Slovakia

Slovakia

Overview
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about 49000 square kilometres (18,919 sq mi). Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 and Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 to the west, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 to the north, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 to the east and Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 to the south. The largest city is the capital, Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

, and the second largest is Košice
Košice
Košice is a city in eastern Slovakia. It is situated on the river Hornád at the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, near the border with Hungary...

. Slovakia is a member state of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, NATO, United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

 and WTO
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 among others.
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Timeline

1763   A massive earthquake occurs on the same day in Komárom in Hungary, in Komárno in Slovakia and in Zsámbék in Hungary.

1863   Matica slovenská, Slovakia's public-law cultural and scientific institution focusing on topics around the Slovak nation, is established in Martin.

1992   The Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia votes to split the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia from January 1, 1993.

1992   Czechoslovakia is dissolved, resulting in the creation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

1993   Dissolution of Czechoslovakia: Czechoslovakia is divided into the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic.

1993   Czech Republic and Slovakia join the United Nations.

2001   Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Malta, Slovenia and Slovakia join the European Environment Agency.

2002   NATO invites Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members.

2002   Enlargement of the European Union: The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004.

2004   Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia join NATO as full members.

 
Encyclopedia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about 49000 square kilometres (18,919 sq mi). Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 and Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 to the west, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 to the north, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 to the east and Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 to the south. The largest city is the capital, Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

, and the second largest is Košice
Košice
Košice is a city in eastern Slovakia. It is situated on the river Hornád at the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, near the border with Hungary...

. Slovakia is a member state of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, NATO, United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

 and WTO
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 among others. The official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 is Slovak
Slovak language
Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

, a member of the Slavic language family
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

.

The Slavs arrived in the territory of present day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries during the migration period
Migration Period
The Migration Period, also called the Barbarian Invasions , was a period of intensified human migration in Europe that occurred from c. 400 to 800 CE. This period marked the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages...

. In the course of history, various parts of today's Slovakia belonged to Samo
Samo
Samo was a Frankish merchant from the "Senonian country" , probably modern Soignies, Belgium or Sens, France. He was the first ruler of the Slavs whose name is known, and established one of the earliest Slav states, a supra-tribal union usually called Samo's empire, realm, kingdom, or tribal...

's Empire (the first known political unit of Slavs), Principality of Nitra
Principality of Nitra
The Principality of Nitra also Nitrian Principality or Slovak Principality is the name for a polity of Nitra Sloviens, centered on large agglomeration, a multi-tribal centre around Nitra, Slovakia. The initially independent Principality of Nitra came into existence in the early 9th century...

 (as independent polity, as part of Great Moravia and as part of Hungarian Kingdom), Great Moravia
Great Moravia
Great Moravia was a Slavic state that existed in Central Europe and lasted for nearly seventy years in the 9th century whose creators were the ancestors of the Czechs and Slovaks. It was a vassal state of the Germanic Frankish kingdom and paid an annual tribute to it. There is some controversy as...

, Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

, the Austro-Hungarian Empire or Habsburg Empire, and Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

. A separate Slovak state briefly existed during World War II, during which Slovakia was a dependency of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 between 1939–1944. From 1945 Slovakia once again became a part of Czechoslovakia.
The present-day Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia
Dissolution of Czechoslovakia
The dissolution of Czechoslovakia, which took effect on 1 January 1993, was an event that saw the self-determined separation of the federal state of Czechoslovakia. The Czech Republic and Slovakia, entities which had arisen in 1969 within the framework of Czechoslovak federalisation, became...

.

Slovakia is a high-income advanced economy
Developed country
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...

 with one of the fastest growth rates in the European Union and the OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

. The country joined the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone
Eurozone
The eurozone , officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union of seventeen European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their common currency and sole legal tender...

 on 1 January 2009. Slovakia together with Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 and Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 are the only former Communist nations to be part of the European Union, Eurozone, Schengen Area
Schengen Area
The Schengen Area comprises the territories of twenty-five European countries that have implemented the Schengen Agreement signed in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg, in 1985...

 and NATO simultaneously.

Before the 5th century




Radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dating is a radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 to estimate the age of carbon-bearing materials up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years. Raw, i.e. uncalibrated, radiocarbon ages are usually reported in radiocarbon years "Before Present" ,...

 puts the oldest surviving archaeological artifacts from Slovakia – found near Nové Mesto nad Váhom
Nové Mesto nad Váhom
Nové Mesto nad Váhom is a town in the Trenčín Region of Slovakia.- Geography :District town located at the northern edge of the Danubian Hills at the foothills of the northern end of the White Carpathians, on the Váh river. Other mountains nearby are the White Carpathians and the Považský Inovec...

