Czech lands

Czech lands
Bohemia, Moravia, Austrian Silesia in 1892 (then part of Austria-Hungary)

Czech lands (Czech: České země) is an auxiliary term used mainly to describe the combination of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia. Today, those three historic provinces compose the Czech Republic. The Czech lands had been settled by the Celts (Boii), then later by various Germanic tribes (Marcomanni, Quadi, Lombards and others) until the beginning of 7th century and then by Slavic people. German colonists settled the area on the basis of Bohemian kings' invitation during the second part of 13th century (in Prague they lived already from the early 12th century) and lived alongside the Slavs.

The term Czech lands has been used to describe different things by different people. Some sources use the term to mean any territory under the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Lands of the Bohemian Crown. This would include territories like Lusatia (now in Germany) and the balance of Silesia, all of which were ruled from Prague at one time (1292/1327–1635/1742).

Most Czech historical texts use the term in this manner[which?] when discussing the Middle Ages. Other sources use the term to refer only to the core Czech areas of Bohemia, Moravia and the former Austrian Silesia. For many topics, a distinction between the two definitions is not necessary, as the Czech lands have been more-or-less co-extensive with the modern-day Czech Republic since the 18th century.[citation needed]

Coat of Arms of the historical Czech lands (in a narrow sense)
CoA of Bohemia proper
Bohemia proper 
CoA of Moravia
CoA of Czech Silesia
Czech Silesia (formerly the CoA of Lower Silesia

Alternate names

The non-auxiliary term (i.e. the term used in official Czech geographical terminology lists) for the Czech part of the Czech lands (i.e. Bohemia, Moravia, Czech Silesia) is Česko. Today, it is also the official short form for the Czech Republic. The term Česko is documented as early as in 1777. Česko and its foreign equivalents (German: Tschechien) are also the terms officially preferred by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1993.[1] However, the term Czechia has not caught on among English speakers. The term Česko had likewise run into temporary resistance from Czech speakers but has more recently caught on with many natives.

See also


  • Pánek, Jaroslav; Tůma Oldřich et al. (2009). A History of the Czech lands. Prague: Karolinum. ISBN 978-80-246-1645-2. 

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