Motto : Pravda vítězí
(Czech for "Truth wins")
|State and form of government||parliamentary republic|
|Head of state||
|Head of government||
|population||10.7 million ( 85th ) (2019)|
|Population density||138 inhabitants per km²|
|Population development||+ 0.4% (estimate for 2019)|
gross domestic product
|Human Development Index||0.9 ( 27. ) (2019)|
|currency||Czech crown (CZK)|
|founding||January 1, 1993|
Kde domov můj
("Where is my home")
|National holiday||October 28 (1918: Czechoslovak Declaration of Independence )|
UTC + 1 CET
UTC + 2 CEST (March to October)
|ISO 3166||CZ , CZE, 203|
Czech Republic ( Czech Česko officially Czech Republic , outdated and Czech Republic , Czech Česká republika ) is a landlocked country in Central Europe with around 10.5 million inhabitants. It consists of the historical countries Bohemia ( Čechy ) and Moravia ( Morava ) as well as parts of Silesia ( Slezsko ). The country borders Germany to the west, Poland to the north, Slovakia to the east and Austria to the south . Capital and metropolis of the country is Prague ( Czech Praha ), more cities are Brno ( Brno ), Ostrava ( Ostrava ), Plzen ( Pilsen ), Liberec ( Liberec ) and Olomouc ( Olomouc ).
In the 6th century, Slavs immigrated to Bohemia, which was previously settled by Celts and Teutons . At the beginning of the 9th century, the Moravian Empire emerged as the first Slavic state. The unified Czech state emerged under the Bohemian Přemyslid dynasty, when the margraviate Moravia was subordinated to Bohemia in the 11th century and the Kingdom of Bohemia was formed in 1085 . It had a special position in the Holy Roman Empire and ruled large areas of continental Europe under the Přemyslids and Luxemburgers . In the course of the rise of the Habsburgs and the Thirty Years' War , the area became part of the Habsburg monarchy and remained so until it collapsed after its defeat in the First World War .
In 1918 the democratic Czechoslovakia was founded . In 1939 the Czech part of the country was occupied by National Socialist Germany and declared a protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia . In 1945 the Allies liberated the country from the Nazi regime with the support of the Czechoslovak Army in Exile . After the war, the German minority was expelled . After the Red Army had occupied most of Czechoslovakia, in 1948 the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) took power in the country in the so-called February revolution , which thus became a satellite state of the Soviet Union . The Prague Spring reform movement crushed Warsaw Pact troops in 1968 . After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, democracy was re-established under President Václav Havel . Today's Czech Republic was established on January 1, 1993 with the peaceful partition of Czechoslovakia. It has been a member of NATO since 1999 and of the European Union since 2004 .
The Czech Republic is an industrial nation. Its gross domestic product per inhabitant is the highest of the former Comecon members . In 2019, the country was ranked 26th worldwide in the human development index . Both in terms of political and economic transformation, the Czech Republic occupies top positions.
Map of the Czech Republic with the regional administrative units ( Kraje ) and the highest mountain
The Czech Republic borders Germany (810.3 km) in the west and northwest, Poland (762 km) in the northeast, Slovakia (252 km) in the southeast and Austria (466 km) in the south. The landlocked country is roughly the same distance from the Baltic Sea and the Adriatic Sea. The west-east extension of the Czech Republic is a maximum of 493 kilometers, the north-south extension 278 kilometers. Of the total area of 78,866 square kilometers, 67% fall on flat and hilly land up to 500 m above sea level, 32% are between 500 and 1000 m and about 1% above. The proportion of the water surface is 3%. The lowest point in the Czech Republic is the Elbe near Hřensko (115 m), the highest mountain the Schneekoppe (1603 m).
The Czech Republic is surrounded by mountain ranges on its edges. That is why it is said, for example, in Upper Austria and the Upper Palatinate "I drive the Bohemian into it ." On the south-western border of the Czech Republic lies the Bohemian Forest ( Šumava , 1000 to 1400 meters), in the northwest the Ore Mountains ( Krušné hory , Wedge Mountains 1244 meters) and in the north the Giant Mountains ( Krkonoše ) and the Jeseníky Mountains ( Hrubý Jeseník ). The eastern border with Slovakia is formed by the Beskids and White Carpathians and the March . Only the southern border with Lower Austria runs largely along a river - the strongly meandering Thaya .
The geomorphological classification of the Czech Republic divides the country into two systems based on the mountain formation . The Bohemian mass , which takes up about three quarters of the area, is one of the Central European variscids . The Czech part of the Carpathian Mountains in the southeast belongs to the Alpidic mountain system . The sub-provinces are made up of basin landscapes that are surrounded and divided by mountains. The Bohemian-Moravian Highlands (600 to 800 meters) separate the Bohemian Basin from the South Moravian Lowlands . The Moravian Karst is rich in limestone caves . Moravia has a share of the Subcarpathian Mountains in the east and the Vienna Basin in the south .
- The Elbe ( Labe ) drains a large part of the Czech Republic into the North Sea. Its tributary, the Vltava ( Vltava ), is 433 kilometers long and is the longest river in the Czech Republic.
- In Silesia the Oder ( Odra ) drains with the Opava into the Baltic Sea.
- The March ( Morava ) drains south over the Danube into the Black Sea. Its largest tributary is the Thaya ( Dyje ).
There are relatively few natural lakes in the Czech Republic, the largest being the Černé jezero in the Bohemian Forest. However, pond farming has been practiced since the 12th century . The largest system of fish ponds is located in Třeboňsko in South Bohemia . In the 20th century, numerous artificial lakes were created through the construction of dams , which are used for flood protection, energy generation and recreation. The largest reservoirs can be found along the Vltava Cascade .
The Czech Republic lies in the moderate temperature zone of the world. The annual average temperature in the years after 1951 was around 8.1 ° C and in the last years before 2018 it was around 10.0 ° C. So it has increased significantly during this time (→ global warming ).
The winters are relatively mild (February: 0.5 ° C) and the summers are relatively cool (June: 18.6 ° C). The annual precipitation in Prague was measured at 508 millimeters; a relatively low value due to the location in the lee of the Bohemian Forest , Upper Palatinate Forest and the Ore Mountains.
There are four national parks in the Czech Republic. The largest, the Šumava (Bohemian Forest) National Park , and adjacent protected areas form one of the most biodiverse natural areas in Central Europe. The national parks of the Giant Mountains , Bohemian Switzerland and Thayatal also border on protected areas in neighboring countries. In addition, the regions of Třeboňsko , Křivoklátsko , the White Carpathians and the lower Marchtal are designated as biosphere reserves . The 26 protected landscape areas are large-scale natural landscapes, the 109 national nature reserves are small-scale, strictly protected, unique ecosystems. The Czech Republic lies on the European Green Belt .
There has been a recent return of larger wildlife. Lynx and elk live again in the Bohemian Forest . In the Carpathian region in particular, wandering wolves and brown bears are observed. Wolf packs have settled around Lake Mácha and Broumov since 2014 .
On April 10, 2014, the Czech Republic had 10,517,400 inhabitants. In the 2011 census, the Czechs formed the largest group with 64.3 percent, followed by Moravians with 5.0 percent and the Slovaks with Czech citizenship with 1.4 percent. Czechs and Moravians were not recorded separately until 1991. The indication of Moravian nationality in the census is more likely to be understood as an expression of Moravian patriotism. In 1991, when the first survey was carried out, 13.2 percent of the population stated that they were Moravian. When surveyed in 2001, 0.1 percent of the population stated to be Silesian (in 1991 it was 0.4%).
The tendency is decreasing for almost all ethnic minorities. In the same ten years, the number of (officially counted) Poles - especially those living in the Teschen area - fell from 59,383 (0.6%) to 51,968 (0.5%), the number of Germans (without German citizens with a right of residence, but including Germans with dual citizenship) from 48,556 (0.5%) to 39,106 (0.4%).
The actual proportion of the population of Roma is likely to be much higher than indicated in this census. It is believed that there are around 250,000 to 300,000 Roma in the Czech Republic, which would be around three percent of the total population. Many Roma live in the outskirts of the country and in socially disadvantaged metropolitan areas. For various reasons (weak national awareness, discrimination, identification as Czech), many of their relatives tend to indicate a different ethnic group in censuses.
The number of foreigners has risen steadily since 2000 and more than doubled to 410,000 within nine years by 2008. As of December 31, 2016, 493,441 foreigners were living in the Czech Republic. That corresponds to 4.66 percent of the population, a figure that, despite the sharp increase, is still well below the EU-wide average. Among the foreign citizens, the Ukrainians form the largest groups with 107,418 and the Slovaks with 107,251. This is followed by the Vietnamese living in the Czech Republic with 57,650, the Russians with 33,970, the Germans with 21,216 and the Poles with 20,305 people. The total number of EU foreigners is 208,166. In 2017, 4.1% of the population were migrants.
