Geography and natural resources
Geographically, the Czech Republic lies on the border of two mountain ranges. The western and central parts of CR consist of the Czech Highlands, the eastern part of the territory is formed by the range of the Western Carpathians. The largest Czech mountains are the Krkonoše (the Giant Mountains, where the highest mountain in the Czech Republic is Sněžka - 1603 m above sea level), the Bohemia Forest, Jeseníky and Beskydy.
There are three European watersheds going through the Czech Republic. The water from the Czech Republic is drained into the North Sea, Black Sea and Baltic Sea. The longest Czech river is the Vltava (433 km), which has its source in the Bohemian Forest. The mightiest Czech river is the Elbe (370 km) and its source is in the Giant Mountains. The other important rivers are the Morava (246 km), Thaya (306 km), Odra (135 km) or Opava (131 km).
The territory has few lakes. There are glacial lakes in the Bohemian Forest, the largest of which is the Black Lake. The largest artificial body of water is the Lipno Dam (4870 ha) on the river Vltava. The biggest concentration of lakes is in South Bohemia near the town Třeboň. The largest of them is called Rosenberg (489 ha).
There are a lot of hot and cold mineral springs in the Czech Republic. They are used both for therapeutic and healing treatments in spa areas (eg. Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), Mariánské Lázně, Františkovy Lázně, Poděbrady, Hodonín, Luhačovice) and for bottled mineral water (Magnesia, Mattoni, Bílinská kyselka, Hanácká kyselka, Šaratice, Vincentka, Poděbradka, etc.).
The Czech Republic is also a country with a great wealth of karstic phenomena and cave complexes, which can be found primarily in the Moravian and Bohemian Karst. Other interesting formations include the so-called mountain towns (the largest is Adržpašsko-Teplice Rocks in East Bohemia, then there is the well-known Pravčická gate in the National Park Czech Switzerland - the biggest sandstone bridge in Europe).
There are four national parks in the Czech Republic (the Giant Mountains, The Bohemian Forest, Podyjí and Czech Switzerland) and a number of protected landscape areas (eg. Beskydy, White Carpathians, Czech Central Range) and natural reserves.
The climate is temperate in the Czech Republic, transitional between continental and oceanic type and it is relatively rich in precipitation (rain, snow). A typical feature is the changing of four seasons. Just like in the whole moderate northern zone, there is a cold winter at the beginning of a year in the Czech Republic (winter officially begins on December 21). Spring comes after that (from March 21), followed by a warm summer (from June 21) and a chilly autumn (from September 23).