Bohemia

Bohemia (/boʊˈhiːmiə/ boh-HEE-mee-ə;[1] Czech: Čechy;[2] German: Böhmen ; Polish: Czechy; Latin: Bohemia) is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. In a broader meaning, Bohemia sometimes refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia,[3] especially in a historical context, such as the Lands of the Bohemian Crown ruled by Bohemian kings.

Bohemia was a duchy of Great Moravia, later an independent principality, a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire, and subsequently a part of the Habsburg Monarchy and the Austrian Empire.[4] After World War I and the establishment of an independent Czechoslovak state, Bohemia became a part of Czechoslovakia. Between 1938 and 1945, border regions with sizeable German-speaking minorities of all three Czech lands were joined to Nazi Germany as the Sudetenland.[5]

The remainder of Czech territory became the Second Czechoslovak Republic and was subsequently occupied as the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. In 1969, the Czech lands (including Bohemia) were given autonomy within Czechoslovakia as the Czech Socialist Republic. In 1990, the name was changed to the Czech Republic, which became a separate state in 1993 with the split of Czechoslovakia.[5]

Until 1948, Bohemia was an administrative unit of Czechoslovakia as one of its "lands" ("země").[6] Since then, administrative reforms have replaced self-governing lands with a modified system of "regions" ("kraje") which do not follow the borders of the historical Czech lands (or the regions from the 1960 and 2000 reforms).[6] However, the three lands are mentioned in the preamble of the Constitution of the Czech Republic: "We, citizens of the Czech Republic in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia…"[7]

Bohemia had an area of 52,065 km2 (20,102 sq mi) and today is home to approximately 6.5 million of the Czech Republic's 10.5 million inhabitants. Bohemia was bordered in the south by Upper and Lower Austria (both in Austria), in the west by Bavaria and in the north by Saxony and Lusatia (all in Germany), in the northeast by Silesia (in Poland), and in the east by Moravia (also part of the Czech Republic). Bohemia's borders were mostly marked by mountain ranges such as the Bohemian Forest, the Ore Mountains, and the Krkonoše, a part of the Sudetes range; the Bohemian-Moravian border roughly follows the Elbe-Danube watershed.

Coordinates: 50°N 15°E / 50°N 15°E

Bohemia

Čechy
Karlštejn Castle
Bohemia (green) in relation to the current regions of the Czech Republic
Bohemia (green) in relation to the current regions of the Czech Republic
Location of Bohemia in the European Union
Location of Bohemia in the European Union
Country Czech Republic
CapitalPrague
Area
 • Total52,065 km2 (20,102 sq mi)
Population
 • Total6,500,000
 • Density120/km2 (320/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Bohemian
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)

Etymology

In the 2nd century BC, the Romans were competing for dominance in northern Italy with various peoples including the Gauls-Celtic tribe Boii. The Romans defeated the Boii at the Battle of Placentia (194 BC) and the Battle of Mutina (193 BC). After this, many of the Boii retreated north across the Alps.[8] Much later Roman authors refer to the area they had once occupied (the "desert of the Boii" as Pliny and Strabo called it[9]) as Boiohaemum. The earliest mention[8] was by Tacitus' Germania 28 (written at the end of the 1st century AD),[10] and later mentions of the same name are in Strabo and Velleius Paterculus.[11] The name appears to include the tribal name Boi- plus the Germanic element *haimaz "home" (whence Gothic haims, German Heimat, English home). This Boiohaemum was apparently isolated to the area where King Marobod's kingdom was centred, within the Hercynian forest. Emperor Constantine VII in 10th century De Administrando Imperio also mentioned the region as Boïki (see White Serbia).

The Czech name "Čechy" is derived from the name of the Slavic ethnic group, the Czechs, who settled in the area during the 6th or 7th century AD.

History

Böhmen Mähren Österreich Schlesien
An 1892 map showing Bohemia proper outlined in pink, Moravia in yellow, and Austrian Silesia in orange.

Ancient Bohemia

Bohemia, like neighbouring Bavaria, is named after the Boii, who were a large Celtic nation known to the Romans for their migrations and settlement in northern Italy and other places. Another part of the nation moved west with the Helvetii into southern France, which was one of the events leading to the interventions of Julius Caesar's Gaulish campaign of 58 BC. The emigration of the Helvetii and Boii left southern Germany and Bohemia a lightly inhabited "desert" into which Suebic peoples arrived, speaking Germanic languages, and became dominant over remaining Celtic groups. To the south, over the Danube, the Romans extended their empire, and to the southeast in present-day Hungary, were Dacian peoples.

In the area of modern Bohemia the Marcomanni and other Suebic groups were led by their king Marobodus, after suffering defeat to Roman forces in Germany. He took advantage of the natural defenses provided by its mountains and forests. They were able to maintain a strong alliance with neighbouring tribes including (at different times) the Lugii, Quadi, Hermunduri, Semnones, and Buri, which was sometimes partly controlled by the Roman Empire, and sometimes in conflict with it, for example in the second century when they fought Marcus Aurelius.

In late classical times and the early Middle Ages, two new Suebic groupings appeared to the west of Bohemia in southern Germany, the Alemanni (in the Helvetian desert), and the Bavarians (Baiuvarii). Many Suebic tribes from the Bohemian region took part in such movements westwards, even settling as far away as Spain and Portugal. With them were also tribes who had pushed from the east, such as the Vandals, and Alans.

