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23 mai 2011 1 23 /05 /mai /2011 08:21

The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest.

The Czech Republic has been a member of NATO since 1999 and of the European Union since 2004. Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery

The Czech Republic is also a member of theOrganization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). As an OSCE participating State, the Czech Republic’s international commitments are subject to monitoring under the mandate of the U.S. Helsinki Commission.Dell Latitude D830 Battery

From 1 January 2009 to 30 June 2009, the Czech Republic held thePresidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Czech state, or Lands of the Bohemian Crown as it was known until 1918, was formed in the late 9th century. The country reached its greatest territorial extent during the 13th and 14th century, under the rule of the P?emyslid and Luxembourg dynasties.Toshiba Satellite M65 battery

Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the Kingdom of Bohemia was integrated into the Habsburg monarchy as one of its three principal parts  alongside Austria and Hungary. The independent Republic of Czechoslovakia was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire after World War I. Toshiba NB100 Battery

After the Munich Agreement (signed by Nazi Germany, France, Britain and Italy), Polish annexation of Zaolzie and German occupation of Czechoslovakia and the consequent disillusion with the Western response and gratitude for the liberation of the major portion of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army, the Communistparty won plurality (38%) in the 1946 elections.Toshiba Satellite P10 Battery

In a 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a communist-ruled state. In 1968, the increasing dissatisfaction culminated in attempts to reform the communist regime. The events, known as the Prague Spring of 1968, ended with an invasion by the armies of the Warsaw Pact countries (with the exception of Romania); Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

the troops remained in the country until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into its constituent states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Literature

Polish literature has a long and complicated history. Sony VGN-FW11S Battery

During the Middle Ages most Polish authors and academics wrote only in Latin, as at the time, this was the 'academic' language which linked Europe together; Jan D?ugosz broke this trend and became the first author to write the majority of his works in the Polish language. Hp pavilion dv6000 battery

A number of Polish authors have won great renown in the past few centuries, however, this largely stems from the initial success of the works of Adam Mickiewicz, who wrote the first Polish epic, Pan Tadeusz, in 1834. Influential authors of the late 19th and 20th centuries include Henryk Sienkiewicz, W?adys?aw Reymont, Witold Gombrowicz and Czes?aw Mi?osz.Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery

To date four Polish authors have won the nobel prize for literature, with W?adys?aw Reymont being one of only nine writers to receive the prestigious award for one particular, outstanding literary work (awarded for the great national epic, 'The Peasants' in 1924) rather than their career as a whole.Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery

With regard to poetry, Poland has a long and distinguished history of producing world-class poets. Chief among these are the 'three bards' (trzej wieszcze), Mickiewicz, Krasi?ski and S?owacki; the three national poets of Polish Romantic literature. Incidentally, the Polish word Wieszcz means 'prophet' or 'soothsayer', HP NX8200 battery

a fitting reference for the three, as the bards were thought to not only voice Polish national sentiments but to frequently foresee the nation's future.

Today the traditions of Polish literature and poetry are being carried forward by a new generation of writers. Included within this group is Wis?awa Szymborska, a best-selling author and recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature.HP NX7400 battery

Architecture

Polish cities and towns reflect the whole spectrum of European styles. Romanesque architecture is represented by St. Andrew's Church in Kraków, and characteristic for Poland Brick Gothic by St. Mary's Church in Gda?sk. HP NW8440 battery

Richly decorated attics and arcade loggias are the common elements of the Polish Renaissance architecture, like in City Hall in Pozna?. For some time the late renaissance, so called mannerism, most notably inBishop’s Palace in Kielce, coexisted with the early baroque like in Church of SS. Peter and Paul in Kraków.HP NW8200 battery

History has not been kind to Poland's architectural monuments. Nonetheless, a number of ancient structures had survived: castles, churches, and stately buildings, often unique in the regional or European context. Some of them have been painstakingly restored, like Wawel Castle, HP NC6400 battery

or completely reconstructed after being destroyed in the Second World War, including the Old Town and Royal Castle in Warsaw and the Old Town of Gda?sk. The architecture ofGda?sk is mostly of the Hanseatic variety, a Gothic style common amongst the former trading cities along the Baltic sea and in the northern part of Central Eastern Europe. HP NC6200 battery

The architectural style of Wroc?aw is mainly representative of German architecture, since it was for centuries located within the German states. The centre of Kazimierz Dolny on the Vistula is a good example of a well-preserved medieval town. Poland's ancient capital, Kraków, ranks among the best-preserved Gothic and Renaissanceurban complexes in Europe. HP NC6100 battery

Meanwhile, the legacy of the Kresy Marchlands of Poland's eastern regions, where Wilno and Lwów (now Vilnius and Lviv) were recognised as two major centres for the arts, played a special role in the development of Polish architecture, with Catholic church architecture deserving special note.HP NC6000 battery

In Vilnius (Lithuania) there are about 40 baroque and Renaissance churches. In Lviv (Ukraine) there are also a number of Gothic, Renaissance, andbaroque religious buildings which have borrowed from and been influenced by Orthodox and Armenian church architecture.HP NC4400 battery

The second half of the 17th century is marked by baroque architecture. Side towers, visible in Branicki Palace in Bia?ystok are typical for Polish baroque. The classical Silesian baroque is represented by the University in Wroc?aw. Profuse decorations of Branicki Palace in Warsaw are characteristic of rococo style. HP 6710B battery

The centre of Polish classicism was Warsaw under the rule of the last Polish king Stanis?aw August Poniatowski.The Palace on the Water is the most notable example of Polish neoclassical architecture. Lublin Castle represents the Gothic Revival style in architecture, while the Izrael Pozna?ski Palace in ?ód? is an example of eclecticism.HP 6530B battery

Sports

Many sports are popular in Poland. Football (soccer) is the country's most popular sport, with a rich history of international competition. Track and field, basketball, boxing, ski jumping, fencing, handball, ice hockey, swimming, volleyball, and weightlifting are other popular sports. HP 6510B battery

The golden era of football in Poland occurred throughout the 1970s and went on until the early 1980s when the Polish national football team achieved their best results in any FIFA World Cup competitions finishing 3rd place in the 1974 and 1982 editions.HP Pavilion DV6-1020ED Battery

The team won a gold medal in football at the 1972 Summer Olympics and also won two silver medals in 1976 and 1992. Poland, along with Ukraine, will host the UEFA European Football Championship in 2012.

The Polish men's national volleyball team is ranked 5th in the world and the women's volleyball team is ranked 10th. Dell Latitude E6400 battery

Mariusz Pudzianowski is a highly successful strongman competitor and has won more World's Strongest Man titles than any other competitor in the world, winning the event in 2008 for the fifth time. The first Polish Formula One driver, Robert Kubica, has brought awareness of Formula One Racing to Poland. Apple A1281 battery

Poland has made a distinctive mark in motorcycle speedway racing thanks to Tomasz Gollob, a highly successful Polish rider. The national speedway team of Poland is one of the major teams in international speedway and is very successful in various competitions.Apple A1280 battery

The Polish mountains are an ideal venue for hiking, skiing and mountain biking and attract millions of tourists every year from all over the world. Baltic beaches and resorts are popular locations for fishing, canoeing, kayaking and a broad-range of other water-themed sports.Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

Cuisine

Polish cuisine has influenced the cuisines of its surrounding countries. For centuries the Polish kitchen has been the arena for competing with France and Italy. It is rich in meat, especially chicken and pork, and winter vegetables (cabbage in the dish bigos), and spices, as well as different kinds of pasta the most notable of which are the pierogi.Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter

It has some mixture of Eastern European (Lithuanian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, etc.) Generally speaking, Polish cuisine is hearty. The preparation of traditional cuisine generally is time intensive and Poles allow themselves a generous amount of time to prepare and enjoy their festive meals, with some meals (like Christmas Eve or Easter breakfast) taking a number of days to prepare in their entirety.Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/L Battery

It is worth noting that most regions of Poland have their own local gastronomic traditions and distinctive flavours.

Notable foods in Polish cuisine include kie?basa, barszcz, ?urek, pierogi, flaczki (tripe soup), go??bki, oscypek, kotlet schabowy, bigos, various potato dishes, a fast food sandwich (zapiekanka) and many more.HP 448007-001 battery

Traditional Polish desserts include p?czki, faworki, gingerbread, babka and others.