 – at 270,000 BC, in the Early Paleolithic
Lower Paleolithic
The Lower Paleolithic is the earliest subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. It spans the time from around 2.5 million years ago when the first evidence of craft and use of stone tools by hominids appears in the current archaeological record, until around 300,000 years ago, spanning the...

 era. These ancient tools, made by the Clactonian technique
Clactonian
The Clactonian is the name given by archaeologists to an industry of European flint tool manufacture that dates to the early part of the interglacial period known as the Hoxnian, the Mindel-Riss or the Holstein stages . Clactonian tools were made by Homo erectus rather than modern humans...

, bear witness to the ancient habitation of Slovakia.

Other stone tool
Stone tool
A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool made either partially or entirely out of stone. Although stone tool-dependent societies and cultures still exist today, most stone tools are associated with prehistoric, particularly Stone Age cultures that have become extinct...

s from the Middle Paleolithic era
Middle Paleolithic
The Middle Paleolithic is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. The term Middle Stone Age is used as an equivalent or a synonym for the Middle Paleolithic in African archeology. The Middle Paleolithic and the Middle Stone Age...

 (200,000 – 80,000 BC) come from the Prévôt (Prepoštská) cave near Bojnice
Bojnice
Bojnice is a small town in central Slovakia at the upper Nitra river, near the city of Prievidza. It has population of 4,983 . Bojnice is best known for its tourist attractions: the oldest zoo in Slovakia, the most visited castle, and one of the oldest spa towns in Slovakia. The town is situated...

 and from other nearby sites. The most important discovery from that era is a Neanderthal
Neanderthal
The Neanderthal is an extinct member of the Homo genus known from Pleistocene specimens found in Europe and parts of western and central Asia...

 cranium
Human skull
The human skull is a bony structure, skeleton, that is in the human head and which supports the structures of the face and forms a cavity for the brain.In humans, the adult skull is normally made up of 22 bones...

 (c. 200,000 BC), discovered near Gánovce
Gánovce
Gánovce is a village in the Poprad District of the Prešov Region in northern Slovakia, situated 3 km south-east from the town of Poprad.-History:Gánovce was mentioned for the first time in written records in 1317 as "villa Ganau"...

, a village in northern Slovakia.

Archaeologists have found prehistoric Homo sapiens
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

skeletons in the region, as well as numerous objects and vestiges of the Gravettian
Gravettian
thumb|right|Burins to the Gravettian culture.The Gravettian toolmaking culture was a specific archaeological industry of the European Upper Palaeolithic era prevalent before the last glacial epoch. It is named after the type site of La Gravette in the Dordogne region of France where its...

 culture, principally in the river valleys of Nitra, Hron
Hron
Hron is a 298 km long left tributary of the Danube and the second longest river in Slovakia. It flows from its source located in the Low Tatra mountains through central and southern Slovakia, pouring into the Danube near Štúrovo and Esztergom...

, Ipeľ
Ipel
Ipeľ or Ipoly is a 232 km long river in Slovakia and Hungary, tributary to the river Danube. Its source is in central Slovakia in the Slovenské rudohorie Mountains...

, Váh
Váh
The Váh is the longest river in entire Slovakia. A left tributary of the Danube river, the Váh is 406 km long, including its Čierny Váh branch...

 and as far as the city of Žilina
Žilina
Žilina is a city in north-western Slovakia, around from the capital Bratislava, close to both the Czech and Polish borders. It is the fourth largest city of Slovakia with a population of approximately 85,000, an important industrial center, the largest city on the Váh river, and the seat of a...

, and near the foot of the Vihorlat
Vihorlat Mountains
Vihorlat Mountains or colloquially Vihorlat is a volcanic mountain range in eastern Slovakia and western Ukraine. A part of the range is listed as a World Heritage Site.-Vihorlat Mountains in Slovakia:...

, Inovec, and Tribeč
Tribec
Tribeč is a crystalline mountain range in western Slovakia, in the Inner Western Carpathians within the Fatra-Tatra Area, roughly between the towns of Nitra, Partizánske and Zlaté Moravce. It is surrounded by the Danubian Lowland, Pohronský Inovec, Vtáčnik mountains and the Upper Nitra Basin. It is...

 mountains, as well as in the Myjava
Myjava
Myjava is a town in Trenčín Region, Slovakia.-Geography:It is located in the Myjava Hills at the foothills of the White Carpathians and not far from the Little Carpathians. The river Myjava flows through the town...

 Mountains. The most well-known finds include the oldest female statue made of mammoth
Mammoth
A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus. These proboscideans are members of Elephantidae, the family of elephants and mammoths, and close relatives of modern elephants. They were often equipped with long curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair...

-bone (22 800 BC), the famous Venus of Moravany
Venus of Moravany
Venus of Moravany is a small female figurine found by the village of Moravany nad Váhom, Slovakia, in 1938.It is made of mammoth ivory and is dated to 22,800 BC, which places it in the upper Paleolithic. It currently resides in the Bratislava Castle exposition of the Slovak National Museum....