Other groups pushed southwards towards Pannonia. The last known mention of the kingdom of the Marcomanni, concerning a queen named Fritigil is in the 4th century, and she was thought to have lived in or near Pannonia. The Suebian Langobardi, who moved over many generations from the Baltic Sea, via the Elbe and Pannonia to Italy, recorded in a tribal history a time spent in "Bainaib".

After this migration period, Bohemia was partially repopulated around the 6th century, and eventually Slavic tribes arrived from the east, and their language began to replace the older Germanic, Celtic and Sarmatian ones. These are precursors of today's Czechs, though the exact amount of Slavic immigration is a subject of debate. The Slavic influx was divided into two or three waves. The first wave came from the southeast and east, when the Germanic Lombards left Bohemia (c. 568 AD). Soon after, from the 630s to 660s, the territory was taken by Samo's tribal confederation. His death marked the end of the old "Slavonic" confederation, the second attempt to establish such a Slavonic union after Carantania in Carinthia.

Other sources (Descriptio civitatum et regionum ad septentrionalem plagam Danubii, Bavaria, 800–850) divide the population of Bohemia at this time into the Merehani, Marharaii, Beheimare (Bohemani) and Fraganeo. (The suffix -ani or -ni means "people of-"). Christianity first appeared in the early 9th century, but only became dominant much later, in the 10th or 11th century.

The 9th century was crucial for the future of Bohemia. The manorial system sharply declined, as it did in Bavaria. The influence of the central Fraganeo-Czechs grew, as a result of the important cultic centre in their territory. They were Slavic-speaking and thus contributed to the transformation of diverse neighbouring populations into a new nation named and led by them with a united slavic ethnic consciousness.[12]

Přemysl dynasty

Přemyslovci erb
The coat of arms of the Přemyslid dynasty (until 1253-62).

Bohemia was made a part of the early Slavic state of Great Moravia, under the rule of Svatopluk I (r. 870–894). After Svatopluk's death Great Moravia was weakened by years of internal conflict and constant warfare, ultimately collapsing and fragmenting due to the continual incursions of the invading nomadic Magyars. Bohemia's initial incorporation into the Moravian Empire resulted in the extensive Christianization of the population. A native monarchy arose to the throne, and Bohemia came under the rule of the Přemyslid dynasty, which would rule the Czech lands for the next several hundred years.

The Přemyslids secured their frontiers from the remnant Asian interlocurs, after the collapse of the Moravian state, by entering into a state of semi-vassalage to the Frankish rulers. This alliance was facilitated by Bohemia's conversion to Christianity, in the 9th century. Continuing close relations were developed with the East Frankish kingdom, which devolved from the Carolingian Empire, into East Francia, eventually becoming the Holy Roman Empire.

After a decisive victory of the Holy Roman Empire and Bohemia over invading Magyars in the 955 Battle of Lechfeld, Boleslaus I of Bohemia was granted the March of Moravia by German emperor Otto the Great. Bohemia would remain a largely autonomous state under the Holy Roman Empire for several decades. The jurisdiction of the Holy Roman Empire was definitively reasserted when Jaromír of Bohemia was granted fief of the Kingdom of Bohemia by Emperor King Henry II of the Holy Roman Empire, with the promise that he hold it as a vassal once he re-occupied Prague with a German army in 1004, ending the rule of Boleslaw I of Poland.

The first to use the title of "King of Bohemia" were the Přemyslid dukes Vratislav II (1085) and Vladislav II (1158), but their heirs would return to the title of duke. The title of king became hereditary under Ottokar I (1198). His grandson Ottokar II (king from 1253–1278) conquered a short-lived empire which contained modern Austria and Slovenia. The mid-13th century saw the beginning of substantial German immigration as the court sought to replace losses from the brief Mongol invasion of Europe in 1241. Germans settled primarily along the northern, western, and southern borders of Bohemia, although many lived in towns throughout the kingdom.

Luxembourg dynasty

Wappen Königreich Böhmen
The coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bohemia.

The House of Luxembourg accepted the invitation to the Bohemian throne with the marriage to the Premyslid heiress, Elizabeth and the crowning subsequent of John I of Bohemia in 1310. His son, Charles IV became King of Bohemia in 1346. He founded Charles University in Prague, central Europe's first university, two years later.

His reign brought Bohemia to its peak both politically and in total area, resulting in his being the first King of Bohemia to also be elected as Holy Roman Emperor. Under his rule the Bohemian crown controlled such diverse lands as Moravia, Silesia, Upper Lusatia and Lower Lusatia, Brandenburg, an area around Nuremberg called New Bohemia, Luxembourg, and several small towns scattered around Germany.

Hussite Bohemia

Tabor CZ aerial old town from north B1
The more extreme Hussites became known as Taborites, after the city of Tábor that became their center.

During the ecumenical Council of Constance in 1415, Jan Hus, the rector of Charles University and a prominent reformer and religious thinker, was sentenced to be burnt at the stake as a heretic. The verdict was passed despite the fact that Hus was granted formal protection by Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg prior to the journey. Hus was invited to attend the council to defend himself and the Czech positions in the religious court, but with the emperor's approval, he was executed on 6 July 1415. The execution of Hus, as well as five consecutive papal crusades against followers of Hus, forced the Bohemians to defend themselves in the Hussite Wars.

