Fact and Figures
The former state of Czechoslovakia, now dividend into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, was a land –locked country extending from west to east in eastern Central Europe, surrounded by Germany in the west, Poland along its whole northern frontier, the Ukraine in the east, Hungary to the south-east and Austria to the south.
The Czech Republic is bounded on the west by the German Länder of Bavaria and Saxony, on the north by the Polish voivodates of Jelenia Góra, Wałbrzych, Opole, Katowice and Bielsko-Biała, on the east by the Slovak Republic (central and western Slovakia) and on the south by the Austrian province sof Lower Austria and Upper Austria.
The Czech Republic (the former Imperial Crown lands of Bohemia and Moravia together with small parts of Silesia) has an area of 78,864sq.km/30,449sq.miles, representing 61,66% of the area of former Czechoslovakia.
Praga Caput Regni – Prague, the head of the kingdom. “The Golden City, “The Heart of Europe”, “The mother of cities” – This city on the Vltava River (the Moldau) has many names.
INTRODUCING TO PRAGUE
You have to fall in love with Prague. Many have become so infatuated with it that thein love changed into a certain form of hate: in one of his letters Franz Kafka wrote to a frond: „Prague does not let go- of ether of us. This mother has claws. You have to submit to it or - . We would have to set fire to it at two places – at Vyšehrad and in Hradčany – then, maybe, we might set ourselves free. ” Maybe! But with this the flames of declared love do not end. “My Praguers understand me” raved a happy Mozart, who composed his masterpiece Don Giovanni for Prague. What is it about Prague that makes it so unusual? Is it the Prague Castle, that rises like the sun over the hills? Or the Vltava River that bubbles and winds through the valley like the life-giving artery of the city? The river is so loved that the national composer Bedřich Smetana embodied it in his symphonic verse, showing complete pathos and love for his native country. The magical attractiveness of the Vltava was such that in the 19th century, the countrymen did not doubt at all where they should build the National Theatre. Their golden chapel, as the theatre was known, stands on the bank of the Vltava, in the place where all of the routes leading to the east and the west meet.
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