. The statue was found in the 1940s in Moravany nad Váhom
Moravany nad Váhom
Moravany nad Váhom is a village and municipality in Piešťany District in the Trnava Region of western Slovakia.- History :In historical records the village was first mentioned in 1348....

 near Piešťany
Pieštany
Piešťany is a town in Slovakia. It is located in the western part of the country within the Trnava Region and is the seat of its own district. It is the biggest and best known spa town in Slovakia and has around 30,000 inhabitants.-History:...

. Numerous necklaces made of shells from Cypraca thermophile gastropods
Gastropoda
The Gastropoda or gastropods, more commonly known as snails and slugs, are a large taxonomic class within the phylum Mollusca. The class Gastropoda includes snails and slugs of all kinds and all sizes from microscopic to quite large...

 of the Tertiary period
Tertiary
The Tertiary is a deprecated term for a geologic period 65 million to 2.6 million years ago. The Tertiary covered the time span between the superseded Secondary period and the Quaternary...

 have come from the sites of Zákovská, Podkovice, Hubina, and Radošinare. These findings provide the most ancient evidence of commercial exchanges carried out between the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 and Central Europe.


The Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 in Slovakia went through three stages of development, stretching from 2000 to 800 BC. Major cultural, economic, and political development can be attributed to the significant growth in production of copper, especially in central Slovakia (for example in Špania Dolina
Špania Dolina
Špania Dolina is a village and municipality in central Slovakia, near the city of Banská Bystrica. Although its permanent population does not exceed 200 people, it is a picturesque historic village situated 728 m above sea level and is surrounded by the Staré Hory and Veľká Fatra mountains...

) and north-west Slovakia. Copper became a stable source of prosperity for the local population.

After the disappearance of the Čakany and Velatice
Velatice
Velatice is a village and municipality in Brno-Country District in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic.The municipality covers an area of , and has a population of 621 ....

 cultures, the Lusatian
Lusatian culture
The Lusatian culture existed in the later Bronze Age and early Iron Age in most of today's Poland, parts of Czech Republic and Slovakia, parts of eastern Germany and parts of Ukraine...

 people expanded building of strong and complex fortifications, with the large permanent buildings and administrative centers. Excavations of Lusatian hill-forts
Hill fort
A hill fort is a type of earthworks used as a fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage. They are typically European and of the Bronze and Iron Ages. Some were used in the post-Roman period...

 document the substantial development of trade and agriculture at that period. The richness and the diversity of tombs increased considerably. The inhabitants of the area manufactured arms, shields, jewelry, dishes, and statues.

The arrival of tribes from Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

 disrupted the people of the Calenderberg culture, who lived in the hamlets located on the plain (Sereď
Sered
Sereď is a town in southern Slovak Republic near Trnava, on the right bank of the Váh River on the Danubian Lowland. It has аpproximately 17,000 inhabitants.It has a hotel, cinema, culture house, many restaurants and confectioner's shops.-Geography:...

), and also in the hill forts located on the summits (Smolenice
Smolenice
Smolenice is a village and municipality of Trnava District in the Trnava Region of Slovakia, on the foothills of the Little Carpathians. It is 60 km northeast of Bratislava and 25 km northwest of Trnava...

, Molpí). The local power of the "Princes" of the Hallstatt culture
Hallstatt culture
The Hallstatt culture was the predominant Central European culture from the 8th to 6th centuries BC , developing out of the Urnfield culture of the 12th century BC and followed in much of Central Europe by the La Tène culture.By the 6th century BC, the Hallstatt culture extended for some...

 disappeared in Slovakia during the last period of the Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 after strife between the Scytho-Thracian people and the Celtic tribes, who advanced from the south towards the north, following the Slovak rivers.

From around 500 BC, the territory of modern-day Slovakia was settled by Celts, who built powerful oppida
Enclosed oppidum
An enclosed oppidum was a type of large, late Iron Age settlement, or oppidum surrounded by an encircling bank and ditch.They differ from hillforts through being not necessarily sited on high ground and through being permanent settlements with a strong economic function.As well as re-occupying...

 on the sites of modern-day Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

 and Havránok
Havránok
Havránok is an important archaeological site in northern Slovakia. It is located on a hill above the Liptovská Mara water reservoir around 2 km from the village of Bobrovník, about halfway between Ružomberok and Liptovský Mikuláš in the Liptov region...

. Biatec
Biatec
Biatec was the name of a person, presumably a king, who appeared on the Celtic coins minted by the Boii in Bratislava in the 1st century BC. The word Biatec is also used as the name of those coins. In the literature, they are also sometimes referred to as "hexadrachms of the Bratislava type"...

s, silver coin
Silver coin
Silver coins are possibly the oldest mass produced form of coinage. Silver has been used as a coinage metal since the times of the Greeks. Their silver drachmas were popular trade coins....

s with the names of Celtic Kings, represent the first known use of writing in Slovakia. From 2 AD
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

, the expanding Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 established and maintained a series of outposts around and just north of the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

, the largest of which were known as Carnuntum
Carnuntum
Carnuntum was a Roman army camp on the Danube in the Noricum province and after the 1st century the capital of the Upper Pannonia province...