The uprising against imperial forces was led by a former mercenary, Jan Žižka of Trocnov. As the leader of the Hussite armies, he used innovative tactics and weapons, such as howitzers, pistols, and fortified wagons, which were revolutionary for the time, and established Žižka as a great general who never lost a battle.

After Žižka's death, Prokop the Great took over the command for the army, and under his lead the Hussites were victorious for another ten years, to the sheer terror of Europe. The Hussite cause gradually splintered into two main factions, the moderate Utraquists and the more fanatic Taborites. The Utraquists began to lay the groundwork for an agreement with the Catholic Church and found the more radical views of the Taborites distasteful. Additionally, with general war-weariness and yearning for order, the Utraquists were able to eventually defeat the Taborites in the Battle of Lipany in 1434. Sigismund said after the battle that "only the Bohemians could defeat the Bohemians."

Despite an apparent victory for the Catholics, the Bohemian Utraquists were still strong enough to negotiate freedom of religion in 1436. This happened in the so-called Basel Compacts, declaring peace and freedom between Catholics and Utraquists. It would only last for a short period of time, as Pope Pius II declared the Basel Compacts to be invalid in 1462.

In 1458, George of Podebrady was elected to ascend to the Bohemian throne. He is remembered for his attempt to set up a pan-European "Christian League", which would form all the states of Europe into a community based on religion. In the process of negotiating, he appointed Leo of Rozmital to tour the European courts and to conduct the talks. However, the negotiations were not completed, because George's position was substantially damaged over time by his deteriorating relationship with the Pope.

Habsburg Monarchy

Europe As A Queen Sebastian Munster 1570
Bohemia as the heart of Europa regina, 1570.

After the death of King Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia in the Battle of Mohács in 1526, Archduke Ferdinand I of Austria became the new King of Bohemia and the country became a constituent state of the Habsburg Monarchy.

Bohemia enjoyed religious freedom between 1436 and 1620, and became one of the most liberal countries of the Christian world during that period. In 1609, Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II, who made Prague again the capital of the Empire at the time, himself a Roman Catholic, was moved by the Bohemian nobility to publish Maiestas Rudolphina, which confirmed the older Confessio Bohemica of 1575.

After Emperor Matthias II and then King of Bohemia Ferdinand II (later Holy Roman Emperor) began oppressing the rights of Protestants in Bohemia, the resulting Bohemian Revolt led to outbreak of the Thirty Years' War in 1618. Elector Frederick V of the Electorate of the Palatinate, a Calvinist Protestant, was elected by the Bohemian nobility to replace Ferdinand on the Bohemian throne, and was known as the Winter King. Frederick's wife, the popular Elizabeth Stuart and subsequently Elizabeth of Bohemia, known as the Winter Queen or Queen of Hearts, was the daughter of King James VI of Scotland.

After Frederick's defeat in the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, 27 Bohemian estates leaders together with Jan Jesenius, rector of the Charles University of Prague were executed on the Prague's Old Town Square on 21 June 1621 and the rest were exiled from the country; their lands were then given to Catholic loyalists (mostly of Bavarian and Saxon origin), this ended the pro-reformation movement in Bohemia and also ended the role of Prague as ruling city of the Holy Roman Empire.

In the so-called "renewed constitution" of 1627, the German language was established as a second official language in the Czech lands. The Czech language formally remained the first language in the kingdom, however, both German and Latin were widely spoken among the ruling classes, although German became increasingly dominant, while Czech was spoken in much of the countryside.

The formal independence of Bohemia was further jeopardized when the Bohemian Diet approved administrative reform in 1749. It included the indivisibility of the Habsburg Empire and the centralization of rule; this essentially meant the merging of the Royal Bohemian Chancellery with the Austrian Chancellery.

At the end of the 18th century, the Czech National Revival movement, in cooperation with part of the Bohemian aristocracy, started a campaign for restoration of the kingdom's historic rights, whereby the Czech language was to regain its historical role and replace German as the language of administration. The enlightened absolutism of Joseph II and Leopold II, who introduced minor language concessions, showed promise for the Czech movement, but many of these reforms were later rescinded. During the Revolution of 1848, many Czech nationalists called for autonomy for Bohemia from Habsburg Austria, but the revolutionaries were defeated. The old Bohemian Diet, one of the last remnants of the independence, was dissolved, although the Czech language experienced a rebirth as romantic nationalism developed among the Czechs.

In 1861, a new elected Bohemian Diet was established. The renewal of the old Bohemian Crown (Kingdom of Bohemia, Margraviate of Moravia, and Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia) became the official political program of both Czech liberal politicians and the majority of Bohemian aristocracy ("state rights program"), while parties representing the German minority and small part of the aristocracy proclaimed their loyalty to the centralistic Constitution (so-called "Verfassungstreue").

After the defeat of Austria in the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, Hungarian politicians achieved the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, ostensibly creating equality between the Austrian and Hungarian halves of the empire. An attempt by the Czechs to create a tripartite monarchy (Austria-Hungary-Bohemia) failed in 1871. The "state rights program" remained the official platform of all Czech political parties (except for social democrats) until 1918.

20th century

Czechoslovakia01
Bohemia (westernmost area) in Czechoslovakia 1918–1938.
Czechoslovakia1930linguistic
Linguistic map of interwar Czechoslovakia (c. 1930).

After World War I, Bohemia (as the largest and most populous land) became the core of the newly formed country of Czechoslovakia, which combined Bohemia, Moravia, Czech Silesia, Upper Hungary (present-day Slovakia) and Carpathian Ruthenia into one state. Under its first president, Tomáš Masaryk, Czechoslovakia became a liberal democratic republic but serious issues emerged regarding the Czech majority's relationship with the native German and Hungarian minorities.

