Compared to the other regions of the Czech Republic, the Liberec Region may at first seem like a dwarf. With an area of 3,163 km2, the region is only 4% of the whole country. After Prague (capital city), it is the second smallest region.
Yet judging its importance from the point of view of economy, travel industry, tourism, sport, history, and natural spots, the Liberec Region surely belongs among the absolute top.
Extensive Mountain Ranges and Deep Forests
The Liberec Region lies in the northern part of the country, by the borders with Germany and Poland. It is known for its extensive mountain ranges, deep forests, wild rivers, and highly broken relief of the countryside with many protected areas. In the north, it is surrounded by three remarkable mountain ranges: Lužické and Jizerské Mountains, and western part of Krkonoše Mountains. Diagonally, it is cut through by the Ještědsko-kozákovský ridge. The highest peak of this area is 1,435m high Kotel (in Krkonoše Mountains).
There are 215 towns and villages in the region, the total population of which currently is 434,000; their average age being 39.8 years. The centre and residence of regional authorities is the city of Liberec, with the population of 100,000. This region used to be divided into four counties - Liberec, Jablonec, Česká Lípa, and Semily. Today, it consists of four sub-regions of identical names.
Great Amount of Natural Beauty Spots
Undoubtedly everyone who visits the Liberec Region is charmed by its beautiful natural scenery. Around Turnov, you will see a large part of Český ráj (Czech Eden); its unique, romantic scenery combining various natural sights and rich historical monuments – castles, chateaus, and folk architecture. Aside from that, there are a great number of other exceptional places: picturesque Jizerské Mountains; wilder Krkonoše Mountains; romantic Mácha’s land; or castes and chateaus such as: Bezděz; Zákupy; Sychrov; Hrubá Skála; Valdštejn; Lemberk; Doksy; or the underground world of Bozkov dolomite caves; the Jizera river, popular among water sportsmen; and the legendary 1,012m high symbol of the Ještěd Mountain looming above Liberec, and many others. From this list, it is obvious why hundreds of thousands tourists, from both the Czech Republic and abroad, visit this area every year.
This area also includes several important formal border crossings, and several less formal border crossings facilitating local commerce. In connection with the extension of border cooperation, a Neisse-Nisa-Nysa Euro-region was established here in 1991.
Natural conditions of the Liberec Region are ideal for winter sports. It is therefore not just a coincidence that overwhelming majority of successful Czech nordic skiing and biathlon athletes come from this area. The most famous winter resorts are: Liberec, Harrachov, Rokytnice nad Jizerou, Bedřichov, and Benecko.
Rich Cultural Tradition
The Liberec Region is mostly industrial in character. It chiefly specialises in: glass and costume jewellery; manufacturing and processing of plastic materials; engineering; fields with close connection to automobile manufacturing; and food production. Concerning transport, there is an important, convenient connection between Liberec and Prague - a four lane speed highway, which allows you to reach Prague within an hour.
The rich cultural tradition of the entire region is reflected in many architectural and historical monuments and facilities. Other institutions of above-regional character are chiefly represented by the North Bohemian Museum; Region Gallery; and Regional Science Library in Liberec.Other important cultural institutions in Liberec are represented by the Theatre of F. X.Šalda; the ZOO; and Botanical Gardens. Other institutions of above-regional character include, for example: Museums of Glass in Nový Bor, Kamenický Šenov, and Železný Brod; or the Museum of Glass and Costume Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou. The Regional Museum of Český Ráj in Turnov owns collections from the fields of geology; mineralogy; and goldsmithery and jewel-making records, unique not just in the Czech Republic, but also in Europe.
The region also has its own University – the Technical University of Liberec, consisting of Engineering, Textile, Agricultural, Arts and Architecture, Mechatronics, and Pedagogical Faculties.