 (whose remains are on the main road halfway between Vienna and Bratislava) and Brigetio (present-day Szöny
Szöny
-History:In the year 97, the Roman legion Legio I Adiutrix campaigned in the area. The town was known as Brigetio to the Romans. The town has one of the earliest records of conjoined twins - Helen and Judith....

 at the Slovak-Hungarian border).

Near the northernmost line of the Roman hinterlands, the Limes Romanus
Limes
A limes was a border defense or delimiting system of Ancient Rome. It marked the boundaries of the Roman Empire.The Latin noun limes had a number of different meanings: a path or balk delimiting fields, a boundary line or marker, any road or path, any channel, such as a stream channel, or any...

, there existed the winter camp of Laugaricio
Trencín
Trenčín is a city in western Slovakia of the central Váh River valley near the Czech border, around from Bratislava. It has a population of more than 56,000, which makes it the ninth largest municipality of the country and is the seat of the Trenčín Region and the Trenčín District...

 (modern-day Trenčín
Trencín
Trenčín is a city in western Slovakia of the central Váh River valley near the Czech border, around from Bratislava. It has a population of more than 56,000, which makes it the ninth largest municipality of the country and is the seat of the Trenčín Region and the Trenčín District...

) where the Auxiliary of Legion II fought and prevailed in a decisive battle over the Germanic Quadi
Quadi
The Quadi were a smaller Germanic tribe, about which little is definitively known. We only know the Germanic tribe the Romans called the 'Quadi' through reports of the Romans themselves...

 tribe in 179 AD during the Marcomannic Wars
Marcomannic Wars
The Marcomannic Wars were a series of wars lasting over a dozen years from about AD 166 until 180. These wars pitted the Roman Empire against the Marcomanni, Quadi and other Germanic peoples, along both sides of the upper and middle Danube...

. The Kingdom of Vannius
Vannius
Vannius was the king of the Germanic tribe Quadi. He lived in the 1st century. The Kingdom of Vannius was in the western part of present day Slovakia and it was the first political unit in Slovak area. He was a client King of Pannonia and Dalmatia and served from 17-20AD under the reign of Tiberius....

, a kingdom founded by the Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 Suebi
Suebi
The Suebi or Suevi were a group of Germanic peoples who were first mentioned by Julius Caesar in connection with Ariovistus' campaign, c...

an tribes of Quadi
Quadi
The Quadi were a smaller Germanic tribe, about which little is definitively known. We only know the Germanic tribe the Romans called the 'Quadi' through reports of the Romans themselves...

 and Marcomanni
Marcomanni
The Marcomanni were a Germanic tribe, probably related to the Buri, Suebi or Suevi.-Origin:Scholars believe their name derives possibly from Proto-Germanic forms of "march" and "men"....

, as well as several small Germanic and Celtic tribes, including the Osi and Cotini
Cotini
Cotini was a Celtic tribe most probably living in today's Slovakia, and in Moravia and southern Poland. They were probably identical or constituted a significant part of the archaeological Púchov culture, with the center in Havránok.The tribe was first time mentioned in 10 BC in the Elogium of...

, existed in Western and Central Slovakia from 8–6 BC to 179 AD.

The great invasions of the 4–7th centuries


In the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD the Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

 began to leave the Central Asian steppes. They crossed the Danube in 377 AD and occupied Pannonia, which they used for 75 years as their base for launching looting-raids into Western Europe. However, Attila's death in 453 brought about the disappearance of the Hun tribe. In 568 a proto-Mongol tribe, the Avars, conducted their own invasion into the Middle Danube region. The Avars occupied the lowlands of the Pannonian Plain, established an empire dominating the Carpathian Basin
Pannonian Basin
The Pannonian Basin or Carpathian Basin is a large basin in East-Central Europe.The geomorphological term Pannonian Plain is more widely used for roughly the same region though with a somewhat different sense - meaning only the lowlands, the plain that remained when the Pliocene Pannonian Sea dried...

.
In 623, the Slavic population living in the western parts of Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

 seceded from their empire after a revolution led by Samo, a Frankish merchant. After 626 the Avar power started to gradually decline but their reign lasted to 804.