Following the Munich Agreement in 1938, the border regions of Bohemia historically inhabited predominantly by ethnic Germans (the Sudetenland) were annexed to Nazi Germany. This was the only time in Bohemian history that its territory was politically divided. The remnants of Bohemia and Moravia were then annexed by Germany in 1939, while the Slovak lands became the separate Slovak Republic, a puppet state of Nazi Germany. From 1939 to 1945 Bohemia, (without the Sudetenland), together with Moravia formed the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (Reichsprotektorat Böhmen und Mähren).

Any open opposition to German occupation was brutally suppressed by the Nazi authorities and many Czech patriots were executed as a result. After World War II ended in 1945, the vast majority of remaining Germans were expelled by force by the order of the re-established Czechoslovak central government, based on the Potsdam Agreement, and their property was confiscated by the Czech authorities. This severely depopulated the area and from this moment on locales were only referred to in their Czech equivalents regardless of their previous demographic makeup.

The Communist Party won the most votes in free elections but not a simple majority. Klement Gottwald, the communist leader, became Prime Minister of a coalition government.

Karlovy Vary Czech Rep
Bohemian town Carlsbad.

In February 1948 the non-communist members of the government resigned in protest against arbitrary measures by the communists and their Soviet protectors in many of the state's institutions. Gottwald and the communists responded with a coup d'état and installed a pro-Soviet authoritarian state. In 1949, Bohemia ceased to be an administrative unit of Czechoslovakia, as the country was divided into administrative regions that did not follow the historical borders.

In 1989, Agnes of Bohemia became the first saint from a Central European country to be canonized by Pope John Paul II before the "Velvet Revolution" later that year.

After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the territory of Bohemia remained in the Czech Republic. The new Constitution of the Czech Republic provided for higher administrative units to be established, providing for the possibility of Bohemia as an administrative unit, but did not specify the form they would take. A constitutional act in 1997 rejected the restoration of self-governing historical Czech lands and decided for the regional system that has been in use since 2000.[13] Petr Pithart, former Czech prime minister and president of the Senate at the time, remained one of the main advocates of the land system,[14] claiming that the primary reason for its refusal was the fear of possible Moravian separatism.[14]

Bohemia thus remains a historical region, and its administration is divided between the Prague, Central Bohemia, Plzeň, Karlovy Vary, Ústí nad Labem, Liberec, and Hradec Králové Regions, as well as parts of the Pardubice, Vysočina, South Bohemian and South Moravian Regions.[6] In addition to their use in the names of the regions, the historical land names remain in use in names of municipalities, cadastral areas, railway stations[15] or geographical names.[16] The distinction and border between the Czech lands is also preserved in local dialects.

Kladsko

The area around Kłodzko (Czech: Kladsko; German: Glatz; Latin: Glacio) in south-western Poland was culturally and traditionally a part of Bohemia. Kłodzko Land has now been a part of Lower Silesia since its conquest by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1763. Referred to as "Little Prague" (German: Klein-Prag), the Kłodzko Valley region on the Nysa Kłodzka river was the focus of several attempts to reincorporate the area into Czechoslovakia, one of several Polish–Czechoslovak border conflicts.

The last attempt occurred in May 1945 when Czechoslovakia tried to annex the area on behalf of the Czech minority present in the western part of the Kłodzko Valley and known as the "Czech Corner". Pressure brought on by the Soviet Union led to a ceasing of military operations, with the Czech minority being expelled to Germany and Czechoslovakia. According to canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, the area remained part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Prague until 1972.

Capitalizing on interest regarding the Kladsko area in the Czech national psyche, a special tourist area in the Náchod District has been designated as the Kladsko Borderland Tourist Area[17] (tourism district; Czech: turistická oblast Kladské pomezí). This area, entirely within the Czech Republic, was formerly known as the Jirásek's Region (Czech: Jiráskův kraj), Adršpach rocks (Czech: Adršpašské skály).

2014 Stare miasto w Kłodzku, panorama, 02
A panorama of Kłodzko, the capital city of Kłodzko Land which is referred to as "Little Prague".

Traditional administrative divisions

Země Koruny české
Lands of the Bohemian Crown (until 1635), map by Josef Pekař, 1921.