Source: UN, values for 2030 and 2050 are forecasts
The Czech Republic is often portrayed as a particularly atheistic country in Europe. The three censuses after the turn of the year 1989 show a dramatic decline in membership of the traditional Christian churches, but it is not atheism that has increased, but a special form of individualized religiosity, but also religious apathy. In addition, historical developments and recent surveys show clear regional differences. In terms of formal, institutional religious affiliation, 71% of the Czech population do not belong to any religious community. This is the highest in Europe, ahead of the United Kingdom (50.6%) and France (50.5%). 27.1% declare themselves as Christians. According to the 2011 census, 10.3 percent are Roman Catholic and 0.9 percent are Protestants (including: Czechoslovak Hussite Church , Silesian Evangelical Church AB , Evangelical Church of the Bohemian Brethren and the Union of Czech Baptists ); 3.2 percent belong to other religious groups, including around 15,000 Jehovah's Witnesses , 7,000 Buddhists , 5,000 Czech Jews and around 10,000 Muslims . However, 45.2 percent of the population gave no information about their religious affiliation and a further 6.7 percent answered that they are believers without belonging to a certain denomination. The Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is a specialty , since after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia it has formed a binational religious community to this day. Of the total of 77,053 Orthodox Czechs and Slovaks, 23,053 Czechs admitted to this religious community in 2001.
An important holiday for Christians is July 5th, which commemorates the arrival of the Slav apostles Cyril and Method in Greater Moravia in 862. In addition to the national saint Wenceslas , the saints Ludmilla , Adalbert and Agnes are venerated. The reformer Jan Hus has a high place in the Czech self-image.
The majority of church property expropriated after World War II has been gradually returned since 2013. In return, the subsidization of the churches will be reduced.
According to a representative survey by the Eurobarometer , 19% of people in the Czech Republic believed in God in 2005 , while 50% believed a little more vaguely in a spiritual force . 30% percent of those questioned believed neither in a god nor in any other spiritual force, 1% of the Czechs were undecided.
Around 75 percent of the Czech population live in cities. Life expectancy in 2015 was 78.2 years (men: 75.1 years, women: 81.2 years). The group of 0 to 14-year-olds includes 15.0 percent, the group of 15 to 64-year-olds 66.5 percent and the over 65-year-olds include 18.5 percent. Population growth in 2015 was 0.1 percent and the fertility rate 1.5 births per woman.
The majority of Czechs live in their own property: in 2008 around 40 percent of households in the Czech Republic lived in their own house and 20 percent of households in their own apartment. 23 percent lived in rent, a further 12 percent in cooperative apartments. In 1995 only 2 percent lived in their own apartment, in 2005 it was 18 percent. During the same period, the proportion of households that rented fell from 40 to 25 percent.
March 1, 2001
June 30, 2010
|Praha (Prague)||hl.m.Praha (capital Prague)||1,169,106||1,249,026|
|Brno (Brno)||Jihomoravský (South Moravia)||376.172||371.399|
|Ostrava (Ostrau)||Moravskoslezský (Moravian Silesia)||316.744||306.006|
|Plzeň (Pilsen)||Plzeňský (Pilsen)||165.259||169.935|
|Liberec (Reichenberg)||Liberecký (Reichenberg)||99.102||101,625|
|Olomouc (Olomouc)||Olomoucký (Olomouc)||102.607||100,362|
|Ústí nad Labem (Aussig on the Elbe)||Ústecký (Aussig)||95,436||95,477|
|České Budějovice (Budweis)||Jihočeský (South Bohemia)||97,339||94,865|
|Hradec Králové (Königgrätz)||Královéhradecký (Königgrätz)||97.155||94,493|
|Pardubice (Pardubice)||Pardubický (Pardubice)||90,668||90,778|
|Havířov||Moravskoslezský (Moravian Silesia)||85,855||82,896|
|Zlín (Zlin)||Zlínský (Zlin)||80,854||75.714|
|Kladno (Kladen)||Středočeský (Central Bohemia)||71,132||69,938|
|Most (Brüx)||Ústecký (Aussig)||68.263||67,518|
|Karviná ( Karviná )||Moravskoslezský (Moravian Silesia)||65.141||61,948|
|Frýdek-Místek (Friedeck-Mistek)||Moravskoslezský (Moravian Silesia)||61,400||58,582|
|Opava (Troppau)||Moravskoslezský (Moravian Silesia)||61,382||58,440|
|Děčín (Tetschen)||Ústecký (Aussig)||52.506||52,260|
|Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad)||Karlovarský (Carlsbad)||53,358||51,320|
|Jihlava (Iglau)||Vysočina (highlands)||50,702||51,222|
|Teplice (Teplice)||Ústecký (Aussig)||51,060||51.208|
|Chomutov (Komotau)||Ústecký (Aussig)||51.007||49,795|
|Přerov (Prerau)||Olomoucký (Olomouc)||48,335||46,254|
|Jablonec nad Nisou (Gablonz on the Neisse)||Liberecký (Reichenberg)||45.266||45,328|
|Prostějov (Proßnitz in Moravia)||Olomoucký (Olomouc)||48.159||45,324|
Čechy is the Czech word for Bohemia , it is occasionally used to simplify the whole of the Czech Republic (including Moravia and Silesia). The adjectives Czech and Bohemian have the same names in the Czech language český . According to a legend, the forefather Čech (Czech) is the founder of the Czech people .
Česko is the Czech acronym for the official name Česká republika . The term has been used since 1777, but was rarely used before 1992 - except in specialist circles and as an equivalent to Slovensko (Slovakia) in the political discussions around 1918 and 1968. Although it was included in the official dictionary of the Czech language and in lists of terminology, the term was largely uncommon in public and was considered archaic. Since statehood, this short form became more and more popular, but the Czech Republic failed to officially announce the establishment of a short form. As early as May 11, 2004, the Czech Senate unofficially recommended the use of Česko as a short form in addition to Česká republika (long form) in a special session . It was not until April 2016 that the constitutional bodies officially approved the short name, as the then Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek confirmed. At the same time, you proposed the translation of the term “Česko” into several languages.
In view of the division of Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1993, a German name had to be found for the new state. In consideration of the above arguments, a state commission suggested "Czech Republic" for this, supported by German and Austrian linguists. Accordingly, since 1992 in German reference works only “Czech Republic” can be found as a short form for the Czech Republic, while “Czech Republic” is still rather uncommon today. As early as 1993, in a memorandum to the Czech embassies, the German Foreign Ministry recommended the use of the short form “Czech Republic” in German as legitimate and equivalent. In the current lists of state names for official use, Germany, Austria and Switzerland use “Czech Republic” as a short form. The Foreign Office in Germany has been using the term Czech Republic in the official list of countries since spring 2017 , after the Czech government changed this itself. At the request of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the short name was entered in the UN database in mid-2016.
The term “Czech Republic” has been used since the formation of Czechoslovakia in 1918. A wider use of this designation (in addition to Bohemia ) was noted since the 1930s. At the same time, the older term "Czech Republic" fell out of use. Today, however, the term Czech Republic has a negative sound in some places because of its use in Nazi linguistic usage, especially because of the term “ rest of Czech Republic ”. Older Czechs in particular associate the term with the Nazi era .
In other languages
In English, the only generally accepted name was Czech Republic until 2016 . The Czechia form has been the subject of intense discussion since the 2010s and has gained increasing acceptance. It was then published in the databases in mid-2016 as the official English translation of the short name together with the Arabic (تشيكيا), Chinese (捷克), German (Czech Republic), French (la Tchéquie), Russian (Чехия) and Spanish (la Chequia) short form UNGEGN and registered under the UN. In addition, Czechia is registered in the ISO country code list and in the official EU country list. The web services Openstreetmap , Google Maps , Apple Maps and Bing use the short form.
The Federal Foreign Office uses the Czech Republic in the official list of countries, Czechia in the articles.
Prehistory and early history
There are only indications of the presence of humans during the Early Paleolithic . The oldest tool finds are assigned to the Cromer Warm Age , but their status as an artifact is often controversial. Tools attributed to Homo erectus , as well as caves and camps of the Neanderthal man, are known from the Middle Paleolithic . The Upper Paleolithic is the era of the Cro-Magnon man . The most famous palaeolithic phenomenon in the country is the culture of the mammoth hunters of Gravettia , whose heyday falls in the years 29,000-24,000 BP and which is mainly associated with Moravian sites such as Dolní Věstonice .
