As the Slavic peoples settled Central Europe in the 5th century, two brothers parted company: Lech, to found Poland, and to found Bohemia, his brother who would come to be known as the legendary Father Cech. Christianity would soon follow, with Cyril and Methodius coming from the East and with them, translation of the Bible into Old Slavonic.

Czech history is intertwined with that of her neighbors. The Great Moravian Empire of the 9th century would stretch into what are today Slovakia, Germany, Poland and Hungary. The Habsburg Empire of centuries later would also include sections of these countries, with Bohemia at the center.pic534

The Habsburg rule would last until World War I, which would give way to the birth of Czechoslovakia. With the breakup of that empire, came the country’s first democratic president, Tomas G. Masaryk, who is considered a great statesman of this nation’s heritage.

The country would enjoy considerable wealth during this era of national revival, which would be cut short by World War II; and later, nearly half a century of communist rule.

In 1989, Czechoslovakia would declare its independence, and in 1993, the Czech Republic its own independence.

Today, with Prague as its capital, the Czech Republic is a functioning democracy with a healthy market economy. Tourism is strong, and business partnerships with foreign partners are many. The Czech Republic has once again reclaimed its role as an eminent leader in this region.