Notes

a ^ Numerous sources state that Polish Army was the Allies fourth biggest fighting contingent.Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

Steven J. Zaloga and Richard Hook write that "by the war's end the Polish Army was the fourth largest contingent of the Allied coalition after the armed forces of the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom." Jerzy Jan Lerski writes "All in all, the Polish units, although divided and controlled by different political orientation,HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery

constituted the fourth largest Allied force, after the America, British and Soviet Armies." M. K. Dziewanowski has noted that "if Polish forces fighting in the east and west were added to the resistance fighters, Poland had the fourth largest Allied army in the war (after the USSR, the U.S. and Britain)".Compaq CQ35-100 battery

The claim of the fourth biggest Ally need to be taken in perspective, throughout the war Poland's position varied from the 2nd biggest Ally (after the fall of France, when Polish army outnumbered the French) to perhaps the 5th at the end (after the USA, Soviet Union, China and Britain). For details, see the analysis in Polish contribution to World War II.HP DV9700 battery

b ^ Sources vary with regards to what was the largest resistance movement during World War II. The confusion often stems from the fact that as war progressed, some resistance movements grew larger - and other diminished. Polish territories were mostly freed from Nazi German control in the years 1944-1945, Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

eliminating the need for their respective (anti-Nazi) partisan forces (in Poland (although the cursed soldiers continued to fight against the Soviets). Several sources note that Polish Armia Krajowa was the largest resistance movement in Nazi-occupied Europe.HP Pavilion DV8 battery

For example, Norman Davies wrote "Armia Krajowa (Home Army), the AK, which could fairly claim to be the largest of European resistance"; Gregor Dallas wrote "Home Army (Armia Krajowa or AK) in late 1943 numbered around 400000, making it the largest resistance organization in Europe";Compaq CQ50 battery

Mark Wyman wrote "Armia Krajowa was considered the largest underground resistance unit in wartime Europe".[142] Certainly, Polish resistance was the largest resistance till German invasion of Yugoslavia and invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. After that point, the numbers ofSoviet partisans and Yugoslav partisans begun growing rapidly. HP Pavilion DV7 battery

The numbers of Soviet partisans quickly caught up and were very similar to that of the Polish resistance. The numbers of Tito's Yugoslav partisans were roughly similar to those of the Polish and Soviet partisans in the first years of the war (1941–1942), but grew rapidly in the latter years, Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

outnumbering the Polish and Soviet partisans by 2:1 or more (estimates give Yugoslavian forces about 800,000 in 1945, to Polish and Soviet forces of 400,000 in 1944).

The Czech Republic is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary representative democracy. Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

President Václav Klaus is the current head of state. The Prime Minister is the head of government (currently Petr Ne?as). The Parliament has two chambers: the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. It is also a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group.Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

The Czech Republic made economic reforms such as fast privatizations. Annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth stood at around 6% until the outbreak of the recent global economic crisis. The country is the first former member of the Comecon to achieve the status of a developed countryaccording to the World Bank (2006).SONY VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

In addition, The Czech Republic has the highest human development in Eastern Europe,  ranking as a "Very High Human Development" nation. It is also ranked as the most democratic, peaceful and healthy (by infant mortality) country in the region.Asus M52N Battery

Etymology

The current Czech Republic comprises 3 historical lands: Bohemia (?echy) in the West, Moravia (Morava) in the South-East, and Czech Silesia (Slezsko; the smaller, south-eastern part of historical Silesia, most of which is located within modern Poland) in the North-East. Dell Latitude E6400 ATG Battery

Jointly, these historic regions are described as "Czech lands" (former "Lands of the Bohemian Crown"), with the Czech language being spoken in all three. When the Czech nation regained its independence in 1918, the new state of Czechoslovakia was constituted to reflect the union of the Czech and Slovak territories that were merged together after World War I (in addition, a small western part of present Ukraine was included as well).SONY VAIO VGN-FW21L Battery

The word Czech itself came into English later via Polish.[13] The current English spelling is similar to an antiquated Czech spelling (Cžechy, Cžech), however it is unlike the modern ?echy and ?esko. This discrepancy arises from a 15th century reform of Czech priest Magister John Huss.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21M Battery

Following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia at the end of 1992, the Czech part of the former nation found itself without a common single-word name in English. In 1993, the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggested the name Czechia as an official alternative in all situations other than formal official documents and the full names of government institutions;SONY VAIO VGN-FW21Z Battery

however, this has not become widespread in English, even though most other languages have single-word names for the country (usually their own variants of "Czechia").

History

Archaeologists have found evidence of prehistoric human settlements in the area, dating back to the Neolithic era. SONY VAIO VGN-FW33GW Battery

In the classical era, from the 3rd century BC Celtic migrations, the Boii (see Bohemia) and later in the 1st century, Germanic tribes of Marcomanni and Quadi settled there. During the Migration Period around the 5th century, many Germanic tribes moved westwards and southwards out of Central Europe.Dell XPS M1210 Battery

Slavic people from the Black Sea and Carpathian regions settled in the area (a movement that was also stimulated by the onslaught of peoples from Siberia and Eastern Europe: Huns, Avars, Bulgarsand Magyars). Following in the Germans' wake, they moved southwards into Bohemia, Moravia and some of present day Austria. Dell KM958 battery

During the 7th century, the Frankish merchant, Samo, supporting the Slavs fighting their Avar rulers, became the ruler of the first known Slav state in Central Europe. The Moravian principality arose in the 8th century (see Great Moravia).

Bohemia

The Bohemian or Czech state emerged in the late 9th century, when it was unified by the P?emyslid dynasty. Dell Studio 1555 battery

The kingdom of Bohemia was, as the only one kingdom in Empire, a significant regional power during the Middle Ages. It was part of the Holy Roman Empire during the entire existence of that confederation.

In 1212, King P?emysl Otakar I (1198–1230), bearing the title “king“ already since 1198, extracted a Golden Bull of Sicily (a formal edict) from the emperor, confirming the royal title for Otakar and his descendants.Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

The 13th century was also a period of large-scale German immigration. The Germans populated towns and mining districts on the Bohemian periphery and, in some cases, formed German colonies in the interior of the Czech lands. In 1235, the mighty Mongol army launched aninvasion of Europe and after the Battle of Legnica,Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery

the Mongols carried their devastating raid into Moravia, but they were beaten by the Czech royal army in a batte of Olomouc and contunied into Hungarian Lands.

King P?emysl Otakar II (1253–1278) earned the nickname of "the King of Gold and Iron" due to his military power and wealth. Sony VGP-BPS13A/B battery

He acquired Austria, Styria and Carinthia thus spreading the Bohemian territory to the Adriatic sea. He met his death at the Battle on the Marchfeld in 1278, in a war with his rival, the Roman king Rudolph I of Germany.Ottokar's son Wenceslaus II acquired the Polish crown in 1300 for himself and the Hungarian crown for his son. Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery

In 1306, the las King of P?emyslid line was murder by two polish assassins in Olomouc and, after a series of dynastic wars, the House of Luxembourg gained the Bohemian crown.

The 14th century, particularly the reign of Charles IV (1342–1378), is considered the Golden Age of Czech history. Sony VGP-BPL9 battery

Of particular significance was the founding of Charles University in Prague in 1348. The Black Death, which had raged in Europe from 1347 to 1352, decimated the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1380, killing about 10% of the population.

In the 15th century, the religious and social reformer Jan Hus formed a movement, later named after him. Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery

Although Hus was named a heretic and burnt in Constanz in 1415, his followers seceded from the Catholic Church and in the Hussite Wars (1419–1434) defeated five crusades organized against them by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. Petr Chel?ický continued with Czech Hussite Reformation movement.Sony VGP-BPL15 battery

During the next two centuries, 90% of the inhabitants converted to the Hussite form of Protestantism. After 1526 Bohemia came increasingly under Habsburg control as the Habsburgs became first the elected and then the hereditary rulers of Bohemia.HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery

The Defenestration of Prague and subsequent revolt against the Habsburgs in 1618 marked the start of the Thirty Years' War, which quickly spread throughout Central Europe. In 1620, the rebellion in Bohemia was crushed at the Battle of White Mountain and the ties between Bohemia and Habsburgs' hereditary lands in Austria were strengthened.HP Pavilion dv8000 battery

The war had a devastating effect on the local population; the people were given the choice either to convert to Catholicism or leave the country.

