Czechia, or the Czech Republic, is a landlocked nation in Central Europe. It is bounded to the south by Austria, to the west by Germany, to the northeast by Poland, and to the southeast by Slovakia. The Czech Republic has a hilly environment with a largely moderate continental and oceanic climate, covering an area of 78,871 square kilometers (30,452 square miles). Prague is the capital and biggest city; other significant cities and urban regions include Brno, Ostrava, Plze, and Liberec.
Under Great Moravia, the Duchy of Bohemia was established in the late ninth century. In 1002, it was legally acknowledged as an Imperial State of the Holy Roman Empire, and in 1198, it became a monarchy. The whole Crown of Bohemia was progressively absorbed into the Habsburg Empire after the Battle of Mohács in 1526. The Thirty Years' War was precipitated by the Protestant Bohemian Revolt. The Habsburgs cemented their authority after the Battle of White Mountain. When the Holy Empire was dissolved in 1806, the Crown lands became part of the Austrian Empire.
The Czech lands grew increasingly industrialized in the nineteenth century, and with the fall of Austria-Hungary during World War I, the majority of them became part of the First Czechoslovak Republic in 1918. Throughout the interwar era, Czechoslovakia was the only nation in Central and Eastern Europe to maintain a parliamentary democracy. Following the Munich Agreement in 1938, Nazi Germany gradually assumed control of the Czech territories. Czechoslovakia was regained in 1945 and, after a coup in 1948, became an Eastern Bloc communist state. Attempts at government and economic liberalization were thwarted by a Soviet-led invasion of the nation during the Prague Spring in 1968. The Velvet Revolution ended communist control in the nation in November 1989, and Czechoslovakia was dissolved on January 1, 1993, with its component republics becoming the separate states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The Czech Republic is a developed nation with a unitary parliamentary republic and a high-income social market economy. It is a welfare state that follows the European social model and provides universal health care and tuition-free higher education. It is ranked 12th in the UN Human Development Index in terms of inequality, and 24th in the World Bank Human Capital Index. It is ranked ninth in terms of safety and peace, and 31st in terms of democratic administration. The Czech Republic belongs to NATO, the European Union, the OECD, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.