Travel Guides: Czech Republic
Czech Republic is a country located in Central Europe. It is bordered by Germany to the west, Poland to the north, Slovakia and Austria to the south east.
It is composed of three historical regions – Bohemia, Moravia and a part of Silesia – and the whole surface of it makes up more than 78,000 km². In 2008 it numbered over 10 million inhabitants. Administration is divided into 14 municipal regions, and the capital is Prague. Czech Republic Czech statehood appeared in the second half of the ninth century. Between 1526 and 1918 the Czech territories were part of the Austrian Empire, and between 1918 and 1992 (with an interruption during the Second World War) was, along with Slovakia, the Czechoslovak State. The Czech state was formally restored on January 1, 1969 as the Czech Socialist Republic being one of the countries of the federal Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (which was named in 1990 the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic).
The Federation disappeared on 1 January 1993, resulting in the independence of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Meanwhile the Czech Republic Constitution was introduced. Czech Republic is a democratic state with a liberal constitution and multiparty political system. Head of state is President of the Republic, and the legislature – bicameral parliament. Czech Republic is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and European Union. It is also part of the Visegrad Group. The unique name that enjoys the official status is Česká republika, (Czech Republic). The Czech government supports the use of the conventional short-term name Česko. However, in many languages it lacks the equivalent. Česko word was first used in 1777 as a synonym for Čechy name, meaning Bohemia. As the official name it appeared in the dictionary in 1978.
What you will like in the Czech Republic – castles appearance, about 95% of Czech towns have a castle. The interior is not what you imagine when you perceive castle in the distance: the interior looks more like a boyar house. Another plus is the fact that around the castles are found cages or special courts where you can find bears, hawks, deer – even the atmosphere is created as medieval times; roads: at any point in the Czech Republic you want to go, there is a paved road and, very importantly, it is found on the GPS; forests: maybe they should have been included in UNESCO World Heritage. Forests are often so large that you never seen before. The day is dark like night and you feel like you can not go through the trees because they are so close together; cities: most have retained their medieval charm; food is very good and cheap, but you need to know where; there is a real culture for bicycling.
You could find things that you may not like: the way the castles are organized: each castle has at least two sightseeing tours, each tour is paid separately and there is the possibility of purchasing a full fare discount. Accessible tours are times when you do lose a lot of time for that either accepts a Czech-language tour and either wait until 2:00 for a tour in English. Some castles have received leaflets guide in Czech and English; photography is prohibited inside in about 99% of attractions; outside of Prague, the English language is very little known and this makes communication very difficult; some wrong addresses are loaded into the GPS map: you will have difficulty in finding some campsites, although you have the GPS coordinates on the net; crowds in Prague: in some places you will be a little disappointed in the way tourists are treated: in a very careless, indifferent, because tourists come here anyway.
For most tourists visiting the Czech Republic, Prague is by far the biggest attraction: a Western city, cosmopolitan, with a peculiar charm and beauty. Less than 10% of those who visit the Czech Republic established a route other than Prague. If you want to discover the richness of this great nation culture, it’s worth venturing out of Prague. There are offered great views of mountains, hills, forests and plains. Because the country has been affected by World War II, many towns and villages of the province show a veritable medieval architectural style, baroque and modern art. There are so many impressive buildings that give you a sense of huge outdoor museum. There are over 100 castles in the country: the rugged and rigid style of an aristocratic fortress to fully refinement. In conclusion, the most tourist country deserves seen: it is very beautiful, it’s cultural, civilized, and in addition it offers excellent tourist services.
The Czech history is closely linked to that of Slovakia. In the vast majority of the twentieth century they formed a single state. These states were separated on 1 January 1993, although it was more than a political decision than the decision of the people. In the early history the Czech Republic was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the Czech Republic live more than 10 million inhabitants and has population density of 131 inhabitants per square kilometer. Among the most numerous minorities are Slovaks, Poles and Germans. In terms of religious structure, more than half (55%) are atheists, 30% are Roman Catholic, Protestant 4% and about 11% are of other religions. The country is a parliamentary democracy with the President at the head of state. It is divided into 14 regions. The largest city is the capital city – Prague, with more than one million inhabitants.
