Basic Information

Geographical information about the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is an inland country lying in the centre of the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere in the central part of Europe. With an area of 78 866 km², it is 21st in size amongst the countries of Europe; its population of 10 251 079 inhabitants places it in 12th position and its population density of 130 inhabitants per km² is the 13th highest in Europe. CR has state borders of 761.8 km with Poland, 810.3 km with Germany, 466.3 km with Austria and 251.8 km with Slovakia.

The main European watershed passes through CR, separating the watersheds of the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea. The central node of this watershed is Kralický Sněžník, 1423 m above sea level. The principal rivers in Bohemia are the Labe (Elbe) (370 km) and the Vltava (Moldau) (433 km), in Moravia the Morava (245 km) and the Dyje (306 km), and in Northern Moravia and Silesia the Odra (135 km) and the Opava (131 km).

From a physical geographic standpoint, CR lies along the boundary between two mountain systems, with different age, geological and geomorphological development. The western and central parts of CR consist of the Bohemian Massif uplands, formed at the end of the Palaeozoic, mostly with the character of hilly country, and the central mountains – Šumava, Český les, Krušné Mts., Krkonoše (Giant) Mts., Orlické Mts. and Jeseníky Mts. The Western Carpathians extend into the eastern part of CR; these mountains acquired their present form in the Tertiary – the Beskydy Mts and the White Carpathians. The area between the two mountain systems consists of a valley zone.

The weather conditions in CR are caused by interpenetration and intermixing of oceanic and continental forces and are characterized by westerly winds and intense cyclonal activity, causing frequent exchange of the air mass and relatively high precipitation. The oceanic influence is felt primarily in Bohemia, while continental weather forces predominate in Moravia and Silesia. The weather in CR is greatly affected by the country’s elevation and the relief of the landscape. Of the total area of the country, 67 % lies at an altitude below 500 m and 32 % between 500 and 1000 m above sea level. Only 1 % lies at elevations higher than 1000 m. The average elevation in CR is 430 m above sea level.

The fauna and flora occurring within the Czech Republic reflect an interpenetration of the directions along which fauna and flora spread in Europe. The forests are mostly coniferous and cover 33 % of the total area of CR. The soil cover is quite variable both in the grain-size of soils and in the extent of soil types. The most common type of soil in CR is brown soil – cambisol.

Most important geographic characteristics of CR:

  • Highest point: Sněžka, 1602 m above sea level
  • Lowest point: The Labe (Elbe) where it leaves the Czech Republic  at Hřensko in the Děčín district, 115 m above sea level
  • Deepest abyss: Hranická chasm in the Přerov district, 289.5 m below sea level (Greatest depth confirmed to date)
  • Longest river: Vltava (Moldau) 433 km
  • Largest watershed area: Labe (Elbe) 51 103,9 km²
  • Largest water reservoir: Lipno in the Český Krumlov and Prachatice districts, area 4870 ha, max. depth 20 m
  • Largest lake: Černé jezero (Black Lake) in Šumava in the Klatovy district, area 18.4 ha, max. depth 39.8 m
  • Largest fish pond: Rožmberk in the Jindřichův Hradec district, area 489 ha, depth 6.2 m
  • Warmest mineral spring: Vřídlo in Karlovy Vary, 72 °C
  • The highest settlement: Filipova Huť in the Klatovy district, 1093 m above sea level
  • The lowest settlement: Hřensko in the Děčín district, 130 m above sea level
  • The biggest municipalities: the Capital City of Prague, 1 181 610 inhabitants
  • Smallest municipalities: Vlkov in the České Budějovice district, 19 inhabitants
  • Largest Protected Landscape Area: Beskydy, 1160 km²
  • Largest National park: Šumava, 685.2 km²