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16 Czech Republic Geography The Czech Republic is a small, landlocked country and it lies in central Europe. It has borders on Poland in the north, Germany in the west, Austria in the south and Slovakia – with which it was united in the State of Czechoslovakia until 31st December 1992 – in the east. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78 864 square km. Maximal wide (from north to south) of Czech Republic is 278 km and long (from west to east) 493 km. The country can be divided into two main regions:Bohemia – the western part, home of most of people and industry, andMoravia – the eastern part, more sparsely populated and agricultural, except around the city Ostrava. Although usually included in Moravia, area around Ostrava is actually part of Silesia. Almost all the main mountain regions are found along the nation’s borders. These mountains are named (beginning in the south and moving clockwise) : the Šumava, The Krušné Mountains, the Jizerské Mountains, the Krkonoše with our highest mountainSněžka 1602 m above sea level,the Orlické Mountains, the Jeseníky and the Beskydy. There are also some hilly regions within the country, such as theCzechmoravian highland and the sandstone of theČeský ráj ( Bohemian Paradise ). We can find lowlands along the rivers. The biggest of them isPolabská lowland. There are good conditions for agriculture. The Czech Republic has many rivers. Rivers belong to the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and Black Sea basins. Bohemia has the largest rivers,the Vltava (the longest one – 433 km in CR) andthe Labe (390 km in CR, 1165 km in all countries) into which Vltava flows and which (as the Elbe) flows to the North Sea. In Moravia there are these rivers:the Morava in the east, along the border with Slovakia andthe Dyje in the south near the Austian border. They both join the Danube ehich flows into the Black Sea. Northern Moravia has two small rivers,the Odra andthe Opava which flow through Poland into the Baltic Sea. There is also large and well known fishing area in southern Bohemia, around towns Třeboň and Jindřichův Hradec. In Czech Republic there is about 21 000 ponds, the largest of them isRožmberk, it has 489 hectares. The largest natural lake isBlack Lake (Černé jezero) in the Šumava, it has 18,4 hectares. Despite industrialisation the Czech Republic is one of the most heavily forested countries in Europe. Around one-third of the total area of the country id forested, mostly by coniferous trees. Unfortunately these trees are sensitive to acid rain. This fact we can especially see in the devastated forests in northern Bohemia. Climate, Weather Czech weather is moderate but unpredictable. The climate in general is temperate, but the Czech Republic is there where various coastal and continental frontal systems fight it out for dominance of central Europe, so one is never sure what can expect. It is fairly wet country, except in the height of summer. Population Czech Republic’s population is above10,3 million. The density is 131 people per 1 square km. Most of people live in Bohemia. The biggest city is the capital – Prague which has a population of 1,2 million people. Some other big cities in the Czech Republic are e.g. Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc, Plzeň, Hradec Králové etc. Places of interest BesidesPrague which is in the centre of tourists’ attention – we can find there a lot of historical sights representing all the architectural styles – there are many other interesting places which are worth visiting in Czech Republic. Kutná Hora is nice historical town with gothic St.Barbora’s Cathedral Český Krumlov in southren Bohemia as well asTelč orSlavonice in southern Moravia are town where we can see fine examples of renaissance architecture. There are also manycastles in our country, for exampleKarlštejn – founded by king Charles IV in 14th century,Hluboká, Konopiště, Křivoklát and so on. In the west of the country there areKarlovy Vary andMariánské Lázně – our well known spas. The Krkonoše mountains are one of our national parks which are found throughout the country. Here you can go for a hike on marked path. The mountains are lovely in every season of the year. Vocabulary: sparsely – řídce clockwise – ve směru hodinových ručiček sandstone – pískovec basin – povodí unpredictable – nepředvídatelný spa – lázně highland – vysočina pond – rybník coniferous – jehličnatý lowland – nížina landlocked - vnitrozemský