The Czech Republic or Czechia is a small landlocked country in Central Europe, situated west and north-west of Germany and bordering Austria to the south, Poland to the north and Slovakia to the south-east.
The Czech Republic is not a large country but has a rich and eventful history. From time immemorial Czechs, Germans, Jews and Slovaks, as well as Italian stonemasons and stucco workers, French tradesmen and deserters from Napoleon's army have all lived and worked here, all influencing one another. For centuries they jointly cultivated their land, creating works that still command our respect and admiration today. It is thanks to their inventiveness and skill that this small country is graced with hundreds of ancient castles, monasteries and stately mansions, and even entire towns that give the impression of being comprehensive artifacts. The Czech Republic contains a vast of amount of architectural treasure and has beautiful forests and mountains to match.
The country has been traditionally divided into lands, namely Bohemia proper in the west, Moravia (Morava) in the southeast, and Czech Silesia in the northeast. The dialects of Czech spoken in Moravia are slightly different from those spoken in Bohemia, particularly in Prague.
Czech Republic was formed as a result of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia (Velvet divorce) into two national components the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 1 January 1993. Both countries went through economic reforms and privatisations, with the intention of creating a capitalist economy. This process was largely successful; in 2006 the Czech Republic was recognised by the World Bank as a "developed country". The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union on 1 May 2004. It held the Presidency of the European Union for the first half of 2009.
I'd like to tell you about some interesting cities which represent variety of Czechia. Prague — the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic with a large and beautiful historic centre. Brno — largest city in Moravia with several excellent museums, and the annual Moto GP Grand Prix. Karlovy Vary — historic (and biggest Czech) spa resort, especially popular with German and Russian tourist groups. Olomouc — riverside university town with a 1,000 year history and the second-largest historical centre in the Czech Republic. Ostrava — a vibrant local subculture and long history of coal mining and heavy industry. Opava — former capital of Silesia. Pilsen — home of the original Pilsner Urquell beer, and the largest city in West Bohemia.
Traditional Czech food is hearty and suitable after a hard day in the fields. It is heavy and quite fatty, and is excellent in the winter. In the recent time there was a tendency towards more light food with more vegetables, now the traditional heavy and fatty Czech food is usually not eaten everyday and some people avoid it entirely. However nothing goes as well with the excellent Czech beer as some of the best examples of the traditional Czech cuisine, like pork, duck, or goose with knedliky (dumplings) and sauerkraut.