From 5300 to 4500 BC A far-reaching Neolithic settlement is documented. At the end of the Late Neolithic, cord ceramics are represented with several large burial fields in Northern Bohemia and the bell-cup culture . In the Bronze Age , the Aunjetitz culture is particularly worthy of mention. Barrow cultures and urn field cultures follow . In the Latène period , the Celtic tribe of the Boier settled parts of what is now the Czech Republic, whose Latin name, Boiohaemum , is the origin of the country's name, Bohemia. At the beginning of the first century AD, the Celts were followed by Germanic tribes, the Marcomanni in Bohemia and the Quadi in Moravia. According to archaeological and historical sources, it is assumed that the area will be depopulated during the migration period . Slavs immigrated around 550 ; their origin is believed to be east of the Dnieper . They ruled from 623 to 658 over a first ruling structure, the so-called empire of Samo . From 768 to 814, Bohemia was probably in the Frankish sphere of rule under Charlemagne .
No later than the first third of the 9th century was created under Prince Mojmir I. the Great Moravia ; he was followed by princes Rastislav in 846 and Svatopluk I in 870. In 864, the Byzantine monks Cyril and Methodius arrived in Moravia. They founded the Slavic liturgy. In 869 Cyril died, which meant the end of the Byzantine mission. From 888/890 to 895, Bohemia was part of the Moravian Empire. In 894 Rastislav's successor Svatopluk died , this marked the beginning of the breakup of the Moravian Empire and the return to the western Latin church and culture. In 895, the Moravian prince Spytihněv in Regensburg accepted East Franconian supremacy over Bohemia. In 907 the empire fell apart.
The Premyslid dynasty
At the end of the 9th century, the first recorded duke from the Přemyslid dynasty , Bořivoj I , was baptized. The Přemyslid Wenceslas was murdered by his brother Boleslav in 929 (935) and thereby became the patron saint of the country. In 973, Bishop Wolfgang von Regensburg gave his permission to found a diocese in Prague . The first bishop was Thietmar , the second bishop St. Adalbert (Vojtěch). In 1003 Boleslaw I of Poland conquered Bohemia (until 1004), in 1031 Moravia was annexed to Bohemia (and raised to margraviate in 1182 ). In 1038 Břetislav I of Bohemia invaded Poland and abducted the remains of Adalbert from Gniezno .
In 1085 the Roman-German Emperor Heinrich IV crowned the Přemyslid Vratislav II as the first Bohemian king. In the 12th / 13th In the 19th century, German settlers immigrated to the Bohemian fringes. In the Sicilian Golden Bull of 1212, Emperor Friedrich II granted the Bohemian ruler Ottokar I Přemysl the hereditary title of king. From then on, the Kingdom of Bohemia was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire , but with extensive autonomy. The Bohemian rulers were among the seven electors . As a member of this college, the Bohemian king often had great political significance within the empire. Under Ottokar II Přemysl , the Přemyslids reached the peak of their power.
From 1300 there was a Bohemian-Polish personal union under Wenceslaus II and Wenceslaus III for a short time . ( Titular King in Poland). 1306 Wenceslas III. murdered in Olomouc , this meant the end of the dynasty.
Rule of the Luxembourgers
In 1310, Johann von Luxemburg , son of Emperor Henry VII , married the Bohemian princess Elisabeth , daughter of Wenceslaus II , and became King of Bohemia until 1346. After his death in the Battle of Crécy , his son Charles IV followed him in 1347 as King of Bohemia after. In 1348 Charles IV founded the Charles University in Prague as the first university north of the Alps. In 1355 Charles IV was crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in Rome . He chose Prague as his residence city. In 1356 Charles IV issued a golden bull , the most important of the "basic laws" of the Holy Roman Empire until the end of the Old Empire in 1806. In the golden bull of Charles IV, among other things, the modalities of the election of the Roman-German kings by the electors and their coronation regulated. In 1378 Charles IV divided his hereditary lands among his sons in his will. The core area of the Kingdom of Bohemia was given to his son Wenceslaus IV , who also became King of Germany. This was followed in 1420 by Sigismund as King of Bohemia.
The Hussite Movement
In 1415 the church reformer Jan Hus was condemned as a heretic during the Council of Constance and burned at the stake. This marked the beginning of the Hussite movement , which determined the political and religious situation in Bohemia between 1415 and 1434 , and led to the Hussite Wars . After several defeats of his armies in Bohemia, the sphere of power of the Bohemian and Hungarian king and Roman emperor Sigismund in his hereditary lands was temporarily only on a few peripheral areas (including South Bohemia under the rule of the Rosenberg family , on both Lusatia , Silesia and parts of the Margraviate of Moravia ) limited. The most important generals of the Hussites were Jan Žižka and, after his death in 1424, Prokop Holý . The center of the Hussite movement was the newly founded city of Tábor . The radical wing of the movement was not decisively defeated until 1434 at the Battle of Lipan . In 1458 the Bohemian estates elected Georg von Poděbrad (Czech: Jiří z Poděbrad) as King of Bohemia and thus the first proto- Protestant king in Europe.
After the death of King George of Poděbrady in 1471, the Bohemian Estates chose the Polish - Lithuanian dynasty of the Jagiellonian as the new ruler of the kingdom. First, Vladislav II was the elected King of Bohemia. The second ruler from this dynasty, Ludwig II, died in the battle of Mohács against the Turks, which ended with a momentous defeat for his army. As a result, the Bohemian and Hungarian crowns were free again.
Rule of the Habsburgs
From 1526 to 1918, the Kingdom of Bohemia with all the countries of the Wenceslas Crown was part of the territory of the Habsburgs . The Bohemian estates accepted the Habsburg Ferdinand I as king in 1526 . In 1547 there was an uprising of the Bohemian estates against Ferdinand I. After his suppression, the first restrictions of the previous special rights of the Kingdom of Bohemia were decreed, but not the de facto religious freedom.
In 1583 Emperor Rudolf II , the grandson of Ferdinand I, moved the entire court from Vienna to Prague . The capital of Bohemia rose again to become an important center of politics, art and science. In 1609, Rudolf II issued the letter of majesty on religious freedom. On May 23, 1611, while Rudolf II was still alive, his brother Matthias took power in the Kingdom of Bohemia. After Rudolf's death, Matthias was also elected Roman Emperor on January 20, 1612. After that, denominational disputes flared up again in Bohemia.
Thirty Years' War
At the height of dissatisfaction with the emperor's policy towards their country, in 1618 several representatives of the predominantly Protestant Bohemian estates penetrated the chancellery of Prague Castle (the Hradschin ) and threw two imperial governors and a clerk out the window. All three people survived the attack with hardly any injuries. This so-called second lintel in Prague initiated the Bohemian uprising against the emperor. This uprising was the prelude to the Thirty Years War (1618–1648), which was to devastate large parts of Europe and especially Germany.
Emperor Matthias died in 1619 . In August the Bohemian estates elected the German Protestant Friedrich von der Pfalz as the new King of Bohemia. When Frederick was crowned in Prague in autumn and took up his residence there, the conflict with the Habsburgs became an imperial matter. In 1620 the battle on White Mountain near Prague ended with a decisive defeat for the Bohemian estates and a victory for the imperial army.
Friedrich von der Pfalz fled the country ("Winter King", since he only ruled one winter). The leaders of the Bohemian Uprising, a total of 27 nobles and Prague citizens of both Czech and German descent, were executed on June 21, 1621 in Prague's Old Town Square , some of them cruelly executed. Many Protestants, including important representatives of the Bohemian nobility and spiritual life such as the Bishop of the Bohemian Brothers Johann Amos Comenius , left the country and chose exile. Their extensive goods were confiscated and given to partisans on the Catholic side and important military leaders of the emperor, e. B. Wallenstein assigned.
The epoch that began after the fateful battle of the White Mountain in Bohemia is referred to in Czech historiography as the epoch of temno , the time of darkness. During the Thirty Years' War , Emperor Ferdinand II (1619–1637) enforced a rigorous policy of repression against non-Catholics in his domain, especially in the Habsburg hereditary lands including the Kingdom of Bohemia. In the Bohemian countries, German was initially raised to the second official language, but soon pushed Czech almost completely out of the offices and also out of high usage. The special status of the Kingdom of Bohemia in the empire under constitutional law was formally only partially restricted, but the country's independence was in fact eliminated for a long time. From this time until 1918, rule over the country was exercised by the imperial court and the imperial government in Vienna .
National rebirth of the Czechs
Between 1780 and 1790, Emperor Joseph II conducted under the motto “Everything for the people; nothing through the people ”through his Josephinian reforms in the sense of enlightened absolutism . One major reform, for example, was the abolition of serfdom in 1781 . Since the Bohemian nobility saw their customary rights endangered as a result, they developed the concept of Bohemian constitutional law in return , which was later adopted by bourgeois politicians.
