The Pardubický Region is located in the East of Bohemia, but also includes Nort-West part of historical country of Moravia. The position of the Region is further determined by the neighbouring Regions: Středočeský, Královéhradecký, Olomoucký, Jihomoravský and Vysočina. The Královéhradecký, Liberecký and Pardubický Regions together form a NUTS 2 territory – The Northeast. A part of the northeast border of the Region is also the national border between the Czech Republic and Poland. The borders of the Region are further formed by southern parts of Orlické hory (the Eagle Mountains) and westernmost parts of the Hrubý Jeseník Mountain Range. The highland parts of Železné hory (the Iron Mountains) together with Žďárské vrchy (the Žďár Hills) line the south and southeast, while the the Labe lowland is situated in the central and western parts. Orlické hory, Žďárské vrchy, and Železné hory are protected landscape areas.
The area of 4,519 km2 (5.7 % of the CR’s area) ranks the Region fifth smallest among the Regions of the CR. Agricultural land makes 59.8 % and arable land makes 43.2 % of the total area. Forest land covers 29.8 % of the Region’s area. The highest point of the Region is the Králický Sněžník Mount (altitude 1424 m), which is part of the third highest mountain range in the CR. The central and the top part of the Králický Sněžník mountain range, involving remains of original vegetation and moorland, has been declared a national nature reserve. The lowest point of the Region is the surface of the Labe River at Kojice (altitude 201 m), near the western border of the Region.
The quality of the environment varies throughout the Region, owing to a great diversity in natural conditions, settlement, industrial and agricultural activities. The foothill and upland areas (lacking any rather large settlements) of central and northern parts of the Ústí nad Orlicí District and southern parts of the Chrudim District suffer from the impact of human activities in the least degree. The greatest degree of that impact is seen in the area of concentrated industrial activities, settlement and traffic – the Pardubice area. Here, the environmental damage, resulting particularly from chemical and power industry (the Paramo and Synthesia chemical works, the Opatovice and Chvaletice power plants), has grown to involve the most serious environmental problems within the whole CR.
Regarding water management, the Pardubický Region is an extraordinary important area with excessive water supplies, the significance of which reaches beyond the regional level, of ground water as well as surface water drawn from watercourses. The Region involves many headstreams, without any inflow pollution from other catchment areas. A rather low degree of wastewater pollution is seen in middle and upper parts of watercourses, except for the Labe River and the upper course of the Svitava River. The three largest water surface areas are the Seč Reservoir (on the Chrudimka River), the Bohdaneč Pond (on the Opatovice River Channel) and the Pastviny Dam (on the Divoká Orlice River). Some parts of the Region are under large-scale protection measures, i.e. they involve water protection zones, or natural water accumulation protected areas (CHOPAV). The ground water supplies are connected particularly with the Ústí nad Orlicí and the Vysoké Mýto syncline of the Czech Cretaceous Basin (the Ústí nad Orlicí District and the Svitavy District) and with the Labe quaternary sediments (the Pardubice District).
The Pardubický Region comprises four Districts (Chrudim, Pardubice, Svitavy, and Ústí nad Orlicí), and 451 municipalities as at 31 December 2016, which is the sixth highest number of municipalities among the 14 Regions in the CR). The average cadastral area of municipality 10.0 km2 is the third smallest in the CR and the average mean number of population 1,147 inhabitants per municipality ranks the Region twelfth in the CR. Of the Region’s population, 13.7 % live in municipalities under 500 inhabitants. The share of inhabitants living in municipalities of the population between 500-1.999, now makes 24.5 %. The percentage of population living in municipalities of 2.000-9.999 inhabitants is 24.6 % in the Region. The percentage of population living in municipalities of over 10.000 inhabitants decreased in the last years and made 37.2 % as at 31 December 2016. In the Region’s capital Pardubice, there live 17.4 % of the population of the Region. There are 38 towns in the Pardubický Region, in which 61.8 % of the Region’s population live. The following towns rank among the most populated: Pardubice, Chrudim and Svitavy.