The following period, from 1620 to the late 18th century, has been often called the "Dark Age". HP PAVILION DV6000 Battery

The population of the Czech lands declined by a third due to war, disease, famine and the expulsion of the Protestant Czechs. The Habsburgs banned all religions other than Catholicism. Ottoman Turks and Tatars invaded Moravia in 1663, taking 12,000 slaves. In 1679–1680 the Czech lands faced a devastating plague and an uprising of serfs.HP PAVILION DV8000 Battery

The reigns of Maria Theresa of Austria (1740–80) and her son Joseph II (1780–90), Holy Roman Emperor and co-regent from 1765, were characterized by enlightened absolutism. In 1742, most of Silesia, then the possession of the Bohemian crown, was seized by King Frederick II of Prussia in the War of the Austrian Succession.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ Battery

The Great Famine, which lasted from 1770 until 1771, killed about one tenth of the Czech population, or 250,000 inhabitants, and radicalized countrysides leading to peasant uprisings.

After the fall of the Holy Roman Empire, Bohemia became part of the Austrian Empire and later of Austria–Hungary. HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

Serfdom was not completely abolished until 1848. After the Revolutions of 1848, Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria instituted an absolute monarch in an effort to balance competing ethnic interests in the empire.

Czechoslovakia

An estimated 150,000 Czech soldiers died in World War I. HP Pavilion DV8000 battery

More than 100,000 Czech volunteers formed the Czechoslovak Legions in Russia, where they fought against the Central Powers and later against Bolshevik troops. Following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I, the independent republic of Czechoslovakia was created in 1918. HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

This new country incorporated regions of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Slovakia and the Carpathian Ruthenia (known as the Subcarpathian Rus at the time) with significant German, Hungarian, Polish and Ruthenian speaking minorities.

Although Czechoslovakia was a unitary state, it provided what were at the time rather extensive rights to its minorities. HP Pavilion DV8000 battery

However, it did not grant its minorities any territorial political autonomy. The failure to do so resulted in discontent and strong support among some of the minorities for a break from Czechoslovakia. Adolf Hitler took advantage of this opportunity and, supported by Konrad Henlein's Sudeten German Party,SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18 Battery

gained the largely German speaking Sudetenland (and its substantial Maginot Line like border fortifications), through the 1938 Munich Agreement. Poland annexed the Zaolzie area around ?eský T?šín. Hungary gained parts of Slovakia and the Subcarpathian Rus as a result of the First Vienna Award in November 1938.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E Battery

The remainders of Slovakia and the Subcarpathian Rus gained greater autonomy, with the state renamed to "Czecho-Slovakia" (The Second Republic; see German occupation of Czechoslovakia). After Nazi Germany threatened to annex part of Slovakia, allowing the remaining regions to be partitioned by Hungary and Poland,SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

Slovakia chose to maintain its national and territorial integrity, seceding from Czecho-Slovakia in March 1939, and allying itself, as demanded by Germany, with Hitler's coalition.

The remaining Czech territory was occupied by Germany, which transformed it into the so-called Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

The Protectorate was proclaimed part of the Third Reich and the President and Prime Minister were subordinate to the Nazi Reichsprotektor ("imperial protector"). Subcarpathian Rus declared independence as the Republic of Carpatho-Ukraine on 15 March 1939, but was invaded by Hungary the same day and formally annexed the next day. SONY VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

Approximately 345,000 Czechoslovak citizens, including 277,000 Jews, were killed or executed, while hundreds of thousands of others were sent to prisons andconcentration camps or used as forced labour. Perhaps two–thirds of the Czech nation was destined either for extermination or removal.SONY VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery

A Nazi concentration camp existed at Terezín, to the north of Prague.

There was Czech resistance to Nazi occupation, both at home and abroad, most notably with the assassination of Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich in a Prague suburb on 27 May 1942. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery

The Czechoslovak government-in-exile and its army fighting against the Germans were acknowledged by the Allies; Czechoslovak troops fought in the UK, North Africa, the Middle East and the Soviet Union. The German occupation ended on 9 May 1945, with the arrival of the Soviet and American armies and the Prague uprising. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery

An estimated 140,000 Soviet soldiers died in the fighting for the liberation of Czechoslovakia.

In 1945–1946, almost the entire German minority in Czechoslovakia, about 2.7 million people, were expelled to Germany and Austria.Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

During this time, thousands of Germans were held in prisons and detention camps, or used as forced labour. In the summer of 1945, there were several massacres. The only Germans not expelled were some 250,000, who had been active in the resistance against the Nazis or were considered economically important, though many of these emigrated later. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery

Following a Soviet-organised referendum, the Subcarpathian Rus never returned under Czechoslovak rule, but became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, as the Zakarpattia Oblast in 1946.

Czechoslovakia uneasily tried to play the role of a "bridge" between the West and East. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery

However, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia rapidly increased in popularity, with a general disillusionment with the West, due to the pre-war Munich Agreement, and a favourable popular attitude towards the Soviet Union, due to the Soviets' role in liberating Czechoslovakia from German rule. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery

In the 1946 elections, the Communists gained 38% of the votes and became the largest party in the Czechoslovak parliament. They formed a coalition government with other parties of the National Front and moved quickly to consolidate power. The decisive step took place in February 1948,Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/T Battery

during a series of events characterized by Communists as a "revolution" and by anti-Communists as a "takeover", the Communist People's Militias secured control of key locations in Prague, and a new, all-Communist government was formed.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ180E Battery

For the next 41 years, Czechoslovakia was a Communist state within the Eastern Bloc (see History of Czechoslovakia (1948–1989)). This period was marked by a variety of social developments. The Communist government completely nationalized the means of production and established a command economy. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ220E Battery

The economy grew rapidly during the 1950s and 1960s, but slowed down in the 1970s, with increasing problems during the 1980s. The political climate was highly repressive during the 1950s, including numerous show trials, but became more open and tolerant in the 1960s, SONY VAIO VGN-FZ340E Battery

culminating in Alexander Dub?ek's leadership in the 1968 Prague Spring, which tried to create "socialism with a human face" and perhaps even introduce political pluralism. This was forcibly ended by 21 August 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion.

The invasion was followed by a harsh program of "Normalization" in the late 1960s and the 1970s.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ460E Battery

Until 1989, the political establishment relied on censorship of the opposition, though using more "carrot" than "whip" to secure the populace's passivity. Dissidents published Charter 77 in 1977 and the first of a new wave of protests were seen in 1988. Between 1948 and 1989 more than 250,000 Czechs and Slovaks were sent to prison for "anti-state activities", and over 400,000 emigrated.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ480E Battery

Velvet revolution and independence

In November 1989, Czechoslovakia returned to a liberal democracy through the peaceful "Velvet Revolution". However, Slovak national aspirations strengthened and on 1 January 1993, the country peacefully split into the independent Czech Republic and Slovakia. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31E Battery

Both countries went through economic reforms and privatisations, with the intention of creating a capitalist economy. This process was largely successful, as in 2006, the Czech Republic was recognised by the World Bank as a "developed country" and in 2009, the Human Development Index ranked it as a nation of "Very High Human Development". SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31B Battery

From 1991, the Czech Republic, originally as part of Czechoslovakia and now in its own right, has been a member of the Visegrád Group and from 1995, theOECD. The Czech Republic joined NATO on 12 March 1999 and the European Union on 1 May 2004. It held the Presidency of the European Union for the first half of 2009.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31J Battery

Politics

The Czech Republic is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary representative democracy, with the Prime Minister as head of government. The Parliament(Parlament ?eské republiky) is bicameral, with the Chamber of Deputies (Czech: Poslanecká sn?movna) (200 members) and the Senate (Senát) (81 members).SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31M Battery

The President of the Czech Republic is selected by a joint session of the parliament for a five-year term, with no more than two consecutive terms. The president is a formal head of state with limited specific powers, most importantly to return bills to the parliament, SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31Z Battery

nominate Constitutional court judges for the Senate's approval and dissolve the parliament under certain special and unusual circumstances. He also appoints the prime minister, as well the other members of the cabinet on a proposal by the prime minister.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ38M Battery

The Prime Minister is the head of government and wields considerable powers, including the right to set the agenda for most foreign and domestic policy, mobilize the parliamentary majority and choose government ministers.

