The Czech and Slovak Republics, at the heart of the new Europe, offer the traveller an unforgettable combination of monuments and magnificent landscapes. Prague was the jewel of the Holy Roman Empire, and is still one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Less well known is the countryside of Bohemia and Moravia, where rich plains are ringed by grandiose mountains, and a thousand castles stand guard over Baroque cities. Most recent delights include Edward VII's favourite spa, Mari-nske Lyzne, which still offers the perfect retreat for convalescents, fl neurs and hikers alike. In Slovakia, which has still been scarcely explored by tourists, unspoiled medieval towns nestle amongst some of the most dramatic Alpine scenery in Europe.