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The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe and a member state of the European Union. The country has borders with Poland to the north, Germany to the northwest and west, Austria to the south, and Slovakia to the east. The capital and largest city is the historic Prague (Czech: Praha), a major tourist attraction. Other major cities include Brno, Ostrava, Zlin, Plzen, Pardubice, Hradec Kralove, Ceske Budejovice, Liberec, Olomouc, and Usti nad Labem.
The Czech landscape is quite varied, Bohemia to the west consists of a basin, drained by the Labe (German: Elbe) and Vltava rivers, surrounded by mostly low mountains such as the Sudetes with its part Krkonose, where one also finds the highest point in the country, the Snezka at 1,602 metres (5,256 ft). Moravia, the eastern part, is also quite hilly and is drained predominantly by the Morava river, but also contains the source of the Odra (German: Oder) river. Water from the landlocked Czech Republic flows to three different seas: the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea. The Czech Republic also possesses a 30,000 square metre exclave in the middle of Hamburg docks which was awarded to Czechoslovakia by Article 363 of the Treaty of Versailles to allow the landlocked country a place where goods transported down river could be transferred to seagoing ships; this territory reverts to Germany in 2018.
The Czech economy gets a substantial income from tourism: in 2001, the total earnings from tourism reached 118.13 billion CZK, making up 5.5% of GNP and 9.3% of overall export earnings. The industry employs more than 110,000 people - over 1% of the population.
There are several centres of tourist activity: The historic city of Prague is the primary tourist attraction, and the city is also the most common point of entry for tourists visiting other parts of the country. Most other cities in the country attract significant numbers of tourists, but the spa towns such as Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne are particularly popular holiday destinations. Other popular tourist sites are the many castles and chateaux, such as those at Karlstejn, Konopiste and Cesky Krumlov. Away from the towns, areas as Cesky Raj, Sumava and the Krkonose mountains attract visitors seeking outdoor pursuits.