Kraje of Bohemia during the Kingdom of Bohemia

See also

References

  1. ^ "Bohemia". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  2. ^ There is no distinction in the Czech language between adjectives referring to Bohemia and to the Czech Republic; i.e. český means both Bohemian and Czech.
  3. ^ The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001–05
  4. ^ Jiří Pehe: Co vlastně slavíme 28. října?
  5. ^ a b "Bohemia". Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Petr Jeřábek: Krajské uspořádání? Vadí i po čtrnácti letech, Deník.cz, 2 January 2014, compare maps and texts
  7. ^ Ústava České republiky, 1/1993 Sb. (Constitution of the Czech Republic)
  8. ^ a b Collis, John. The Celts: Origins, Myth and Inventions. Tempus Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-7524-2913-2
  9. ^ Pliny 3.146 and Strabo 7.1 290 and 292, but also see 7.2 293
  10. ^ "Tacitus: Germania". Thelatinlibrary.com. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  11. ^ Green, Dennis (2014), "The Boii, Bavaria and Bohemia", The Baiuvarii and Thuringi: An Ethnographic Perspective, p. 18, ISBN 9781843839156
  12. ^ Petr Charvát: "Zrod Českého státu" [Origin of the Bohemian State], March 2007, ISBN 80-7021-845-2, in Czech
  13. ^ "Portál veřejné správy". portal.gov.cz.
  14. ^ a b Petr Zídek: Dnešním politikům chybí odvaha, tvrdí Petr Pithart. Z uprchlíků strach nemá, Lidovky.cz, 17 October 2015, interview with Petr Pithart
  15. ^ Seznam železničních stanic, List of railway stations, České dráhy (Czech railways) – seek for "v Čechách" (17×), "na Moravě" (15×), "Český", "České", "Moravský", "Moravské" etc.
  16. ^ Geomorfologické celky ČR (Geomorphologic areas of the Czech Republic), KČT Tábor
  17. ^ interactive, inCUBE. "Story Landscape - Kladsko Borderland, Glatz Borderlan". www.kladskepomezi.cz.

Further reading

External links

Bohemia (rapper)

Roger David (born 15 October 1979), better known by his stage name Bohemia (Pakistani Punjabi: بوہیمیا, stylised BOHEMIA or Raja), is an Pakistani American rapper and record producer.

Bohemian

A Bohemian () is a resident of Bohemia, a region of the Czech Republic or the former Kingdom of Bohemia, a region of the former Crown of Bohemia (lands of the Bohemian Crown). In English, the word "Bohemian" was used to denote the Czech people as well as the Czech language before the word "Czech" became prevalent in the early 20th century.In a separate meaning, "Bohemian" may also denote "a socially unconventional person, especially one who is involved in the arts" according to Oxford Dictionaries Online. (See Bohemianism).

Bohemianism

Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people and with few permanent ties. It involves musical, artistic, literary or spiritual pursuits. In this context, Bohemians may or may not be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds.

This use of the word bohemian first appeared in the English language in the 19th century to describe the non-traditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and actors in major European cities.Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social viewpoints, which often were expressed through free love, frugality, and—in some cases—voluntary poverty. A more economically privileged, wealthy, or even aristocratic bohemian circle is sometimes referred to as haute bohème (literally "high Bohemia").The term bohemianism emerged in France in the early 19th century when artists and creators began to concentrate in the lower-rent, lower class, Romani neighborhoods. Bohémien was a common term for the Romani people of France, who were mistakenly thought to have reached France in the 15th century via Bohemia (the western part of modern Czech Republic).

Central Bohemian Region

The Central Bohemian Region (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 centre is in the Czech capital Prague (Czech: Praha), which lies in the centre of the region. However, the city is not part of it but is a region of its own.

The Central Bohemian Region is in the centre of Bohemia. In terms of area, it is the largest region in the Czech Republic, with 11,014 km², almost 14% of the total area of the country. It surrounds the country’s capital, Prague, and borders Liberec Region (in the north), Hradec Králové Region (northeast), Pardubice Region (east), Vysočina Region (southeast), South Bohemian Region (south), Plzeň Region (west) and Ústí nad Labem Region (northwest).

Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor

Charles IV (Czech: Karel IV., German: Karl IV., Latin: Carolus IV; 14 May 1316 – 29 November 1378), born Wenceslaus, was the first King of Bohemia to become Holy Roman Emperor. He was a member of the House of Luxembourg from his father's side and the Czech House of Přemyslid from his mother's side; he emphasized the latter due to his lifelong affinity for the Czech side of his inheritance, and also because his direct ancestors in the Přemyslid line included two saints.He was the eldest son and heir of King John of Bohemia, who died at the Battle of Crécy on 26 August 1346. His mother, Elizabeth of Bohemia, was the sister of King Wenceslas III, the last of the male Přemyslid rulers of Bohemia. Charles inherited the County of Luxembourg from his father and was elected king of the Kingdom of Bohemia. On 2 September 1347, Charles was crowned King of Bohemia.

On 11 July 1346, the prince-electors chose him as King of the Romans (rex Romanorum) in opposition to Emperor Louis IV. Charles was crowned on 26 November 1346 in Bonn. After his opponent died, he was re-elected in 1349 and crowned King of the Romans. In 1355, he was crowned King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor. With his coronation as King of Burgundy in 1365, he became the personal ruler of all the kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic ( (listen); Czech: Česká republika [ˈtʃɛskaː ˈrɛpublɪka] (listen)), also known by its short-form name, Czechia ( (listen); Czech: Česko [ˈtʃɛsko] (listen)), is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants; its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents. Other major cities are Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and Pilsen. The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union (EU), NATO, the OECD, the United Nations, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

It is a developed country with an advanced, high income export-oriented social market economy based in services, manufacturing and innovation. The UNDP ranks the country 14th in inequality-adjusted human development. The Czech Republic is a welfare state with a "continental" European social model, a universal health care system, tuition-free university education and is ranked 14th in the Human Capital Index. It ranks as the 6th safest or most peaceful country and is one of the most non-religious countries in the world, while achieving strong performance in democratic governance.

The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia. The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire. After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power transferred from Moravia to Bohemia under the Přemyslid dynasty. In 1002, the duchy was formally recognized as an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire along with the Kingdom of Germany, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories, becoming the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1198 and reaching its greatest territorial extent in the 14th century. Beside Bohemia itself, the King of Bohemia ruled the lands of the Bohemian Crown, holding a vote in the election of the Holy Roman Emperor; and Prague was the imperial seat in periods between the 14th and 17th century. In the Hussite Wars of the 15th century driven by the Protestant Bohemian Reformation, the kingdom faced economic embargoes and defeated five consecutive crusades proclaimed by the leaders of the Catholic Church.

Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the whole Crown of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg Monarchy alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary. The Protestant Bohemian Revolt (1618–20) against the Catholic Habsburgs led to the Thirty Years' War. After the Battle of the White Mountain, the Habsburgs consolidated their rule, eradicated Protestantism and reimposed Catholicism, and also adopted a policy of gradual Germanization. This contributed to the anti-Habsburg sentiment. A long history of resentment of the Catholic Church followed and still continues. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian Kingdom became part of the German Confederation 1815-1866 as part of Austrian Empire (1804 to 1867) and the Czech language experienced a revival as a consequence of widespread romantic nationalism. In the 19th century, the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and were subsequently the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia, which was formed in 1918 following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I.

Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in this part of Europe in the interwar period. However, the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany in World War II, while the Slovak region became the Slovak Republic; Czechoslovakia was liberated in 1945 by the armies of the Soviet Union and the United States. Most of the three millions of the German-speaking minority were expelled following the war. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia won the 1946 elections and after the 1948 coup d'état, Czechoslovakia became a one-party communist state under Soviet influence. In 1968, increasing dissatisfaction with the regime culminated in a reform movement known as the Prague Spring, which ended in a Soviet-led invasion. Czechoslovakia remained occupied until the 1989 Velvet Revolution, when the communist regime collapsed and market economy was reintroduced. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004.

Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia

Elizabeth Stuart (19 August 1596 – 13 February 1662) was Electress of the Palatinate and briefly Queen of Bohemia as the wife of Frederick V of the Palatinate. Due to her husband’s reign in Bohemia lasting for just one winter, Elizabeth is often referred to as the "Winter Queen".

Elizabeth was the second child and eldest daughter of James VI and I, King of Scotland, England, and Ireland, and his wife, Anne of Denmark.

With the demise of the last Stuart monarch in 1714, Elizabeth's grandson succeeded to the British throne as George I, initiating the Hanoverian dynasty.

House of Habsburg

The House of Habsburg (; German: [ˈhaːpsbʊɐ̯k]; traditionally spelled Hapsburg in English), also called the House of Austria (Haus Österreich in German, Casa de Austria in Spanish), was one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1438 until their extinction in the male line in 1740. The house also produced emperors and kings of the Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of England (Jure uxoris King), Kingdom of Germany, Kingdom of Hungary, Kingdom of Croatia, Kingdom of Illyria, Second Mexican Empire, Kingdom of Ireland (Jure uxoris King), Kingdom of Portugal, and Kingdom of Spain, as well as rulers of several Dutch and Italian principalities. From the 16th century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they nevertheless maintained close relations and frequently intermarried.

The House takes its name from Habsburg Castle, a fortress built in the 1020s in present-day Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, by Count Radbot of Klettgau, who chose to name his fortress Habsburg. His grandson Otto II was the first to take the fortress name as his own, adding "Count of Habsburg" to his title. The House of Habsburg gathered dynastic momentum through the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries.

By 1276, Count Radbot's seventh generation descendant Rudolph of Habsburg moved the family's power base from Habsburg Castle to the Duchy of Austria. Rudolph became King of Germany in 1273, and the dynasty of the House of Habsburg was truly entrenched in 1276 when Rudolph became ruler of Austria, which the Habsburgs and their descendants ruled until 1918.

A series of dynastic marriages enabled the family to vastly expand its domains to include Burgundy, Spain and its colonial empire, Bohemia, Hungary, and other territories. In the 16th century, the family separated into the senior Habsburg Spain and the junior Habsburg Monarchy branches, who settled their mutual claims in the Oñate treaty.

The House of Habsburg became extinct in the 18th century. The senior Spanish branch ended upon the death of Charles II of Spain in 1700 and was replaced by the House of Bourbon. The remaining Austrian branch became extinct in the male line in 1740 with the death of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, and completely in 1780 with the death of his eldest daughter Maria Theresa of Austria. It was succeeded by the Vaudémont branch of the House of Lorraine, descendants of Maria Theresa's marriage to Francis III, Duke of Lorraine. The new successor house styled itself formally as the House of Habsburg-Lorraine (German: Habsburg-Lothringen), and because it was often confusingly still referred to as the House of Habsburg, historians use the unofficial appellation of the Habsburg Monarchy for the countries and provinces that were ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg between 1521 and 1780 and then by the successor branch of Habsburg-Lorraine until 1918. The Lorraine branch continues to exist to this day and its members use the Habsburg name (example: Otto von Habsburg).

The Habsburg Empire had the advantage of size, but multiple disadvantages. There were rivals on four sides, its finances were unstable, the population was fragmented into multiple ethnicities, and its industrial base was thin. Its naval resources were so minimal that it did not attempt to build an overseas empire. It did have the advantage of good diplomats, typified by Metternich (1773–1859); they had a grand strategy for survival that kept the empire going despite wars with the Ottomans, Frederick the Great, Napoleon and Bismarck, until the final disaster of the First World War. Along with the Capetian dynasty, it was one of the two most powerful continental European royal families, dominating European politics for nearly five centuries.

