Geography of the Czech Republic. Berounka river valley in western Bohemia. Beskids mountains in eastern Moravia. Protected areas of the Czech Republic. Fauna of the Czech Republic. Map of Protected areas of the Czech Republic: National Parks grey and Protected Landscape Areas green.

European eagle-owl , a protected predator. Fire salamander , a common amphibian in humid forests. Red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris , a protected animal.

Summer cep occurs in deciduous oak forests. Wallenstein Palace , seat of the Senate. Straka Academy , seat of the Government. Thun Palace, seat of the Chamber of Deputies. Foreign relations of the Czech Republic. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Army of the Czech Republic.

Economy of the Czech Republic. Energy in the Czech Republic. Transport in the Czech Republic. Internet in the Czech Republic. Tourism in the Czech Republic. Demographics of the Czech Republic. Religion in the Czech Republic [6] Undeclared. Education in the Czech Republic.

Healthcare in the Czech Republic. Culture of the Czech Republic. Water mill log house from a set of folk buildings in an open-air museum in central Czech Republic. Music of the Czech Lands and Moravian traditional music.

The National Theatre left and the Estates Theatre right. Theatre of the Czech Republic. Cinema of the Czech Republic. Video gaming in the Czech Republic.

A mug of Pilsner Urquell , the first pilsner type of pale lager beer, brewed since Easter bread baked during the celebrations of Easter.

Sport in the Czech Republic. Czech Republic — Official website. Retrieved 14 November Article 25 of the Czech Charter of Fundamental Rights and Basic Freedoms ensures the right of the national and ethnic minorities to education and communication with the authorities in their own language. The Administrative Rule in its paragraph 16 4 Procedural Language ensures that a citizen of the Czech Republic who belongs to a national or an ethnic minority, which traditionally and on a long-term basis lives within the territory of the Czech Republic, has the right to address an administrative agency and proceed before it in the language of the minority.

If the administrative agency has no employee with knowledge of the language, the agency is bound to obtain a translator at the agency's own expense. According to Act No. Archived from the original PDF on 21 February Retrieved 23 April Retrieved 10 September Retrieved on 19 December Retrieved 8 May Archived from the original on 16 April Retrieved 22 November United Nations Development Programme.

Retrieved 23 March Retrieved 13 September Short name, in source language s geographical name The short name in the source language s is used to fix the protocol order and is used in multilingual documents: Czech Republic, Official name in English protocol name: Czech Republic, Country code: The United Nations Terminology Database. Retrieved 2 September Retrieved 22 January Retrieved 14 May Accessed on 3 July Retrieved 31 October Archived from the original on 28 November Ramet , p.

Encyclopedia of the Cold War. Retrieved 19 November Retrieved 24 January Retrieved 11 April Retrieved 10 December The Empire of the Steppes.

Archived from the original on 17 February Retrieved 25 April Archived from the original on 15 August Virtual Museum of Protestantism. Retrieved 25 May Geopolitics of the Central European region: The ascendancy of France, —88 ". Francis Ludwig Carsten The economic organization of early modern Europe ".

The Limits of Loyalty: Archived from the original PDF on 25 May Retrieved 24 May Archived from the original on 14 September Archived from the original PDF on 5 June Retrieved 2 June Aspects of European History — Chapter "Austria-Hungary and the successor states".

Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. Schlaglichter auf das Verhältnis von Tschechen, Slowaken und Deutschen — Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung , pp. Retrieved 20 August Archived from the original on Retrieved 21 November Retrieved 8 August Retrieved 7 November Government of the Czech Republic. United States State Department. Data accurate as of 16 January " PDF.

Archived from the original PDF on 23 January Retrieved 17 January German embassy in the Czech Republic. Archived from the original PDF on 3 September Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. Retrieved 25 March Retrieved 11 August Archived from the original on 24 May Published on 10 March Retrieved 16 June Database updated on 12 April Accessed on 21 April Accessed on 17 April Israel and the US have the highest poverty rates in the developed world.

