Portal:Czech Republic

Panoramic view of Prague from Petřín Tower

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Location of Czech Republic within Europe

The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the east. 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 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 at a liberalisation of 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 tuition-free university education. It ranks 12th in the UN inequality-adjusted human development and 24th in the World Bank Human Capital Index ahead of United States. It ranks as the 9th safest and most peaceful country and 31st in democratic governance. The Czech Republic is a member of NATO, the EU, OECD, OSCE, and the CoE. (Full article...)

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A monument to the battle on the Slovak side of the Dukla Pass.

The Battle of the Dukla Pass, also known as the Dukla, Carpatho–Dukla, Rzeszów–Dukla, or Dukla–Prešov offensive, was the battle for control over the Dukla Pass on the border between Poland and Slovakia on the Eastern Front of World War II between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in September–October 1944. It was part of the Soviet East Carpathian strategic offensive that also included the Carpathian–Uzhgorod offensive. The operation's primary goal, to provide support for the Slovak rebellion, was not achieved, but it concluded the full liberation of the Ukrainian SSR.

The German resistance in the eastern Carpathian region was much stronger than expected. The battle which began on 8 September would not see the Soviet forces on the other side of the pass until 6 October, and German forces would stop their heavy resistance in the region only around 10 October. Five days to Prešov turned into fifty days to Svidník alone with over 70,000 casualties on both sides. Prešov that was to be reached in six days remained beyond the Czechoslovaks' grasp for four months. The battle would be counted among the most bloody in the entire Eastern Front and the history of Slovakia; one of the valleys in the pass, near the villages of Kapišová, Chyrowa, Iwla and Głojsce, would become known as the "Valley of Death". (Full article...)

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The Stalin Monument in Prague

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Black-and-white photograph of Kafka as a young man with dark hair in a formal suit
Kafka in 1923

Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) was a German-speaking Bohemian novelist and short-story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work fuses elements of realism and the fantastic. It typically features isolated protagonists facing bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers. It has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity. His best known works include the short story "The Metamorphosis" and novels The Trial and The Castle. The term Kafkaesque has entered English to describe situations like those found in his writing.

Kafka was born into a middle-class German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today the capital of the Czech Republic. He trained as a lawyer and after completing his legal education was employed full-time by an insurance company, forcing him to relegate writing to his spare time. Over the course of his life, Kafka wrote hundreds of letters to family and close friends, including his father, with whom he had a strained and formal relationship. He became engaged to several women but never married. He died in 1924 at the age of 40 from tuberculosis. (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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