From time immemorial, the Czech lands have been the crossroads of European cultures. The cultural character of Czech cities, villages and spa towns has always been a source of inspiration to visitors and guests, who come here from all corners of the world. The Czech Republic, among the youngest in the family of European countries, was born on January 1st, 1993, when the Czechslovak Federal Republic split into two independent states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Since May, 2004, the Czech Republic has been a member of the European Union; it has been a full-fledged NATO member since 2002. (The country has not adopted the Euro yet, however, and still uses its national currency, the Czech crown.)
Even though the Czech Republic's area of 78,864 square kilometers (about 30,450 square miles) ranks it among small countries, its wealth of natural beauty and monuments of cultural heritage contribute greatly to its global prestige as a major cultural destination.
Geographically, the country (population: 10.3 mil.) and its historical lands (Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia) are divided into 14 local administrative units controlled by regional administrations.
In addition to the administrative units, there are 14 tourist regions dotted with charming towns, castles and chateaux (the most per square mile of any country in the world!), ancient villages and, of course, many spas, all waiting to be discovered.
Location : Central Europe, southeast of Germany
Geographic coordinates : 49 45 N, 15 30 E
Map references : Europe
Area : total: 78,866 sq km
Land : 77,276 sq km
Water : 1,590 sq km
Area - comparative : slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land boundaries : total: 1,881 km
Border countries : Austria 362 km, Germany 646 km, Poland 658 km, Slovakia 215 km
Coastline : 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims : none (landlocked)
Climate : temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters
Terrain : Bohemia in the west consists of rolling plains, hills, and plateaus surrounded by low mountains; Moravia in the east consists of very hilly country
Elevation extremes : lowest point: Elbe River 115 m
Highest point : Snezka 1,602 m
Natural resources : hard coal, soft coal, kaolin, clay, graphite, timber
Land use : arable land: 38.82%
Other : 58.18% (2005)
Irrigated land : 240 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards : flooding
Time Zone : UTC/GMT +1
Density of population : 2,379/km2