John of Bohemia

John of Bohemia (Luxembourgish: Jang de Blannen; German: Johann der Blinde von Luxemburg; Czech: Jan Lucemburský; 10 August 1296 – 26 August 1346) was the Count of Luxembourg from 1313 and King of Bohemia from 1310 and titular King of Poland. He was the eldest son of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII and his wife Margaret of Brabant. He is well known for having died while fighting in the Battle of Crécy at age 50, after having been blind for a decade.

Karlovy Vary

Karlovy Vary or Carlsbad (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkarlovɪ ˈvarɪ] (listen); German: Karlsbad) is a spa town situated in western Bohemia, Czech Republic, on the confluence of the rivers Ohře and Teplá, approximately 130 km (81 mi) west of Prague (Praha). It is named after Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, who founded the city in 1370. It is the site of numerous hot springs (13 main springs, about 300 smaller springs, and the warm-water Teplá River), and is the most visited spa town in the Czech Republic.

Kingdom of Bohemia

The Kingdom of Bohemia, sometimes later in English literature referred to as the Czech Kingdom (Czech: České království; German: Königreich Böhmen; Latin: Regnum Bohemiae, sometimes Regnum Czechorum), was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Central Europe, the predecessor of the modern Czech Republic. It was an Imperial State in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Bohemian king was a prince-elector of the empire. The kings of Bohemia, besides Bohemia, also ruled the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, which at various times included Moravia, Silesia, Lusatia, and parts of Saxony, Brandenburg, and Bavaria.

The kingdom was established by the Přemyslid dynasty in the 12th century from Duchy of Bohemia, later ruled by the House of Luxembourg, the Jagiellonian dynasty, and since 1526 by the House of Habsburg and its successor house Habsburg-Lorraine. Numerous kings of Bohemia were also elected Holy Roman Emperors and the capital Prague was the imperial seat in the late 14th century, and at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries.

After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the territory became part of the Habsburg Austrian Empire, and subsequently the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867. Bohemia retained its name and formal status as a separate Kingdom of Bohemia until 1918, known as a crown land within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and its capital Prague was one of the empire's leading cities. The Czech language (called the Bohemian language in English usage until the 19th century)[citation needed] was the main language of the Diet and the nobility until 1627 (after the Bohemian Revolt was suppressed). German was then formally made equal with Czech and eventually prevailed as the language of the Diet until the Czech National Revival in the 19th century. German was also widely used as the language of administration in many towns after the return of Germans immigrated and populated some areas of the country in the 13th century after the Migration Period. The royal court used the Czech, Latin, and German languages, depending on the ruler and period.

Following the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I, both the Kingdom and Empire were dissolved. Bohemia became the core part of the newly formed Czechoslovak Republic.

List of Bohemian monarchs

This is a list of Bohemian monarchs now also referred to as list of Czech monarchs who ruled as Dukes and Kings of Bohemia. The Duchy of Bohemia was established in 870 and raised to the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1212 (although several Bohemian monarchs ruled as non-hereditary Kings of Bohemia beforehand, first gaining the title in 1085). From 1004 to 1806, Bohemia was part of the Holy Roman Empire, and its ruler was an elector. During 1526–1804 the Kingdom of Bohemia, together with the other lands of the Bohemian Crown, had been ruled under a personal union as part of the Habsburg Monarchy. From 1804 to 1918, Bohemia had been part of the Empire of Austria, which itself had been part of the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary from 1867 to 1918. Following the dissolution of the monarchy, the Bohemian lands, now also referred to as Czech lands, became part of Czechoslovakia, and form today's Czech Republic (Czechia) since 1993.

Maria Theresa

Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (German: Maria Theresia; 13 May 1717 – 29 November 1780) was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Transylvania, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands, and Parma. By marriage, she was Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress.

She started her 40-year reign when her father, Emperor Charles VI, died in October 1740. Charles VI paved the way for her accession with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 and spent his entire reign securing it. He neglected the advice of Prince Eugene of Savoy, who averred that a strong military and a rich treasury were more important than mere signatures. Eventually, he left behind a weakened and impoverished state, particularly due to the War of the Polish Succession and the Russo-Turkish War (1735–1739). Moreover, upon his death, Saxony, Prussia, Bavaria, and France all repudiated the sanction they had recognised during his lifetime. Frederick II of Prussia (who became Maria Theresa's greatest rival for most of her reign) promptly invaded and took the affluent Habsburg province of Silesia in the seven-year conflict known as the War of the Austrian Succession. In defiance of the grave situation, she managed to secure the vital support of the Hungarians for the war effort. Over the course of the war, despite the loss of Silesia and a few minor territories in Italy, Maria Theresa successfully defended her rule over most of the Habsburg empire. Maria Theresa later unsuccessfully tried to reconquer Silesia during the Seven Years' War.

Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, had eleven daughters, including the Queen of France, the Queen of Naples and Sicily, the Duchess of Parma, and five sons, including two Holy Roman Emperors, Joseph II and Leopold II. Of the sixteen children, ten survived to adulthood. Though she was expected to cede power to Francis and Joseph, both of whom were officially her co-rulers in Austria and Bohemia, Maria Theresa was the absolute sovereign who ruled with the counsel of her advisers.

