Facts about the CR

Facts and figures

Language: Czech
Area: 78 866 sq km
Population: 10, 7 million
Border countries: Austria, Germany, Poland and Slovakia
EU member state: since 2004
Capital city: Praha (Prague)
Currency: Czech crown / CZK
Political system: parliamentary republic
Time zone: GMT plus 1 hour
Climate: mild winters and warm summers, with clearly defined spring and autumn seasons
Average temperature: in summer is 23 deg. Celsius (71 deg. F.) and in winter -5 deg. Celsius (23 deg. F.)

Public holidays

January 1 New Year’s Day
Good Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday)
Easter Monday (Monday after Easter Sunday)
May 1 Labour Day
May 8 Liberation Day
July 5 The Day of Cyril and Methodius
July 6 Jan Hus Day
September 28 St. Wenceslas´Day
October 28 Czechoslovak Statehood Day
November 17 Freedom and Democracy Day
December 24 Christmas Eve
December 25, 26 Christmas Holidays


The Czech Republic is historically divided into three regions: Bohemia, Moravia, and a part of Silesia. The total area is 78 866 square kilometres and the country’s population is around 10.4 million people. The capital city is Prague, with 1.2 million inhabitants, and there are 5 other metropolitan cities with a population exceeding 100 000 – Brno, Plzeň, Olomouc, Ostrava, and Liberec. The Czech Republic shares borders with Germany, Poland, Austria and Slovakia. The country is surrounded by extensive mountain ranges, which form most of the border – the Krkonoše Mountains in the northeast; the Krušné Hory Mountains in the northwest; the Šumava Mountains in the west; the Hrubý Jeseník Mountains in Moravia and the Moravian-Silesian Beskydy Mountains. The highest point of elevation is the peak of Mt. Sněžka (1,602 m above sea level). Many important European rivers (the Labe (Elbe), Oder, Morava, Vltava (Moldau), etc.) flow through the country.


The first evidence of a Czech state dates back to the early Middle Ages. A kingdom was established in the Czech Lands in the 13th century and its significance peaked in the 14th century under the rule of Charles IV, the Czech king and Holy Roman Emperor. After 1620, the Czech Lands became part of Austria and part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after 1867. Following the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the First World War, the Czechs and Slovaks declared independence in 1918 and Czechoslovakia was established as a sovereign country. During the 1920s and 1930s, Czechoslovakia ranked among the ten most developed countries in the world. After Hitler’s occupation of the country in 1938, Czechoslovakia was split into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, and the Slovak state. Czechoslovak statehood was restored after the Second World War, which ended in 1945, but with a territorial loss. The most eastern part, Transcarpathian Ukraine, was annexed by the Soviet Union. The Communist Party won the 1946 parliamentary elections in Czechoslovakia. This resulted in a change of regime and brought the country under the international communist movement, led by the Soviet Union. November 1989 was a turning point in the history of the country. Under pressure from the citizens, the socialist regime handed over power during the so-called “Velvet Revolution”, initiated by students and intellectuals. Free parliamentary elections in June 1990 confirmed the course of democratic development. The unitary state became a federation and the new name of the country was the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic. At the end of 1992 Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.


The official language is Czech. Czech belongs to the Indo-European family of languages. The Slavonic languages are divided into the eastern, western and southern branches. Czech belongs to the western Slavonic family, along with Slovak, Polish and Wendish. The Czechs and Slovaks understand each other without major problems. Czech has a difficult grammatical structure but reading and pronunciation are fairly easy.