Published on 19 October The Atlas of Economic Complexity. Access date 3 October Archived from the original on 25 February Retrieved 8 October Retrieved 9 November Retrieved 3 October Retrieved 2 May Archived from the original on 8 March Retrieved 17 March Retrieved 18 May Retrieved 1 November Archived from the original on 24 March Retrieved 24 March Retrieved 3 March Retrieved 8 January Advances in Standards and Methodology in Spectrophotometry.

Retrieved 9 February Archived from the original on 28 March Retrieved 19 December Archived from the original on 17 December Retrieved 12 May Retrieved 29 March Retrieved 10 January Retrieved 27 May Retrieved on 12 August Poles living in Zaolzie identify themselves better with Czechs ". European Foundation of Human Rights. Archived 28 December at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 1 February Archived from the original on 3 June Retrieved 3 June Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 12 May Retrieved 13 July Retrieved 1 January Archived from the original PDF on 9 March Retrieved 5 January Retrieved 27 December Classifying it as either one is disputable.

For more details and dispute about this, see Czechoslovak Hussite Church. Retrieved 9 March Retrieved 17 September Int J Integr Care. Retrieved 8 April Czech Presidency of the European Union. Retrieved 20 July Retrieved 18 August Architektura barokní in Czech Deset století architektury ed. Cinema's Earliest Explorations of Women's Sensuality".

Retrieved 24 August Wilmington Publishing and Information Ltd. Retrieved 26 October Archived from the original on 16 January Rise of the oligarchs". Retrieved 17 July However, German colonization, which soon accounted for one-third of the total population and disadvantaged the majority Czechs, brought the seeds of discontent, resulting in an ugly, insolvable conflict in the 20th century. In the early 15th century Bohemia witnessed the Hussite revolution, a pre- Reformation movement named for Jan Hus , a follower of the English theologian and reformer John Wycliffe.

After the Habsburg victory, the German language replaced Czech for almost two centuries—until the Czechs experienced an extraordinary linguistic and cultural revival that coincided with the revolutions of and the spread of industrialization.

Many among this German population turned into Nazi sympathizers with the ascent to power of Adolf Hitler in Germany, whose design on the German-speaking border region of Czechoslovakia was appeased by England and France in the Munich Agreement of September Emasculated , Czechoslovakia succumbed to direct German invasion six months later. After six years of brutal Nazi occupation with its legacy of the Holocaust and the postwar mass expulsion of some three million Bohemian and Slovak [Carpathian] Germans , Czechoslovakia was reconstituted, this time without Ruthenia Transcarpathian Ukraine , which was annexed by the Soviet Union.

The last modification of the modern Czech nation-state was inaugurated on January 1, , when the union with Slovakia was dissolved. The country is bordered by Poland to the north and northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest. The Bohemian Massif occupies the major portion of the Czech Republic.

It consists of a large, roughly ovoid elevated basin the Bohemian Plateau encircled by mountains divided into six major groups. In the west are the Berounka River highlands. In the northwest, the Ore Mountains Czech: Erzgebirge form the frontier with Germany. The point at which the Elbe Labe River breaches this range is the lowest in the country, with an elevation of feet metres. The so-called Sudeten system of mountains a name never applied in the Czech language in the northeast forms most of the border with Poland west of the city of Ostrava.

Farther to the east is the Oder Odra River lowland, a small fringe along the Polish border. In the east the Outer Carpathian Depressions, known to geographers as the Moravian-Silesian Beskids, include the valleys of the upper Oder and Morava rivers and the headstreams of the Dyje.

The Czech Republic lies in the headwater area of the central European watershed. From that point onward river traffic can travel all the way to Hamburg.

There also are many smaller rivers of little economic importance. Larger rivers such as the Vltava are sources of hydroelectric power. The country is rich in mineral springs, and groundwater reserves are extensively used. The soil profile of the Czech Republic consists of some rich, black chernozems and good-quality brown soils in the drier and lower areas. Podzols are found in the wet districts, and stony mountain soils are typical at high elevations. Alluvial soils occur in the river basins, and heavy clay soils are found in the eastern ridges.

