The Czech Republic – geography
The Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a small, landlocked country and it lies in central Europe. It has borders with Poland in the north, Germany in the west, Austria in the south and Slovakia – with which it was united in the State of Czechoslovakia until the 31st December 1992 – in the east.
The Czech Republic covers an area of 78 864 square km. Maximal width (from north to south) of the Czech Republic is 278 km and length (from west to east) 493 km.
The country can be divided into two main regions: Bohemia – the western part, home of most of people and industry, and Moravia – the eastern part, more sparsely populated and agricultural, except around the city of Ostrava. Although usually included in Moravia, the area around Ostrava is actually a part of Silesia.
Almost all the main mountain regions are situated along the nation’s borders. These mountains are named (beginning in the south and moving clockwise) : the Šumava, the Krušné Mountains, the Jizerské Mountains, the Krkonoše with our highest mountain Sněžka 1602 m above sea level, the Orlické Mountains, the Jeseníky and the Beskydy. There are also some hilly regions within the country, such as the Czechmoravian highland and the sandstone region of the Český ráj (Bohemian Paradise). We can find lowlands along the rivers. The biggest of them is Polabská lowland. There are good conditions for agriculture there.
The Czech Republic has many rivers. Rivers belong to the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea basins. Bohemia has the largest rivers, the Vltava (the longest one – 433 km in CR) and the Labe (390 km in CR, 1165 km in all countries) into which the Vltava disembogues and which (as the Labe) flows to the North Sea. In Moravia there are the following rivers: the Morava in the east, along the border with Slovakia, and the Dyje in the south near the Austrian border. They both join the Danube, which flows into the Black Sea. Northern Moravia has two small rivers, the Odra and the Opava which flow through Poland into the Baltic Sea.
There is also a large and well-known fishing area in southern Bohemia, around the towns of Třeboň and Jindřichův Hradec. In the Czech Republic there are about 21 000 ponds, the largest of them is Rožmberk, which has 489 hectares. The largest natural lake is the Black Lake (Černé jezero) in the Šumava, which has 18,4 hectares.
Despite the industrialisation, the Czech Republic is one of the most heavily forested countries in Europe. Around one-third of the total area of the country is forested, mostly by coniferous trees. Unfortunately these trees are sensitive to acid rains. This fact is especially obvious in the devastated forests in northern Bohemia.