The members of the Chamber of Deputies are elected for a four year term by proportional representation, SONY VGP-BPS8 Battery

with a 5% election threshold. There are 14 voting districts, identical to the country's administrative regions. The Chamber of Deputies, the successor to the Czech National Council, has the powers and responsibilities of the now defunct federal parliament of the former Czechoslovakia.SONY VGP-BPS13/S Battery

The members of the Senate are elected in single-seat constituencies by two-round runoff voting for a six-year term, with one-third elected every even year in the autumn. The first election was in 1996, for differing terms. This arrangement is modeled on the U.S.SONY VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

Senate, but each constituency is roughly the same size and the voting system used is a two-round runoff. The Senate is unpopular among the public and suffers from low election turnout, overall roughly 30% in the first round and 20% in the second.SONY VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

Foreign relations

Membership in the European Union is central in Czech Republic's foreign policy. The Czech Republic held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first half of 2009.Czech officials have supported dissenters in Burma, Belarus, Moldova and Cuba. SONY VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

Military

The Czech armed forces consist of the Army, Air Force and of specialized support units. In 2004, the Czech armed forces completely phased out conscription and transformed into a fully volunteer military army and air force. The country has been a member of NATO, since 12 March 1999. Defence spending is around 1.8% of the GDP (2006).SONY VGP-BPS13AS Battery

Administrative divisions

Since 2000, the Czech Republic is divided into thirteen regions (Czech: kraje, singular kraj) and the capital city of Prague. Each region has its own elected Regional Assembly (krajské zastupitelstvo) and hejtman (usually translated as hetman or "president"). In Prague, their powers are executed by the city council and the mayor.Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery

The older seventy-six districts (okresy, singular okres) including three "statutory cities" (without Prague, which had special status) lost most of their importance in 1999 in an administrative reform; they remain as territorial divisions and seats of various branches of state administration.SONY VGP-BPS13AS Battery

Geography

The Czech Republic lies mostly between latitudes 48° and 51° N (a small area lies north of 51°), and longitudes 12° and 19° E.

The Czech landscape is exceedingly varied. Bohemia, to the west, consists of a basin drained by the Elbe (Czech: Labe) and the Vltava (or Moldau) rivers, surrounded by mostly low mountains, such as the Krkonoše range of the Sudetes.Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery

The highest point in the country, Sn?žka at 1,602 m (5,256 ft), is located here. Moravia, the eastern part of the country, is also quite hilly. It is drained mainly by the Morava River, but it also contains the source of the Oder River(Czech: Odra).

Water from the landlocked Czech Republic flows to three different seas: the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea. Dell Studio 1450 Battery

The Czech Republic also leases theMoldauhafen, a 30,000-square-metre (7.4-acre) lot in the middle of the Hamburg Docks, which was awarded to Czechoslovakia by Article 363 of the Treaty of Versailles, to allow the landlocked country a place where goods transported down river could be transferred to seagoing ships.Dell Studio 1457 Battery

The territory reverts to Germany in 2028.

Phytogeographically, the Czech Republic belongs to the Central European province of the Circumboreal Region, within the Boreal Kingdom.Dell Latitude D610 Battery

According to theWorld Wide Fund for Nature, the territory of the Czech Republic can be subdivided into four ecoregions: the Central European mixed forests, Pannonian mixed forests, Western European broadleaf forests and Carpathian montane conifer forests.

There are four national parks in the Czech Republic. Dell Studio 1457 Battery

The oldest is Krkonoše National Park (Biosphere Reserve), Šumava National Park (Biosphere Reserve), National Park Podyjí, ?eské Švýcarsko National Park.

Climate

The Czech Republic has a temperate continental climate, with relatively hot summers and cold, cloudy and snowy winters. Toshiba Satellite M60 battery

Most rain falls during the summer. The temperature difference between summer and winter is relatively high, due to the landlocked geographical position.

Within the Czech Republic, temperatures vary greatly, depending on the elevation.Dell Latitude D830 Battery

In general, at higher altitudes, the temperatures decrease and precipitationincreases. The wettest area in the Czech Republic is found around Bílý Potok in Jizera Mountains and the driest region is the Louny District to the northwest of Prague. Another important factor is the distribution of the mountains; therefore, the climate is quite varied.Dell Latitude D620 Battery

At the highest peak of Sn?žka (1,602 m/5,256 ft), the average temperature is only ?0.4 °C (31.28 °F), whereas in the lowlands of the South Moravian Region, the average temperature is as high as 10 °C (50 °F). The country's capital, Prague, has a similar average temperature, although this is influenced by urban factors.Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery

The coldest month is usually January, followed by February and December. During these months, there is usually snow in the mountains and sometimes in the major cities and lowlands. During March, April and May, the temperature usually increases rapidly, especially during April, when the temperature and weather tends to vary widely during the day.Sony VGN-FW11S Battery

Spring is also characterized by high water levels in the rivers, due to melting snow with occasional flooding.

The warmest month of the year is July, followed by August and June. On average, summer temperatures are about 20 degrees higher than during winter. Sony VGN-FW11M Battery

Especially in the last decade, temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) are not unusual. Summer is also characterized by rain and storms.

Autumn generally begins in September, which is still relatively warm and dry. During October, temperatures usually fall below 15 °C (59 °F) or 10 °C (50 °F) and deciduous trees begin to shed their leaves.Sony VGN-FW139E/H battery

By the end of November, temperatures usually range around the freezing point.

Economy

The Czech Republic possesses a developed, high-income economy with a GDP per capita of 82% of the European Union average.Dell Latitude E5400 Battery

One of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states, the Czech Republic has seen a growth of over 6% annually in the last three years. Recent growth has been led by exports to the European Union, especially Germany and foreign investment, while domestic demand is reviving.Dell Latitude E4200 Battery

Most of the economy has been privatised, including the banks and telecommunications. The current centre-right government plans to continue with privatisation, including the energy industry and the Prague airport. It has recently agreed to the sale of a 7% stake in the energy producer, CEZ Group, with the sale of the Bud?jovický Budvar brewery also mooted. Dell Inspiron 300M Battery

A 2009 survey in cooperation with the Czech Economic Association found that the majority of Czech economists favor continued liberalization in most sectors of the economy.

The country is part of the Schengen Area, having abolished border controls, completely opening its borders with all of its neighbours, Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia, on 21 December 2007. Dell Studio 1737 battery

The Czech Republic became a member of the World Trade Organisation.

The last Czech government led by social democrats had expressed a desire to adopt the euro in 2010, but the current centre-right government suspended that plan in 2007.Dell Inspiron E1505 battery

An exact date has not been set up, but the Finance Ministry described adoption by 2012 as realistic, if public finance reform passes. However, the most recent draft of the euro adoption plan omits giving any date. Although the country is economically better positioned than other EU Members to adopt the euro, Dell RM791 battery

the change is not expected before 2013, due to political reluctance on the matter.

On 1 January 2009, former Czech PM, Mirek Topolánek, declared that on 1 November 2009, the Czech government will announce a fixed date for euro adoption, since the country "currently fulfils all criteria for adoption of the euro", however his subsequent deposition has rendered this deadline moot.Acer Aspire One battery 10400mAh

There are several challenges, however. The rate of corruption remains one of the highest among the other developed OECD countries and the public budgets remain in deficit despite strong growth of the economy in recent ye

ars. However, the 2007 deficit has been 1.58% GDP and the 2008 deficit is expected at 1.2% GDP, according to EU accounting rules, far better than original projections.Dell Precision M70 Battery

The Programme for International Student Assessment, coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks the Czech education system as the 15th best in the world, higher than the OECD average.

Infrastructure

Ruzyn? International Airport is the main international airport in the country. SONY VGN -FZ210CE Battery

In 2007, it handled 12.4 million passengers, which makes it one of the busiest airports in Central Europe. In total, Czech Republic has 46 airports with paved runways, six of which provide international air services.

?eské dráhy (the Czech railways) is the main railway operator in the Czech Republic, with about 180 million passengers carried yearly. Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery

Its cargo division, ?D Cargo, is the fifth largest railway cargo operator in the European Union. With 9,505 km (5,906.13 mi) of tracks, the Czech Republic has one of the densest railway networks in Europe. From that number, 2,926 km (1,818.13 mi) is electrified, 7,617 km (4,732.98 mi) are single-line tracks and 1,866 km (1,159.48 mi) are double and multiple-line tracks.Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery

In 2005, according to the Czech Statistical Office, 65.4% of electricity was produced in steam, combined and combustion power plants (mostly coal); 30% in nuclear plants; and 4.6% from renewable sources, including hydropower. Russia, via pipelines through Ukraine and to a lesser extent, Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery

Norway, via pipelines through Germany, supply the Czech Republic with liquid and natural gas.