The Region’s population was 517,087 as at 31 December 2016, which is 4.9 % of the CR’s total population. The Pardubice District is the most populated, followed by Ústí nad Orlicí, Svitavy and Chrudim Districts, respectively. Regarding the distribution of the population by age in 2016 when compared to 2015, there was a decrease in the 15-64 age group (by 0.9 %), while an increase was observed in the 65+ age group (by 3.0 %). In 2016, number of children under 15 is the highest within the last fourteen years. The ratio of 65+ population to that under 15 (the dependency ratio) amounted to 122.5 in 2016 (in 2015 it was 120.6). The dependency ratio for females in 2016 was 145.8, while for males it was only 100.5. This big difference is caused mainly by lower age of males at death.
The 2016 average registered number of employees was 179.0 thousand F/T equivalent persons. The average monthly gross wage in the Pardubický Region amounted to CZK 24,707 in 2016 (F/T equivalent, with workplace in the Region), which makes 89.6 % of the national average (it is the fourth lowest wage after the Karlovarský, Zlínský and Olomoucký Region). Regarding industrial breakdown in an inter-region comparison, the average gross wage of the employed in industry was the fourth lowest in 2015.
The share of the unemployed persons (the share of available job applicants aged 15-64 years in the whole population of the same age) was 4.04 % as at 31 December 2016 (the fourth lowest among the Regions) and was by 1.10 percentage point lower than in 2015. The highest unemployment rate is reported in the Svitavy District (5.56 %).The number of job applicants amounted to 14,407 persons and made 3.8 % of the unemployed in the whole CR. The number of available job applicants was 13,657 as at 31 December 2016. Among registered job applicants, 13.4 % in the Region are those in the under 25 age group. Females make less than half (46.0 %) of the unemployed; handicapped persons make 17.7 % of the total number of the unemployed. Regarding educational attainment, most of the job applicants are observed among persons with secondary vocational education (40.0 %) and basic education (25.8 %). There were 3 job applicants per 2 vacancies in the Region; regarding work positions for handicapped persons, there were 7 job applicants per vacancy.
In 2016, the gross domestic product (GDP) per inhabitant was 79.8 % of the CR average (by 1.5 percentage point less than in 2015). Services play a decisive role in the Region’s GDP, comprising 51.9 % of the Region’s gross value added. Fundamental is also the industry, the share of which in gross value added of the Region in 2016 was 38.3 %. The share of construction amounted to 6.4 %.
One of the fundamental impacts of the disadvantageous economic development in the Region during last years is the decline of housing construction. In 2016 there was the lowest number of started dwellings per 1,000 inhabitants in the Pardubický Region within the last six years. In comparison with the previous year, the number of started dwellings was by 214 dwellings higher in the Region this year. However, the total number of completed dwellings increased by 11.7 % in the Region and the number of completed dwellings per 1,000 inhabitants was the fiveth highest among regions in 2016. The highest number of dwellings within the Region was completed in the District of Pardubice (629 dwellings); on the contrary, the lowest number of completed dwellings in 2016 was in the District of Svitavy (only 136 dwellings).
The favourable position of the Pardubický Region is a promise for its further development from the transport point of view. The Region has 540 km of rail tracks, the most important rail crossing stations are towns Pardubice and Česká Třebová that are part of the international rail highway Berlin, Prague, Brno and Vienna. In Pardubice, tracks of national relevance link to the main track, providing the connection to Liberec, and to Havlíčkův Brod via Chrudim and Hlinsko. The current road network comprises the total of 3.593 km, of which highways measure 13 km, roads classified into class I measure 459 km and roads classified into class II 913 km.
The most important transit flow goes through the Region via the road No. l/35 leading from southeast to northwest via Moravská Třebová, Svitavy, Litomyšl, Vysoké Mýto and Holice towards Hradec Králové. The also important route is the road No. I/37 coming from the north via Pardubice and Chrudim towards Ždírec nad Doubravou. In Chrudim, it meets the road No. I/17 leading from Čáslav, via Heřmanův Městec, Hrochův Týnec to Zámrsk. There are 9 km of the D 11 motorway and 4.2 km D 35 motorway class II on the territory of the region. As for the air transport, the international airport in Pardubice plays the principal role, providing military and civil air traffic operation. In terms of water transport, only a short navigable part of the Labe River to Chvaletice is in use, opening a waterway to the regional capital has been postponed. One of the biggest seasonal tourist attractions is the river transport of persons operating on the route Kunětice – Pardubice – Srnojedy.
