Central Bohemian region
31. 8. 2011
The region is closely linked with Prague, providing the capital city with utilities, services and labour. Central Bohemia offers a naturally attractive geographic location around Prague on major European roads and a highly developed transport network.
The Central Bohemian Region lies in the centre of Bohemia. With its area, number of municipalities and population it ranks among the biggest regions of the Czech Republic. The region’s area (11,015 km2) covers almost 14 % of the CR’s area and it is about 1.9 times larger than the average area of a region in the CR. The Central Bohemian Region surrounds the Capital City of Prague from all sides and borders almost all the Bohemian regions except for the Karlovy Vary Region a Moravian Regions. It has a relatively broken terrain. The north and east of the region is flat, highlands prevail in the south and southwest. The highest point of the territory is the peak called Tok (864 m above sea level) in the Brdy Mountains in the Příbram District; the lowest point is the riverbed of the Labe River (153 m above sea level) in the Mělník District.
The Central Bohemian Region has over 1,2 million inhabitants. The most populated District is the Kladno District followed by the Mladá Boleslav District, the Prague–east District, Prague–west District and the Příbram District. The least populated district is the Rakovník District. The highest population density is in the Kladno District, the Prague–east District and the Prague–west District. All the districts have strong socio-economic ties with Prague and they constitute the metropolitan background of the Capital. The lowest population density is in the Rakovník District, the Benešov District, and the Příbram District.
Demographic development of the region started to change in the second half of 1990´s mainly due to construction of satellite residential units in Prague’s surroundings. The inhabitants moving to Prague who are usually younger and start their families in the region caused an increase in population, over six times higher than the average of the CR.
The Region’s position significantly influences its economy. Close ties with the Capital and the dense transportation network make the position of the region very favourable. On the other hand, obvious imbalance between the relationship of Prague (as a metropolis of the national importance) and the Central Bohemia (as the outskirts of Prague) is a disadvantage for the region. Together with the absence of a regional town as an administrative centre of the Region, it limits, to a certain extent, the development of the region. The region is an important source of labour force for Prague.
The Central Bohemian Region has the second densest but also the most overloaded transport network in the CR. Main railway and road transit networks lead in a historical radial arrangement over the territory of the region to the Capital. The only waterway in the Czech Republic for internal and international transport is the Labsko-vltavská (Labe-Vltava) waterway with about 75 % passing through the region’s area.
The Central Bohemian Region has a developed agricultural and industrial production. Agricultural production profits from excellent natural conditions in the north–eastern part of the region. The region is great at crop production, growing wheat, barley, beet, and also in growing fruits, vegetables and flowers.
The key industries in the region are engineering, chemical industry and food industry. Škoda Auto, the car factory, is an enterprise of a national importance as well as TPCA plant in Kolín manufacturing small cars. There are also several key enterprises in the glass, ceramics and printing industries. Traditional industrial branches undergo a recession – it applies to coal mining, steel industry and leather industry.
Gross domestic product per capita in the Středočeský Region is approx. 92 % of the average level of GDP per capita of the Czech Republic, which ranks the Region 3rd within all the regions of the CR. It is - besides the results of car industry - markedly influenced by the strategically favourable position of the Region, i.e. the fact that it is surrounding the CR''s capital.
The number of employees in the manufacturing industry and agriculture is above the Czech average, while the number of employees in the building industry and services is rather low. Services, however, have been reporting a progressive increase over the last years.
The unemployment rate is lower than the national average in a long term. There are distinctive differences in unemployment within the region, the reason being the distance from Prague.
There are many important and historically valuable sights and several shelter landscape regions. The biggest concentration of historical buildings and monuments is in the town of Kutná Hora, (Cathedral of St. Barbara, Italian Court, Hrádek Museum of Silver & Medieval Mining, Ossuary), which was added to the Unesco’s World Heritage List. The most famous castles are Karlštejn and Točník in the Beroun area, Křivoklát in the Rakovník area, Český Šternberk in the Benešov area, and Kokořín in the Mělník area. The most important chateaux are Konopiště close to Benešov, Žleby and Kačina close to Kutná Hora, Lány in the Rakovník area, Nelahozeves or Mělník´s castle. The most interesting castle ruins are Žebrák in the Beroun area and Okoř in the Prague–west District.