|Information about Prague and Czech Republic
Wikipedia entry on Prague
|Prague has been the political, cultural, and economical centre of the Czech state for more than 1100 years.
The city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of
over 1.9 million. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of
World Heritage Sites. In Prague there is a very strong sense of history, tradition, and restoration on the one
hand and vibrant, dynamic openness of change and innovation on the other hand. One side tends to keep, maintain,
and stifle; the other side tends to reject, change, and destroy. Prague is therefore an interesting site to
explore new strategies which accept the duality of tradition and innovation.
View of Prague bridges over Vltava river (author of photo unknown).
Wikipedia entry on Czech Republic
|The Czech state, formerly known as Bohemia, was formed in the late 9th century as a small duchy around Prague, at that time under dominance of the
powerful Great Moravian Empire (which reached its greatest territorial extent during the reign of Svatopluk I from the House of MojmÍr). After the fall of the Empire in 907,
the centre of power was transferred from Moravia to Bohemia, under the Přemyslids. During the rule of Přemyslid dukes/kings and their successors, the Luxembourgs, the country
reached its greatest territorial extent (13th-14th century). Life in the country was significantly affected by the Hussite wars, during which it faced economic embargo and
crusades from all over Europe. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the Crown of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg monarchy as one of its three principal
parts alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary. The Bohemian Revolt (1618-20) led to the further centralization of the monarchy including forced recatholization
and Germanization. During radical reforms in the 18th century the Bohemian Crown was even de facto abolished (1749). In the 19th century the Czech lands became the industrial
powerhouse of the monarchy and the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia which was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire after World War I.
After the Munich Agreement, 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 Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the majority in the 1946 elections. In the 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); 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 the Slovak Republic.
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Map of Czech Republic (Google Maps)