From the end of the 18th century to around 1885 the Czechs were nationally reborn. As a reaction to Viennese centralism, intellectuals formed in the Czech national movement (rebirth) from the end of the 18th century. They promoted the maintenance, recognition and use of the Czech language (also supported by the German Romantics). This was later followed by the demand for political autonomy. The desire for cultural autonomy led to the establishment of scientific societies such as Matice česká and Matice moravská , as well as the Sokol gymnastics movement .
Immediately after the Slavs Congress in Prague in June 1848, the Whitsun uprising in Prague was suppressed. The industrialization began and the highly developed Czech lands presented the "industrial backbone" is the Danube monarchy.
After Emperor Franz Joseph I to Absolutism with the New Year's patent was sanctioned in 1851, there was the October Diploma of 1860, the February Patent of 1861 and the December Constitution of 1867 several approaches to find Czechs certain freedoms. As before, however, they were and still felt that they were set back towards the Germans and Hungarians. The Kingdom of Bohemia existed until 1918, but not all Habsburgs considered it worth the effort to be crowned King of Bohemia in Prague at all. While Hungary, as a kingdom in personal union with Austria, was granted many national rights, not even Czech-language newspapers were allowed to be published in the countries of the Bohemian Crown (Bohemia, Moravia, Austrian Silesia ).
In order to achieve an Austrian-Czech compromise , the Austrian Prime Minister Badeni issued a nationality ordinance in 1897, according to which all political communities in Bohemia and Moravia were to be administered bilingually. With this, Czech advanced from a minority language to a national language in both crown lands . German MPs then paralyzed the Austrian Reichsrat . In 1899 the nationality ordinance was repealed. The Moravian Compromise of 1905 did not achieve any lasting success either, so that the Bohemian Landtag was finally dissolved by an imperial patent on July 26, 1913.
From 1914 to 1918 fought Czechs in the First World War . A Czech and Slovak opposition , led by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk , formed in exile against the monarchy . On October 28, 1918, leading Czech independence fighters founded Czechoslovakia with Masaryk as the first state president. Slovakia , which was administratively subordinate to Hungary until then , joined the new state under the leadership of Milan Rastislav Štefánik . The accession of Carpathian Ukraine (it fell to the Soviet Union in 1946) took place in 1919 and Teschen was annexed in 1920 .
Between the wars and the Second World War
The First Czechoslovak Republic existed from 1918 to 1938 . For the city council elections of June 15, 1919, the same conditions applied to women and men for the first time.
Before the separation of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, women in Czechoslovakia received universal active and passive suffrage on February 29, 1920. This introduced women's suffrage at the national level. The election to the National Assembly of Czechoslovakia took place on April 18 and 25, 1920.
There was a large German minority that made up the majority in the Sudetenland . At the 1930 census, the population of the whole of today's Czech Republic was 29.5%. The Germans in Czechoslovakia had been represented by the German National Party since 1919 . The German Social Democrats were the strongest German parliamentary group in the Prague House of Representatives from 1920 to 1935 and from 1929 onwards, with their chairman Ludwig Czech , who held various ministerial posts, also became a ruling party. In 1933 Konrad Henlein founded the Sudeten German Party (SdP). With German support, the SdP demanded more and more autonomy and separation of the German-speaking part of the country from Czechoslovakia and intensified the Sudeten crisis with the Karlovy Vary program of April 24, 1938 .
After the " Anschluss of Austria ", Adolf Hitler threatened to invade the Sudetenland. Great Britain and France, as protecting powers, had protective obligations towards Czechoslovakia under the Treaty of Saint Germain . There were also additional alliance treaties between France and the Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Republic. The governments of France and Great Britain were of the opinion that they could prevent an impending war by giving in (" appeasement policy "). Without the participation of the Czechoslovak government, Hitler, Mussolini , Chamberlain and Daladier signed the Munich Agreement on September 29, 1938 , according to which Czechoslovakia had to cede the Sudetenland to Germany. The Czechs call this agreement the “Munich Dictation” or the “Munich Treason”. About a third of the national territory thus fell to the German Empire . On October 1, the Federal Second Republic came into being .
After German troops marched into Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939, the National Socialists established the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia . The Slovak state was a satellite state of the German Empire. On September 27, 1941, the governor, Neurath , who was on permanent leave, was followed by Reinhard Heydrich as the new Reich Protector . On May 27, 1942, Czechoslovak resistance fighters carried out a fatal assassination attempt on Heydrich . In retaliation, the National Socialists murdered all residents of the villages of Lidice and Ležáky . During the German occupation, the Theresienstadt concentration camp and several satellite camps of the Flossenbürg concentration camp were located on Czech soil , including the Leitmeritz ( Litoměřice ) satellite camp .
In 1945, the de facto restoration of Czechoslovakia took place through the Kaschau program of the new government under Prime Minister Zdeněk Fierlinger . US, Soviet and Czechoslovak troops liberated the country. The demarcation line agreed in the Yalta Declaration between the area administered by the USA and the USSR ran along the cities of Budweis , Pilsen and Karlovy Vary .
End of the Second World War and real socialism
The Prague uprising against the German occupation forces began on May 5, 1945, and the World War was over on May 8 . On May 9th, Soviet troops marched into Prague. President Beneš took over government again . In the course of the restoration of the state, the so-called Beneš decrees were issued. In addition to ordinary administrative matters, these laws also regulated the expropriation and expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia , who were viewed as "enemies of the state" after the war.
On May 26, 1946, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) won the elections, became part of the government and, with the support of the USSR, was able to exert tremendous political influence. Klement Gottwald (KSČ) subsequently became Prime Minister.
With the February revolution in 1948, the communists fully seized power, followed by a constitutional amendment and restructuring of the country along the lines of the Soviet model. The first so-called “workers president” was Klement Gottwald. In November 1952, the former party secretary Rudolf Slansky was sentenced to death along with eleven other defendants in the “ Slansky trial ”. The President Antonín Novotný , elected in 1957, stands for the Stalinist repression at the time. At the Kafka Conference in Liblice in 1964 , Franz Kafka , who had previously been largely banned, was rehabilitated. Calls for reforms increased and culminated in direct criticism of the political leadership at the fourth Czech writers' congress in June 1967.
Prague Spring and Military Intervention 1968
Between January 3 and 5, 1968, the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party KSČ deposed President Novotný. Alexander Dubček became chairman of KSČ, General Ludvík Svoboda became president. The censorship was lifted at the beginning of March . The “Prague Spring” began, the further development was mostly spontaneous. On April 5, 1968, an action program of the KSČ was passed under Alexander Dubček. The aim was a "socialism with a human face" (guaranteed freedom of assembly , small business, release of political prisoners).
On August 21, 1968, the military intervention against the Prague Spring began: Soviet and other Warsaw Pact troops occupied Czechoslovakia.
In the course of this occupation, Moscow enacted the Brezhnev doctrine of the "limited sovereignty of the socialist states". As a result, many Czechs emigrated. The subsequent political stage was called " normalization ". On January 1, 1969, when the Constitutional Law on the Czechoslovak Federation came into force, the Czech Socialist Republic was established as one of the two constituent republics of Czechoslovakia. On April 17, 1969, Dubček was replaced and Gustáv Husák was elected General Secretary of KSČ.
The self-immolation of students Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc (January 16 and February 25, 1969) caused a sensation as a protest against the beginning of “normalization”. As a result, the ČSSR was one of the most conservative member states of the Eastern Bloc . On January 1, 1977, the opposition citizens' movement " Charter 77 " was founded.
The Velvet Revolution
On November 17, 1989, the police brutally suppressed a student demonstration, which resulted in large-scale demonstrations of up to 750,000 people. On November 19, 1989, the Citizens' Forum became the main force behind the "Velvet Revolution" in Czechoslovakia. On December 10, 1989, President Gustáv Husák announced his resignation.
On December 28, 1989, the Federal Assembly elected Alexander Dubček as its President. On December 29, 1989, the civil rights activist Václav Havel was elected President of the Czechoslovak Republic by the Federal Assembly. On April 23, 1990 - after the so -called war of dashes - Czechoslovakia was renamed the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (ČSFR).
The first free parliamentary elections in the CSFR took place on June 8, 1990. The newly elected parliament confirmed Václav Havel as president on July 5, 1990. On February 21, 1991 the ČSFR joined the Council of Europe . The EC Association Agreement was signed on December 16, 1991 .
On June 5, 1992 parliamentary elections were held in the ČSFR. The economist Václav Klaus ( ODS ) became Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. He represented an economic policy inspired by Thatcherism ("market economy without adjective"). Through a coupon privatization , 8 million Czechs became shareholders in privatized companies. Klaus and Vladimír Mečiar , the Prime Minister of Slovakia, agreed to split Czechoslovakia into two states against the will of the majority of the population. On July 20, 1992, President Havel resigned from his office. On November 25, 1992, the federal parliament passed the law on the dissolution of the ČSFR.
