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The Czech Republic is an independent country since 1 January 1993. Tthe country has 10,230,060 (2001) inhabitants. The Czech flag is the same as that of the former Czechoslovakia. When this country was split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Czech Republic continued to use the old flag. The Czech Republic is divided into fourteen administrative regions (Czech: kraj). The regions are in turn divided into a total of 6249 [6] municipalities. The Czech Republic is a parliamentary representative democratic republic. According to the constitution, the president is head of state and the Prime Minister Head of Government. The Czech Republic has one of the most stable economies of the former communist countries. The official currency of the Czech Republic is the Czech crown (koruna). The Czech Koruna is about (1 crown) 0.04 euros worth and is divided into 100 heller (Haler). The Czech Republic has the same time zone as the Netherlands and there is no time difference. The summer time in the Czech Republic is similar to that of the Netherlands.

Most of the boundaries are formed by mountains. Along the southwestern border of the country lies the Bohemian Forest, in the northwest lies the Ore Mountains in the north and the Sudeten including the Giant Mountains. The eastern border of Moravia with Slovakia consists of the Beskiden and White Carpathians. Only the southern border with Lower Austria consist primarily of a river, the Thaya. On the border of Bohemia with Moravia, the Bohemian-Moravian Heights. A number of large rivers rises in the Czech Republic. Thus the Elbe has its source in the Giant Mountains. Some other major rivers in Bohemia are the Moldau (Vltava), the Berounka and Sázava.

The climate of the Czech Republic belongs to the Central European type in which the climate from west to east, reaching an increasingly continental character. Areas in the valleys of Bohemia have a low precipitation rate. Still other areas in Bohemia have a volatile climate, similar to the Dutch climate. It just blows a little less hard and there is a lot more snow. In winter snow falls regularly in the mountain areas in the lowlands changing snow and rain off.

The vast majority of the population of the Czech Republic speaks Czech, which is also the official language in schools and government. Only after the fall of the Iron Curtain began the Czech motorway network to develop. For driving on most motorway is the purchase of a toll sticker required. By far the largest airport in the country is Prague's Ruzyne Airport, located in the district Ruzyně in the northwest of the capital. The other international airports are located in the Czech Republic in Brno, Ostrava, Karlovy Vary and Pardubice.

According to a recent survey in 2010, 70.6% of the population is Roman Catholic, 2.5% Protestant and 26.9 had another or no religion. A small percentage of Catholics belongs to the Byzantic Apostolistic Exarchate.

Many dishes of theCzech cuisine can also be found in other countries, such as apple strudel and Gulas. During the hot meal meat is often eaten with pasta or potatoes. Fish is quite rare and people eat not much fruit. Last years there is a rise in eating fruits and vegatables because there is more and more interest in healthy food. Some typical Czech dishes are bramborak (potato pancakes), topinky (toasted bread) and Český knedlík (Bohemian dumplings). The most famous Czech drink is pilser beer.


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