Geography of the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a land-locked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the north. It consists mostly of low hills and plateaus surrounded along the borders by low mountains. Two areas of lowlands follow the Elbe river and the Morava river. About a third of the area of the Czech Republic is covered by forests.

Geography of Czech Republic
Relief Map of Czech Republic.png
ContinentEurope
RegionCentral Europe
AreaRanked 118th[1]
 • Total78,865 km2 (30,450 sq mi)
 • Land97.95%
 • Water2.05%
Coastline0 km (0 mi)
Borders2,143 km [2]
Highest pointSněžka,
1603.3 m
Lowest pointHřensko,
115 m
Longest riverMoldau,
433 km
Largest lakeBlack Lake,
18.4 ha
Climatetemperate
Terrainhills and lowlands surrounded by low mountains
Natural resourceskaolin, lithium, graphite, black coal, brown coal, uranium, timber

The Czech Republic also possesses Moldauhafen, a 30,000 m2 enclave in the middle of Hamburg docks in Germany, which was awarded to Czechoslovakia by Article 363 of the Treaty of Versailles to allow the landlocked country a place where goods transported down river could be transferred to seagoing ships. This territory reverts to Germany in 2028.

Physical geographyEdit

ClimateEdit

 
Köppen climate classification of the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic's climate is temperate, transitional between an oceanic climate and a continental climate. The summers are rather cool and dry, with average temperatures in most areas around 20 °C, the winters are fairly mild and wet with temperatures averaging around 0 °C in most areas. The relative humidity moves between 60 and 80 %.

GeologyEdit

Most of the area of the Czech Republic belongs to the geographically stable Czech Massif. Only an area of the Western Carpathians in the east of the country is younger, lifted during the Tertiary. Igneous rocks make up the base of the Czech Massive. Sedimentary rocks are mostly found in the north-eastern part of Bohemia with significant areas of sandstone. Among the metamorphic rocks, the most commonly found is Gneiss.

MountainsEdit

The most notable mountain ranges in the Czech Republic are all found along the borders of the country. In the Bohemia it is the Bohemian Forest and Ore Mountains, both bordering Germany. Then the long mountain range of Sudeten with Sněžka (1603) – the highest peak of the Czech Republic. The last major mountain range is the Beskid Mountains in the east, which then continue further east into Poland and Slovakia.

RiversEdit

 
Drainage areas of the Elbe River (Labe) and Morava River

There are four major rivers in the Czech Republic. Elbe (Labe in Czech) flows from Krkonoše Mountains in the north east of Bohemia to the west and then flows through northern Germany all the way to the North Sea. Morava River drains most of Moravia and flows to the south into Danube and ultimately to the Black Sea. Odra River starts in the Moravian Silesia and flows north through Poland into the Baltic Sea. The fourth major river is Moldau (Vltava in Czech), which is the longest river of the Czech Republic and drains the southern part of Bohemia before flowing into Elbe in Mělník.

Bodies of waterEdit

Natural occurring bodies of water are rather scarce, most of the significant bodies of water are man-made ponds and reservoirs. The largest pond is the Rožmberk Pond, which is one of the ponds in the system of fish ponds built in the 16th century around Třeboň. The largest reservoir by area covered is the Lipno Reservoir (4870 ha), built in the 1950s and the largest reservoir by cubic capacity is Orlík Reservoir (716,000,000 m3), built around the same time.

Human geographyEdit

Population geographyEdit

 
Population density in the Czech Republic
 
Natural resources: Metals are in blue: Fe — iron ore, PY — pyrite, PM – polymetal ores (Cu, Zn, Pb, etc.), U — uranium. Fossil fuels are in red: C — coal, L — lignite, O – oil. Non-metallic minerals are in green: G — graphite, KA — kaolinite.

The population of the Czech Republic is estimated to be around 10.6 million. The highest population density is in the larger metropolitan area of Ostrava and of course in the area around the capital of Prague. The lowest population density is in the Czech-German and Czech-Austrian borderlands, mostly as a lasting result of the expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia after the World War II.

Political geographyEdit

The Czech Republic is divided into thirteen regions (kraje in Czech) and one capital city with regional status. The older administrative units of seventy-six districts (okresy in Czech) are still recognized and remain the seats of various branches of state administration. Historically, the Czech Republic can be split into three regions: Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the east and Czech Silesia in the north east.

  South Bohemian Region   Central Bohemian Region   Plzeň Region
  Karlovy Vary Region   Ústí nad Labem Region   Liberec Region
  Hradec Králové Region   Pardubice Region   Vysočina Region
  Moravian-Silesian Region   Olomouc Region   Zlín Region
  South Moravian Region   Prague

Industry and agricultureEdit

Areas affected the most by heavy industry are the Sokolov Basin and the Most Basin in the north-west of the Czech Republic. The extensive deposits of brown coal in those areas are mostly used for electricity production. It is estimated, that almost 40% of all electric power produced in the Czech Republic comes from burning brown coal mined in these areas. Plant agriculture is focused around the lowlands surrounding the Elbe River and the Morava River. Around a third of the country is covered by forests and approximately 40% of land is arable. The area of irrigated land is estimated to spread across 385 km2 and freshwater withdrawal per capita is around 164 m3 every year.

Important citiesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Largest countries in the world by area". worldometers.info. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  2. ^ "Czechia". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  3. ^ "2011 census" (in Czech). Czech Statistical Office. Retrieved 1 January 2015.

  This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/.