The Czech Republic is reducing its dependence on highly polluting low-grade brown coal as a source of energy.Nuclear energy presently provides about 30% of the total power needs, its share is projected to increase to 40%.Sony VGP-BPS10 battery

Natural gas is procured from Russian Gazprom, roughly three-fourths of domestic consumption and from Norwegian companies, which make up most of the remaining one-fourth. Russian gas is imported via Ukraine (Druzhba pipeline), Norwegian gas is transported through Germany.Sony VGP-BPS9 battery

Gas consumption (approx. 100 TWh in 2003–2005) is almost two times higher than the electricity consumption. South Moravia has small oil and gas deposits.

The road network in Czech Republic is 55,653 km (34,581.17 mi) long.Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

Communications

The Czech Republic has the most Wi-Fi subscribers in the European Union. By the beginning of 2008, there was over 800 mostly local WISPs, with about 350,000 subscribers in 2007. Mobile internet is very popular. Plans based on either GPRS, EDGE, UMTS or CDMA2000 are being offered by all three mobile phone operators Sony VGP-BPS22 battery

(T-Mobile, Vodafone, Telefonica O2) and internet provider U:fon. Government-owned ?eský Telecom slowed down broadband penetration. At the beginning of 2004, local-loop unbundling began and alternative operators started to offer ADSL and also SDSL. This and later privatisation of ?eský Telecom helped drive down prices.Sony VGP-BPL8 battery

On 1 July 2006, ?eský Telecom was acquired by globalized company (Spain owned) Telefonica group and adopted new name Telefónica O2 Czech Republic. As of January 2006, ADSL2+ is offered in many variants, both with data limit and without with speeds up to 10 Mbit/s. Sony VGP-BPS14 battery

Cable internet is gaining popularity with its higher download speeds beginning at 2 Mbit/s up to 100 Mbit/s. The largest ISP , UPC (which acquired another CATV internet provider Karneval in 2007), provides its service in all major cities.

Science

The Czech Republic has a rich scientific tradition. Sony VGP-BPS21 battery

Important inventions include the modern contact lens, the separation of modern blood types, and the production of the Semtex plastic explosive. Prominent scientists who lived and worked in historically Czech lands include:

  • Jan Amos Komenský (1592–1670), educator and national hero, often considered the founder of modern education for his work in pedagogy.Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery
  • Václav Prokop Diviš (1698–1765), inventor of the lightning rod; independently of Benjamin Franklin
  • Bernard Bolzano (1781–1848), noted mathematician, logician, philosopher, and pacifist.
  • Jan Evangelista Purkyn? (1787–1869), anatomist and physiologist responsible for the discovery of Purkinje cells, Purkinje fibres and sweat glands, as well as Purkinje images and the Purkinje shift.Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery
  • Josef Ressel (1793–1857), inventor of the screw propeller.
  • Gregor Mendel (1822–1884), often called the "father of genetics", is famed for his research concerning the inheritance of genetic traits.
  • Bed?ich Hrozný (1879–1952), deciphered the Hittite language. Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery
  • Jaroslav Heyrovský (1890–1967), first Czech Nobel Prize laureate, awarded the prize in 1959 for pioneering research in polarography and electroanalytical chemistry.
  • Otto Wichterle (1913–1998) and Drahoslav Lím (1925–2003), Czech chemists responsible for the invention of the modern contact lens.SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

A number of other scientists are also connected in some way with the Czech Lands, including astronomers Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe, the founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychiatrySigmund Freud, physicists Ernst Mach, Albert Einstein, engineer Viktor Kaplan and logician Kurt Gödel.SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

Tourism

The Czech economy gets a substantial income from tourism. In 2001, the total earnings from tourism reached 118.13 billion CZK, making up 5.5% of GNPand 9.3% of overall export earnings. The industry employs more than 110,000 people – over 1% of the population.SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

In 2008, however, there was a slump in tourist numbers in Prague, possibly due to the strong Czech koruna (crown) making the country too expensive for visitors, compared to the level of services that were available.

The country's reputation has also suffered with guidebooks and tourists reporting overcharging by taxi drivers and pickpocketing problems.SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

Since 2005, Prague's mayor, Pavel Bém, has worked to improve this reputation by cracking down on petty crime and, aside from these problems, Prague is a safe city.Also, the Czech Republic as a whole generally has a low crime rate.

There are several centres of tourist activity. SONY VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

The historic city of Prague is the primary tourist attraction, as the city is also the most common point of entry for tourists visiting other parts of the country. Most other cities in the country attract significant numbers of tourists, but the spa towns, such as Karlovy Vary,Mariánské Lázn? and Františkovy Lázn?, are particularly popular holiday destinations. SONY VGP-BPS21/S Battery

Other popular tourist sites are the many castles and chateaux, such as those at Karlštejn Castle, ?eský Krumlov and the Lednice–Valtice area. Away from the towns, areas such as ?eský ráj, Šumava and the Krkonoše Mountains attract visitors seeking outdoor pursuits.SONY VGP-BPS21B Battery

The country is also famous for its love of puppetry and marionettes with a number of puppet festivals throughout the country.

The Pilsener style beer originated in western Bohemian city of Plze?, and further south the town of Budweis lent its name to its beer, eventually known as Budweiser Bier Bürgerbräu thus Budweiser. SONY VGP-BPS21A Battery

The tourism is slowly sparkling around the Southern Moravian region too, which is producing 94% of the Czech Republics wineyard.

Demographics

According to the 2001 census, the vast majority of the inhabitants of the Czech Republic are Czech (94.24%) (including Moravians and Silesians).SONY VGP-BPS21 Battery

The most numerous national minorities are: Slovaks (1.89%); Poles (0.51%); Germans (0.38%); Ukrainians (0.22%); Vietnamese (0.17%); Hungarians (0.14%); Russians (0.12%); Romani (0.11%);Bulgarians (0.04%); and Greeks (0.03%).[61] According to some estimates, there are actually at least 250,000 Romani people in the Czech Republic.Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

There were 436,116 foreigners residing in the country in October 2009, according to the Czech Interior Ministry,[64] with the largest groups being Ukrainian (132,481), Slovak (75,210), Vietnamese (61,102), Russian (29,976), Polish (19,790), German (14,156), Moldovan (10,315), Bulgarian (6,346), Mongolian (5,924), Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery

American (5,803), Chinese (5,314), British (4,461), Belarusian (4,441), Serbian (4,098), Romanian (4,021), Kazakh (3,896), Austrian (3,114), Italian (2,580), Dutch (2,553), French (2,356), Croatian (2,351), Bosnian (2,240), Armenian (2,021), Uzbek (1,969), Macedonian (1,787) and Japanese (1,581).Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery

The Jewish population of Bohemia and Moravia, 118,000 according to the 1930 census, was virtually annihilated by the Nazis during the Holocaust.[65] There were approximately 4,000 Jews in the Czech Republic in 2005.[66] The former Czech prime minister, Jan Fischer, is of Jewish origin and faith.Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery

The fertility rate is a low 1.50 children per woman. Immigration increased the population by almost 1% in 2007. About 77,000 new foreigners settle down in the Czech Republic every year. Vietnamese immigrants began settling in the Czech Republic during the Communist period, when they were invited as guest workers by the Czechoslovak government.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

Today, there are an estimated 70,000 Vietnamese in the Czech Republic.In contrast to Ukrainians, Vietnamese come to the Czech Republic to live permanently.

At the turn of the 20th century, Chicago was the city with the third largest Czech population, after Prague and Vienna.According to the 2006 US census, there are 1,637,218 Americans of full or partial Czech descent.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31E Battery

Religion

The Czech Republic has one of the least religious populations on Earth. Historically, the Czech people have been characterised as "tolerant and even indifferent towards religion". According to the 2001 census, 59% of the country is agnostic, atheist or irreligious, 26.8% is Roman Catholic and 2.5% is Protestant.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31B Battery

From 1991 to 2001, the number of people identifying with no religion increased by 19.1%, or two million people, representing the largest group increase. Adherence to Christianity decreased by over one million persons.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31M Battery

According to a Eurobarometer Poll in 2005, 19% of Czech citizens responded that "they believe there is a God" (the second lowest rate among European Union countries after Estonia with 16%), whereas 50% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 30% said that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".SONY VAIO VGN-FW31Z Battery

Music

Music in the Czech Republic has its roots in more than 1000 years old sacred music (first preserved references come from the end of 10th century), intraditional folk music of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia and in long-term high-culture classical music tradition.Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter

Since early eras of artificial music, Czech musicians and composers have been often influenced by genuine folk music. Notable Czech composers include Adam Michna, Jan Dismas Zelenka, Josef Myslive?ek, Bed?ich Smetana, Leoš Janá?ek, Antonín Dvo?ák, Bohuslav Martin? and Petr Eben.Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

The most famous music festival is "Prague Spring" (Pražské jaro), that has been annually organized since 1946.

