Learn more about the location and geography of the country in the heart of Europe...
The Czech Republic is comprised of three historical regions: Bohemia, Moravia, and a part of Silesia, and is divided into several districts. Czechs like to think of their country as "the bridge between East and West". It is geographically located in the center of Europe and borders four other countries: Poland to the north, Germany to the north and west, Austria to the south, and Slovakia to the east.
The highest mountain is Sněžka, measuring 1,602 meters (5,254 feet), while the lowest point, at115 meters (377 feet), is on the Labe (Elbe) River. The terrain is typically hilly with wide rolling plains. The eastern part of the Czech Republic has more low mountains and plateaus than Moravia, which tends to be flatter.
The Czech Republic is located in a climatically favorable position in the Northern Hemisphere. Because of its unique position on the European continent, this relatively small country enjoys a diverse countryside with rich and varying landscapes. The charm of the countryside; the richness of the forests and protected nature areas; and the abundance of mineral water springs are some of the reasons that the Czech Republic is so popular with tourists. The Czech Republic is home to 1,248 protected natural areas encompassing 2,793,570 acres. The country's largest natural park, at 3,900 acres, is Krkonoše National Park.
The largest mountain ranges in the country are the Krkonoše, in
the northeast; the Krusné Hory, in the northwest; Šumava, in the
west; Hruby Jesenik, in Moravia; and the Moravian-Silesian Beskydy.
The largest mountains in these ranges are Sněžka (1,602 m),
Klinovec (1,244 m), the granite mountain Plechy (1,378 m), Praded
(1,492 m), and Lysa Hora (1,323 m) respectively. (more on
Natural resources in the Czech Republic are abundant, and agriculture is a stable part of industry with 41% of the country being arable. Black and brown coal, the country's largest energy source, and deposits of uranium ore are abundant. The Czech Republic also has extensive supplies of raw materials for ceramics, glass, building stone, gravel and bricks.
The Czech Republic encompasses the main European watershed- many rivers, which carry water to the North, Baltic and Black Seas, begin within its borders. At 433 kilometers (268 miles) long, the Vltava (Moldau) is the country's longest river. Its most voluminous, the Labe, has a flow rate of 306 cubic meters of water per second. The Labe connects the Czech Republic with the North Sea via a port in Hamburg, Germany. The main river axes are the Labe (357 km/221 miles) in the west, and the Morava (329 km/204 miles) in the east.
Large man-made water reservoirs (the largest is Lipno, 4,870 ha; others include Orlík and Nové Mlýny) are important as sources of energy and recreation. Ponds for breeding freshwater fish cover 52,000 ha. A large number of mineral water springs are found in the Czech Republic. These mineral fountains, thermal springs, curative mud swamps, and baths have become popular as vacation spots.
Extensive forests provide for an active lumber industry; a delightful system of mountain hiking and biking trails; and shelter for a rich supply of game animals including deer, roebuck, wild boar, pheasant, and rabbit. Thirty-four percent of the Czech Republic is forested.