On December 16, 1992, the new constitution of the Czech Republic was adopted as a “ democratic constitutional state ”. The Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, which had been adopted by the Czechoslovak Federal Assembly after the upheaval in January 1991, was adopted unchanged by the Czech Republic. After independence in 1992, universal suffrage for women and men was confirmed in 1993.
On January 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia was dissolved by mutual agreement and the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic proclaimed independent states. On February 2, 1993 the swearing-in of the newly elected Czech President Václav Havel took place. On June 30, 1993, the Czech Republic joined the Council of Europe . 1994–1995 the country was a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council . The Czech Republic signed the new EU Association Agreement in 1995 and joined the OECD in 1995 and NATO in 1999 . The dispute over the appointment of the artistic director of the Czech television company Česká televize triggered the largest demonstrations in the Czech Republic since 1989. On February 28, 2003, Václav Klaus was elected President.
The Czech Republic joined the European Union on May 1, 2004 (see: EU enlargement 2004 ). With a turnout of 55.21%, 77.33% of voters had previously voted in the referendum on membership . Since December 21, 2007, all border controls with the four neighboring countries have been canceled due to the accession to the Schengen area . The Czech Republic took over the EU Council Presidency in 2009 . Miloš Zeman has been the first directly elected president since March 8, 2013 . From 2014 to 2017 the social democratic ČSSD , ANO 2011 and the KDU-ČSL formed a coalition government under Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka . After the elections in December 2017, no government was formed with a parliamentary majority. Zeman appointed Babiš from the ANO 2011 on June 6, 2018 as Prime Minister with the task of forming a government. After a phase in which the first Babiš cabinet did not have a majority in parliament, Babiš agreed with the ČSSD on a minority government tolerated by the communists. The Babiš II cabinet has been in office since June 2018.
The Czech Republic is a parliamentary republic . The head of state is the president . However , the head of government has extended rights vis-à-vis the head of state. The legislative body is the parliament . The bicameral system consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate .
The President is the head of state who elected parliament until 2013. In 2013 the president was elected directly for the first time. The term of office is 5 years, re-election is possible once. The President appoints or dismisses the Prime Minister and other members of the government. In certain crisis situations he can dissolve the House of Representatives.
In the legislative process, the president has a suspensive veto and can therefore return a draft law to parliament. The President can also waive or mitigate penalties, and also order that criminal proceedings be discontinued or not initiated. Together with the Senate , he appoints the constitutional judges. The President cannot be prosecuted and he bears no ex officio responsibility.
The parliament consists of two chambers. The House of Representatives is elected using a proportional representation procedure. The political parties draw up lists of candidates in individual constituencies (which correspond to the areas of the 14 regions ). There is a 5% threshold . The House of Representatives consists of 200 members. The legislative period is 4 years.
The Senate consists of 81 senators and is elected by majority voting. The legislature of a senator is 6 years. In the case of the Senate, the minimum age of candidates is 40 years. The elections take place every two years, with one third of the 81 constituencies being elected. The candidate who receives more than 50% of the votes in the constituency concerned in the first ballot is elected Senator. If no candidate receives the required number of votes in the first ballot, a second ballot takes place in which the two most successful candidates from the first ballot take part. A relative majority is sufficient in the second ballot .
Every citizen of the Czech Republic who has reached the age of 18 is entitled to vote.
The government is the highest body of the executive branch and consists of the prime minister and the ministers . The Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Republic. According to his proposal, the President then appoints the other members of the government. The government must then submit to a vote of confidence in parliament.
In the hierarchy, the government and its central authorities are followed by the local government units. Higher self-governing territorial units are the 14 regions ( kraj ), elementary self-governing territorial units are the municipalities.
In addition, like Israel and some other Eastern European and Asian countries, the Czech Republic is described as an ethnic democracy in which “the dominance of an ethnic group is institutionalized” .
An official language is not generally defined in the Czech Republic (in contrast to pre-war Czechoslovakia, where the state language was regulated by Act 122/1920 Coll.). Czech as the official language results from individual laws for specific areas.
In the Administrative Procedure Act (500/2004 Sb., § 16/1) and in the Financial Management Act (337/1992 Sb., § 3/1), Slovak is expressly equated with the Czech language. On the basis of Art. 25/2 of the Czech “Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms”, Section 9 of Act 273/2001 Coll. Grants minorities living in the Czech Republic “who have traditionally and long-term living on the territory of the Czech Republic” the right to to use their own language in relation to public authorities, but without naming these minorities. In general, this is understood to mean a right to a translation or an interpreter, partly at state expense (Section 16/4 of the Administrative Procedure Act 500/2004 Sb., Section 3/2 of the Financial Management Act 337/1992 Sb., Section 18 of the Code of Civil Procedure 99/1963 Sb. , § 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code 141/1961 Sb.).
The territory of the Czech Republic includes the three historical countries of Bohemia , Moravia and Silesia . Article 99 of the Czech Constitution divides the Czech Republic into municipalities ( obec ), which are so-called elementary self-governing territorial units, and into regions ( kraj ), which are so-called higher self-governing territorial units. The 14 higher self-governing territorial units were established by the constitutional law on January 1, 2000. The boundaries of the regions are based on the boundaries of the Okresy and the urban area of Prague.
To overview → Category: Law (Czech Republic)
In addition to the state police of the Czech Republic ( Policie České republiky ) there are uniformed municipal police ( obecní policie ) or city police ( městská policie ) and the military police ( Vojenská policie ).
The Czech Armed Forces ( Armáda České republiky , AČR for short ) are a professional army. The main areas are summarized in the Joint Forces ( Společné síly ), which consists of the organizational areas Army ( Pozemní síly ), Air Force ( Vzdušné síly ) and Support Forces ( Podpůrný komplet společných sil ). The highest commander is the President.
The Czech Republic currently has around 21,100 soldiers and around 11,000 reservists. The country currently has 123 main battle tanks. The air force has 44 combat aircraft.
In 2017, the Czech Republic spent almost 1.1 percent of its economic output or 2.2 billion dollars on its armed forces.
|Name of the index||Index value||Worldwide rank||Interpretation aid||year|
|Fragile States Index||35.7 out of 120||155 of 178||Stability of the country: very stable
0 = very sustainable / 120 = very alarming
|Democracy index||7.67 out of 10||31 of 167||Incomplete democracy
0 = authoritarian regime / 10 = complete democracy
|Freedom in the World||91 of 100||---||Freedom status: free
0 = not free / 100 = free
|Freedom of the press ranking||23.38 out of 100||40 of 180||Satisfactory situation for freedom of the press
0 = good situation / 100 = very serious situation
|Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)||54 of 100||49 of 180||0 = very corrupt / 100 = very clean||2020|
Current economic situation
In comparison with the EU GDP, expressed in purchasing power standards, the Czech Republic is approaching the EU-28 average. While GDP per capita fluctuated between 68.4% and 73.4% of the EU average between 1997 and 2003, it has risen steadily since joining the EU in 2004. In 2014, the Czech Republic reached 84% of the EU-28 average. This meant 16th place behind Malta and ahead of Cyprus. What is remarkable, however, are the strong differences between the regions. In the regional breakdown of the year 2005, the capital Prague achieved a value of 160.3% of the EU average, while the statistical region Central Moravia , consisting of the Olomoucký kraj and the Zlínský kraj , only achieved 59.8% of the EU average.
In 2015 the gross domestic product grew by 4.3%. The Czech Ministry of Finance expects an increase of 2.7% for 2016 and 2.6% for 2017. The average inflation rate in 2015 was 0.3%.
The unemployment rate in December 2015 was 4.5%. In February 2019 it was 2.0 percent (1.8 percent for men and 2.2 percent for women), making it the lowest in the European Union. In 2017, youth unemployment was 8.3%. In 2015, 2.8% of all workers worked in agriculture, 38.0% in industry and 59.2% in the service sector. The total number of employees is estimated at 5.4 million for 2017; 44.4% of them are women.
In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, the Czech Republic ranks 31st out of 138 countries (as of 2016). In 2017, the country was ranked 28th out of 180 countries in the index for economic freedom .
When it was introduced at the beginning of 1999, a euro cost 35.11 kroner, in March of the same year it cost 38.58 kroner. Five years later, the euro had dropped to 32.40 kroner. The krona then strengthened further against the euro until at the end of July 2008 it achieved its strongest exchange rate to date at 22.97 kroner for 1 euro . In 2017, the country had currency reserves of $ 148 billion. The country is one of the European countries with the highest reserves.
However, since the abolition of the 50-Heller coin on September 1, 2008, the Heller has no longer been used in cash payments.