Slavic states


The Slavic
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 tribes settled in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th century. Western Slovakia was the centre of Samo's empire
Samo
Samo was a Frankish merchant from the "Senonian country" , probably modern Soignies, Belgium or Sens, France. He was the first ruler of the Slavs whose name is known, and established one of the earliest Slav states, a supra-tribal union usually called Samo's empire, realm, kingdom, or tribal...

 in the 7th century. A Slavic state known as the Principality of Nitra
Principality of Nitra
The Principality of Nitra also Nitrian Principality or Slovak Principality is the name for a polity of Nitra Sloviens, centered on large agglomeration, a multi-tribal centre around Nitra, Slovakia. The initially independent Principality of Nitra came into existence in the early 9th century...

 arose in the 8th century and its ruler Pribina
Pribina
Pribina was a Slavic prince whose adventurous career, recorded in the Conversion of the Bavarians and the Carantanians , illustrates the political volatility of the Franco–Slavic frontiers of his time...

 had the first known Christian church of Slovakia consecrated by 828. Together with neighboring Moravia
Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

, the principality formed the core of the Great Moravian Empire
Great Moravia
Great Moravia was a Slavic state that existed in Central Europe and lasted for nearly seventy years in the 9th century whose creators were the ancestors of the Czechs and Slovaks. It was a vassal state of the Germanic Frankish kingdom and paid an annual tribute to it. There is some controversy as...

 from 833. The high point of this Slavonic empire came with the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they...

 in 863, during the reign of Prince Rastislav
Rastislav
Rastislav or Rostislav was the second known ruler of Moravia . Although he started his reign as vassal to Louis the German, king of East Francia, he consolidated his rule to the extent that after 855 he was able to repel a series of Frankish attacks...

, and the territorial expansion under King Svätopluk I
Svatopluk I
Svatopluk I or Zwentibald I was the greatest ruler of Moravia that attained its maximum territorial expansion in his reign . His career had already started in the 860s, when he governed a principality, the location of which is still a matter of debate among historians, within Moravia under the...

.

The era of Great Moravia 830–896



Great Moravia arose around 830 when Moimír I unified the Slavic tribes settled north of the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 and extended the Moravian supremacy over them. When Mojmír I
Mojmír I
Mojmir I or Moimir I was the first known ruler of the Moravian Slavs . In modern scholarship, the creation of the early medieval state known as "Great" Moravia is attributed either to his or to his successors' expansionist policy...

 endeavoured to secede from the supremacy of the king of East Francia in 846, King Louis the German
Louis the German
Louis the German , also known as Louis II or Louis the Bavarian, was a grandson of Charlemagne and the third son of the succeeding Frankish Emperor Louis the Pious and his first wife, Ermengarde of Hesbaye.He received the appellation 'Germanicus' shortly after his death in recognition of the fact...

 deposed him and assisted Moimír's nephew, Rastislav
Rastislav
Rastislav or Rostislav was the second known ruler of Moravia . Although he started his reign as vassal to Louis the German, king of East Francia, he consolidated his rule to the extent that after 855 he was able to repel a series of Frankish attacks...

 (846–870) in acquiring the throne. The new monarch pursued an independent policy: after stopping a Frankish attack in 855, he also sought to weaken influence of Frankish priests preaching in his realm. Rastislav
Rastislav
Rastislav or Rostislav was the second known ruler of Moravia . Although he started his reign as vassal to Louis the German, king of East Francia, he consolidated his rule to the extent that after 855 he was able to repel a series of Frankish attacks...

 asked the Byzantine Emperor
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 Michael III
Michael III
Michael III , , Byzantine Emperor from 842 to 867. Michael III was the third and traditionally last member of the Amorian-Phrygian Dynasty...

 to send teachers who would interpret Christianity in the Slavic vernacular.

Upon Rastislav
Rastislav
Rastislav or Rostislav was the second known ruler of Moravia . Although he started his reign as vassal to Louis the German, king of East Francia, he consolidated his rule to the extent that after 855 he was able to repel a series of Frankish attacks...

's request, two brothers, Byzantine officials and missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they...

 came in 863. Cyril
Cyril
Cyril is a masculine given name. It is derived from the Greek name Κύριλλος meaning "Lordly, Masterful" which in turn derives from Greek κυριος "Lord"...

 developed the first Slavic alphabet
Glagolitic alphabet
The Glagolitic alphabet , also known as Glagolitsa, is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. The name was not coined until many centuries after its creation, and comes from the Old Slavic glagolъ "utterance" . The verb glagoliti means "to speak"...

 and translated the Gospel into the Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavic was the first literary Slavic language, first developed by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius who were credited with standardizing the language and using it for translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek...

 language. Rastislav
Rastislav
Rastislav or Rostislav was the second known ruler of Moravia . Although he started his reign as vassal to Louis the German, king of East Francia, he consolidated his rule to the extent that after 855 he was able to repel a series of Frankish attacks...

 was also preoccupied with the security and administration of his state. Numerous fortified castles built throughout the country are dated to his reign and some of them (e.g., Dowina, sometimes identified with Devín Castle
Devín Castle
Devín Castle is a castle in Devín, which is a borough of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia....

) are also mentioned in connection with Rastislav by Frankish chronicles.

