Central Bohemian Region
Cityscape of Kutná Hora with St James church
|• Governor||Jaroslava Pokorná Jermanová|
|• Total||11,014.97 km2 (4,252.90 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||865 m (2,838 ft)|
|• Density||120/km2 (300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|GDP per capita (PPS)||€ 17,200|
Central Bohemia (Czech: Středočeský kraj) is an administrative unit (Czech: kraj) of the Czech Republic, located in the central part of its historical region of Bohemia. Its administrative center is placed in the Czech capital Prague (Czech: Praha), which lies in the center of the region. The city is not, however, a part of it and creates a region of its own.
The Central Bohemian Region is situated in the center of Bohemia. In terms of area it is the largest region in the Czech Republic. It occupies 11,014 km² which is almost 14% of the total area of the country. It surrounds the country’s capital Prague and it borders with Liberec Region (in the north), Hradec Králové Region (north-east), Pardubice Region (east), Vysočina Region (south-east), South Bohemian Region (south), Plzeň Region (west) and Ústí nad Labem Region (north-west).
The region is divided into 12 districts: Benešov District, Beroun District, Kladno District, Kolín District, Kutná Hora District, Mělník District, Mladá Boleslav District, Nymburk District, Prague-East District (Praha-východ), Prague-West District (Praha-západ), Příbram District and Rakovník District.
Příbram District is the region’s largest district in terms of area (15% of the total region’s area), while Prague-West District is the smallest one (5%). In 2011, the region counted in total 1,145 municipalities where of 26 were municipalities with a delegated municipal office. 1,044 municipalities had less than 2,000 inhabitants and they accounted for 42% of the total population of the region. 82 municipalities had a status of town.
With an area of 11,014 km², the Central Bohemian Region is the largest region of the Czech Republic, occupying 14% of its total area. The region has relatively various natural conditions. The highest point of the region is located on Tok hill (846 m) in Brdy Highlands in the south-eastern part of the region. The lowest point of the region is situated on the water surface of the Elbe River (Czech: Labe) near Dolní Beřkovice.
The region is divided into two landscape types. The north-eastern part is formed by Polabí lowlands with a high share of land being used for agricultural purposes and deciduous (especially pine) forests. The south-western part of the region is hilly with coniferous and mixed forests.
Important rivers in the region are Elbe, Vltava, Berounka, Jizera and Sázava. On Vltava river, a series of nine dams (Czech: Vltavská kaskáda) were constructed throughout the 20th century.
The agricultural land accounts for 83.5% of all land in the region, which 11p.p. more than the national average. The highest share of the agricultural land can be found in Polabí, especially in Kolín and Nymburk districts.
There are a number of landscape parks located in the region. Křivoklátsko is the largest and most important landscape park in the region, being at the same time a UNESCO Biosphere Reservation. Another remarkable area is the Bohemian Karst, the largest karst area in the Czech republic where the Koněprusy Caves (Czech: Koněpruské jeskyně) are located. Finally, Kokořínsko Landscape park is for a large part situated in the Central Bohemian Region.
As of December 31, 2012 the Central Bohemian Region had 1,291,816 inhabitants and was the most populous region in the country. About 53% of the inhabitants lived in towns or cities. This is the lowest proportion among the regions of the Czech Republic.
Since the second half of the 1990s the areas surrounding Prague have been significantly influenced by suburbanization. High numbers of young people have moved to the region and since 2006 the region has been experiencing a natural population growth. In 2011, the average age in the region was 40.3 years, the lowest number among the regions in the Czech Republic.
The table shows cities and towns in the region that had more than 8,000 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2013):
|Mladá Boleslav||44,229||29||Mladá Boleslav District|
|Kutná Hora||20,470||33||Kutná Hora District|
|Kralupy nad Vltavou||17,855||22||Mělník District|
|Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav||17,503||23||Prague-East District|
|Čáslav||10,138||26||Kutná Hora District|
|Lysá nad Labem||8,988||34||Nymburk District|
|Mnichovo Hradiště||8,384||34||Mladá Boleslav District|
In 2010, the regional GDP per capita was 89.9% of the national average, which is the third highest among the regions of the Czech Republic. Six out of ten employees in the region work in the tertiary sector and the share of this sector on the total employment has been increasing over time. On the other hand, the share of primary and secondary sector has been decreasing. The unemployment rate in the region is in the long-term lower than the national average. As of December 31, 2012 the registered unemployment rate was 7.07%. However, there were considerable differences in the unemployment rate within the region. The lowest unemployment rate was in Prague-East District (3.35%) while the highest in Příbram District (10.10%). The average wage in the region in 2012 was CZK 24,749 (approximately EUR 965).
The most important branches of industry in the region are mechanical engineering, chemical industry and food industry. Other significant industries are glass production, ceramics and printing. On the other hand, some traditional industries such as steel industry, leather manufacturing and coal mining have been declining in the recent period.
In 2006, 237 industrial companies with 100 or more employees were active in the region. A car manufacturer ŠKODA AUTO a.s. Mladá Boleslav became a company of nationwide importance. Another car manufacturer which is active in the region is TPCA Czech, s.r.o. in Kolín.
The north-eastern part of the region has very favourable conditions for agriculture. The agriculture in the region is oriented especially in crop farming, namely the production of wheat, barley, sugar beet and in suburban areas also fruit farming, vegetable growing and floriculture. Since the beginning of 1990’s the employment in agriculture, forestry and fishing has been decreasing.
The region has an advantageous position thanks to its proximity to the capital. A significant proportion of region’s population commutes daily to Prague for work or to schools. Compared to other regions, the Central Bohemian region has the densest (and the most overloaded) transport network. The roads and railways connecting the capital with other regions all cross the Central Bohemian region.
Jílové u Prahy train station
Kolín, St. Bartholomew church
A view from Hostibejk hill at Kralupy nad Vltavou
Kutná Hora, St. Barbara Church at the night
Observation tower at Macek hill in Nové Strašecí
A shaft building of the Ševčín shaft in Příbram
High Gate in Rakovník
Třída ČSA in Kladno
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Central Bohemia.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Central Bohemian Region.|