Other major cities include Brno, Plzeň, Olomouc and Ostrava. The Czech Republic is a member of several international organizations the most important being the EU, NATO, UN. Although it is one of the Member States of the European Union, it still uses its own currency – Czech koruna (CZK). The official language is Czech. The highest peak is Sněžka (1602m above sea level) and the lowest point is located near Hřensko, where the River Labe leaves the country (117 m above sea level). In general, mountain massifs are situated near the borders. Most known are the Giant Mountains. Plains are mostly along the rivers. The longest river is the Vltava. Czech climate is temperate. Some agricultural products are wheat, oats, rye, barley, potatoes, corn, vegetables and fruits. The most spread is the hops. In the animal production culture should be remembered especially pigs, sheep, horses and birds.
In the industry is worth remembering brown coal mining, oil, natural gas, coal, tungsten, uranium, tin, graphite and polymetallic ores. Most energy is produced from thermal (76%), then nuclear power plants (20%) and only a small percentage of 3% hydro. The International Czech abbreviation is CZE, for the registration number of machines is utilizes CZ. Czech internet domain is .cz and international telephone area code is 420. Official name: Czech Republic (Česká republika). Official language: Czech. Area: 78,864 km². Population: 10.3 million. Minorities: Slovaks, Poles, Germans, Gypsies, Hungarians. Population density: 129 inhabitants / km². Religion: Catholic 40%, 10% Protestant. Capital: Prague (1,213,800 inhabitants). State Holiday: October 28 – Creating Independence of the Czechoslovak state (1918), January 1, 1993 – Independence Day of the Czech Republic. Currency: Czech koruna (CZK or Kč). Parity: 1 EUR = approximately 25 CZK. Official time: Central European Time (C.E.T).
Czech Republic is a developed country with a rich culture and history, and people cultivate their own identity. It is a reliable partner in trade, respected member of international organizations and honorable partner in the European community. State Symbols: Flag colors are red, blue and white. Czech flag consists of two horizontal stripes – white, red and a blue triangle with the apex at the center near the flagpole and flag. White band is above the red. If the flag is hoisted vertically, it appears to the viewer the left of the red. Great arms of the Czech Republic is a shield consisting of four quarters: in one four quarters the coat of arms of Bohemia: a silver lion with two tails and a golden crown on a red background, in quarter two arms are Moravia: an eagle in plaid checkerboard composed of silver and red gold crown on his head on a blue background, in the third quarter is the coat of arms of Silesia: a black eagle with gold crown on a gold background.
The eagle on the chest and wings bearing a silver crescent shaped clubs finished in the center of which stands a silver cross. Czech small arms are a red shield which is a silver lion with two tails and golden crown on his head. Apart from the capital Prague, Czech Republic consists of 14 self-governing regions that have chosen by direct election involving citizens of the region, 77 counties, 6,249 townships (of which 526 cities). Czech Republic’s capital Prague is located in Central Europe, 48-51 and 12-19 ° latitude and longitude, it neighbors to the west with Germany (810 km), Austria to the south (466 km), Slovakia to the east (265 km) and Poland to the north (762 km). Czech Republic consists of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, covering an area of 78,886 km².
The maximum length of the country from west to east is 493 km and its maximum width from north to south, reaches 278 km. Border length is 2303 km. In size, it ranks 21st in Europe. Czech landscape is mostly hilly and mountainous. Mountains Giant Mountains are the highest where the highest peak in the Czech Republic, Sněžka (1602 m). There are only two largest fields: one along the river Elbe (Labe) and the other along the River Morava. Czech Republic has a rich network of streams flowing into the North Sea (Elbe and its tributaries), the Baltic Sea (Oder River) and Black Sea (Morava and affluent). The longest river is the Vltava, which springs from the Šumava Mountains. The lowest altitude is Hřensko, where the Elbe River leaves the Czech Republic (117 m below sea level).
Based on National Institute of Statistics, 1 July 2004, Czech Republic counted 10,213,480 inhabitants, like Portugal, Hungary and Belgium. After the number of inhabitants it ranks 14th in the world. According to UN forecasts in the future there will be a downward trend in population, so that by 2050 will reach 9.2 million. In future, real progress will depend mainly on the number of immigrants that will be welcomed in the Czech Republic. There is a process of demographic aging of the population, primarily due to the rapid decline in birth rates: the 100 children assigned 90 people over 65 years. Density: 129 inhabitants per sq km, as in Denmark, but lower than in the EU where 175 people live per sq km. 77% of the population lives in cities, 5% more than the EU average. Most cities with regional importance are about 100 000 inhabitants, and their population structure is very old, as in most of their cities were founded during the Middle Ages.