Literature

Czech literature is the literature written by Czechs or other inhabitants of the Czech state, mostly in the Czech language, although other languages like Old Church Slavonic, Latin or German have been also used, especially in the past. Dell Inspiron Mini 12 battery

Czech authors who had written in the German language, such as Franz Kafka, are usually excluded from the corpus of Czech literature, regardless of their own national self-identification.

Czech literature is divided into several main time periods: the Middle Ages; the Hussite period;Dell Inspiron 1720 battery

the years of re-Catholicization and the baroque; the Enlightenment and Czech reawakening in the 19th century; the avantgarde of the interwar period; the years under Communism and the Prague Spring; and the literature of the post-Communist Czech Republic.Dell Inspiron 1564 battery

Czech literature and culture played a major role on at least two occasions, when Czechs lived under oppression and political activity was suppressed. On both of these occasions, in the early 19th century and then again in the 1960s, the Czechs used their cultural and literary effort to strive for political freedom, establishing a confident, politically aware nation.Dell Inspiron 1464 battery

Theatre

Theatre of the Czech Republic has rich tradition with roots in the Middle Ages. In the 19th century, the theatre played an important role in the national awakening movement and later, in the 20th century it became a part of the modern European theatre art.Dell XPS 1340 battery

Cuisine

Czech cuisine is marked by a strong emphasis on meat dishes. Pork is quite common; beef and chicken are also popular. Goose, duck, rabbit and wild game are served. Fish is rare, with the occasional exception of fresh trout and carp, which is served at Christmas.Dell INSPIRON 9100 battery

Aside from Slivovitz, Czech beer and wine, Czechs also produce two uniquely Czech liquors, Fernet Stock and Becherovka. Kofola is a non-alcoholic domestic cola soft drink which competes with Coca Cola and Pepsi in popularity.

The national dish is Vep?o-knedlo-zelo (as pictured) or sví?ková na smetan? (beef with creamy-vegetable sauce). Dell Inspiron N4010 battery

Czech desserts aren't particularly sweet, and frequently are with poppy seeds.

Sports

Sports play a part in the life of many Czechs, who are generally loyal supporters of their favourite teams or individuals. Dell N3010 battery

The two leading sports in the Czech Republic are football (soccer) and ice hockey, both drawing the largest attention of both the media and supporters. Tennis is also a very big sport in the Czech Republic. The many other sports with professional leagues and structures include basketball, volleyball, team handball, track and field athletics and floorball.HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA battery

Sport is a source of strong waves of patriotism, usually rising several days or weeks before an event and sinking several days after.The events considered the most important by Czech fans are: the Ice Hockey World Championships, Olympic Ice hockey tournament, UEFA European Football Championship, FIFA World Cup and qualification matches for such events.HP Pavilion DM4 battery

In general, any international match of the Czech ice hockey or football national team draws attention, especially when played against a traditional rival: Germany and Netherlands in football;Russia, Finland, Sweden and Canada in ice hockey; and Slovakia in both.

The Czech Republic (both as an independent country and as a part of former Czechoslovakia) was a seedbed for many acclaimed film directors.HP Pavilion DM3 battery

Three Czech/Czechoslovak movies that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film were The Shop on Main Street (Obchod na korze) by Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos in 1965, Closely Watched Trains (Ost?e sledované vlaky) by Ji?í Menzel in 1967 and Kolya (Kolja) by Jan Sv?rák in 1996. Several others were nominated. Compaq CQ35-100 battery

The Czechoslovak New Wave, the golden age of Czech cinema, is most frequently associated with the early works of directors such as Miloš Forman, V?ra Chytilová, Ji?í Menzel and others, although works by older, more established Czechoslovak directors such as Karel Kachy?a and Vojt?ch Jasný are also placed in this category.HP DV9700 battery

Encompassing a broad range of fresh and original works in the early to mid 1960s, the Czechoslovak New Wave cannot be pinned down to any one style or approach to filmmaking. Examples range from highly stylised, even avant-garde, literary adaptions using historical themes HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

(e.g. Jan N?mec'sDiamonds of the Night (Démanty noci)) to semi-improvised comedies with contemporary subjects and amateur actors (e.g., Miloš Forman's The Firemen's Ball (Ho?í, má panenko)). However, a frequent feature of films from this period were their absurd, black humour and an interest in the concerns of ordinary people, particularly when faced with larger historical or political changes.HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 battery

Cinematic influences included Italian neorealism and the French New Wave, although the Czechoslovak New Wave also builds organically on developments in Czechoslovak cinema in the late 1950s when directors broke free from the influence of Stalinism in the film industry.HP Pavilion ZD8227 battery

Television was introduced in Czechoslovakia in 1953. Experimental projects with DVB-T started in 2000. Finally on 21 October 2005, multiplex A (DVB-T) was launched with 3 channels of ?eská televize and one of TV Nova and radio channels of ?eský rozhlas.HP Compaq Business Notebook TC4400 battery

On April 12, 2006, six digital terrestrial television licenses were awarded to commercial broadcasters. The receivers of the licenses were: Z1, TV Pohoda, Regionální televizni agentura (RTA), Febio TV,TV Barrandov and Ó?ko. However, because of delays some projects lost investors and will not start (e.g. Fabio. Pohoda) or were cancelled. HP Pavilion DV7-2085EL battery

Z1 provided a news service in from 2008 to January 2011, when it ceased broadcastig. Ó?ko delivers a music service. TV Barrandov provides general programming services. It is planned that analogue transmissions will cease in 2012. Compaq Presario 300 battery

Milestone of digitalization

In September 2008, when multiplex A was available in Prague, Central Bohemian Region, in surrounding areas of Brno, Ostrava, Domažlice and Ústí nad Labem, leave this multiplex with their 4 channels ?eská televize. HP Compaq Business Notebook 6735S battery

All channels of ?eská televize (?T1, ?T2, ?T24 and ?T4) is now in multiplex 1 (with can be seen in Bohemia (except few exceptions), in surrounding areas of Brno and inOstrava). Multiplex A transform to multiplex 2 with stations TV Prima, Prima Cool / TV R1, TV Barrandov, TV Nova and Nova Cinema. HP Pavilion DV2820EA battery

The cover is very similar as multiplex 1, except southeast part of Bohemie. Multiplex B transform to multiplex 3. Now there are broadcasting "Public TV" (it's commercial station), Z1 and until 31 July 2009 Ó?ko. In Prague there is broadcasting multiplex 3 on two frequency. On one of this frequency you can see also Noe TV and Prima HDTV.HP Pavilion DV6373EA battery

Multiplex 3 covered just Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Plze? and Ústí nad Labem. This multiplex now had problem to find reliable stations to broadcast. There is also multiplex 4 which is operated by O2, but there is broadcast only ?T1 HD and Nova HDTV and covered is just center of Prague, center of Plze?, center of Ostrava and center of Brno.HP Compaq 572190-001 battery

Czech TV Crisis

The "Czech TV crisis" occurred at the end of 2000 and lasted until early 2001 as a battle for control of the airwaves, which included jamming and accusations of censorship. During the Czech TV crisis, Czech TV reporters organized an industrial dispute by staging a sit-in and occupying the news studio,Compaq Presario CQ50-105EL battery

and rejected attempts by Jana Bobošíková, the newly-appointed head of the news department, to fire them. They were supported in their protest by politicians such as the then President Václav Havel and by Czech celebrities, but every time they tried to air their news broadcasts, HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

Jana Bobošíková and Ji?í Hoda? would jam the transmission either with a "technical fault" screen reading: "An unauthorized signal has entered this transmitter. Broadcasting will resume in a few minutes," or with their own news broadcasts featuring Bobošíková and a team she had hired to "replace" the staff members she had sought to terminate.Compaq Presario CQ71 battery

The Czech TV crisis eventually ended in early 2001, following the departure from Czech TV of Hoda? and Bobošíková, under pressure by the street demonstration participants and at the request of the Czech Parliament, which had held an emergency session due to the crisis.HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