Exchange rate: 1 EUR = 25.255 CZK (as of December 17, 2021)
The Bohemian lands were a center of industrialization in the Habsburg monarchy. The mechanical engineering company Škoda , founded in 1859, had around 3,500 employees in 1900; it was the largest arms producer in Austria-Hungary. In 1914 about 10,000 people worked at Škoda, in 1917 there were 32,000. The first post-war products were locomotives. The food, tobacco, automotive and aircraft industries were created. Also in 2017, Škoda was the largest company in the country.
The economy of Czechoslovakia has also traditionally been one of the most developed in Europe. It reached a high level in the period from 1918 to 1939 in particular. After the Communists came to power in 1948, Czechoslovakia was one of the most developed countries in the Eastern Bloc , due to the adoption of the central administration economy as the dominant economic system and due to the forced orientation towards the needs of the Comecon has not been able to develop so strongly since at least the mid-1950s to remain at the top of the world.
After the Velvet Revolution at the end of 1989, the country's economy was privatized and, after a brief initial recession, enjoyed rapid positive development again. The majority of the gross domestic product is generated in the service sector.
Czech foreign trade reached a new record in 2016 with around 276 billion euros. Czech exports represent almost 85% (84.3) of GDP. Bilateral trade with Germany had a volume of around 81.6 billion euros in 2016, a new high. The Czech Republic conducts almost a third of its foreign trade with Germany, making it by far the most important trading partner. The Czech Republic ranks 12th among the German trading partners, ahead of Russia. The country is striving for greater geographical diversification of its exports through growth also in markets outside the EU (e.g. China or India). For its export economy, the Czech Republic is still very much dependent on foreign companies that invest and produce there.
Main supplier countries in 2016 in percent: Germany 30.8%; Poland 9.7%; People's Republic of China 7.5%; Slovakia 6.4%; Netherlands 5.4%; Italy 4.2%; Austria 4.0%; Others 32.0%
Main customer countries in 2016 in percent: Germany 32.4%; Slovakia 8.4%; Poland 5.8%; France 5.2%; United Kingdom 5.2%; Italy 4.3%; Austria 4.2%; Others 34.5%
The Czech economy is heavily geared towards industry (over 37% industrial share of GDP) and especially the automotive industry. A large part of the industry is the production of modern industrial plants and industrial complexes, which are mainly intended for Western Europe and other highly developed countries of the world, as well as the automotive industry (the Škoda Auto plants are among the largest in the country and form the main part of the Czech Exports). Other important areas: metallurgy, machine, food and wood industries, as well as the chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries, glass and ceramics production.
The glass industry has a long tradition in Bohemia. Many of the glassworks can be visited, but the glass industry is only of minor economic importance today.
The share of power plant types in electricity generation (gross) totaling 83,892 gigawatt hours (GWh) was in 2015: coal: 52.3%, nuclear energy 32%, biomass 5.6%, hydropower 3.7%, photovoltaics 2.7% , Gas 2.7%, wind power 0.7%, other 0.4%. Nuclear power plants with a total of 6 reactors are operated at two locations ( Dukovany and Temelín ). In 2015, coal (62.6%) and gas (25.9%) were mainly used to generate heat; the share of oil was low (0.9%).
The Czech Republic produces around 20 percent of its electricity every year. Electricity exports of 28,661 GWh contrasted with imports of 16,146 GWh in 2015. This roughly corresponds to the total production of the Temelín nuclear power plant. According to plans published by the Ministry of Industry in 2014, this ratio will be reversed by 2040; then 5% of the electricity demand would be imported. The reason is falling electricity prices on the exchange due to the expansion of renewable energies in neighboring countries, so that many power plants can no longer be operated economically on a fossil or atomic fuel basis. Electricity production from coal should be gradually reduced, and new construction plans for nuclear power plants should be postponed or discarded. The semi-state energy company ČEZ withdrew the tender for two new nuclear power plants at the Temelín location after the government refused to promise state-guaranteed electricity prices.
Agriculture and Forestry
The Czech basin landscapes are very fertile. Agriculture mainly cultivates wheat, maize, barley, sugar beet, potatoes, beets, rape, vegetables and fruit. Hop production is particularly important, especially in the Saaz Basin, as the basis of the Czech brewing culture. Bohemia is a traditional beer-brewing country, while wine is grown in South Moravia. Cattle, primarily Simmental cattle, pigs and chickens make up the largest part of cattle breeding. The breeding of freshwater fish, especially carp, is also important . 54% of the total area of the Czech Republic is used for agriculture. A third of the area is covered by forests, which also produce wood for export.
Agriculture in the Czech Republic is organized on an exceptionally large scale. A farm operates on an average of 152 hectares, while the EU-wide average is only 14 hectares. The main reason for this is the cooperative system and the forced collectivization in the 1950s. The share of leased land is also above average, even if the share of real estate is rising steadily (2014: 22%). The share of people employed in agriculture is around three percent of the population.
With over 12 million tourists, the Czech Republic was the 29th most visited country in the world in 2016. Tourism revenue for the same year was $ 6.3 billion. The most important tourist destination in the Czech Republic is the capital Prague. There are a total of 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country . In 2018, most of the tourists were from Germany, Slovakia, Poland, China and the USA.
Hard coal and lignite, kaolin , clay, graphite, limestone and quartz sand are mined in the Czech Republic . Coal mining is continuously losing importance; it has fallen by a good half in the last 25 years. Uranium was mined at Dolní Rožínka until 2017 . Most of the oil and gas is imported from Russia.
|Change in gross domestic product (GDP), real|
|in% compared to the previous year|
|Source: Eurostat website|
|Development of the inflation rate
in% compared to the previous year
|Development of the budget balance
in% of GDP
("minus" means deficit in the national budget)
|inflation rate||0.1||2.2||1.9||0.6||Budget balance||0.9||0.3||−0.5|
|Development of foreign trade
(foreign trade in billion euros and its change compared to the previous year in%)
|Billion euros||% vs. Previous year||Billion euros||% vs. Previous year||Billion euros||% vs. Previous year|
The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 74.7 billion , which was offset by income equivalent to US $ 73.7 billion. This results in a budget deficit of 0.5% of GDP . The national debt in 2016 was $ 55.2 billion, or 37.6% of GDP.
Czech government bonds are rated AA- by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s (as of December 2018).
Share of government expenditure (in% of GDP) in the following areas:
- Health: 7.68% (2017)
- Education: 3.8% (2015)
- Military: 1.19% (2019)
The country has good transport links to its neighboring countries. In the Logistics Performance Index , which is compiled by the World Bank and measures the quality of the infrastructure, the Czech Republic took 22nd place out of 160 countries in 2018. It ranks first among all countries in Central / Eastern Europe.
The construction of the Czech motorway network dates back to 1967. While only the Prague – Brno and Brno – Pressburg lines were largely completed by 1990 , the network was steadily expanded in the following years. So far, construction work has concentrated on the D5 Prague - Pilsen - German border / A6 - Nuremberg and D8 Prague - German border / A17 - Dresden motorway . With the exception of a small section, both routes were completed on the D8 in 2006. At the end of 2006, the length of the motorway network was around 630 km. Another 200 km are under construction, including mainly sections of the D1 between Brno and Ostrava . However, numerous objections delay this and other construction work significantly. In the medium term, the aim is to expand the motorway network to a total length of around 1000 km. In particular, the construction of a route from Prague via České Budějovice to Linz and the extension of the D11 to the Polish border in Trutnov are planned . The maximum speed on the Czech motorways is 130 km / h.
Below the motorway network there is a road network over 55,000 km long, which is divided into 336 km of expressways, 6156 km of first-order roads, 14,669 km of second-order roads and 34,128 km of third-order roads.
A toll must be paid for using the motorways and expressways. Drivers are obliged to buy a motorway vignette, which must be stuck to the inside of the windshield.
Basic rules in road traffic
- The speed limits are 50 km / h in town, 90 km / h outside and 130 km / h on the motorways.
- Since July 1st, 2006 you have to drive with lights all year round, spare light bulbs have to be carried with you.
- Children up to 36 kg or less than 150 cm must be secured with a child seat.
- There is an absolute ban on alcohol when driving vehicles.
- The driver is only allowed to make calls while driving with a hands-free system .
Rail transport in the Czech Republic has a 160-year tradition. As of 2010, the route network is 9,620 kilometers, on par with Switzerland and, apart from the city-states of Monaco and Vatican City, the densest railway network in the world. Most of the routes are operated by the currently 100% state-owned joint-stock company České dráhy (Czech Railways). Due to its location in Central Europe, the Czech Republic has become an important transit country. Various EuroCity corridors run through the national territory (e.g. Berlin – Prague – Vienna or Hamburg – Berlin – Prague – Bratislava – Budapest). Most routes are driven every half hour, hourly or two hours. The Czech Pendolino BR 680 has been used as the SuperCity from Prague to Ostrava since 2005 . The Railjet has been operating from Prague to Vienna and Graz since 2014 . The České dráhy are now competing on several routes with the private transport companies RegioJet and LEO Express .
