31. 8. 2011
The Vysočina region enjoys a very good location in the center of the Czech Republic, halfway between the two largest urban agglomerations of the Czech Republic - Prague and Brno.
Vysočina reaches over 800 meters in altitude, in the two distinct mountain ranges of Zdarske vrchy in the north of the region and Jihlavske vrchy in the south–west. The main European water divide, echoing the former frontier between Bohemia and Moravia, divides the region into two parts almost equal in area. Bordering the South Moravian Region to the east, the South-Bohemian and Middle Bohemian Regions to the west, and sharing a border with the Pardubice Region to the north–east, the region is situated in the very heart of the Czech Republic.
The Vysočina Region has an inland location and its borders do not touch the state borders of the CR. However, the southern part of the Region is close to the borders with Austria and thus the Jihlava and Třebíč Districts were included in the Phare cross–border cooperation programme. The surface of the territory consists of hills of the Czech–Moravian Highlands (Českomoravská vrchovina). The region is attractive for its rather low air pollution, healthy forests and clean water resources and expanses of water that are important for water supply and distribution.
With its area of 6,796 sq km, Vysočina ranks among relatively large regions; only 4 regions are larger. The highest point of the Region is Javořice in Javořická vrchovina (837 m above sea level), the lowest point (about 239 m above sea level) is the surface of the Jihlava River. There are two protected landscape areas in the Region: Žďárské vrchy and Železné hory. The Melechov Hill on the territory of the Havlíčkův Brod District is called in some sources a geographical centre of Europe.
Economic performance of the region in comparison with other regions of the CR is below the average. The Vysočina region continues in its tradition of agricultural production. Although the region’s natural conditions are below average (because the altitude and slope of the territory decrease production ability of lands) the region has suitable conditions for various agricultural commodities and activities, e. g. production of potatoes, oil plants, pastoral farming. Most agricultural enterprises focus on a combination of crop production and animal production; smaller production units of natural persons are more specialised.
Nearly all branches of industry are well represented in the region but general engineering, metalworking and automotive sectors are dominant. Other major industries include wood processing, furniture, textile and clothing and food processing. The electronic components sector has also been growing.
The road and railway network in the region is strategic from the national as well as European point of view. The territory is a part of Central-European urbanised axis (Berlin-Prague-Vienna/Bratislava-Budapest). D1 highway (in the network of European roads called E 50 and E 65) thus fulfils its function in national and European transport.
Vysočina boasts its pristine environment. The natural as well as the transport conditions in the region have attracted mainly businesses that do not pollute the environment. Any new investments are based on established strict environmental standards. The D1 (E55) motorway can clearly be identified as the most serious air-polluting factor in the region; compared with other regions, soil contamination is negligible in Vysočina. The region may be regarded as an island of health wedged between the three urban centres of Prague, Brno, and Vienna. This is why, among other reasons, the Vysočina Region was the first to become a member of the Association of Healthy Towns and Regions, and acquired the official title "The Healthy Region".
Natural conditions scattered the population of Vysočina into over seven hundred towns and villages, interconnected by a rich web of roads. Small villages near the local centre, which is usually a quiet small town with a population of three to ten thousand, are typical of Vysočina. There are only four towns with population over twenty thousand; Jihlava, the regional capital, has a population of fifty thousand. The increasing standards of living and mobility lead to the expectation that this situation will prove to be an asset. People in Vysočina are able to enjoy the advantages of living in the countryside while being guaranteed an easy access to modern facilities offered by local urban centres. More than half of the region''s population are able to reach the regional capital within thirty minutes.
Finding workforce is easy as most people are used to daily commuting to work and transportation network is well developed. Skilled labour force in most manufacturing sectors is readily available as industry has rich and long tradition in the region and every town has had a manufacturing plant or a workshop. The region has a number of higher tertiary vocational schools, secondary vocational schools and vocational training centres.
The Region hosts several interesting cultural events of a national or even international character, such as a meeting of choruses from all over the world in Jihlava accompanied by the International Competition of Choral Choruses or the International Documentary Festival. An important organiser of cultural activities is the town of Telč. Besides the festival called Holidays in Telč, it also hosts other events such as the European Meeting of Folklore Ensembles.
Three historic buildings and monuments in the region are written in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage: the Urban Conservation Area of Telč, the Church of St. John of Nepomuk by the architect Giovanni Santini on a hill called Zelená Hora near the town Žďár nad Sázavou and the former Jewish ghetto with a cemetery and St. Procopius Church in Třebíč. The future of tourism and travelling as such in the Vysočina Region is certain to focus on urban tourism and forms of calm and environment–friendly dwelling-based tourism. The latter is enabled with a dense net of marked path (2,900 km), building cycle tracks and gradually developed farms with accommodation.
The D1 motorway connecting these two cities runs through the region and together with other roads - such as the E 59 1st class road linking Jihlava with Austria – provides an easy access to all parts of the Czech Republic and the surrounding countries.