- The official name of the country is Česká republika (Cheska Republika), translated as the Czech Republic.
- Government.The Czech Republic is a multiparty parliamentary representative democratic republic. According to the Constitution of the Czech Republic, the President is the head of state while the Prime Minister is the head of government, exercising supreme executive power. The Legislature is bicameral, with the Chamber of Deputies (Poslanecká sněmovna) and the Senate (Senát).
- History. The Celts populated this area around the 4th century BCE. The Celtic Boii tribe gave the country the name Boiohaemum (Bohemia). German tribes and then Slavs settled in the area. The kingdom of Bohemia reached its height of power and prestige during the reign of Charles IV (1346-1378). In the years during World War I cleared the way for the foundation of an independent state of Czechs and Slovaks, The Czechoslovak Republic. On January 1, 1993, the Czechoslovak state was peacefully divided and the independent Czech and Slovak Republics were founded.
- Geography. The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the northwest and west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. Bohemia, to the west, consists of a basin drained by the Elbe and Vltava rivers, surrounded by mostly low mountains. Moravia, the eastern part of the country, is also quite hilly.
- Podyjí National Park is the smallest of four national parks. It is full of butterflies and orchids.
Water from the Czech Republic flows to three different seas: the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea.
- Prague, the capital, is the largest city, with 1.3 million residents. It is the sixth most visited city in Europe.
- The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and Moravia, and Czech Silesia.
- The word Bohemian is not only a region of the Czech Republic, but also a word referring to the Romani (Gypsy) people, and a word to describe the poor artist of Paris in the 19th century.
- Sports. Sports have a long history in the Czech Republic. The most popular sports are soccer, ice hockey, volleyball, tennis and kickball (an original Czech sport similar to volley-ball in which the players kick the ball over a low net.)
- Spa towns are popular, such as Karlovy Vary,Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně are relaxing holiday destinations.
- Jáchymov is a Radon Spa area. The mines in the area are where Marie Curie discovered the element radium, for which she won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The first radon spa in the world was founded here. In 1929, Dr Löwy of Prague established that 'mysterious emanations' in the mine led to a form of cancer. After the Communist party took control of Czechoslovakia in 1948, large prison camps were established in the area and prisoners were forced to mine uranium. The average life expectancy in Jáchymov at this period was 42 years.
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