In rural areas stands a higher density in the east of the country. Every 10th capita is established in the capital. No other city in the Czech Republic does compete in importance with the metropolis and Pragues population. Religion: According to the latest census, 60% of the population said they did not belong to any religious denomination, which proves that the Czech Republic is one of the most atheistic countries in the world. A theologian Prague spoke some atheism “soft” appeared immediately after the Velvet Revolution which replaced totalitarianism. Among religions, the dominant is the Roman Catholic religion and beliefs of the Christian minority – Hussite church. Nationalities: Based on the census, 90% of the population is of Czech nationality. Therefore, the Czech Republic can be considered a very homogenous state. Most numerous minorities from neighboring countries: Slovakia, Poland and Germany. In official statistics is that only 0.1% Roman, although the estimated number is of up to 2%. Many believe that their nationality is Czech, Slovak respectively. Official language: Czech is part of the western group of Slavic languages (together with the Slovakian, Polish and Serbian). The focus is fixed, always falling on the first syllable of the word.
Czech culture has serious roots in its rich past. Thus, visitors from worldwide can visit some of the most beautiful and ancient works of architecture, literature and fine arts. The oldest statue discovered by archaeologists is assessed as having a 30 000 years old. With a height of 17 cm and oval shapes, Venue of the tunic (tunic Venus) is the name the place after it was discovered in Dolní Tunic in Moravia. From 1100 until the early 13th century fine arts were dominated by Roman art, represented in relief carvings, frescoes, manuscripts and illustrations. Representative relief carving is a form triptych window of the palace and monastery in Olomouc Sv.Jíří Prague from Hrad, representing the Premysl and Aněžka abbess. The oldest and most important Romanesque fresco is so-called cycle of Premysl the rotunda in Znojmo ST. Ecaterina while the Vyšegrad Codex, containing many original scenes from the Old and New Testament is a beautifully illustrated manuscript of monks.
In Gothic art 14th century experienced great development in the court of Holy Roman Emperor and Czech King Charles IV (1347-1378). Carol’s monumental concept and policy of the time, spiritual efforts have been expressed in particular through mural painting. In this activity should be referred to Master Theodoric, court painter to the king that among others adorned the chapel of the castle Karlstein St. Croce with 129 paintings in the form of panels, representing figures of martyrs, virgins, popes, bishops and abbots of the army of Heaven of Christ and the creation of Master Vyšší Brod altar, including a cycle of nine paintings of Christ’s life. It has a key role in the evolution of art in the Gothic architecture. Gothic was made in the Czech countries in France in the first half of the 14th century by French architect Matthias of Arras. He designed the first phase of reconstruction of the cathedral and the church St. Vít Karlov Charlemagne in Prague, Na Slovanech Prague monastery church in Kutná Hora St. Jacob church St. Ilie of Trebon, church and hall in Plzen St. Bartolomej Sázava surrendered the monastery.
But the Gothic architecture reached its climax and a European level through the creation of German architect Peter Parler of Gmund (1330-1399). Parler came from a German family of architects and sculptors who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of Gothic art and architecture in Central Europe. The young architect who was invited by King Charles IV in Prague stayed to work here until the end of life has been tasked to complete reconstruction in 1344 the cathedral St Vit was erected to the rank of Archbishop‘s office. The new cathedral was to be used as a place of coronation and burial of Czech kings. Parler introduced new elements of design space huge vault of the cathedral – as a fan vault, the first of its kind in Central Europe and new frames of the windows, with the main reason the flame. Also, Parler and his followers designed and built the Chapel of Saints Hradcany Castle, the northern portal St. Mary, Maria Tyn Church, St. Bartolomej in Kolín and began to work on raising the cathedral St. Barbora of Kutná Hora.
The architecture has been closely linked to the creation of sculpture, especially represented by statues of various saints that adorned the outside and inside churches. Since the mid-14th century with the development of the Virgin Mary cult statues were created: beautiful Virgin Mary with a baby in her arms. The most important work of the school’s official policy Parler is closely linked to King Charles IV of funerary monuments, seven princes and kings of the cathedral and the gallery St Vít, 21 busts, representing the Luxembourg royal family members, including King Charles IV and his wife, archbishops, and cathedral builders of St. Vít and statues of King Charles IV, son of Vaclav and employers that adorn the tower bridge in the Czech Staré Město. Gothic artistic tradition was discontinued during the Hussite wars, being resumed at the turn of 15-16 centuries the so-called late Gothic.
