The Czech Republic (i/ˈtʃɛk/ chek; Czech: Česká republika, pronunciation: [ˈtʃɛskɔ]) is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Germany to the west, Poland to the north, Austria to the south and Slovakia to the east. Its capital and largest city, with 1.3 million inhabitants, is Prague.
The Czechs lost their national independence to the Hapsburg Empire in 1620 at the Battle of White Mountain and for the next 300 years were ruled by the Austrian Monarchy. With the collapse of the monarchy at the end of World War I, the independent country of Czechoslovakia was formed.
The Czech Republic's central European landscape is dominated by the Bohemian Massif, which rises to heights of 3,000 ft (900 m) above sea level. This ring of mountains encircles a large elevated basin, the Bohemian Plateau. The principal rivers are the Elbe and the Vltava.
Czechoslovakia splits into two independent countries, Czech Republic and Slovakia on January 1, 1993. Prague becomes the capital of the Czech Republic.
95% of the population speak Czech. 3% of the population speak Slovak, which is closely related to Czech. 2% of the population speak Czech but are also mother tongue speakers of German, Hungarian, Romani and Polish.
Czech industries include power engineering, metallurgy, car manufacture, glass, leather, plastics, chemicals, ceramics and beer.
Religions: Roman Catholic 39.2%, Protestant 4.6%, Orthodox 3%, other 13.4%, atheist 39.8%
Czech people are the world's heaviest consumers of beer.
Czech people have the second highest death rate for cancer in the EU (after Hungary).
Czech and Slovak languages are mutually intelligible to people accustomed to the other language's pronuciation, particularily people who have lived at the time of Czechoslovakia (the country split in 1993) . The Sorbian languages spoken by a minority of people in south-eastern Germany (Saxony and Brandenburg) are also closely related to Czech language. The relation between these West Slavic languages is a similar to that of Castillan Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Portuguese together.
The Czech Republic was the western part of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic. Formed into a common state after World War I (October 28, 1918), the Czechs, Moravians, and Slovaks remained united for almost 75 years. On January 1, 1993, the two republics split to form two separate states.