The Czech Republic (CR) is a continental country with a rich history and an exquisite present. After the change in the country’s political system in 1989 and the subsequent breakup of Czechoslovakia and the establishment of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic as two separate countries, the CR focused on the successful completion of its social and economic reforms, which led the country into membership in NATO and, in 2004, into membership in the European Union. The final overall image of the country is still being shaped, which makes the country’s near term future developments interesting to observe, not just for Czechs, but also for Europeans coming in from different parts of the old continent.
The Czech Republic is located in the very heart of Europe. The country is surrounded by extensive mountain ranges, which form most of its borders. The cultural background of Czech cities, country mansions and spa resorts has always been an attractive inspiration for visitors and guests coming in from all over the world. It is not just a coincidence that there are 12 UNESCO world heritage sites in the Czech Republic.
In terms of its religious background, the Czech population is fairly homogenous. The dominant religious orientation is Christian. However, after having lived through 40 years of communism, most Czechs consider themselves as atheists. Neither there is a great deal of diversity in terms of ethnic breakdown, with the Czech and Moravian ethnic groups making up 94% of the population. The largest minority is composed of Slovaks, who represent nearly 2% of the country’s population.
Czechs are by nature competitive people and it is therefore no surprise that sports are very popular in the Czech Republic. The country also has many culture oriented people. Although foreigners often find Czechs not to be particularly forthcoming, the truth is that once they get to know them better, they realize how friendly and polite they can be.