The route network is currently being expanded to include four so-called "transit corridors", which in the end should be driven at a speed of 160 km / h, in some cases a further expansion for a speed of 230 km / h is being sought:
- The largely completed first corridor crosses the country from northwest to southeast: It continues via (Dresden–) Děčín , Prague and Brno in the direction of Břeclav (Vienna) or alternatively from Břeclav to Bratislava .
- The second corridor runs over the Břeclav – Petrovice u Karviné railway line and thus mainly opens up the Moravian parts of the country and the third largest city in Ostrava .
- The third corridor leads from Slovakia over the Žilina – Bohumín railway to Ostrava and from here divides the route with the second corridor to Přerov . From there it leads via Olomouc to Česká Třebová , from where it divides the route with the first corridor to Prague . From Prague it leads over the Prague – Plzeň and the Plzeň – Cheb railway and from Cheb on towards Nuremberg .
- The fourth corridor crosses the country in a north-south direction: it shares the route with the first corridor between Děčín and Prague and runs from Prague via Tábor to České Budějovice . From there, the corridor continues in the direction of Linz .
Important Czech airports are the Prague Airport (12.6 million passengers in 2008), the airport Brno-Turany , the Ostrava Airport and the Airport Karlovy Vary . Most of the capitals of the regions can be approached via sports airports. There are a total of 91 civil airfields in the Czech Republic.
In the Czech Republic, water traffic on the Elbe and Moldau rivers and on closed water areas (reservoirs and lakes) that are suitable for shipping is only partially accessible. The sections of the Elbe and Moldau with international status are connected with the European waterway system, i.e. with rivers to the seaports (Elbe-Hamburg) and with the system of European canals to other rivers and their inland and seaports (Magdeburg, Duisburg , Rotterdam).
With the Vltava port , the Czech Republic has a free port in the port of Hamburg with direct access to the North Sea. This 30,000 square meter area is leased to the Czech Republic as the legal successor to the ČSSR until 2028.
In larger cities, trams , buses and trolleybuses are the usual means of public transport. In smaller cities only buses or trolleybuses run. In the capital Prague the local operate transport services , the Prague Metro with three metro lines connecting the center with the outskirts. The prices of the tickets are different in the individual cities; Seniors travel for free everywhere. Tickets are offered at counters, machines and sometimes in the vehicles themselves. Multi-trip tourist cards, such as weekly tickets, are on sale in Prague and other major cities. When entering the means of transport, the tickets usually have to be validated immediately.
An extensive network of cycle paths is being developed in the main tourist centers and in the cities, and road and mountain bikes can also be rented there. A number of European cycle routes cross the Czech Republic. Many bike paths lead through hilly terrain, such as the many routes in the Bohemian Forest that lead further into the Bavarian Forest. Bicycling is widespread in the Czech Republic, so in recent years there has been intensive work on a national cycling network. A nationwide uniform signposting with yellow cycle path signs and numbered cycle paths is very helpful for cycle tourists.
Media and telecommunications
There are 75 daily newspapers in the Czech Republic, which are read by 19.9% of the population. In addition, 62 periodicals are published, which are consumed by 8.9% of the population. A total of 3,405,834 television connections - an average of 33.2 per 100 inhabitants - can receive 150 television channels; the average daily television viewing is 194 minutes.
Public television is called Česká televize and comprises the programs ČT1 (general), ČT2 (education and culture), ČT24 (news), ČT sport, ČT art and the children's channel ČT: D. Public radio is called Český rozhlas and includes among others ČRo 1 (information channel with news and minority programs), ČRo 2 (family channel with reports, radio plays, science and religion programs), ČRo 3 (culture + radio plays), ČRo 7 (foreign program " Radio Prague ”with broadcasts in several languages) and over 10 regional programs produced by regional studios.
The state postal company is Česká pošta . The Czech postcode system has existed in its current form since 1973. For local telephone calls , the former area code is required, it is now part of the connection number, the international phone code is +420.
The school system in the Czech Republic is organized on three levels. The primary school ( Základní škola ) lasts nine years and covers the entire area of compulsory education. After the fifth or seventh grade, however, after an entrance examination, you can switch to an eight- or six-year grammar school . There is also the four-year upper-level high school. The grammar school is completed with the Matura ( maturita ), which entitles to university studies. In addition to the grammar school, there are conservatories for arts subjects and medium-sized technical schools ( Střední odborná škola ), which specialize in technical, commercial or other subjects and also finish with a Matura. Apprenticeships take place at three-year vocational schools ( Střední odborné učiliště ).
The higher education is divided into the three levels of baccalaureate , master's or master's degree and doctorate . 29 universities have the rank of university . The oldest and largest university with 50,000 students is Charles University in Prague . Other large universities are the Masaryk University in Brno and the Palacky University in Olomouc as well as the Technical University of Brno and the Czech Technical University in Prague .
In the 2015 PISA ranking , Czech students ranked 28th out of 72 countries in mathematics, 28th in science and 30th in reading comprehension. The Czech Republic is thus slightly below the average for the OECD countries.
Prague is called "The City of 100 Towers" and the "Golden City". Here, architecturally significant buildings from different epochs of European cultural history are united. But there are also outstanding buildings and cultural monuments outside the capital. 12 sites in the Czech Republic are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites , including the historic old towns of Český Krumlov , Kutná Hora and Telč .
Imposing cathedrals of the medieval Gothic are the Prague Vitus Cathedral and the Cathedral of St. Barbara in Kutná Hora. The stone bridge in Písek is older than the famous Charles Bridge . Numerous castles and monasteries from the Middle Ages characterize the landscape, for example the castles Karlštejn and Pernštejn , the monastery Porta Coeli and the monastery Vyšší Brod . The Czech Renaissance castles are Litomyšl , Jindřichův Hradec and Kratochvíle . The town squares of Slavonice or Prachatice are characterized by this style. A Czech peculiarity is the so-called Baroque Gothic by Johann Blasius Santini-Aichl , the highlight of which is the Zelená Hora pilgrimage church . Baroque and Rococo left their mark on the whole country. Examples are the Kroměříž Castle , the Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc , Troja Castle or the Rococo Nové Hrady Castle . A popular variety is the South Bohemian peasant baroque , of which the village of Holašovice bears witness. Classicist parks are the Lednice-Valtice or Franzensbad cultural landscape . The generation of the national theater can be assigned to historicism .
Modern architecture begins with the Prague Art Nouveau , the most magnificent building of which is the Prague Municipal House. Josef Gočár and others developed the style of cubist architecture. This specific direction developed into a kind of national architecture and gave birth to the special form of rondo cubism . However, it was superseded by functionalist architecture in the 1920s . Brno, where Bohuslav Fuchs worked and the Villa Tugendhat stands, was the center of functionalism. Prefabricated buildings are often associated with the architecture of the communist era ; it is controversial. The Žižkov TV tower and the Ještěd TV tower are architectural achievements of this period . The most famous building from the period after 1989 is the Dancing House .
The oldest surviving Romanesque fresco is in the Znojmo Katharinenrotunda . The richly illustrated Vyšehrad Codex is a masterpiece of book illumination from the 11th century. Gothic painting flourished under Charles IV, which is why the 14th century painters who set the tone for Europe are known as the Bohemian School of Painting . In addition to the court painter Theoderich , this included the master of Hohenfurth and the master of the Leitmeritz altar . Peter Parler worked as a sculptor and cathedral builder at this time. Outstanding painters of the Baroque period are Karel Škréta , Jan Kupecký and Peter Johann Brandl . The copperplate engravings by Václav Hollar are distinguished by a level of realistic accuracy that was unique in its time. Important baroque sculptors are Matthias Bernhard Braun and Ferdinand Maximilian Brokoff .
Josef Navrátil and Josef Mánes are representatives of romanticism . Václav Brožík had great success as a history painter . The painters Mikoláš Aleš and Vojtěch Hynais and the sculptor Josef Václav Myslbek are associated with the nationally oriented representative art of the so-called generation of the national theater .
Czech modern painting was introduced by Max Švabinský and Antonín Slavíček . The most famous sculptor of this period is Ladislav Šaloun . the Art Association of Mánes developed into the organ of modern visual arts. Alfons Mucha is a world-famous representative of Art Nouveau, who is mainly famous for his characteristic poster art , but also for the monumental work The Slav Epic with scenes from Slavic history. Lesser known Art Nouveau painters are Viktor Oliva and Karel Vítězslav Mašek .