Regarding education, there was reported in 2016 the total of 317 nursery schools in the Pardubický Region, with 18,562 children enrolled in 778 classes. Other educational establishments comprise: 251 basic schools with 44,988 pupils, 20 grammar schools with 6,044 pupils, 59 secondary schools (includig secondary vocational schools) with 14,240 students of initial study (follow-up courses not included), and 8 higher professional schools with 777 students of initial study. University education in the Region is provided at the University of Pardubice comprising seven faculties. The number of students reached ten thousand in the school year 2009/2010 and continued to rise in following years. This rise stopped in 2012 and the number of students decreased under eight thousand in 2016.
As for health care, the Pardubický Region involved the following establishments in 2016: 8 hospitals (2,487 beds), 7 specialised therapeutic institutions (1,275 beds), in that 2 therapeutic institutions for long-term patients (205 beds) and 146 pharmacies including detached workplaces. Besides the establishments mentioned above, there are 989 independent surgeries of GPs and specialists and number of other various independent health establishments in the Region (e.g. establishments run by a person with non-medical university education, independent laboratories, etc.). The 2016 F/T equivalent number of physicians was 2,048; there were 252 inhabitants per physician.
The Pardubický Region has a great potential for the development of tourism. One can find there lowland as well as mountainous landscape, agreeable climate as well as many places fit for bathing, water sports, hiking, cycling tourism and winter sports. Areas attractive for tourists are especially northern and eastern part of the Ústí nad Orlicí District – foothills of the Orlické hory mountains, mainly resorts Buková hora and the Dolní Morava.
In the Chrudim District, mainly in its southern and southwestern part, there are also many tourist centres – the most visited are: the area around the Seč dam, areas at Horní Bradlo, Bojanov and Křižanovice in the Železné hory mountains. In frontier of Ústí nad Orlicí and Svitavy Districts are favorite touristic spot Toulovcovy maštale (system sandstone formations and narrow valleys). In 2016, there was the total of 350 collective tourist accommodation establishments with 19,637 beds in the Pardubický Region, providing service to 444 thousand guests with the average number of overnight stays amounting to 2.8. The number of collective accommodation establishments, beds in them and number of guests in the Pardubický Region belong long-term to the lowest in the inter-region comparison.
Cultural establishments and activities in the Region are concentrated mostly in towns. Among the most important we can mention Muzeum loutkářských kultur (the Puppet Museum) and Muzeum barokních soch (the Museum of Baroque Statues) in the Chrudim District, State chateau in Slatiňany with its horse museum, open-air (folk) museum (a set of folk constructions in Vysočina area at Veselý Kopec hill and adjacent localities of Hlinsko area). In the Pardubice District, visitors are attracted especially by the Castle of Pardubice, where one can see the exhibits of the Východočeské muzeum (Museum of East Bohemia) and the Východočeská galerie (Gallery of East Bohemia). Interesting for them is also late-Gothic castle at Kunětická hora mountain and Africké muzeum (Museum of Africa) in the town of Holice, which is devoted to Dr. Emil Holub, who was a famous traveller born in Holice.
Every year, many visitors are coming also to the National Stud Farm in Kladruby nad Labem, which underwent in 2014 and 2015 an expensive reconstruction contributed to by the EU funds. In the Svitavy District, tourists are attracted by the Svojanov castle or the area of the Litomyšl chateau, which was added to the UNESCO ́s World Cultural Heritage List in 1999. Its attractivity improved revitalization of whole chateau complex including the Church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross and Regional Museum (its revitalization won second place in Program Gloria musaealis 2014, “muzejní počin roku”). In the Ústí nad Orlicí District, well-known are ruins of the following castles: Lanšperk, Litice, Žampach. In Letohrad, tourists are interested in the Muzeum řemesel, chateau and newly reconstructed fortress Orlice. On Vysokomýtsko is becoming a tourist landmark of the renovated premises of the chateau in Nové Hrady. Since 2014 is located in Vysoké Mýto museum of car bodywork.
