Kraj (literally " country ( - dot- ) ", plural kraje ) is the name of administrative units in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia (Russian край ). The word is variously translated ( Circle, District, Regional Association, etc.), particularly in English (for lack of other expressions ) as a " region", but this leads to confusion with the general concept.

In these three countries, as well as in many other Slavic-speaking countries, the term landscape is kraj, Krajina as a non-administrative term with the meaning of area use. For example, Jantarny Krai ( Land of Amber ) one in Russia usual, unofficial name for the Kaliningrad Oblast ( Königsberg area ).

The Czech Republic and Slovakia

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia are the top tier in the administrative structure; it is translated with both circular as well as with the district. In both countries, it is attributed to the NUTS classification of EU level 3.

The historical expression can already be found in the delimitation of constituencies in Bohemia, which existed until 1862 from the 14th century and was introduced in the 18th century in other parts of the Habsburg monarchy. This circle had not emanating from the Kingdom of Prussia now common throughout Germany importance. The Bohemian importance - as the upper circle zoning - but was common until the mid 20th century in Bavaria and Saxony.

Were reintroduced in 1948 Kraje (in today's Czech Republic 13, Slovakia 6 ) by resolution of the countries ( Země ) Bohemia, Moravia - Silesia and Slovakia. From 1960 to 1990, the former Czechoslovakia was (Czechoslovakia ) in 10 large units divided (in today's Czech Republic 7, Slovakia 3), which are also the basis for the systematics of the postal code ( the Czech Republic and Slovakia). These units are now mainly translated according to the terminology database IATE the European Union as a district.

Add a new government reform the Czech Republic on 1 January 2000, 14 self-governing regions ( Samosprávné kraje ) was divided. In 1996 eight districts were re- introduced in Slovakia.


In Russia currently are 9 of the 83 administrative units in the top level as " Krai " ( край; plural края, kraja ) refers. Usually the term is translated as " region" into German. These are the regions of Altai, Khabarovsk, Kamchatka, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Primorye, Stavropol and Transbaikalia. There are mainly economically advanced parts of the country relatively large surface area on the periphery. Kraje and oblasts are on the same administrative level as federal subjects.

In the Russian Empire Krai was a colloquial alternative name for the General Government.