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22.The Czech Republic

6. 1. 2008

 THE CZECH REPUBLIC

The Czech Republic is the state in which we live, and in which most of us were also born. It is our native country.

The Czech Republic is situated in Central Europe. It is said that it lies in the heard of Europe. The Czech Republic is an inland country. With its area of 78864 km² it is located in the temperate climatic zone. The Czech Republic has a population of about 10.3 million.

 Our republic has four neighbours. In the north it borders on Poland and in the south on Austria. The shortest bordur is with Slovakia in the east and the longest with Germany in the west.

Mountain ranges from our country are natural borders. The surface of our country is rather hilly. The Western border is formed by the Krušné Mountains, where the highest peak is called Klínovec (1244 m). The Šumava range, also two glacial lakes can be found there- Černé and Čertovo. The Šumava range is known for its original virgin forest. There are a lot of old trees and bushes. The highest mountains in the Czech Republic are the Giant Mountains. That is where the highest peak in Czech Republic, Sněžka height of 1602 m. The Jizerské Mountains lie on the border with Poland, where the Orlické Mountains are also located.

Czech nature can offer tourists much that is of interest. Sandy rocks in Český Ráj or stalactite caves in Moravský Kras are frequent destination of visitors. The greatest abyss, called Macocha, which is also situated in Moravský Kras, is 138 m deep.

The Czech Republic does not have any seacoast, but it has many navigable rivers. Thanks of the Elbe, Morava and Oder we can use the ports of neighbouring countries. The Elbe has its source in the Giant Mountains and leaves our native country at Hřebsko. It flows throughout Germany and enters the North Sea.

The largest and the most important tributary of the Elbe is the Vltava. Several dams have been built on this river, for example Lipno, Orlík and Slapy. These dams are not only used for the production of electricity, but are in the first place a favourite destination of people, who come here for recreation and amusement. A lot of people spend their holidays or vacations there.

South bohemia is known for its large and numerous ponds. Freshwater fish are farmed there, primarily carp. The largest pond, Rožmberk, was artificially created in 15th and 16th centuries; it covers an area of approximately 479 hectares.

The Czech Republic has a large number of spas. Spa services have a long tradition. They are visited by healthy as well as sick people from our country and from abroad. Among the most famous are Karlovy Vary, Františkovy Lázně, and Jánské Lázně.

Our country is rich in minerals. Black and brown coals, lignite, sand for glass-making are mined there. Traditionally the main industrial area has been located in the northern part of the country. Among the prominent industrial cities are Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Kladno, Plzeň, Sokolov, Karlovy Vary, Most, Litvínov, Chomutov, Teplice, Ústí nad Labem and so on...

Fuel and energy industries are very well developed in the Czech Republic. To produce Energy, thermal power stations (Tušimice, Chvaletice, Počerady, Mělník,) nuclear power plants (Dukovany and Temelín) and hydroelectric power plants (Lipno, Orlík, Slapy, Dalešice) are used.

Other industries include metallurgy (Ostrava, Kladno areas), the machine tool industries (Brno, Plzeň, Prague), chemical industry, consumer industry, food industry, and other sorts of industry. Czech beer brewing (Plzeň) and wine making (South Moravia) has a long tradition and popularity both at home and abroad.

The lowlands are important for agriculture and crop farming. The most extensive Czech lowland is Polabská. The land along the banks of the river Morava is very fertile. Agricultural production serves to feed the people of the republic. Our country is self-sufficient in food production.

In the lowlands are grown – sugar beet, sunflowers, sweet corn, fruits and vegetables. Poultry is also kept there. In the more elevated areas turnips, barley and wheat are grown. In the highlands mainly potatoes and some types of grain (rye and oats) are grown. Pigs and sheep are bred here. In mountain areas highland cattle are reared.

The most frequently used from of transportation is by rail and by road. After these air transportation and, quite rarely, river transport are used.

On January 1, 1993the former Czechoslovakia split into two countries- the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. Both countries adopted new constitutions.

The head of the Czech Republic is the president. He is elected for a five-year term. Real power, however, is wielded mostly by parliament and the government. The state flag consists of two horizontal stripes (white on the top, red on the bottom) and blue wedge.

The Czech crown is the currency in the Czech Republic. The crown consists of 100 hallers...

 

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