During Rastislav's reign, the Principality of Nitra
Principality of Nitra
The Principality of Nitra also Nitrian Principality or Slovak Principality is the name for a polity of Nitra Sloviens, centered on large agglomeration, a multi-tribal centre around Nitra, Slovakia. The initially independent Principality of Nitra came into existence in the early 9th century...

 was given to his nephew Svatopluk
Svatopluk I
Svatopluk I or Zwentibald I was the greatest ruler of Moravia that attained its maximum territorial expansion in his reign . His career had already started in the 860s, when he governed a principality, the location of which is still a matter of debate among historians, within Moravia under the...

 as an appanage. The rebellious prince allied himself with the Franks and overthrew his uncle in 870. Similarly to his predecessor, Svatopluk I
Svatopluk I
Svatopluk I or Zwentibald I was the greatest ruler of Moravia that attained its maximum territorial expansion in his reign . His career had already started in the 860s, when he governed a principality, the location of which is still a matter of debate among historians, within Moravia under the...

 (871–894) assumed the title of the king (rex). During his reign, the Great Moravian Empire reached its greatest territorial extent, when not only present-day Moravia and Slovakia but also present-day northern and central Hungary
Central Hungary
Central Hungary is one of the seven statistical regions in Hungary . It includes and .- Administration :...

, Lower Austria
Lower Austria
Lower Austria is the northeasternmost state of the nine states in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria since 1986 is Sankt Pölten, the most recently designated capital town in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria had formerly been Vienna, even though Vienna is not officially part of Lower Austria...

, Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, Silesia
Silesia
Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with smaller parts also in the Czech Republic, and Germany.Silesia is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław...

, Lusatia
Lusatia
Lusatia is a historical region in Central Europe. It stretches from the Bóbr and Kwisa rivers in the east to the Elbe valley in the west, today located within the German states of Saxony and Brandenburg as well as in the Lower Silesian and Lubusz voivodeships of western Poland...

, southern Poland and northern Serbia belonged to the empire, but the exact borders of his domains are still disputed by modern authors. Svatopluk also withstood attacks of the seminomad Magyar tribes and the Bulgarian Empire
First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state founded in the north-eastern Balkans in c. 680 by the Bulgars, uniting with seven South Slavic tribes...

, although sometimes it was he who hired the Magyars when waging war against East Francia.

In 880, Pope John VIII
Pope John VIII
Pope John VIII was pope from December 13, 872 to December 16, 882. He is often considered one of the ablest pontiffs of the ninth century and the last bright spot on the papacy until Leo IX two centuries later....

 set up an independent ecclesiastical province
Ecclesiastical Province
An ecclesiastical province is a large jurisdiction of religious government, so named by analogy with a secular province, existing in certain hierarchical Christian churches, especially in the Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches and in the Anglican Communion...

 in Great Moravia with Archbishop Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius
Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, Great Moravia and Pannonia. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they...

 as its head. He also named the German cleric Wiching the Bishop of Nitra
Nitra
Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra. With a population of about 83,572, it is the fifth largest city in Slovakia. Nitra is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia and the country's earliest political and cultural center...

.

After the death of King Svatopluk in 894, his sons Mojmír II
Mojmír II
Mojmir II was the last king of the Great Moravian Empire . Because of a civil war with his brother, he failed to prevent dismemberment of his Empire and probably died while fighting Magyar invaders....

 (894–906?) and Svatopluk II
Svatopluk II
Svatopluk II ruled the Principality of Nitra from 894 to 906 and strove to control all of Great Moravia.Svatopluk II was a younger son of Svatopluk I. As Prince of Nitra, Svatopluk II was subordinated to his older brother Mojmír II, the King of Great Moravia which contained the principality as its...

 succeeded him as the King of Great Moravia and the Prince of Nitra respectively. However, they started to quarrel for domination of the whole empire. Weakened by an internal conflict as well as by constant warfare with Eastern Francia
Eastern Francia
East Francia , also known as the Kingdom of the East Franks or Francia Orientalis, was the realm allotted to Louis the German by the 843 Treaty of Verdun...

, Great Moravia lost most of its peripheral territories.

In the meantime, the seminomad Magyar tribes, possibly having suffered defeat from the similarly nomadic Pechenegs, left their territories east of the Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

, invaded the Carpathian Basin and started to occupy the territory gradually around 896. Their armies' advance may have been promoted by continuous wars among the countries of the region whose rulers still hired them occasionally to intervene in their struggles.

We do not know what happened with both Mojmír II and Svatopluk II because they are not mentioned in written sources after 906. In three battles (4–5 July and 9 August 907) near Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

, the Magyars routed Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

n armies. Part of the historians put this year as the date of the breakup of the Great Moravian Empire, due to the Hungarian conquest other historians take the date a little bit earlier (to 902).

