Population of the Czech Republic
Czechs are West Slavs as are Poles and Slovaks. The capital of the Czech Republic is Prague and it is often called The Heart of Europe as it is located in the middle of the Continent. There are over 10,5 million people in the Czech Republic and about 1,3 million people in Prague. Western part of the Czech Republic is called Bohemia, eastern – Moravia, north eastern part – Silesia.
Reign of Charles IV
Before the arrival of the Slavs in the 6th century this area was inhabited by Germanic and Celtic tribes. There were a lot of rulers and kings from the 7th to 19th centuries. During the reign of Charles IV as king of Bohemia and Holy Roman emperor Prague grew into one of the largest cities in Europe. In the second half of the 16th century the city experienced great prosperity under Emperor Rudolf II and was made the seat of the Habsburg Empire.
Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia
At the beginning of the 20th century Bohemia was still part of the Habsburg Empire. After World War I the republic of Czechoslovakia declared its independence in 1918. The new republic had three parts: Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia.
Velvet Revolution and Velvet Divorce
In March 1939 Germany occupied Bohemia and Moravia while Slovakia proclaimed independence as a Nazi puppet state. After World War II Czechoslovakia became a communist country. In November 1989 the communist government resignated after a week of demonstrations known as the Velvet Revolution.
At the end of 1992 Czechoslovakia split into Czech Republic (Bohemia and Moravia) and Slovak Republic (Slovakia). This peaceful splitting is called the Velvet Divorce.
Czech Republic is member of Nato since March 12, 1999 and part of the European Union since May 1, 2004 (but not the part of Euro Zone yet).