Court Emperor Rudolf II had the Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo in the yard who used allegorical style, representing the seasons or weather. After the battle of Bílá Hora (White Mountain) in 1620, was born in the Czech countries the own Baroque style known as “baroque Czech” that was most influenced by the Baroque in Bavaria and Austria. This style has marked the appearance of strong cities and towns, and villages in Czech Baroque period to socialism. In 17-18 centuries were not only built new buildings, but old ones were restored in Baroque style. The distinguishing characteristic of the Baroque was an adaptation to the specific constructions and assemblies of urban land. In baroque painting is represented by three painters who became known throughout Europe: Petr Brandl (1668-1735), author of many large altar panels, painted in warm colors and representing biblical scenes in which the saints are represented as human beings, Jan Kupecký (1667-1740) with self-portraits and group portraits that capture the characteristics and temperament of the person painted, Vavrinec Václav Reiner (1689-1743).
The latter was most notable in the monumental frescoes, such as the ornamentation of Černín palace, church St. Jan Nepomuncký of Hradcany, the castle chapel of Roudnice Lobkovice family. A singular phenomenon, including a European Baroque art was the graphic artist Václav Hollar (1607-1677) who was forced to leave the Netherlands, settling in England. He painted numerous portraits, maps, landscapes, and views of European cities have a special documentary and artistic value. Baroque sculpture was represented by two rival personalities: Brokoff Maxmilian Ferdinand (1688-1731) and Matthias Bernard Braun (1684-1738). While Brokof decorated with statues his Prague full of inner tension (for instance a few sculptures assemblies on the Charles Bridge, St. Nicholas church and the church St. Havel part of the Stare Mesto), Breaun worked at the Jesuit church ornamentation St. Clement in Staré Město. But Braun has become known mostly for its architectural complex Kuks (eastern Czech Republic) created to control non-conformist Count Šporek in 1692.
The lapidary of the castle built for Count Kuks includes a series of allegorical statues in sandstone, representing the virtues and vices. Near the castle Braun designed the so – called Behlém scientific path, where he carved out of sandstone cliffs and caves. Baroque architecture was especially related to the work of Christoph Dietzenhoffer (1655-1722) father and son, Dietzenhoffer Ignác Kilian (1689-1751). St. Nicholas Church masterpiece both in Malá Strana is a true jewel of Baroque architecture which lasted 60 years lifting so that the two died before seeing it completed, the church which was inaugurated by the Jesuits, is an example of collaboration in the family: the father realized the nave and the son the dome of the chapel. Although many buildings were achieved, Kilian Ignác was mainly interested in churches and he reached to overcome his father. While he preferred longitudinal, Dientzhofer Christoph, his son used the centralized construction has made it as a double shell.
The second half of the 19th century was marked by great economic boom of the Czech countries, a large state formation in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Patriotic concepts have resulted in the construction of the 1868-1883 National Theatre and Art House – Rudolfinum, which were grouped around their so-called generation of the National Theatre consisting of painters, sculptors and architects. Romanticism developed in the 20s of the 19th century with the revolutionary movement and the efforts of small European nations to seek their own identity, especially in the distant past in popular culture. In the Czech countries Romanticism is represented by the European painter Josef Navratil (1798-1865), creator of large murals representing the wonderful landscapes of the Alps in Austria, Switzerland and Italy and Josef Manes (1820-1871) created some paintings small, representing landscapes and portraits.
A clock in Prague in 1866 adorned with 12 compositions, representing the months in which he used elements of the landscape Czech, Moravian and Slovak. Realism is represented in painting by Chitussi (1847-1891), with small paintings, true jewels of landscape painting that evokes the beauty of Czech and Czech-Moravian hilly region, and in sculpture by Josef Václav Myslbek (1848-1922); of reference works should be mentioned that of the statue representing the National Music Theater lobby and equestrian statue of Vaclavske St. Václav náměstí. In 90s of the 19th century the fine arts in the Czech countries have expressed impressionism and symbolism. The personality of this generation’s most important in this work combined the two current European influence of the painter Jan Preisler (1872-1918).