Great Moravia left behind a lasting legacy in Central and Eastern Europe. The Glagolitic script
Glagolitic alphabet
The Glagolitic alphabet , also known as Glagolitsa, is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. The name was not coined until many centuries after its creation, and comes from the Old Slavic glagolъ "utterance" . The verb glagoliti means "to speak"...

 and its successor Cyrillic
Cyrillic alphabet
The Cyrillic script or azbuka is an alphabetic writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 10th century AD at the Preslav Literary School...

 were disseminated to other Slavic countries, charting a new path in their cultural development
Sociocultural evolution
Sociocultural evolution is an umbrella term for theories of cultural evolution and social evolution, describing how cultures and societies have changed over time...

. The administrative system of Great Moravia may have influenced the development of the administration of the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

.

Kingdom of Hungary 1000–1919




Following the disintegration of the Great Moravian Empire at the turn of the 10th century, the Hungarians annexed the territory comprising modern Slovakia. From the 11th century, when the territory inhabited by the Slovak-speaking population of Danubian Basin was incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary, until 1918, when Austro-Hungarian empire colapsed, the territory of modern Slovakia was an integral part of Hungarian state. The ethnic composition became more diverse with the arrival of the Carpathian Germans
Carpathian Germans
Carpathian Germans , sometimes simply called Slovak Germans , are a group of German language speakers on the territory of present-day Slovakia...

 in the 13th century, and in the 14th century the Jews.

A significant decline in the population resulted from the invasion of the Mongols
Mongol invasion of Europe
The resumption of the Mongol invasion of Europe, during which the Mongols attacked medieval Rus' principalities and the powers of Poland and Hungary, was marked by the Mongol invasion of Rus starting in 21 December 1237...

 in 1241 and the subsequent famine. However, in medieval times the area of the present-day Slovakia was characterized rather by burgeoning towns, construction of numerous stone castles, and the cultivation of the arts. In 1465, King Matthias Corvinus
Matthias Corvinus of Hungary
Matthias Corvinus , also called the Just in folk tales, was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1458, at the age of 14 until his death...

 founded the Hungarian Kingdom's third university, in Pozsony (Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

), but it was closed in 1490 after his death.

Before the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

's expansion into Hungary and the occupation of Buda
Buda
For detailed information see: History of Buda CastleBuda is the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest on the west bank of the Danube. The name Buda takes its name from the name of Bleda the Hun ruler, whose name is also Buda in Hungarian.Buda comprises about one-third of Budapest's...

 in 1541, the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary (under the name of Royal Hungary
Royal Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary between 1538 and 1867 was part of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, while outside the Holy Roman Empire.After Battle of Mohács, the country was ruled by two crowned kings . They divided the kingdom in 1538...

) altered to Pozsony (in Slovak: Prespork at that time, currently Bratislava) which became the capital city of Royal Hungary
Royal Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary between 1538 and 1867 was part of the lands of the Habsburg Monarchy, while outside the Holy Roman Empire.After Battle of Mohács, the country was ruled by two crowned kings . They divided the kingdom in 1538...

 in 1536. But the Ottoman wars
Ottoman wars in Europe
The wars of the Ottoman Empire in Europe are also sometimes referred to as the Ottoman Wars or as Turkish Wars, particularly in older, European texts.- Rise :...

 and frequent insurrections against the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 also inflicted a great deal of destruction, especially in rural areas. As the Turks withdrew
Great Turkish War
The Great Turkish War refers to a series of conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and contemporary European powers, then joined into a Holy League, during the second half of the 17th century.-1667–1683:...

 from Hungary in the late 17th century, the importance of the territory comprising modern Slovakia decreased, although Bratislava retained its status as the capital of Hungary until 1848, when it was transferred to Buda
Buda
For detailed information see: History of Buda CastleBuda is the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest on the west bank of the Danube. The name Buda takes its name from the name of Bleda the Hun ruler, whose name is also Buda in Hungarian.Buda comprises about one-third of Budapest's...

.
During the revolution of 1848–49
Revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas
From March 1848 through July 1849, the Habsburg Austrian Empire was threatened by revolutionary movements. Much of the revolutionary activity was of a nationalist character: the empire, ruled from Vienna, included Austrian Germans, Hungarians, Slovenes, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Ruthenians,...

 the Slovaks supported the Austrian Emperor
Emperor of Austria
The Emperor of Austria was a hereditary imperial title and position proclaimed in 1804 by the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, and continually held by him and his heirs until the last emperor relinquished power in 1918. The emperors retained the title of...

, hoping for independence from the Hungarian part of the Dual Monarchy, but they failed to achieve their aim. Thereafter relations between the nationalities deteriorated (see Magyarization
Magyarization
Magyarization is a kind of assimilation or acculturation, a process by which non-Magyar elements came to adopt Magyar culture and language due to social pressure .Defiance or appeals to the Nationalities Law, met...

