Obec (Czech pronunciation: [ˈobɛts], plural: obce) is the Czech and Slovak word for a municipality (in the Czech Republic, in Slovakia and abroad). The literal meaning of the word is "commune" or "community". It is the smallest administrative unit that is governed by elected representatives. Cities and towns are also municipalities.

Signs showing the border of two municipalities

Definition Edit

The legal definition (according to the Czech code of law[1] with similar definition in the Slovak code of law[2]) is: "The municipality is a basic territorial self-governing community of citizens; it forms a territorial unit, which is defined by the boundary of the municipality."

Every municipality is composed of one or more cadastral areas. Every municipality is also composed of one or more administrative parts, usually called town parts or villages. A municipality can have its own flag and coat of arms.[1][2]

Czech Republic Edit

Almost the entire area of the Czech Republic is divided into municipalities, with the only exception being military training areas. The smaller municipalities consist only of one village. A municipality usually has the same name as its most populated settlement, which usually contains the municipal office. However there are several exceptions, for example municipalities created by mergers of formerly separate municipalities (such as Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav or Orlické Podhůří).

A municipality can obtain the title of a city (statutární město), town (město) or market town (městys). While all of these are municipalities from the point of view of the law, they are usually referred to by their titles and not as municipalities. Municipalities without any other status are just called municipalities. Statutory cities can have self-governing subdivisions, so-called city parts or city districts (městská část), which are somewhat similar to municipalities in that they have their own town halls and local government.[1] Town and market town are above all ceremonial labels bestowed on municipalities with notable population, history and regional significance.[citation needed]

A special type of municipality is the capital Prague, which has simultaneously the status of a municipality and a region, and which is treated by special law.[3]

The law makes it possible for municipalities which were stripped of town status during the Communist period to retain that status automatically. For any other municipality to gain town status, it must have population over 3,000 and must pass an assessment by the chairman of the parliament. For market town status, population is not a condition.[1] The newest Czech town is Chýně, which obtained the status in 2023.[4]

Some municipalities have extended competencies of delegated state administration for the territory of the municipality and for surrounding municipalities.[5]

Statistics Edit

Count of municipalities by category of population (as of January 2023)[6]
Total Cities Towns Market towns Other municipalities
Over 99,999 6 6
50,000–99,999 13 13
25,000–49,999 21 8 13
10,000–24,999 91 91
5,000–9,999 148 144 4
2,500–4,999 280 177 8 95
1,000–2,499 963 127 114 722
500–999 1,382 18 85 1,279
Under 500 3,350 13 24 3,313
Total 6,254 27 583 231 5,413
Population in municipalities by status (as of January 2023)[6]
Total Cities Towns Market towns Other municipalities
Average 1,731 135,177 6,404 1,186 577
Median 452 63,856 4,154 1,025 380
Minimum 16 34,306 (Třinec) 79 (Přebuz) 160 (Levín) 16 (Vysoká Lhota)
Maximum 1,357,326 1,357,326 (Prague) 37,262 (Česká Lípa) 4,294 (Nehvizdy) 5,291 (Bystřice)
Total 10,827,529 3,694,895 3,733,466 274,007 3,125,161

The smallest municipalities by area are Závist (0.42 km2) and Strukov (0.53 km2).[7] The biggest are the cities of Prague (496.21 km2), Brno (230.18 km2) and Ostrava (214.23 km2), and the town of Ralsko (170.23 km2, including a former military area, with only about 2,000 inhabitants).[8]

List of municipalities Edit

Slovakia Edit

As of 2020, there are 2,890 municipalities in Slovakia, with 141 of them being a city or a town.[9]

After meeting certain conditions such as population over 5,000, being well accessible, having cultural or economical significance and having an urban style of settlement, a municipality can be declared a town (mesto).[2]

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c d "Zákon č. 128/2000 Sb. o obcích (obecní zřízení)". zakonyprolidi.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Úplné znenie č. 612/2002 Z. z." zakonypreludi.sk (in Slovak). Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Zákon č. 131/2000 Sb. o hlavním městě Praze". zakonyprolidi.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Středočeská Chýně se stala městem. Navíc chystá oslavy 750 let" (in Czech). Náš region. 17 May 2023. Retrieved 21 May 2023.
  5. ^ "Zákon č. 314/2002 Sb. o stanovení obcí s pověřeným obecním úřadem". zakonyprolidi.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Population of Municipalities – 1 January 2023". Czech Statistical Office. 23 May 2023.
  7. ^ "Základní tendence demografického, sociálního a ekonomického vývoje Olomouckého kraje". Czech Statistical Office. p. 10. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  8. ^ "All about territory". Public database. Czech Statistical Office. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Slovenská republika – sumárne údaje". sodbtn.sk (in Slovak). Retrieved 17 September 2020.

See also Edit