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Czech Republic Information - Page 1
Geography
The Czech Republic is in Central Europe and consists of Bohemia, Moravia and part of Silesia. Bordering countries are Austria, Germany, Poland and the Slovak Republic.

Prague is the Czech Republic's capital city. Other important cities are Brno, Olomouc, Ostrava and Plzen.

The terrain is varied consisting of plateau, highlands and lowlands. The highest mountains are the Krkonose (Giant Mountains), followed by the Hruby Jesenik (Ash Montains), the Sumava mountain range and the Beskydy Mountains. Rivers include the Elbe, Morava, Oder and Vltava.

The climate of the Czech Republic is temperate with warm summers and cold winters.

Environment
One third of the Czech Republic is forested. Trees are mainly coniferous firs and spruce. Deciduous trees include beech, birch and oak.

National Nature Reserves and National Nature Monuments are overseen by the Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic. National Parks are Krkonose National Park, Sumava National Park and Podyji National Park.

Over ten regions in the Czech Republic are listed as Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance. These include Krkonose mountains mires, the floodplain of lower Dyje River and Sumava peatlands.

Wild animals include foxes and chamois and animals such as the wolf and lynx live in the protected areas.

Architecture
Prague is a World Heritage site. Most of the important buildings in the old town date back to the reign of Charles IV (1346-78), the King of Bohemia and Emperor of the Holy Roman Emperor. At this time Prague was the capital city of Europe.

Other World Heritage sites include the medieval town of Cesky Krumlov, the old city of Kutna Hora, the historic town of Telc, Litomysl Castle, the Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc and the Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk at Zelena Hora.

Population
The population of the Czech Republic was estimated at 10,220,911 in 2008.

Languages
Czech is the official language.

Religion
A large number of the Czech people do not belong to a religious body. Around thirty percent are Christian (mainly Roman Catholic). Some people are Hussites.

The Hussites are followers of the fifteenth century religious reformer Jan Hus who was burnt at the stake in 1415. As a result of Hus' teachings many Czechs became Protestants, a trend later followed in other European countries.

Food
Main meals in the Czech Republic often consist of beef or pork, and sometimes fish, with potatoes or rice or dumplings. Sauerkraut is used in recipes including soup. Other soups are potato soup and liver dumpling soup.

Dumplings are also served sweet. Desserts include strudel and pancakes. Gingerbread and pastries are popular.

The Czech Republic is famous for Pilsner beer and Budweiser Budvar. Wine is produced and stronger drinks include a herbal liqueur and plum brandy.

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