The Plzeň Region is an administrative unit of Czechia located in the south-western part of Bohemia. It is named after its capital Plzeň (English, German: Pilsen). In terms of area, Plzeň Region is 7,561 km2, the third largest region in Czechia. However, with a population of about 585,000 inhabitants it is only the ninth most populous region. Almost 30% of the inhabitants reside in Plzeň.
The region can be roughly divided into two parts: a highly industrialised north-eastern part with a strong engineering tradition around Plzeň, and a more hilly and rural south-western part with smaller-sized manufacturing companies processing natural resources.
In the south-eastern part of the region there is a range of Bohemian Forest mountains. The capital Plzeň is surrounded by Plzeň Basin. The rest of the region is occupied by highlands, namely Plzeň Highlands and Brdy Highlands.
Plzeň (Pilsen in German and English)
Plzeň, founded in 1295, is classed as a statutory city and is the fourth most populous in Czechia with about 169,000 inhabitants. It is situated in western Bohemia, about 90 kilometres west of Prague. Plzeň is the metropolis of the Pilsen Region. It lies at the confluence of the rivers Mže, Radbuza, Úhlava and Úslava, from which the Berounka River arises.
Pilsen is known as an industrial and brewing city. Škoda Transportation and other companies continue the tradition of the engineering company Škoda (established in 1859), while on the other side of the regional capital, Prazdroj and Gambrinus beers are brewed. Bottom-fermented pale lager is referred to as Pilsner-type beer, worldwide as Pilsner or Pils, according to the German name of the city of Pilsen. The first batch of this type was produced in 1842.
Pilsen also has a significant cultural significance. There are numerous cultural houses and theatres. Higher education is represented by the University of West Bohemia and the Faculty of Medicine of Charles University. In 2015, Pilsen (together with Mons in Belgium) was the European Capital of Culture.