Maria Theresa promulgated institutional, financial and educational reforms, with the assistance of Wenzel Anton of Kaunitz-Rietberg, Friedrich Wilhelm von Haugwitz and Gerard van Swieten. She also promoted commerce and the development of agriculture, and reorganised Austria's ramshackle military, all of which strengthened Austria's international standing. However, she despised the Jews and the Protestants, and on certain occasions she ordered their expulsion to remote parts of the realm. She also advocated for the state church and refused to allow religious pluralism. Consequently, her regime was criticized as intolerant by some contemporaries.

Ottokar II of Bohemia

Ottokar II (Czech: Přemysl Otakar II.; c. 1233 – 26 August 1278), the Iron and Golden King, was a member of the Přemyslid dynasty who reigned as King of Bohemia from 1253 until his death in 1278. He also held the titles of Margrave of Moravia from 1247, Duke of Austria from 1251, Duke of Styria from 1260, as well as Duke of Carinthia and Margrave of Carniola from 1269.

With Ottokar's rule, the Přemyslids reached the peak of their power in the Holy Roman Empire. His expectations of the imperial crown, however, were never fulfilled.

Prague

Prague (; Czech: Praha [ˈpraɦa] (listen)) is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.6 million. The city has a temperate climate, with warm summers and chilly winters.

Prague has been a political, cultural and economic centre of central Europe complete with a rich history. Founded during the Romanesque and flourishing by the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque eras, Prague was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the main residence of several Holy Roman Emperors, most notably of Charles IV (r. 1346–1378).

It was an important city to the Habsburg Monarchy and its Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city played major roles in the Bohemian and Protestant Reformation, the Thirty Years' War and in 20th-century history as the capital of Czechoslovakia, during both World Wars and the post-war Communist era.Prague is home to a number of well-known cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe. Main attractions include Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter, Petřín hill and Vyšehrad. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

The city has more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries, cinemas and other historical exhibits. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city. Also, it is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe.Prague is classified as an "Alpha −" global city according to GaWC studies and ranked sixth in the Tripadvisor world list of best destinations in 2016. Its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination and as of 2017, the city receives more than 8.5 million international visitors annually. Prague is the fourth most visited European city after London, Paris and Rome.

Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (German: Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren; Czech: Protektorát Čechy a Morava) was a protectorate of Nazi Germany established on 16 March 1939 following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia on 15 March 1939. Earlier, following the Munich Agreement of September 1938, Nazi Germany had incorporated the Czech Sudetenland territory as a Reichsgau (October 1938).

The protectorate's population was majority ethnic Czech, while the Sudetenland was majority ethnic German. Following the establishment of the independent Slovak Republic on 14 March 1939, and the German occupation of the Czech rump state the next day, Adolf Hitler established the protectorate on 16 March 1939 by a proclamation from Prague Castle.

The German government justified its intervention by claiming that Czechoslovakia was descending into chaos as the country was breaking apart on ethnic lines, and that the German military was seeking to restore order in the region.Czechoslovakia at the time under President Emil Hácha had pursued a pro-German foreign policy; however, upon meeting with the German Führer Adolf Hitler (15 March 1939), Hácha submitted to Germany's demands and issued a declaration stating that in light of events he accepted that Germany would decide the fate of the Czech people; Hitler accepted Hácha's declaration and declared that Germany would provide the Czech people with an autonomous protectorate governed by ethnic Czechs. Hácha was appointed president of the protectorate the same day.

The Protectorate was a nominally autonomous Nazi-administered territory which the German government considered part of the Greater German Reich. The state's existence came to an end with the surrender of Germany to the Allies in 1945.

The Winter's Tale

The Winter's Tale is a play by William Shakespeare originally published in the First Folio of 1623. Although it was grouped among the comedies, some modern editors have relabelled the play as one of Shakespeare's late romances. Some critics consider it to be one of Shakespeare's "problem plays" because the first three acts are filled with intense psychological drama, while the last two acts are comedic and supply a happy ending.The play has been intermittently popular, revived in productions in various forms and adaptations by some of the leading theatre practitioners in Shakespearean performance history, beginning after a long interval with David Garrick in his adaptation Florizel and Perdita (first performed in 1753 and published in 1756). The Winter's Tale was revived again in the 19th century, when the fourth "pastoral" act was widely popular. In the second half of the 20th century, The Winter's Tale in its entirety, and drawn largely from the First Folio text, was often performed, with varying degrees of success.

Wenceslaus II of Bohemia

Wenceslaus II Přemyslid (Czech: Václav II.; Polish: Wacław II Czeski; 27 September 1271 – 21 June 1305) was King of Bohemia (1278–1305), Duke of Cracow (1291–1305), and King of Poland (1300–1305).

He was the only son of King Ottokar II of Bohemia and Ottokar's second wife Kunigunda. He was born in 1271, ten years after the marriage of his parents. Kunigunda was the daughter of Rostislav Mikhailovich, lord of Slavonia, son of a Grand Prince of Kiev, and Anna of Hungary, daughter of Béla IV of Hungary. His great-grandfather was the German king Philip of Swabia. Wenceslaus II was the grandfather of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV. He was a member of the Přemyslid dynasty.

Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia

Wenceslaus (also Wenceslas; Czech: Václav IV.; German: Wenzel, nicknamed der Faule ("the Idle"); 26 February 1361 – 16 August 1419) was, by inheritance, King of Bohemia (as Wenceslaus IV) from 1363 and by election, German King (formally King of the Romans) from 1376. He was the third Bohemian and fourth German monarch of the Luxembourg dynasty. Wenceslaus was deposed in 1400 as King of the Romans, but continued to rule as Bohemian king until his death.

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