The Czech climate is mixed. Continental influences are marked by large fluctuations in both temperature and precipitation, while moderating oceanic influences diminish from west to east.

In general, temperatures decrease with increasing elevation but are relatively uniform across the lower portions of the country. The growing season is about days in the south but less than half that in the mountains. Maximum precipitation falls during July, while the minimum occurs in February. There are no recognizable climatic zones but rather a succession of small and varied districts; climate thus follows the topography in contributing to the diversity of the natural environment.

Although large areas of the original forest cover have been cleared for cultivation and for timber, woodlands remain a characteristic feature of the Czech landscape. Oak , beech , and spruce dominate the forest zones in ascending order of elevation.

In the highest reaches can be found taiga and tundra vegetation characteristic of more-northerly or more-elevated regions elsewhere in Europe.

The timberline runs at about 4, feet 1, metres above sea level. At these higher elevations, as in the Giant Mountains , the tree cover below the timberline consists of little more than dwarf pine. The Alpine zone supports grasses and low-growing bushes. Large mammals include bears , wolves , lynx , and wildcats Felis sylvestris. Smaller mammals, such as marmots , otters , martens , and minks , also inhabit the forests and wetlands. Game birds, especially pheasants , partridges , wild geese , and ducks , are common.

Rarer species, such as eagles , vultures , ospreys , storks , eagle owls , bustards , and capercaillies , generally are protected. The preservation of the natural heritage is an important goal of the Czech government. Tourists are given controlled access to the reserve areas.

Czechs make up roughly two-thirds of the population. The Moravians consider themselves to be a distinct group within this majority. A small Slovak minority remains from the Czechoslovakian federal period.

An even smaller Polish population exists in northeastern Moravia , and some Germans still live in northwestern Bohemia. Roma Gypsies constitute a still smaller but distinct minority, having resisted assimilation for the most part.

Czech is the official state language and as a literary language dates to the late 13th century. The majority of the population speaks Czech as their first language. Czech and Slovak are mutually intelligible languages belonging to the West Slavic language group, which uses the Latin Roman rather than the Cyrillic alphabet.

During the communist era, no official statistics were kept on religion, though the activities of churches were financed by the government following the nationalization of all church property by Although religious freedom was restored in , in the early 21st century almost nine-tenths of Czechs claimed no religious affiliation.

There are also Eastern Orthodox congregations and various small Protestant sects, of which the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren is one of the most important. A significant number of Czechs are members of the national Czech church, which was founded in and took the name Czechoslovak Hussite Church in Industrialization and urbanization have changed the face of the Czech traditional regions, although Bohemia and, to a lesser extent, Moravia are still recognizable entities, reflecting different national and cultural heritages.

Southern Bohemia and southeastern Moravia preserve local traditions of cuisine, and residents wear folk costumes on special occasions. Traditional wooden architecture is a distinctive feature of some rural areas. Population density in the Czech Republic is high; in general, communities are only a few miles apart.

A notable exception are some frontier areas—the low densities of which reflect the induced emigration of minorities, such as the three million Sudeten Germans who were expelled after World War II. Rural settlements are characteristically compact, but in the mountainous regions, colonized during the 13th and 14th centuries, villages straggling along narrow valleys are common. The collectivization of farmland that took place in the decades following World War II resulted in a pattern of large, regularly shaped fields, replacing the centuries-old division of land into small, irregular, privately owned plots.

Urbanization in the Czech Republic is not particularly high for an industrialized country, with about three-fourths of the population being urban. Even the smallest urban centres, however, usually contain some manufacturing industry. Prague, the national capital, has historically occupied a predominant role.

Brno is the chief industrial and cultural city of Moravia. New towns were founded both before and after World War II. Notable among prewar settlements is the Moravian valley town of Zlín , founded in During the 19th and early 20th centuries, population growth was mitigated by emigration to the urban centres of Austria-Hungary and overseas, especially to the United States.

In general, the outstanding feature of the years of federation was stable population growth. This rather slow rate of growth was attributable in part to changes in lifestyle associated with urbanization and with the increased employment of women outside the home.

