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The meaning of «obec»

Obec (plural: obce or obcí) is the Czech and Slovak word for a municipality (in the Czech Republic, in Slovakia and abroad). The literal meaning of the word is "commune" or "community". It is the smallest administrative unit that is governed by elected representatives. Cities are also municipalities. The council is called "obecní zastupitelstvo/obecné zastupiteľstvo" or "zastupitelstvo města/mestské zastupiteľstvo" or "zastupitelstvo městyse", the office is called "obecní úřad/obecný úrad" or "úřad města/mestský úrad" or "úřad městyse". An obec can have its own flag and coat of arms and is composed of one or more cadastral areas ("katastrální území/katastrálne územia"). An obec can have several settlements or parts whether villages or hamlets.[1]

There are 2891 obcí in Slovakia as of 2008.[2]

After meeting certain conditions such as population over 5000, being well accessible, having cultural or economical significance and having an urban style of settlement an obec can be declared a town ("mesto").[1]

The number of municipalities (Czech: obcí) in the Czech Republic is 6,254 (in 2019).

Whole area of the republic including mountains, forests and national parks is divided into municipalities (excepting military grounds - see Unincorporated Areas of the Czech Republic). Smallest municipalities are shaped only by one small village, some by two or more villages or by the town and several villages. Mostly a municipality has the same name as the settlement where is the municipal office, but there are many exceptions: some municipalities have double name (Sedlec-Prčice, Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav), some municipalities have a name which have no its settlement (Orlické Podhůří) and some municipalities have the office in other part than in the "nominal".

The smallest Czech municipalities are Závist (0,42 km2) and Karlova Studánka (0,46 km2). The lowest number of the population has Vysoká Lhota (17 inhabitants by ČSÚ, 2013) and Čilá (18 inhabitants), many small municipalities have populations only of tens. Typical rural municipality has hundreds of inhabitants.

The biggest are Prague (496,09 km2, 1,3 mil. inh.), Brno (230,19 km2, 405 thous.), Ostrava (214,22 km2, 313 thous.) and by extent is the fourth Ralsko (170,23 km2, including a former military area, only 2 thousands inhabitants).

Every city (Czech: statutární město), town (Czech: město) or market town (Czech: městys) is a municipality (Czech: obec) (some separately, some along with attached villages). Cities can have self-governing subdivisions, so-called city parts (městská část) or city circuits (městský obvod) which have standing partly similar to small municipalities.

Some of municipalities have extended competencies of delegated state administration (pověřená obec, obec s rozšířenou působností) for the territory of the municipality and for surrounding (smaller) municipalities.

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