A pioneer of abstract art worldwide was František Kupka , who exhibited abstract paintings as early as 1911. As a result, cubist painting was strongly represented ( Emil Filla , Bohumil Kubišta , Josef Čapek ). Otto Gutfreund created cubist sculptures. In the 1930s, Jindřich Štyrský and Toyen founded Czech surrealism , which, along with Jan Švankmajer, has continued to the present day. Several Czech illustrators are outstanding, above all Josef Lada and Zdeněk Burian , who resurrected prehistoric life. Later Adolf Born and Květa Pacovská worked in this area. Contemporary visual artists include Anna Chromy , František Skála , Jaroslav Róna and David Černý who create art in public spaces , among other things .
In the 9th century, Cyril and Methodius introduced the Old Church Slavonic language as the first written Slavic language in Greater Moravia . From this the old Czech language developed, which in the Middle Ages rose to become the literary language in Bohemia and Moravia alongside Latin and German. The first evidence of old Czech literature comes from the 12th and 13th centuries; the cultural heyday came under the reign of Charles IV. Jan Hus introduced diacritical marks in the Czech language in 1406 . The 16th century Kralitz translation of the Bible had a great influence on the Czech literature. Outstanding writers of baroque literature are the pedagogue and polymath Johann Amos Comenius and the Jesuit preacher Bedřich Bridel . At the end of the 18th century, Josef Dobrovský and Josef Jungmann laid the foundation for the national rebirth with their linguistic work. This was followed by Romanticism, with Karel Hynek Mácha as the main representative, and Realism, with Božena Němcová and Jan Neruda ( Lesser Quarter Stories ).
The Czech Modern accesses the numerous literary currents that arise around the turn of the century in Europe. The emergence of Czechoslovakia enlivened the cultural scene enormously. Well-known authors from the interwar period include Jaroslav Hašek ( The Adventures of the Good Soldier Schwejk ) and Karel Čapek . The era of communism brought renewed censorship or caused writers to go into exile, such as Josef Škvorecký and Milan Kundera . Those who remained in the country, such as Bohumil Hrabal or Ludvík Vaculík, published in Samizdat . Free literature production has been possible again since 1989.
The oldest musical document in the Czech Republic is the sacred song Hospodine, pomiluj ny (Lord, have mercy), which dates from the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries. The old Czech St. Wenceslas Choral ( Svatý Václave ) from the 12th century invokes St. Wenceslas as an advocate and served as the national anthem until the 19th century. There was a rich tradition of church music in the monasteries, which was followed by the Hussite songs in the 15th century. The battle song Ktož jsú boží bojovníci is the most famous of them. The names of composers are known for the first time from the Baroque period , including Adam Michna , Heinrich Biber , Jan Dismas Zelenka , Georg Anton Benda , František Xaver Brixi , Josef Mysliveček , Johann Baptist Vanhal , Jan Ladislav Dusík , Leopold Koželuh and Antonín Rejcha .
Two world-famous Czech composers lived in the 19th century: Bedřich Smetana's well-known romantic works include Die Moldau and the opera The Bartered Bride . Antonín Dvořák's varied oeuvre includes nine symphonies, including the symphony From the New World , operas, oratorios, chamber and piano music. Another famous composer is Leoš Janáček , whose operas ( The Cunning Little Fox ) are inspired by Moravian folk music . The Czech brass music is proverbially known , the most outstanding composers of which are František Kmoch and Julius Fučík .
Representatives of modern music are Alois Hába , a pioneer of microtonal music , the jazz composer Jaroslav Ježek and Pavel Haas . Well-known Czech songwriters include Karel Hašler , Jiří Šlitr and Karel Kryl . In the 1960s and 1970s, underground culture developed in Prague with bands such as The Plastic People of the Universe , DG 307 and Psí vojáci . Contemporary musicians of various genres include, for example, pop star Karel Gott , Iva Bittová , Lucie Bílá and Jaromír Nohavica, who are also famous in German-speaking countries .
The annual Prague Spring classical music festival is of international importance .
The film sector is well developed in the Czech Republic. The Barrandov film studios are among the largest and most prestigious in Europe. The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival takes place every year. Directors such as Miloš Forman ( One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest ), Jan Svěrák ( Kolya ) and Jiří Menzel ( Love According to the Schedule ) received Oscars for their productions .
The cuisine in Bohemia and Moravia is said to be hearty and rich. Meat dishes dominate, such as roast pork ( vepřo-knedlo-zelo ) or sirloin ( svíčková ). Typical side dishes are dumplings in many variations, white and red cabbage and mushrooms . Meatless dishes include potato pancakes ( bramboráky ) and baked cheese ( smažený sýr ). Bohemian pastries , which have also found their way into Austrian cuisine, play an important role . These include pancakes , Buchteln , Kolatschen , Powidltascherl , plum dumplings , Dalken and others.
Beer is considered the national drink . In fact, beer consumption in the Czech Republic is highest in the world, and beer brewing has a centuries-old tradition. World-famous brands are Pilsner Urquell and Budweiser . Viticulture is also practiced in Moravia, in particular. Well-known spirits are slivovitz and Becherovka .
Holidays and customs
In the Czech Republic, several historical days of remembrance have been declared public holidays. These include the day of the Czech statehood on the day of the death of St. Wenceslas on September 28, the day of the creation of the Czechoslovak state on October 28 and the day of the struggle for freedom and democracy on November 17. With the exception of Good Friday, Easter Monday and the Christmas holidays (December 24th, 25th and 26th), the Christian holidays in the Czech Republic are not work-free.
The intangible cultural heritage includes the ride of the kings , the Verbuňk recruit dance in Moravian Slovakia , the carnival processions in the Hlinecko region , the puppet theater and the blueprint .
An estimated 15 percent of the Czech population are organized in sports clubs.
Important regions for winter sports are the Giant Mountains in the north, the Bohemian Forest in the west, and the Klínovec in the Czech part of the Ore Mountains . Harrachov and Liberec are international centers for Nordic sports. FIS World Cup competitions take place here regularly , and the Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec (2009). Nové Město na Moravě is also important in international winter sports. The biathlon world cup took place here in February 2015 .
The first division consists of 16 teams. Two of them are relegated to the national FNL ( Fotbalová národní liga , "National Football League ") at the end of the season, after 30 match days . From there, two teams move up to the first division. The third highest division is divided into two parts. The western part (Bohemia) is covered by the ČFL ( Česká fotbalová liga , "Bohemian Football League", 18 teams), the eastern part of the country (Moravia and Silesia) by the MSFL ( Moravskoslezská fotbalová liga , "Moravian-Silesian Football League", 16 teams) ). The respective champion of the two third leagues is promoted to the second division. Relegation from the second division also determines relegation from the leagues below, because, for example, two teams can be relegated from the FNL, both of which fall into the area of the ČFL or the MSFL, which would mean one team there would be too many. So an additional team has to be relegated.
The substructure of the third level is divided into five. Below the ČFL there are three groups (A, B, C) of the Divize, below the MSFL two (D and E). Of these leagues, the master rises to the ĆFL or MSFL, the last two to one of the regional "Krajský přebor", depending on their affiliation. After a reform in 2002/03, there are now 13 groups of such fifth leagues (previously only 10), 9 as a substructure for the ČFL or Divize A, B, C and 5 as a substructure for the MSFL or Divize D and E.
In Šternberk there is an annual run for the European Mountain Championship ( Ecce Homo ). Josef Kopecký (1994), Otakar Krámský (1995, 1997, 1998), Robert Šenkýř (2003, 2004), Miroslav Jakeš (2008) and Václav Janík (2009) became champions of this series. In 2008 and 2009, Czech drivers took first to third place in the EBM. Other mountain racing routes are near Ústí nad Orlicí ( Ústecká 21 ), Lanškroun and Malá Bystřice .
With the “ Automotodrom Brno ”, a circuit that meets international requirements is available near Brno , which was used by the DTM and is approached as part of the WTCC . Furthermore, here is part of the FIM - Motorcycle World Championship a race of MotoGP instead. There is a race track in Most ( Autodrom Most ). This is used internationally primarily for the truck race series and partly also for touring cars. The Czech Grand Prix has been taking place in the Marketa Stadium in Prague for several years as part of the Individual Speedway World Championship. The traditional international speedway race for the gold helmet from Pardubice ("Zlatá přilba Pardubice") has been taking place in Pardubice for several decades.
In Mariánské Lázně the finals of the World Long Distance Championship took place on the 1000 meter long dirt track in 1976, 1979, 1983, 1989, 1991 and 1994 . Since the long-course World Cup Grand Prix was introduced in 1997, the Long-Course World Cup Grand Prix of the Czech Republic has been held a few times in Mariánské Lázně.
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