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Stredocesky kraj
Stredocesky kraj

The Central Bohemian Region is located in the middle of Bohemia, surrounding the city of Prague, which is a separate region itself. The area is a total of 10,929 square kilometers, which poses 14% of the total territory of the Czech Republic. The Central Bohemian Region is the largest region in Czechia. Due to its central position, the region borders almost all of the other Czech regions, except for the Karlovy Vary and Moravian regions. The territory of the region is divided into twelve districts. The Central Bohemian Region spreads out over the Bohemian Massif, which is one of the oldest parts of the European mainland. Northern and Eastern parts of the region territory are mostly flat, whereas the south and southwest are dominated by highlands. The highest point of the area is the top of the Brdy ridges- Tok, at an altitude of 865 m above sea level. The lowest point is the river Elbe, with an altitude of 153 m above sea level. Some of the most prominent rivers of the region are Vltava, Elbe, and Cidlina.[1] The Central Bohemian Region is inhabited by 1,397,997 people, which creates a density population of 127.9 inhabitants per kilometer squared. [2]

What Stredocesky kraj is known for

Presumably one of the most notable among the many historical, natural, and cultural monuments of the Central Bohemian Region is the Karlštejn castle. The castle was built in 1348 by Charles IV, King of Bohemia and the Holy Roman Emperor. Karlštejn was his designated private residence and a place of safekeeping for the royal treasures, collections of holy relics, and the Imperial Crown Jewels. As a fortress, Karlštejn Castle protected these treasures until the 17th century. Over the years, the castle has been rebuilt, first in the Gothic style and later in a Renaissance fashion. However, its last reconstruction, which took place during the Purism era, brought the original appearance of the castle back. The most popular attractions of this area are not only the castle itself but the Karlštejn village as well. [4]

Located in close proximity to the Karlštejn village is "The Czech Grand Canyon," which includes Great America, a limestone quarry, another part is the Bohemian Karst Protected Landscape Area. It is the largest of a group of local quarries, some examples of other quarries in this area are Small America and Mexico. The size of the Great America quarry is about 750 by 150 meters. The quarry depth is usually given in the range of 67 to 80 m. Using the quarries for climbing or swimming is rather dangerous and thus prohibited, however, the unique sight is presumably the main reason for the number of tourists visiting this area.[5]

Another renowned destination in the Central Bohemian Region is the town of Kutná Hora. Presumably, one of the most sought-after sights in Kutná Hora is the gothic St. Barbara's Church. Construction of St. Barbara's Church began in 1388, and later in 1995, the church was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historical gothic church isn't the sole reason for the Kutná Hora's great popularity.[6] Other attractions include a rich historic downtown, the town offers another unique monument, the Ossuary Kutná Hora - Sedlec. The Church of All Saints was built in the late 14th century in a Gothic style, with an upper chapel and an Underground Ossuary. It's said that the soil from the Holy Land of Golgotha was brought here and used for consecrating and healing. As a result, people from all over Europe desired to be buried in Sedlec. Similar Holy fields were also established in Rome, Pisa, and Paris. During the great epidemics in the 14th century, over 30,000 bodies were buried there. During the 15th century, bones from abolished graves were moved into the Ossuary, where the bones and skulls were arranged into pyramids, niches, garlands, and chandeliers in the middle of the chapel. [7]

Among other notable historical monuments is the Lidice Memorial, a war memorial of the Lidice and Ležáky villages, which villages were exterminated by the Nazis in 1942. The memorial features a museum, a gallery, and a house replica. [8] 


The Central Bohemian Region territorially belongs to the Bohemian Massif, which is part of the oldest European mainlands. The landscape gradually changes from the flat northern parts, near the Elbe river, to the mountainous southern and southwestern parts. The highest peak of the Central Bohemian area is the top of the Brdy, at an altitude of 865 m above sea level, situated in the district of Příbram. The lowest point is at the level of the river Elbe, with an altitude of 153 m above sea level, located in the district of Mělník. A few notable rivers of the region are Vltava, Elbe, Cidlina, Jizera, Berounka, and Sázava. Lakes in the area include Proboštík and Lhota lake. The significant dams of the Central Bohemian territory are Orlík, Švihov, and Slapy.[2]

