31. 8. 2011
The Ústí region enjoys an excellent location between Prague and Germany. It lies in the northwest of the Czech Republic along its northern border with Germany. Other neighbours include the Liberec Region in the northeast, the Karlovy Vary and the Pilsen Regions in the west, and the Central Bohemian Region in the southeast.
The surface of the region is very diverse. The area along the borders with Germany is surrounded by the Ore Mountains (Krušné hory), the Sandstone Rocks of Labe (or Labské pískovce) and the Lužice Mountains. The south–eastern part of the region consists of plains called Česká křídová tabule (Czech Cretaceous Formation) with the Říp mountain “Říp”associated with the famous legend of ancestors coming to Bohemia and the České Středohoří (the Bohemian Low Mountain Range). The highest point of the region Klínovec lies on the hillside of the highest peak of the Ore Mountains. Not taking into account bottoms of surface mines, the lowest point of the region is the surface of the Labe River in Hřensko (115 m above sea level), which is at the same time the lowest point of the Czech Republic. The Labe River is the largest watercourse in the Region. Mineral and thermal springs are found in the region. The biggest water area is the Nechranická reservoir built on the Ohře River in the western part of the Region.
The region`s area of 5,335 km2 accounts for 6.8 % of the Czech Republic’s total area. Agricultural land covers nearly 52 % of the region’s territory, forests cover 30 % and water areas 2 % of the territory.
The Ústí Region is one of the most important areas for the Czech economy with extensive mining activities, energy generation, as well as industry and farming. This had led to significant pollution in the past but thanks to massive clean-ups and restructuring of traditional industries after 1990` the environment has improved significantly in recent years. The shift from a heavy to light industry and recultivation offers many opportunities to incoming investors. The region comprises areas with a high population density and high urbanisation as well as sparsely populated mountainous areas.
The region`s economic importance lies in its raw material base of brown coal. The brown coal basin stretches under the hillsides of the Ore Mountains from the town of Ústí nad Labem to Kadaň. Other important raw materials include quality glass and foundry sands and building stones.
The region is highly industrialised. Major sectors include chemicals processing, oil refining, metallurgy, machinery production, electrical engineering and glass and ceramics production. The industrial production is concentrated in the foothills of the Ore Mountains ( Chomutov, Most, Teplice and Ústí nad Labem. Areas are around Litoměřice and Louny are known for production of hops and vegetables. Areas along the Labe and Ohře Rivers are known as fruit growing regions and called the Garden of Bohemia. Grapes grown in the Litoměřice area have an excellent reputation. Following the recultivation of the brown coal mines, the area around Most has become a respected wine-growing region.
The Ústí Region has approx. 831 thousand inhabitants which ranks the region fifth in the Czech Republic. Population density (156 inhabitants per square kilometre) is higher than the national average (132 per sq km) and the region is the fourth densest area after the City of Prague, the Moravia–Silesia Region and the South Moravian Region.
Ústí is the region with the highest unemployment in the Czech Republic. Massive lay-offs in mining and energy generation and industrial restructuring have freed significant numbers of skilled labour for new employment. The government as well as local authorities offer significant incentives for job creation. Due to the long and rich industrial tradition, skilled labour force is available for most sectors. The Jan E. Purkyne University in Ústí nad Labem specializes in humanities, social sciences and environmental studies. The region also has a number of higher tertiary schools, secondary vocational schools and vocational training centres specialising in chemistry, machinery, metallurgy and other subjects.
The Region has an important transport location in relation to the European Union. The important international road E55 runs through the Teplice and Litoměřice Districts, linking the north and the south of Europe, and going on from the town of Lovosice as the highway D8. Another important route is the road leading along the Ore Mountains to the northern part of the Liberec Region. No less important is also the route coming from the Federal Republic of Germany via Chomutov and Louny to Prague. The main railway route is the international track from the Federal Republic of Germany via the town of Ústí nad Labem to Prague. The Labe River is the most important water route in the Czech Republic and enables shipping to Hamburg, a port in the North
The region closely cooperates with the Free State of Saxony. An agreement on cross-border cooperation with the Free State of Saxony for the period until 2013 was signed in November 2009 in Freiberg. Euroregions Elbe and Erzgebirge were established on the territory of the Ústí region and play a key role in development of the region within a European context.
Due to its rich history of settlement, the Ústí Region boasts of a great number of historic buildings and monuments. The best known is, for example, the Romanesque rotunda on the Říp Mountain, the Gothic church in Most, the Duchcov baroque castle, the Osek monastery or chateaux Ploskovice and Libochovice. Litoměřice, Úštěk and Terezín were designated urban conservation areas and the centre of Roudnice nad Labem is a conservation area. Several villages in the Litoměřice area were selected for rural conservation areas. There are painting collections of great worth in the Litoměřice picture gallery. The Litoměřice exhibition grounds organises various types of events, for example, the Garden of Bohemia sales exhibition focused on growing of fruits and vegetables or a fair specialized on domestic equipment and construction goods called My house, my castle.
To mention some of the beauties of nature, the best known is the national park České Švýcarsko (the Bohemian Switzerland) with its famous Pravčice Gate, lovely Gate to Bohemia along the Labe River, formations of Tiská rock walls and the Bohemian Switzerland and many others. For those who like sports the Ústí Region has also something to offer. It is a modern racecourse, motor-racing circuit, golf course, all that in the town of Most. Also several cycle tracks go through the region, one of which shell connect Prague with Dresden in the future. The Ore Mountains and also the Lužice Mountains offer excellent conditions for skiing.