The Czech Republic is one of the major tourist destinations in Europe, with Prague itself being the main destination. Relatively untouched by the ravages of war, the country retains much of its architectural heritage and the visitor should stay for more than a few days in Prague before returning home - typical for those following a stag itinerary.
History of Czechia
In the 3rd century BC Celtic migrants (called Gauls by the Romans) spread from what today is modern France, Belgium and Northern Italy and into modern day Bohemia, establishing a settlement near present day Prague.
Germanic tribes arrived in the 1st century AD, followed by Slavs from the Black sea who were pushed by the migrations of Avars, Bulgars, Magyars and Huns. The Huns pushed into the approximate areas of the modern regions of Bohemia and Moravia in the 6th century, as well as parts of Austria and Germany.
In the 7th century the first Slavic state was recorded and was centred on Moravia. Bohemia emerged in the 9th century but from the 11th to the 19th century both were just states within the Holy Roman Empire.
Forward through religious strife, Habsburg control, revolt in 1618 and the start of the 30 Years War, a peasant revolt, famine and eventually Napoleon consigning the Holy Roman Empire to history, Bohemia and Moravia became a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The end of World War 1 saw an independent Czechoslovakia emerge from the collapsed Austro-Hungarian Empire. In World War 2 Czechoslovakia was split, with Bohemia and Moravia being occupied by Germany, and Slovakia in the East becoming a puppet state.
After World War 2, the Communists were elected to power who then formed a single party state two years later. An attempt to be free in the 1968 Prague Spring was crushed by the Soviet Union, and freedom had to wait until the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.
In 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, with both being in the European Union.