Slovakia is a landlocked republic in central Europe. It borders Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and Ukraine.
The first state of Slaves on the territory of the contemporary Slovakia was Samova ríša (Samo´s Empire) (7th century). In 9th century Nitrianske kniežatstvo (Nitra Principality) was established. In 833 Veľká Morava (Great Moravia) – the first kingdom of the Western Slavic tribes was established. In the 10th cnetury the territory was integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary. In 1526 the territory became a part of the Habsburg Monarchy called later also Royal Hungary. Since 1918 Slovakia was a part of the Czechoslovak republic till 1993 (except of the war years 1939-1945). Slovakia became an independent state on January 1st 1993, after the peaceful dissolution of the Czechoslovakia.
Slovakia is a unitary parlamentary republic. The country joined the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone on January 1st 2009. Slovakia is also a member of the Schengen Area, NATO, United Nations, OECD, the WTO, CERN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group.
Official language: Slovak language
Regional languages: Hungarian language, Roma language, Rusyn language, Czech language, Ukrainian language
Ethnic groups: Slovaks 80,7 %, Hungarians 8,5 %, Roma 2 %, others 1,7 %, 7,2 % not specified
Religion: Roman Catholics 62,0 %, Greek Catholics 3,8 %, Evangelics of the A.C. 5,9 %, Calvinists 1,8 %, Ateists 13,4 %, others 2,5 %, not specified 10,6 %
Government: unitary parlamentary republic
Establishment: January 1st 1993
Area: 49 036 km²
Population: 5 442 974 (31.03.2018)
Currency: euro (EUR)
Time zone: UTC + 1 (CET)
- summer UTC + 2 (CEST)
Calling code: +421
National public holidays
January 01 – New Year, Day of the establishment of the Slovak republic
January 06 – Epiphany
April – Good Friday, Easter Monday
May 01 – Labour Day
May 08 – Day of Victory over fascism
Juli 05 – St Cyril and Methodius Day
August 29 – Slovak National Uprising anniversary
September 01 – Slovak Constitution Day
September 15 – Day of Our Lady of Sorrows
November 01 – All Saint´s Day
November 17 – Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day
December 24 – Christmas Eve
December 25 – Christmas Day
December 26 – Stephen´s Day
Slovakia lies in Central Europe. The landscape is noted primarily for its mountainous nature with the Carpathian Mountains extending across most of the northern half of the country. The largest lowland is the Podunajská nížina (Danubian Lowland) in the southwest, followed by the Východoslovenská nížina (Eastern Slovak Lowland) in the southeast.
The climate lies between the temperate and continental climate. The daily temperature average in winter is -1 °C, in summer +21 °C.
Most of the rivers steam in the mountains. The largest river in Slovakia is Dunaj (Danube), other large rivers are Váh, Hron, Dunajec Poprad, Morava. The longest river in Slovakia ist the Váh.
The largest and deepest tarn is the Hincovo Pleso. Other tarns include Štrbské Pleso, Skalnaté Pleso, Popradské Pleso.
Forests cover more than 40% of the surface of the country. The most frequented species are beech, spruce and oak. 60% of the forests are administrated by the state.
There are 9 national parks in Slovakia – Tatranský národný park (Tatra National Park), Pieninský národný park (Pieniny National Park), Národný park Veľká Fatra (Veľká Fatra National Park) , Národný park Slovenský raj (Slovak Paradise National Park), Národný park Slovenský kras (Slovak Karst National Park), Národná park Poloniny (Poloniny National Park), Národný park Nízke Tatry (Low Tatras National Park), Národný park Muránska planina (Muránska planina National Park), Národný park Malá Fatra (Malá Fatra National Park).
There are four main highways D1 to D4 and eight express ways R1 to R8. The total length of the highways in Slovakia is 415 km and the total length of the express ways is 259 km. The total length of the roads is 43 000 km.
The rivers Dunaj (Danube), Váh, Bodrog and Topľa are used for waterway transport.
The Slovak cuisine is regional different and influenced by cuisines of the neighboring states. Shepherd-like meals as bryndzové halušky (dumplings with bryndza – sheep milk cheese), pirohy (pastys) and zemiakové placky (tiny potato pancakes) are typical northern meals. Goulash, lečo (tomato stew), viedenský rezeň („Wiener Schnitzel“) or stuffed peppers are typical meals in the south.
UNESCO world heritage
Three localities in Slovakia were inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List already in 1993: Castle of Spiš and its environs, Banská Štiavnica and Vlkolínec. In 2009, the historic centre of Levoča was included into the group of Spiš monuments. Banská Štiavnica demonstrates the mining tradition of Slovakia. Vlkolínec represents a reserve of traditional folk architecture. Bardejov is considered to the most gothic town in Slovakia. Wooden churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountains include churches in Hervartov, Tvrdošín, Kežmarok, Leštiny, Hronsek, Bodružal, Ladomírová and Ruská Bystrá. The natural heritage is represented by Carpathian primeval beech forest, caves and abysses of Slovenský kras (karst) and by Dobšinská ľadová jaskyňa (cave). Many other properties are described on the Tentative list, for example Gemer and Abov Churches with the medieval wall paintings, Tokaj Wine Region, The Memorial of Chatam Sofer, Limes Romanus etc.
There are 610 technical monuments in Slovakia. Most of them are bridges (Dolný Kubín, Dravce, Gelnica, Iža, Kluknava, Piešťany, Poltár), different mills (Bohunice, Bratislava – Mlynská dolina, Cakov, Dunajský Klátov, Holíč, Jahodná, Jelka, Kvačany, Pobedim, Tomášikovo), production halls and plants (Bratislava – Cvernovka, Halíč – cloth manufactury, Kluknava – production plant, Poprad – electric power plant, Prešov – saline, Sládkovičovo – sugar factory, distillery, Trnava – malt plant), graineries (Benice, Odorín, Zemianske Kostoľany, Spišský Štiavnik), mining monuments (Banská Štiavnica, Kremnica), railways (Telgártska slučka, Čiernohorská železnica, Oravská lesná železnica, Lanovka Tatranská Lomnica - Lomnický štít), railway station buildings (Bratislava – Nové Mesto, Svätý Jur, Trenčianske Teplice) and a lot of other monuments.