The Hradec Kralove Region
The Hradec Kralove region covers an area of 4,758 sq. km. Its administrative centre is Hradec Kralove. In the year 2001, 554,258 inhabitants lived in its districts: Hradec Kralove, Jicin, Nachod, Rychnov nad Kneznou and Trutnov. Today, this region has 448 municipalities, one of which one is a corporate town and 42 are towns. Although the number of towns in this region makes up less than one tenth of the total number of its municipalities, 69% of the population lives in towns. The characteristic attribute of this region is the large number of medium-sized and smaller settlements; its settlement structure is considerably uneven and scattered.
The Hradec Kralove region occupies the territory of northeastern Bohemia. The northern and eastern part of this region are mountainous; with the Krkonose Mountains, Broumovska Vrchovina Mountains and Orlicke Hory Mountains. To the southwest, the countryside gradually sinks into the valley of the Elbe River. The Krkonose Mountains are the mountains most frequented by tourists in the Czech Republic. The amount of precipitation and temperature in the lower areas of this region provide favourable conditions for agricultural production. The Elbe River and its left inflows Upa, Metuje and Orlice create the main axis of water management in this region. The southern border of this region passes across the Hradec Kralove-Pardubice agglomeration.
The mineral resources of this region are not very large. The most important are the deposits of high-quality glass sand in the Jicin area and the exploitation of gravel sand along the stream of the Elbe River. The industry is predominant in the economy of this region. The textile industry is its traditional branch. The predominating cotton industry is situated in Dvur Kralove nad Labem and in Trutnov. Hradec Kralove became the centre of engineering. Other important branches are the rubber industry, situated in Nachod, and the food-processing industry.
The soil quality and climatic conditions in the lowlands of this region make it possible to grow sugar-beet and wheat. In the highlands of this region, less demanding crops - rye, barley and fodder crops - are grown. In the Jicin area, fruit growing is significant.
The Krkonose National Park, is the mountainous area most frequented by tourists in the Czech Republic, both in the summer and winter season. The sandstone Rock towns of the Prachovske, Adrspasske and Teplicke rocks are other scenically beautiful places of this region. There are many historical landmarks, protected by the highest authorities and spas, which pertain to the prominent health resorts of the Czech Republic - Janske Lazne, Lazne Belohrad and Velichovky.
In the Hradec Kralove region, the Krkonose National Park is highly acclaimed. In the year 1992, it was included in the World Network of Biospheric Reservations within the UNESCO programme Man and Biosphere (MAB) as a Transboundary Biospheric Reservation Krkonose/Karkonosze. It includes the Krkonose National Park and its protected zone on the Czech side, and Karkonoski Park Narodowy on the Polish side of the Krkonose Mountains. Two other protected landscape areas in the Hradec Kralove region that have been acclaimed are the Protected Landscape Area Broumovsko and the Protected Landscape Area Orlicke Hory.