The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. To the northeast lies Poland, to the southeast is Slovakia, to the south is Austria, and to the west is Germany.

 The land is divided into two main regions, Bohemia and Moravia. Bohemia occupies the western part of the country. It is a land of plains, rolling hills and farmland surrounded by mountains. Prague, the capital and largest city, lies along the Vltava River in north-central Bohemia. It is often called "the city of a hundred spires" because of its many beautiful churches.

 Moravia, a lowland region, lies to the east. The region takes its name from the Morava River. Its capital, Brno, is the Republic's second-largest city and was once one of Europe's largest textile centres.

Part of the historic region of Silesia lies in the Czech Republic; the rest is in Poland. Silesia is an industrial area with rich deposits of coal.

The Czech Republic has a continental climate with warm summers and cold, snowy winters. There are thunderstorms in July, which is the hottest month. From December to February, temperatures are below freezing even in the low-lying areas. Winters in the mountains are very cold, especially in the Krkonoše (Giant) Mountains. The lowlands around Prague and southern Moravia are warmer and get less rainfall.

Forests still cover about a third of the Republic. There are two national parks: the Bohemian Forest and Krkonoše Mountains. The Bohemian Forest is part of an eco-tourism project shared by the Czech Republic, Austria and Bavaria (part of Germany).

 There are two major rivers. The Labe flows westward into the North Sea, and its tributary, the Vltava, also called the Moldau, flows northward. The Vltava, at 435 kilometres, is the longest river in the Republic. The highest mountain peak is Snežka (1,602 metres) in the Krkonoše Mountain range that borders Poland.

  Did you know?
In the summer of 1997, the northeastern part of the country suffered serious flooding after many days of heavy rainfall. More than a million people in the Czech Republic and neighbouring countries were affected, livestock were lost, and property damage was estimated at about $2 billion U.S.

  Did you know?
Bohemia is sometimes called "the roof of Europe" because no rivers or streams flow into the country, but many rivers flow out of it.

  Did you know?
There are several natural hot springs in the country, including the famous spas Karlovy Vary (known as Karlsbad in German) and Mariánské Lázne (Marienbad). In the 19th century, kings, nobles and famous artists came to enjoy the mineral waters in these resorts.