Since the mids, however, the population of the Czech Republic has been declining. Moreover, by the early 21st century a decrease in the birth rate and increase in the average life span resulted in a generally older Czech population. With the so-called Velvet Revolution of , Czechoslovakia freed itself of communist control and set out to adapt its command economy to the free market. While the Czech Republic and Slovakia both were successors to the federal state, long-standing inequities in economic development gave the Czechs a decided advantage over the Slovaks.

Rigid economic compartmentalization under Comecon Council on Mutual Economic Assistance made Slovakia, with its mineral resources and hydroelectric potential, a major producer of armaments for the former communist countries of eastern Europe. The economy of the Czech Republic, on the other hand, was relatively diversified and stable, reflecting both a more amenable geography and the historic predominance of Czechs in the federal administration.

The historical imbalance in government assets between the two and the problems it posed for fair apportionment were particularly pronounced in the case of military installations and equipment, of which the Czech Republic held the great majority. Based on its inherent advantages—a well-educated and skilled labour force, proximity to western Europe, and a low level of foreign debt—the Czech Republic experienced fairly low unemployment and respectable economic performance during its first years as a separate entity.

The new government, headed by Pres. Privatization was achieved by means of a voucher system through which Czech citizens purchased shares in state-owned enterprises. In addition, large influxes of visitors fostered the rapid development of the tourism industry and service sector, which provided new employment that helped limit some of the usual hardships of economic restructuring. Within a few years, however, it became obvious that the Czech economy was not as healthy as had been believed.

Poor management and corruption in the banking industry much of which had remained largely state controlled resulted in the failure of eight banks in In addition, many Czechs who had turned over their privatization vouchers to unregulated private investment funds—in exchange for promises of substantial returns—lost their investments when these dubious funds began to go bankrupt.

In the government responded to the economic crisis by instituting a package of austerity measures and introducing a floating exchange rate , which resulted in a significant depreciation of the koruna, the state currency. Despite these economic measures and the establishment of a new securities commission, in the late s the Czech Republic fell into a recession, marked by declines in gross domestic product GDP and wages, a growing foreign-trade deficit, and rising unemployment. For the most part, Czechs enjoy a standard of living higher than other former communist countries in eastern Europe.

However, employment rates and, consequently, standards of living vary by region. For example, Prague, with its thriving international tourist trade, has had a negligible unemployment rate of less than 1 percent at the same time that some rural regions were experiencing rates as much as 20 times higher.

Nationally, by the middle of the first decade of the s, less than one-tenth of the workforce was unemployed. While the euro zone struggled with a devastating debt crisis that had begun in , the Czech Republic continued to post modest growth.

Czech agriculture is among the most advanced in eastern Europe, with better than average yields. The country does not suffer from a shortage of agricultural land, but its land is used far less efficiently than that in western Europe.

With the end of communism , land that had been confiscated after World War II to form large state-controlled farms was gradually restored to its previous owners. Although members of smaller collective farms were entitled to withdraw their land from the collective, small land holders did not necessarily receive their own land back; instead, they often were allotted a plot of comparable worth at another location.

The agricultural market is now wholly liberalized, with about one-fourth of farmland cultivated by individuals, one-third by cooperatives, and about two-fifths by corporations. Wheat , sugar beets , barley , rye , oats , and potatoes are the most important crops.

From , the Czech Republic, originally as part of Czechoslovakia and since in its own right, has been a member of the Visegrád Group and from , the OECD. The Czech Republic joined NATO on 12 March and the European Union on 1 May On 21 December the Czech Republic joined the Schengen Area. The Czech Republic is famous for its beer, which is the best in the world, but the local clubs and bars can offer not only an excellent atmosphere and entertainment, but also make great mixed drinks and offer the best whiskey in the world. Czech Republic: Czech Republic, country located in central Europe. It comprises the historical provinces of Bohemia and Moravia along with the southern tip of Silesia, collectively often called the Czech Lands. In the country adopted the name “Czechia” as a shortened, informal name for the Czech Republic.