Švabinsky Max (1873-1962) was a virtuoso designer, illustrator and painter, the first professor of graphic from the Academy in Prague, an outstanding portraitist, illustrator and designer of stamps and banknotes and some monumental works. The second wave of symbolism that took place on the eve of World War is linked to the Sursum group from which there were born two names representative of Czech modern art: Jan Zrzavý and Josef Vacha. Secession is indestructible current work related to the Czech painter and graphic artist Alfons Mucha (1860-1939). After studies in Vienna and Munich, he moved in 1894 in Paris, where he soon achieved artistic recognition due to theater posters and programs designed specifically for the Renaissance of the famous Parisian theater actress Sarah Bernard. His sophisticated portraits of women, their hair and garlands of flowers arranged around the sides produced combines with the background or frame decoration panel imposed a new current.
In sculpture are representative two artists: Šaloun Ladislav (1870-1946) who created the Master Jan Hus monument unveiled in Staroměstké náměstí at July 6, 1915 at the commemoration of 500 years since the death of the great Czech reformer. The second is Sucharda Stanislav (1866-1916) who sculpted František Palacky’s monument on the bridge of the same name. It should be remembered along with his equestrian statue of Myslbekterminat sf.Václav only works in 1924 representing the Czech unique sculptures. The Art Nouveau architecture in Prague has grown especially in an independent art form that has been promoted mainly by the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague. Ceramic decoration and stucco facade to Klouček was so widespread and imitated that soon became a characteristic of art nouveau buildings in the Czech cities. Other personalities that representative are: Jan Kotěra, student of the Viennese architect Otto Wagner and Osvald Polívka who designed and built the Municipal House in Prague.
In the early 20s in Prague is a group of eight artists who appear publicly in 1908 under the name of Osma (eight). Among them are Emil Fila, Bohumil Kubišta, Antonín Procházka. The first two have the common feature of having been strongly marked by the experience of the war. In addition, E. Fila has had experience in Buchenwald concentration camp that has eroded health. Kubista who used in his paintings his knowledge of optic and physiology of vision was forced to enter as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army and Procházka was a school art teacher and painter occasionally. In the 30s of the 20th century are beginning to create sur-realism Czech representatives, especially those from the Ra group noted the couple Štýrský Jindřich (1899-1942) and Tøyen (1902-1980).
Štýrský is the first surrealist who dealt with colorful collages and systematically studied dreams as inspiration for artistic creation while Tøyen, real name Marie Černínová was a key figure of European art sur-realist avangardist plus the rebellious type of woman with a great imagination. The 40s have witnessed a trauma for artists that began to use symbols to express feelings of loneliness and suffering of war. In creating the 50 different artists who create works belonging to the group sur-realist abstract Vl. Boutník (1924-1968), Jiří John (1923-1979). Human figures and the material world are beginning to lose what creates a natural reaction. In the vanguard of new trends in the human figure appears again, but that is otherwise seen only in time of Renaissance or Baroque. In the 70s there is a return to the illusory representations of reality and everyday life. Reality is treated with a minutiae technique painting, using acrylic painting, photo retouching and even projections. It should be noted Pištěk Theodor (1932) as production designer and costume designer (created the costumes for M. Forman’s film Amadeus).
Although since the Middle Ages, the Czechs were had their own theatre in their won language, the true development began in the period of national revival and at the end of the 18th century. The first performance was “drama” in Czech in Prague in 1771, although the actors were Germans and had pronunciation problems. In the late eighteenth century was the first piece of important national dramatization of a legend in the eleventh century of Bozena and Oldřich. In 1781 Count Anton Nostitz, one of the leading figures of the city founded Nostitz Theatre, a neo-classical style building (now the State Theatre) which was opened with the play Emilia Galotti by Lessing. Although obtained the promise of playing on stage in Czech, soon players were forced to move into a smaller wooden theater called the Bouda Vaclavske namesti.
Here in 1834 the musical comedy Josef Kajetan Tyl (1801-1856) was launched Fidlovačka song “Where is my homeland” that became the Czech national anthem. Národní Divadlo (National Theatre) founded by public collection opened in 1881 and later burned and was rebuilt again by public collection promptly. The beautiful building designed by Josef Zítek was largely rebuilt by architect Josef Schulz who also designed the National Museum of Vaclavske namesti. At the opening of the Theatre was presented the premiere of Libuše Smetana’s opera, based on the legend of princess who married a humble farmer and aid in the founding of Prague inspired by Premysl dynasty. Founding of the first Czechoslovak Republic in 1918 marked a new progress of the Czech theater. The most important personality of the period was undoubtedly Karel Capek (1890-1938), writer, playwright, journalist, esthetician and philosopher.
