The Czech Republic is a 30,450 square mile nation that is situated in the central region of the European continent. Archaeological evidence indicates that people have been living within the Czech Republic’s borders for more than 27,000 years. The Celts were one of the earliest communities to settle within the nation’s borders and exert their influence. One of the most influential groups that settled within the Czech Republic was the Slavs who moved into the region through the Moravian Gate. During this period of the Czech Republic’s history, the nation’s border went through dramatic changes. The modern day nation of the Czech Republic has borders of approximately 1,332 miles long, and it borders the four nations of Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Poland. Some of the boundaries resemble the boundaries found in ancient times while others have changed significantly.
The boundary that separates Germany and the Czech Republic is approximately 506 miles and is situated in the western section of the Czech Republic. There are many rivers that form part of the border between the Czech Republic and Germany such as the Chamb, Pfreimd, Wondreb, and the Biela. There are a significant number of towns on the Czech side of the border such as Decin, Cheb, and Karlovy Vary.
The border traces its origins to a border that separated the Austrian Empire and the German Empire during the earlier periods. The border also has great historical significance as it was part of the Iron Curtain immediately after the First World War until around 1990. During this period of the border’s history, there was a heavy security presence along the boundary in the form of a massive fence as well as a significant number of guards. An important event in the history of the border between Germany and the Czech Republic is when the Czech Republic became part of the Schengen Area, and passport checks were removed.
The ties between Germany and the Czech Republic go back more than 1,500 years. In modern times, the ties between the two nations were formally reestablished after the end of the Cold War. In 1992, the leaders of Germany and the then nation of Czechoslovakia signed a deal that was referred to as the Czech-German Declaration. The relationship between Germany and the Czech Republic improved significantly in 2012 after the leaders of both nations met and visited the village of Lidice that had been attacked by the German army during the Second World War.
The boundary that separates Poland and the Czech Republic is approximately 495 miles long and is situated in the northern section of the Czech Republic. There are several towns on the Czech side of the border such as Trutnov, Opava, Liberec, and Ostrava. The towns located on the Polish side of the border include Kudowa-Słone, Chałupki, Cieszyn, and Jakuszyce. Crossing from one nation into the other is relatively easy as both Poland and the Czech Republic are signatories to the Schengen Agreement.
Poland and the Czech Republic have ties in many sectors such as economic development and infrastructural development. Several roads connect towns in Poland to towns in the Czech Republic. One of the factors that contribute to the close ties between the nations is the fact that both are members of numerous regional organizations such as NATO, the European Union, and the Visegrad group. In the Czech Republic, the Polish government is represented by an embassy situated in Prague. On the other hand, the government of the Czech Republic is represented by an embassy situated in Warsaw.
Austria and the Czech Republic are separated by a boundary that is roughly 250 miles long and is located in the southern section of the Czech Republic. Many rivers form sections of the boundary such as the Dyie and the Vltava. There are several important towns on the Czech side of the border such as Ceske Budejovice, Znojmo, and Breclav. The border is considered one of the internal boundaries of the European Union as both nations are member states.
The ties between the Czech Republic and Austria date back to the Middle Ages. The two united in 1253 but the short short-lived came to an end in 1276. In 1526, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary linked up to form one of the most influential groups in European history. The union of the three nations lasted for a significantly longer time ending only in 1918. During the early years, the agreement was mainly a personal union, but it later got more centralized and incorporated the leadership of the region. Due to the close ties and shared history, a large number of Czech people, roughly 1.5 million according to some estimates, fought alongside the Austro-Hungarian army during the First World War. After the First World War, in 1920, the two nations entered into a diplomatic relationship. During the Cold War period, the relationship between the two nations was soured by the presence of the Iron Curtain which prevented road and rail travel from one nation to the other. In 1989, the ties between the two nations improved drastically as Czech citizens could freely cross the border into Austria.
In the Czech Republic, the Austrian government is represented by an embassy located in Prague as well as two honorary consulates. On the other hand, in Austria, the Czech government is represented by an embassy located in Vienna as well as five honorary consulates spread out across the country.
The boundary that separates the Czech Republic and Slovakia is roughly 150 miles long and is situated in the eastern section of the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic and Slovakia have a long period of shared history as both nations were once part of Austria-Hungary and would later form the nation known as Czechoslovakia. Due to their close ties, a significant number of Slovaks live within the borders of the Czech Republic, and a significant number of Czech people live in Slovakia. The leaders of the two nations are usually close and cooperate on several aspects such as economic development and security.
Security at the Czech Bborder
One of the major issues that faced the Czech government was securing the border particularly during the European migrant crisis. The Czech government put in place plans to improve the security along the border with Germany because the German government was planning to expel a large numbers of immigrants.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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