Music in the Region is usually connected with famous Komorní filharmonie (the Pardubice Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra) but also Smetanova Litomyšl (Smetana’s Litomyšl), the festival of classical music, or other music festivals held in Polička (the birthplace of composer Bohuslav Martinů), which have their tradition. As for theatre, the most famous is Východočeské divadlo (the Theatre of East Bohemia) in Pardubice, which also holds a festival of comedies (Festival smíchu) from the theatres all over the Czech Republic since 2001. Already since 1995, Přelouč has hosted the awarding ceremony of Cena Františka Filipovského (the Prize of František Filipovský) for dubbing.
Regarding sports activities, the Pardubice Horserace Course, where the Velká Pardubická Steeplechase is held, is the best known. Motor sports fans are certain to recall the speedway race Zlatá přilba České republiky (the Golden Helmet of the Czech Republic). Moreover, the Pardubický Region ranks on the top in connection with other sports, too. It is the ice hockey with the Pardubice extra league team breeding players of international quality; it is the tennis courts frequently remembered by almost every Czech famous tennis player, because the Championship of the Czech Republic for young competitors opens professional career for the talented youth.
In the end, here are several points, for which the Pardubický Region was unique in 2016:
- the lowest share of long-term unemployed persons (12 months and over) aged 15-64 years in the whole population of the same age;
- the lowest average gross monthly wage plant and machine operators and assemblers; o the lowest average price of invoiced water from public water supply systems in m3;
- the highest volume of agricultural output per utilised agricultural land;
- the lowest number of dead piglets from the number of new born piglets;
- the highest number of born and weaned calves per 100 cows;
- the highest beef and lamb meat production;
- the highest consumption of organic fertilisers per ha of utilised agricultural area;
- the lowest number of collective accommodation establishments;
- the lowest number of beds in collective accommodation establishments;
- the lowest number of non-residents accommodated in collective accommodation establishments; o the lowest number of registered criminal offences per 1 000 population;
- the second lowest number of abortions in total and induced abortions per 100 births;
- the second lowest housing costs per month;
- the second lowest average gross monthly wage craft and related trades workers;
- the second lowest average gross monthly wage in industry in enterprises with 100+ employees focuses on manufacturing of electrical equipment;
- the second highest livestock density pigs per 100 ha of arable land; the second highest average live weight of bulls for slaughter;
- the second highest yield of eggs for consumption;
- the second highest production of poultry for slaugter;
- the second highest sales of goods and services incidental to industry per 1 employee; the second highest share of steam power plants in installed capacity;
- the second highest consumption of natural gas in households per person;
- the second lowest consumption of brown coal in households per dwelling;
- the second lowest share of non-residents in the number of guests of collective accommodation establishments;
- the second lowest number of students of follow-up courses in total per 1,000 population;
- the second lowest number of hospitalized patients per 1,000 population;
- the second lowest prosecuted persons, investigated persons per 1,000 population; the second lowest number of fires per 1,000 populations;
- the third highest share of argicultural land in total area of the region;
- the third highest average price of sewerage in m3;
- the third highest share of households with great difficulty to make ends meet;
- the third highest number of born and reared piglets per sow;
- the third highes share of electricity produced in steam power plants;
- the third lowest share of electricity produced in hydroelectric power plants;
- the third highest share of households in net consumption of electricity;
- the third lowest number of residents accommodated in collective accommodation establishments; the third lowest share of population living in houses connected to public sewerage systems;
- the third highes share employed in agriculture, forestry and fishing of the total employed (2015);
- the fourth highest specific emissions of sulphur dioxide (tonnes/km2; REZZO 1-4; in 2015); the fourth highest specific emissions of nitrogen oxides (tonnes/km2; REZZO 1-4; in 2015); the fourth lowest monthly average gross wages;
- the fourth highest share of cattle per 100 ha of agricultural land;
- the fourth highest consumption of barnyard manure per ha of utilised agricultural area;
- the fourth highest share of population aged 0-14 years in total population;
- the fourth lowest share of population aged 15-64 years in total population;
- the fourth lowest average amount of old-age pension of males (without widower’s pensions).