He is the author of the utopian and fantastic dramas (The insect life, Makropoulos recipe, Mama, White disease). In his play RUR, short for the Rossum Universal Robots, Capek coined the word “robot”, one of the few Czech words that have entered the international vocabulary. The robots have human emotions in the play and then violent revolt against their masters – the issue was not at all like the later Soviet regime. In the 1930 the D-34 Ensemble was founded by Emil František Burian and the free Theatre (Osvobozené divadlo) has rejuvenated the Czech theatrical scene with their satirical and musical productions. Years of war, under German occupation were a black period for the Czech theater. After the war, hopes for a new start were dashed because the communist regime imposed socialist realism instead of authentic artistic events.
However, this time in Prague opened several small theaters that have brought a new spirit: Na zábradlí (Theatre of the railing), lights, Rokoko, za branou Divadlo (Theatre behind the gate), Činoherní klub (Actors Club). In 1963 the National Theatre premiere zábradlí of Havel’s play “The Garden Party” secured the international reputation of the author. In 1965 the theater has toured with the play in West Berlin, and not over it long enough to be played worldwide. The most common interpretation of Havel’s play was “audience” a play in one act, based on his own life experience when the regime has banned publication of his pieces and was forced to make a living by working in a brewery.
Havel, Boris Hybner, a young mime artist that knew the days when he worked at the National Theatre and Bohumil Hrabal zabradli founded the first company to mime a very subversive character. Groomed black humor of the three led to their characterization as “three black beetles in Prague.” Hybner founded Redoubt Theatre which opened a few months after the Soviet invasion of 1968, but soon was to be closed because it became the focus of political protest. Currently, Hybner leads the Studio Theatre and continues the tradition of mime and gags of Ladislav Fialka, famous mime artist. After 1968, the forced closure of Czech theater was prevented because the initiative of the director Ewald Schorn who created a combined repertoire consisting of classical pieces (Strindberg, Beaumarchais, Goethe, Ibsen) and contemporary pieces (Hrabal, Albee, Steigerwald).
After eight years of restoration, the National Theatre has reopened in 1991 with “Don Giovanni” and then presents classical pieces. In parallel formed small theaters in Prague and other cities promoting young playwrights such as Hadin Theatre Brno. Two forms are typical of Czech Theater black humor and puppet performances. Black Theatre is the magic lantern that shows in a very successful based on a combination of film screenings, moving screens and pillars that support the scene. Actors evolve in light and dark at different levels of the scene, combined with changing projections on the screens joining movie theater mime and dance. Lanterna Magica was founded by Alfred Radok manufacturer which after 1968 was forced to leave the country and died in exile in Sweden.
Puppet Theatre has a long tradition in Czech culture and is very popular. Charles University in Prague taught design courses of Puppet Theater. Among the most popular shows is Orpheus and Eurydice or Don Giovannni presented by the National Marionette Theater. Since 1967, every four years, is organized the Prague International Competition of scenography and theater architecture, known as the Prague Cvadrienala. It is the only event of this magnitude in the world and it is unique because it presents the theatrical culture of all continents. In addition to staging the exhibition are organized seminars, workshops, meetings of the theater people around the world. The international prestige of the event is confirmed by the permanent support given by UNESCO.
Music was always a natural part of life of Czechs and the created works are part of universal music elite. The beginnings of independent musical tradition rooted in medieval times, when ceremonies were sung in the Slavonic and not Latin. In the Czech Baroque musicians preferred to leave the country, such as Johann Wenzel Stamitz composer who arrived at the court of Prince Elector Karl Theodor of Manheim. In the 18th century Czech musical life was so rich that English traveler Charless Burney dubbed a “conservatory of Europe”: In 1787 took place in Prague premiere of Don Giovanni composed by Mozart Nostitz Theatre (now State Theatre), and the composer has become the adopted son and remained an honorary citizen of Prague. The 19th century is marked by the three reference names of Czech national music: Smetana, Dvorák and Janacek.
Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884), composer, conductor, pianist and teacher at Goteborg in the years 1856-1861 gave the world the most popular Czech opera represented “bride sold”, but other works such as Dalibor and Libuše, the latter being presented at the opening of the the National Theatre in 1883. Smetana created the cycle of symphonic poems “My Homeland”, a celebration of the countryside and the history of his native land. In this course the best known and most frequently performed is the poem Vltava. Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was a master of the symphony, music room and oratory. He also composed piano music (waltzes, humor, slave dances) and strings, songs, choruses, opera (Rusalka) and 9 symphonies. In 1892-1895 he was director of the National Conservatory in New York and celebrated this period from the 9th Symphony of New World in 1969 which accompanied the first steps of astronauts to the moon. He also composed music cycle of Moravia (1875), which proves particularly sensitive interpretation based on Moravian folk.
Leos Janacek (1854-1928) took over the method of Smetana and Dvořák, developing his own theory about “spoken song”, the melodic shape that follows the tone of the speech model. He composed operas Jenufa recognized worldwide, and Katia Kabanova cunning little fox. Two years after the establishment of the Academy of Musical Art in Prague (October 27, 1945), founded in 1947 Janacek Academy of Musical Art in Brno and the annual festival of contemporary and classical music based on his work and takes place each fall. Among representatives of 20th century music ought to be remembered Josef Suk (1874-1935) who composed the music room and Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959), who composed the piano, cello and music for ten ballets, of which the Špalíček is best known.
A proof of great classical music tradition is the International Music Festival Pražská jarocare that celebrates 60 years of its existence. The first edition took place in May 1946 under the aegis of President Eduard Beneš republic. Since then the festival is organized every year in 12 May -3 June, 1952 and opens with the cycle of symphonic poems by Bedrich Smetana “My motherland” and ending with the Ninth Symphony by Ludvik van Beethoven. One of the most stable and prosperous post-communist countries, the Czech Republic is recovering from a recession in mid 1999. The increase between 2000 and 2001 was caused by exports to the EU, notably Germany, and foreign investment, while domestic demand is recovering. The rate of corruption remains one of the largest of the European Union countries. Fiscal and current account deficits could also create problems in the future. Ending privatization of banking, and energy telecommunications will attract foreign investment, while large enterprises restructuring and improvements in the financial sector should increase revenues.
The Czech government has expressed the desire to join euro in 2010, but the cash is still in its infancy. The UNESCO World Heritage list in the Czech Republic entered the following objectives: historic Old Town of Prague (1992); historic old town Cesky Krumlov (1992); Telč historic Old Town (1992); pilgrim Church “St. John Nepomuc” on Zelena Hora near Zdar nad Sazavou (1994); Church of Sedlec monastery and historic old town, both in town Kutná Hora (1995); Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape (1996); Old village Holašovice (1998); Castle and park Kroměříž (1998); Lytomyšl Castle (1999); Column Trinity in Olomouc (2000); “Villa Tugendhat” in Brno (2001); St. Procop and Hebrew District In Trebic (2003). Since 2000, the Czech Republic is divided into thirteen regions (Czech kraje, singular kraj). Prague, capital of the republic, has equal rights with them and is not considered part of any region.
Each region has its own regional council (krajské zastupitelstvo) and hetman (Hejtman). 76 old okrese (okresy, singular okres) including three statutory towns (statutární Mesta, singular statutární Město: Brno, Ostrava and Plzeň) were liquidated in 1999 as administrative reform. However, there remained the territorial division and are used by many institutions of state administration. From a political perspective, the Czech Republic is a parliamentary representative democratic republic with multi-parties. Under the Constitution of the Czech Republic, the President is the leader of the state, while Prime Minister is the leader of the Government, exercising supreme executive power. Parliament is bicameral, consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate.
The President is elected for a term of five years by the joint session of both houses of Parliament. Function can be performed for the president to two terms. The President is the commander of the armed forces. The President has the right to veto any law passed in both chambers of parliament. In this case for the adoption of a law is necessary majority of votes of all members of the Chamber of Deputies. Czech landscape varies, from its western Bohemia, a pond, crossed by the Labe (Elbe) and Vltava (Moldau in German), especially surrounded by low mountains, and Sudets. Moravia in the east is also a relatively mountainous region, drained by the Morava. There is also the source Odrei (Oder in German). Czech waters flow to three different seas: the North Sea, Baltic and Black Sea. The local climate is temperate, with warm summers and cold winters, an example of a combination of continental and oceanic influences.