Czech Republic: Cars, castles and communism: things to know about the country; AFP

Czech Republic – Historic Centre of Prague

Here are five things to know about the central European country of 10.6 million people that kicks off a two-round presidential election on Friday.

The Czech Republic emerged from four decades behind the Iron Curtain to become a member of the European Union and one of Europe’s tourist hotspots.

Here are five things to know about the central European country of 10.6 million people that kicks off a two-round presidential election on Friday.

Prague, an architectural gem

Its capital is a popular tourist magnet, boasting a picturesque historic centre that entered the UNESCO heritage list in 1992.

Under the dominating Prague Castle, the old town — which is split by the Vltava river — is rich in architectural jewels, Renaissance and Baroque palaces, Gothic cathedrals and art deco buildings that illustrate its 1,000-year history.

Every year millions of tourists cross the Vltava on Charles Bridge.

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