Czech Republic is a country in central Europe, comprising the historic regions of Bohemia and Moravia and part of Silesia. For much of the 20th century the Czech Republic was joined with neighboring Slovakia to form Czechoslovakia, but in 1993 the two split to form separate countries. Prague is the Czech capital and its largest city.
The country is rich in history and culture, famous for its architecture, its scenic countryside and ancient villages and castles; its luxurious spas; and its arts, including the works of writer Franz Kafka and composer Antonín Dvořák.
From the end of WWII to 1989, Czechoslovakia was under communist rule and controlled by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Repressive tactics kept political dissent at a minimum, although there were attempts by citizens to reform the communist government. The most notable came in 1968, when Soviet troops invaded Prague to quell the reformist movement.
After decades of nationalization under the communists, the Czech economy rapidly privatized in the 1990s. It is one of the most industrialized countries in Europe, with mining, manufacturing, and construction all important parts of the economy. This industrialization has resulted in serious environmental problems in many parts of the country, however.
Traditional Czech products that remain thriving industries include fine crystal and beer. Tourism is also an important source of revenue in the Czech Republic. Visitors are especially attracted to the architectural and historical beauty of Prague.
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Church of Saint Nicholas, old town, Prague.
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