Bohemian glass, or Bohemia crystal, is a decorative glass produced in regions of Bohemia and Silesia, now in the current state of the Czech Republic, since the 13th century. Oldest archaeology excavations of glass-making sites date to around 1250 and are located in the Lusatian Mountains of Northern Bohemia. Compaq Presario CQ70 battery

Most notable sites of glass-making throughout the ages are Skalice (German: Langenau), Kamenicky Senov (German: Steinschönau) and Novy Bor (German: Haida). Both Novy Bor and Kamenicky Senov have their own Glass Museums with many items dating since around 1600.HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

It was especially outstanding in its manufacture of glass in high Baroque style from 1685 to 1750. In the 17th century, Caspar Lehmann, gem cutter to Emperor Rudolf II inPrague, adapted to glass the technique of gem engraving with copper and bronze wheels.HP TouchSmart TX2-1150EG battery

History

Bohemia was a part of the former Czechoslovakia, now part of the Czech Republic, and was famous for its beautiful and colourful glass. The history of Bohemian glass started with the abundant natural resources found in the countryside.HP 520 battery

Bohemian glass-workers discovered potash combined with chalk created a clear colourless glass that was more stable than glass from Italy. It was at that time when the term Bohemian crystal emerged for the first time in history to distinguish its qualities from the glass coming from other places. Asus ADP-36EH C Adapter

As opposed to usual perception this was non-lead. This Czech glass could be cut with a wheel. In addition, resources such as wood for firing the kilns and for burning down to ashes were used to create potash. There were also copious amounts of limestone and silica.

Bohemia turned out expert craftsmen who expertly worked with crystal. Dell PA-10 Adapter

Bohemian crystal became famous for its excellent cut and engraving. They became skilled teachers of glass-making in neighbouring and distant countries. By the middle of the 19th century, a technical glass making school system was created that encouraged traditional and innovative techniques as well as technical preparation.Delta ADP-90FB Adapter

In the second half of the 19th century, Bohemia looked to the export trade and mass-produced coloured glass for shipment all over the world. Pairs of vases were produced either in a single colour of opaque glass or in two-colour cased glass. These were decorated in thickly enamelled flower subjects that were painted with great speed.http://www.battery-pack.co.uk/

Others were decorated with coloured lithographic prints copying famous paintings. These glass objects were made in huge quantities in large factories and were available by mail order throughout Europe and America. They were not fine art but provided inexpensive decorative objects to brighten up ordinary homes reverse glass painting was also a specialty of the Czechs. Delta ADP-90FB Adapter

The image is carefully painted by hand on the back of a pane of glass, using a variety of techniques and materials, after which the painting is mounted in a bevelled wooden frame.

Glass artisanship remained at a high level even under the Communists because it was considered ideologically innocuous.Dell PA-10 Adapter

However, although craftsmen retained their talent, not all the glass-makers still possess a sense of how to make designs new and exciting, and these are still very successful exporting to markets abroad, while others are passing out of general knowledge In the modern 21st century.Dell PA-12 Adapter

The National Theatre (Czech: Národní divadlo) in Prague is known as the Alma Mater of Czech opera, and as the national monument of Czech history and art.

The National Theatre belongs to the most important Czech cultural institutions, with a rich artistic tradition which was created and maintained by the most distinguished personalities in Czech society.Asus ADP-36EH C Adapter

This tradition helped to preserve and develop the most important features of the nation–the Czech language and a sense for a Czech musical and dramatic way of thinking.

Today the National Theatre consists of three artistic ensembles–opera, ballet and drama–which alternate in their performances in the historic building of the National Theatre, in the Theatre of the Estates and in the Kolowrat Theatre.Dell Inspiron 6400 Adapter

All three artistic ensembles select their repertoire not only from the richclassical heritage, but in addition to local authors they focus their attention on modern world output.

Initial design and construction, 1844 to 1881

The National Theatre is the embodiment of the will of the Czech nation for its national identity and independence.Dell Inspiron 1520 Adapter

Collections of money among the broad masses of the people facilitated its construction, and so the ceremonious laying of the foundation stone on May 16, 1868, was tantamount to an all-state political demonstration.Dell Inspiron 1525 Charger

But the idea of building a dignified edifice to serve as a theatre matured in the autumn of 1844 at the gatherings of patriots in Prague and began to be implemented by an application submitted byFrantišek Palacký to the Provincial Committee of the Czech Assembly on January 29, 1845, HP Pavilion DV6000 Adapter

having requested "the privilege of constructing, furnishing, maintaining and managing" of an independent Czech theatre. The privilege was granted in April 1845. But it was not until six years later – in April 1851 – that the founding Society for the Establishment of a Czech National Theatre in Prague made the first public appeal to start a collection. Dell Latitude D820 Charger

A year later the proceeds went toward the purchase of land belonging to a former salt works covering an area of not quite 28 acres (11 ha) which determined the magnificent site of the theatre on the banks of the river Vltava facing the panorama of Prague Castle, but at the same time the cramped area and trapezium shape posed challenging problems for the designers of the building.HP Pavilion DV9000 AC Adapter

The era of Bach absolutism brought to a halt preparations for the envisaged theatre and supported the concept of a modest provisional building, which was erected on the south side of the theatre parcel by architect Ignac Ullmann and opened on November 18, 1862.Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

The building of the Provisional Theatre then became a constituent part of the final version of the National Theatre; its outside cladding is visible to this day in the elevated section of the rear part of the building, and the interior layout was only obliterated following the latest reconstruction of the National Theatre in 1977 - 1983. Sony VGP-BPS9 Battery

Simultaneously with the realization of this minimal programme asserted by F.L. Rieger and the Provincial Committee, the young progressive advocates of the original ambitious concept of the building (Sladkovský, Tyrš, Neruda, Hálek) launched an offensive.Sony VGP-BPS12 Battery

In 1865 these men attained leading positions in the Society and requested the 33-year old professor of civil engineering at the Prague Technical College, architect Josef Zítek, to draft a design for the National Theatre. He then came out on top in a later-declared open competition, and in 1867 construction work began. Dell Inspiron 6400 Battery

On May 16, 1868, the foundation stone was laid, and in November the foundations were completed. In 1875 the new building reached its full height and in 1877 the theatre was roofed over. As of 1873 there was an ongoing competition for the interior decoration of the building, the scenario of which had been elaborated by a special commission under the leadership of Sladkovský. Dell Inspiron 1525 Battery

On the one hand, the themes were in the spirit of the Neo-Renaissance concept of a classic building. On the other hand, they were inspired by the current enthusiasm for Slavonic mythology and the stories of the Manuscripts; both of these concepts were based on Josef Mánes' paintings and connected with the contemporary style of romantic landscape painting (also linked to Czech history).Dell XPS M1530 Battery

They provided the fundamental ideology guiding artistic expression, which today is described as the art of the generation of the National Theatre.

The theatre includes a triga (a three-horse quadriga) and 10 exterior allegorical sculptures by Bohuslav Schnirch, 10 more exterior pieces by Antonín Wagner, the stone pieces by Max Verich and an interior sculpted pediment group over the proscenium arch by Schnirch.Dell Inspiron 6000 Battery

Grand opening

The National Theatre was opened for the first time on June 11, 1881, to honour the visit of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria. Another 11 performances were presented after that. Then the theatre was closed down to enable the completion of the finishing touches. Dell Inspiron 9400 Battery

While this work was under way a fire broke out on August 12, 1881, which destroyed the copper dome, the auditorium and the stage of the theatre.

The fire was seen as a national catastrophe and was met with a mighty wave of determination to take up a new collection: Within 47 days a million guldens were collected. Dell latitude D600 Battery

This national enthusiasm, however, did not correspond to the behind-the-scenes battles that flared up following the catastrophe. Architect Josef Zítek was no longer in the running, and his pupil architect Josef Schulz was summoned to work on the reconstruction.Dell Inspiron 8600 Battery

He was the one to assert the expansion of the edifice to include the block of flats belonging to Dr. Polák that was situated behind the building of the Provisional Theatre. He made this building a part of the National Theatre and simultaneously changed somewhat the area of the auditorium to improve visibility. Dell Latitude D610 Battery

He did, however, take into account with utmost sensitivity the style of Zítek’s design, and so he managed to merge three buildings by various architects to form an absolute unity of style.

