Portal:Czech Republic

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Location of Czech Republic within Europe

The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Historically known as Bohemia, it is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the southeast. The Czech Republic has a hilly landscape that covers an area of 78,871 square kilometers (30,452 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental and oceanic climate. The capital and largest city is Prague; other major cities and urban areas include Brno, Ostrava, Plzeň and Liberec.

The Duchy of Bohemia was founded in the late 9th century under Great Moravia. It was formally recognized as an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire in 1002 and became a kingdom in 1198. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg monarchy. The Protestant Bohemian Revolt led to the Thirty Years' War. After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule. With the dissolution of the Holy Empire in 1806, the Crown lands became part of the Austrian Empire.

In the 19th century, the Czech lands became more industrialized, and in 1918 most of it became part of the First Czechoslovak Republic following the collapse of Austria-Hungary after World War I. Czechoslovakia was the only country in Central and Eastern Europe to remain a parliamentary democracy during the entirety of the interwar period. After the Munich Agreement in 1938, Nazi Germany systematically took control over the Czech lands. Czechoslovakia was restored in 1945 and became an Eastern Bloc communist state following a coup d'état in 1948. Attempts to liberalize the government and economy were suppressed by a Soviet-led invasion of the country during the Prague Spring in 1968. In November 1989, the Velvet Revolution ended communist rule in the country, and on 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia was dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Czech Republic is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced, high-income social market economy. It is a welfare state with a European social model, universal health care and free-tuition university education. It ranks 12th in the UN inequality-adjusted human development and 24th in the World Bank Human Capital Index. It ranks as the 8th safest and most peaceful country and 29th in democratic governance. The Czech Republic is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the European Union, the OECD, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe. (Full article...)

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Czech (/ɛk/; Czech čeština [ˈtʃɛʃcɪna]), historically also Bohemian (/bˈhmiən, bə-/; lingua Bohemica in Latin), is a West Slavic language of the Czech–Slovak group, written in Latin script. Spoken by over 10 million people, it serves as the official language of the Czech Republic. Czech is closely related to Slovak, to the point of high mutual intelligibility, as well as to Polish to a lesser degree. Czech is a fusional language with a rich system of morphology and relatively flexible word order. Its vocabulary has been extensively influenced by Latin and German.

The Czech–Slovak group developed within West Slavic in the high medieval period, and the standardization of Czech and Slovak within the Czech–Slovak dialect continuum emerged in the early modern period. In the later 18th to mid-19th century, the modern written standard became codified in the context of the Czech National Revival. The main non-standard variety, known as Common Czech, is based on the vernacular of Prague, but is now spoken as an interdialect throughout most of the Czech Republic. The Moravian dialects spoken in the eastern part of the country are also classified as Czech, although some of their eastern variants are closer to Slovak. (Full article...)

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Middle-aged man, seated, facing towards the left but head turned towards the right. He has a high forehead, rimless glasses and is wearing a dark, crumpled suit
Gustav Mahler, photographed in 1907 by Moritz Nähr at the end of his period as director of the Vienna Hofoper

Gustav Mahler (German: [ˈmaːlɐ]; 7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911) was an Austro-Bohemian Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th-century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century. While in his lifetime his status as a conductor was established beyond question, his own music gained wide popularity only after periods of relative neglect, which included a ban on its performance in much of Europe during the Nazi era. After 1945 his compositions were rediscovered by a new generation of listeners; Mahler then became one of the most frequently performed and recorded of all composers, a position he has sustained into the 21st century. A 2016 BBC Music Magazine survey of 151 conductors ranked three of his symphonies in the top ten symphonies of all time.

Born in Bohemia (then part of the Austrian Empire) to Jewish parents of humble origins, the German-speaking Mahler displayed his musical gifts at an early age. After graduating from the Vienna Conservatory in 1878, he held a succession of conducting posts of rising importance in the opera houses of Europe, culminating in his appointment in 1897 as director of the Vienna Court Opera (Hofoper). During his ten years in Vienna, Mahler—who had converted to Catholicism to secure the post—experienced regular opposition and hostility from the anti-Semitic press. Nevertheless, his innovative productions and insistence on the highest performance standards ensured his reputation as one of the greatest of opera conductors, particularly as an interpreter of the stage works of Wagner, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. Late in his life he was briefly director of New York's Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. (Full article...)

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Czech lands: BohemiaMoraviaCzech Silesia

History: Unetice cultureBoiiMarcomanniSamoGreat MoraviaPřemyslid dynastyLands of the Bohemian CrownCzech lands (1526–1648)1648–18671867–1918)CzechoslovakiaCzech Republic

Geography: LakesProtected areasRegionsRivers

Law: JudiciaryLaw enforcementSupreme Court of the Czech Republic

Politics: Administrative divisionsCabinetConstitutionElectionsForeign relationsMilitaryParliamentPolitical partiesPresidentPrime Minister

Economy: BanksCzech korunaEnergyOil and gas depositsStock ExchangeTourismTransport

Culture: ArchitectureArtCinemaCuisineDemographicsEducationLanguageLiteratureMediaMusicPhilosophyProstitutionPublic holidaysReligionSportTelevisionVideo gaming

Symbols: FlagCoat of armsNational anthem (Kde domov můj?)

Lists: Outline of the Czech RepublicIndex of Czech Republic-related articles

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