The Central Bohemian Region is rich in historical monuments, one such example can be the city of Kutná Hora, which has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage List. However, the region's value resides in the great number of protected landscape areas too, where a number of various endangered and protected plant and animal species can be found. The most valuable natural area of the Czech Bohemian Region, presumably, is the Křivoklátsko Protected Landscape Area. The Křivoklátsko territory is inscribed on the list of biosphere reserves and a future adept for a status of a national park. Other protected landscape areas include the Kokořínsko Protected Landscape Area, the Bohemian Karst, the Bohemian Paradise, and Blaník. Aside from that, the Central Bohemian territory contains many areas of natural interest, such as Brdy, where the Hřebeny Nature Park was declared in 2009, and Džbán.[2]

Concerning the Central Bohemian temperature and climate conditions, the region, as well as the rest of the Czech Republic, is situated in the continental climate area. This climate area is characterized by the alteration of four seasons throughout the year, with relatively hot summers and cold winters. The Central Bohemia area belongs among the coldest regions in Czechia with an average daily temperature of 12 degrees centigrade. The warmest month is August with an average maximum temperature of 25°C, while the coldest month is January with an average daily maximum temperature of 2°C. July is the wettest month, whereas February is the driest month of the year. [3]


The oldest evidence of human settlement in the Central Bohemian Region was discovered in the vicinity of Beroun and it dates back to 1.5 million years ago. Engravings of Capricorns and horses in the territory of the Bohemian Karst were the only discoveries of early Paleolithic art in Bohemia. Consequently, the Neolithic settlements of culture with linear ceramics were discovered in Bylany near Kutná Hora. The villages of Únětice, Knovíz, and Bylany near Český Brod gave the generally accepted name to prehistoric cultures of the Bronze and Iron Ages. Some of the most prominent discoveries from this area were the finds of Bylan funerals on chariots in villages in the Kolín region. Reconstruction of one of them can be found in the Kolín Museum. The head of Héro comes from the territory of Mšecké Žehrovice, which is one of the most notable Celtic stone sculptures in general. 

Years later, the territory of the Central Bohemian Region became the center of the new state, established by the Přemyslid family. In order to protect the new forming state, the fortified settlements, such as Levý Hradec, Budeč, Stará Boleslav, Libice, Stará Kouřim, Tetín, Lštění, and Mělník were built. Another milestone for the Central Bohemian Region was the establishment of Kutná Hora. The first mentions of this town can be dated back to 1289, but in the 13th century, after the discovery of silver deposits, the city began to grow rapidly and flourish. It is estimated that 2,000 tons of silver were mined during the entire mining period in Kutná Hora. It became a royal city with numerous privileges and for a long time, it was the second most notable city in the Czech Kingdom. The rule of King Charles IV is considered to be one of the most glorious eras of the Czech Kingdom, he was the first King of Bohemia to become the Holy Roman Emperor. The Hussite wars temporarily stopped the swift development of the region. In 1846, hard coal supplies were discovered near the Kladno town, which helped to hasten the development and led to the establishment of the railways. Another notable fact about the area includes that in 1841, the world famous composer Antonín Dvořák was born in this region. [9]

The improvement of the state law position did not occur until 1918, with the establishment of Czechoslovakia. Consequently, Czechoslovakia disintegrated as a result of the occupation of the Czech lands by Germany. In 1942, deputy Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich was injured by the assassinators Jan Kubiš and Josef Gabčík. Heydrich died of his injuries, which led to the extermination of the Lidice and Ležáky villages by the Nazis. In 1945, the Czechoslovakia had been liberated by the Red Army and stayed under the rule of the communists until the Velvet Revolution in 1989. The Central Bohemian Region was established in 2000, as well as the rest of the Czech regions. [9]