Reconstruction and reopening, 1883 to 1977

The interior artwork was done by Mikoláš Aleš and František Ženíšek. Dell Inspiron 1520 Battery

The building of the National Theatre was inaugurated on November 18, 1883, with a performance of Smetana’s festive opera Libuše, composed for this occasion. The building, with perfect technical equipment (electric illumination, a steel-constructed stage), served without any extensive modifications for almost one hundred years.Dell XPS M1710 Battery

It was only on April 1, 1977, following a performance of theLantern by Jirásek, that the theatre was closed down for six years.

Additional reconstruction, 1977 to 1983 and after

Architect Zden?k Vávra was appointed to take charge of the overall reconstruction work. This extensive project was combined with the completion of work on the entire setting of the theatre. Dell XPS M1330 Battery

The work was completed to meet an important deadline, which was the date of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the National Theatre: November 18, 1983. On that day the theatre was handed over to the public again with a performance of Smetana’s Libuše.Dell XPS M1210 Battery

Nowadays this historic, extremely prestigious and beautiful building, together with the annex of a modern office building that also includes the main box office, represents the main stage of the three artistic ensembles of the National Theatre: the drama, opera and ballet.Apple A1185 Battery

In 1989 the general director of the National Theatre, composer Ji?í Pauer was dismissed from his post because of his support for the policies of the former Communist Czechoslovak government. Pauer locked all staff out of the National and Smetana theatres on 17 November 1989 to prevent members of the opera, ballet and drama companies from staging protest performances.Apple Powerbook G4 Battery

After a three-week strike Pauer was replaced by Ivo Žídek.

Komer?ní banka Award

On May 4, 2005, Komer?ní banka signed an agreement with the National Theatre in Prague to annually honor the most prominent acts performed at the Czech National Theatre in overall three categories - ballet, drama and opera.Apple MacBook Pro 17 inch Battery

Apart from a statue designed by the academic Jaroslav Róna, each winner also receives an amount of 100,000 Czech korun (approx. €4,000 as of March 2011).[3] The first ceremony was held on October 26, 2006 at the stage of the National Theatre. Asus EEE PC Battery

Founded in 1885, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague is housed in a Neo-Renaissance edifice built in 1897–1901 after the designs of architect Josef Schulz. The Museum’s rich collections include decorative and applied arts and design work ranging from Late Antiquity to the present day, with focus on European objects, Compaq V6000 Battery

particularly arts and crafts created in the Bohemian Lands. The impressive interior of the permanent exhibition “Stories of Materials” offers visitors an excursion into the history and development of decorative arts: glass and ceramics, graphic art and design, objects made in metal, wood and other materials, jewellery, clocks and watches, textiles, fashion, toys and furniture.HP 6715B Battery

Mission

The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague collects and preserves for future generations—in both national and international contexts—examples of historical and contemporary crafts, as well as applied arts and design. We believe in harmony between function, quality and beauty; our ambition is to inspire, educate and entertain in a unique way.HP 6910P Battery

History of the Museum

The foundation of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague in 1885 reflected the dramatic development of Czech society at the time. Following the establishment of a similar institution in Brno in 1873, the Prague museum soon became an important cultural and educational centre in the Crown Lands of Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.HP NX6325 Battery

The unfavourable impact of the Industrial Revolution on the aesthetic appearance and, consequently, the quality of products had for a long time been the subject of justified criticisms from artists, theorists and the public. The idea of establishing a permanent exhibition of decorative and applied arts in Prague was realised through an exhibition arranged by the Arkadia Association in 1861 at the Old Town Hall in Prague. HP NC6400 Battery

Another source of inspiration had been the founding of a similar institution – the South Kensington Museum (now Victoria and Albert Museum), which opened in London in 1852, originally containing a collection of objects of applied and decorative arts. More important for the Czech public, however, was the Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie,HP NX6110 Battery

which opened in Vienna in 1864. In 1868, in cooperation with the Vienna museum, the Prague Chamber of Trade and Commerce held an exhibition on Žofín Island of objects obtained from the World Exhibition in Paris in 1867, supplemented by historical arts and crafts mostly from the collection of Vojt?ch Lanna (who became the Museum’s most important donor and sponsor). HP DV6000 Battery

In a period when funds and suitable buildings were hard to find, the promise of the exhibition area in the Rudolfinum (the House of the Artists), made in 1872 and realised in 1885 when the presidium of the Chamber of Trade and Commerce decided to establish an independent museum, also contributed greatly to the birth of the Museum. HP DV9000 Battery

Between 1897 and 1900, a Museum building in Neo-Renaissance style was built according to the design of the architect Josef Schulz on a plot of land located between the Old Jewish Cemetery and a street on the edge of Josefov quarter.

The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, is a landlocked sovereign country located in Central Europe and a member state of the European Union.HP Pavilion ZE4400 Battery

The country has borders with Poland to the north, Germany to the west, Austria to the south, and Slovakia to the east. The capital and largest city is Prague (Czech: Praha), a major tourist destination. The country is composed of the historic regions of Bohemia and Moravia, as well as parts of Silesia.ibm x60s battery

The Czech lands were under Habsburg rule from 1526, later becoming part of the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary. The independent republic of Czechoslovakia was created in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire after World War I.ibm t60 battery

After the Munich Agreement,German occupation of Czechoslovakia and the consequent disillusion with the Western response and liberation of major part of Czechoslovakia by the Red Army, the Communist party gained the majority in 1946 elections. Following a coup in 1948, Czechoslovakia became a Communist-ruled state. ibm z60t battery

Prague Spring of 1968, an attempt at reformation of the Communist regime, ended by invasion of armies of Warsaw Pact countries which didn't leave until after the 1989 Velvet Revolution. On January 1, 1993 the country peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.Sony VGP-BPS2 Battery

The Czech Republic made economic reforms such as massive privatization and flat tax. Annual gross domestic product growth has recently been around 6%. The country is the first former member of the Comecon to achieve the status of a developed country (2006) according to the World Bank.Sony VGP-BPS5 Battery

The Czech Republic also ranks best compared to the former Comecon countries in the Human Development Index.

The Czech Republic is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary representative democracy. President Václav Klaus is the current head of state. The Prime Ministeris the head of government (currently Jan Fischer).Sony VGP-BPS3 Battery

The Parliament has two chambers — the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The Czech Republic joinedNATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004. It is also a member of the OECD, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group.

The Czech Republic currently operates two nuclear power stations: Temelín and Dukovany. Toshiba PA3465U-1BRS Battery

As of 2011 there have been government and corporate moves to expand Czech nuclear power generation capacity. Any expansion is likely to build on plans first developed in the 1980s. ?EZ plans to sign the contract for building 2 new reactors in Temelín by 2013, with completion of both blocks between 2020 and 2025.Toshiba PA3331U-1BRS Battery

History

In 1956 a decision was made to build the first nuclear power station in Czechoslovakia, in Jaslovské Bohunice (western Slovakia). The KS 150 or A1 reactor (120 MWe) was selected because of its ability to use unenriched uranium mined in Czechoslovakia (see Uranium mining in Czechoslovakia). Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

The KS 150 was designed in the Soviet Union and built in Czechoslovakia. Construction was burdened by many problems and took an unexpectedly lengthy 16 years. In 1972 the plant was activated. In 1977 an accident stopped energy production and since 1979 the reactor has been being dismantled.Toshiba PA3166U-1BRS Battery

In 1970 an agreement with the Soviet Union was made to build two power stations of the VVER reactor design. One plant was built again in Jaslovské Bohunice, the other in Dukovany (southern Moravia), both equipped with four reactors VVER-440 v. 213 producing 440 MWe each. Toshiba PA3479U-1BRS Battery

The first new reactor in Jaslovské Bohunice was activated in 1978, the remaining 7 during the 1980s.

At the end of 1970s a decision was made to build two more power stations: Temelín (southern Bohemia, 4 × VVER-1000, 1000 MWe) and Mochovce(southern Slovakia, 4 × VVER-440 v. 213, 440 MWe). Canon LP-E5 Battery

Due to a politically motivated decision by the government of Petr Pithart, in 1990 the Temelín station limited to two reactors. The construction of Temelín also suffered from delays and was over budget.

The fluoride volatility method of reprocessing used nuclear fuel was developed at the ?ež nuclear research institute at ?ež. Canon EOS 450D Battery

Waste

The Czech Republic currently has no state policy on storage or reprocessing of nuclear waste but leaves the responsibility on the Czech Power Company (CEZ). The CEZ does not believe reprocessing is economic and stores spent fuel until the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA) assumes responsibility for it. Canon MV700 Battery

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