), culminating in the secession of Slovakia from Hungary after World War I.

Interwar Czechoslovakia


In 1918, Slovakia and the regions of Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, Moravia
Moravia
Moravia is a historical region in Central Europe in the east of the Czech Republic, and one of the former Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Silesia. It takes its name from the Morava River which rises in the northwest of the region...

, Silesia
Czech Silesia
Czech Silesia is an unofficial name of one of the three Czech lands and a section of the Silesian historical region. It is located in the north-east of the Czech Republic, predominantly in the Moravian-Silesian Region, with a section in the northern Olomouc Region...

 and Carpathian Ruthenia
Carpathian Ruthenia
Carpathian Ruthenia is a region in Eastern Europe, mostly located in western Ukraine's Zakarpattia Oblast , with smaller parts in easternmost Slovakia , Poland's Lemkovyna and Romanian Maramureş.It is...

 formed a common state, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, with the borders confirmed by the Treaty of Saint Germain and Treaty of Trianon
Treaty of Trianon
The Treaty of Trianon was the peace agreement signed in 1920, at the end of World War I, between the Allies of World War I and Hungary . The treaty greatly redefined and reduced Hungary's borders. From its borders before World War I, it lost 72% of its territory, which was reduced from to...

. In 1919, during the chaos following the breakup of Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia was formed with numerous Germans and Hungarians within the newly set borders. A Slovak patriot Milan Rastislav Štefánik
Milan Rastislav Štefánik
Milan Rastislav Štefánik , Kingdom of Hungary – May 4, 1919 in Ivanka pri Dunaji, Czechoslovakia) was a Slovak politician, diplomat, and astronomer. During World War I, he was General of the French Army, at the same time the Czechoslovak Minister of War, one of the leading members of the...

 (1880–1919), who helped organize Czechoslovak regiments against Austria-Hungary during the First World War, died in a plane crash. In the peace following the World War, Czechoslovakia emerged as a sovereign European nation.

During the Interwar period
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

, democratic Czechoslovakia was allied with France, and also with Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 and Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 (Little Entente
Little Entente
The Little Entente was an alliance formed in 1920 and 1921 by Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia with the purpose of common defense against Hungarian revision and the prevention of a Habsburg restoration...

); however, the Locarno Treaties
Locarno Treaties
The Locarno Treaties were seven agreements negotiated at Locarno, Switzerland, on 5 October – 16 October 1925 and formally signed in London on 3 December, in which the First World War Western European Allied powers and the new states of central and Eastern Europe sought to secure the post-war...

 of 1925 left East European security open. Both Czechs and Slovaks enjoyed a period of relative prosperity. Not only was there progress in the development of the country's economy, but in culture and in educational opportunities as well. The minority Germans came to accept their role in the new country and relations with Austria were good. Yet the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 caused a sharp economic downturn, followed by political disruption and insecurity in Europe.

Thereafter Czechoslovakia came under continuous pressure from the revisionist
Revanchism
Revanchism is a term used since the 1870s to describe a political manifestation of the will to reverse territorial losses incurred by a country, often following a war or social movement. Revanchism draws its strength from patriotic and retributionist thought and is often motivated by economic or...

 governments of Germany and Hungary. Eventually this led to the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

 of September 1938, which allowed Nazi Germany to partially dismember the country by occupying what was called the Sudetenland
Sudetenland
Sudetenland is the German name used in English in the first half of the 20th century for the northern, southwest and western regions of Czechoslovakia inhabited mostly by ethnic Germans, specifically the border areas of Bohemia, Moravia, and those parts of Silesia being within Czechoslovakia.The...

, a region with a German-speaking majority and bordering Germany and Austria. The remainder of "rump" Czechoslovakia was renamed Czecho-Slovakia and included a greater degree of Slovak political autonomy. Southern and eastern Slovakia, however, was claimed back by Hungary at the First Vienna Award
First Vienna Award
The First Vienna Award was the result of the First Vienna Arbitration, which took place at Vienna's Belvedere Palace on November 2, 1938. The Arbitration and Award were direct consequences of the Munich Agreement...

 of November 1938.

World War II



After the Munich Agreement and its Vienna Award, Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 threatened to annex part of Slovakia and allow the remaining regions to be partitioned by Hungary or Poland unless independence was declared. Thus, Slovakia seceded from Czecho-Slovakia in March 1939 and allied itself, as demanded by Germany, with Hitler's
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 coalition. The government of the First Slovak Republic, led by Jozef Tiso
Jozef Tiso
Jozef Tiso was a Slovak Roman Catholic priest, politician of the Slovak People's Party, and Nazi collaborator. Between 1939 and 1945, Tiso was the head of the Slovak State, a satellite state of Nazi Germany...

 and Vojtech Tuka
Vojtech Tuka
Vojtech "Béla" Tuka was the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic between 1940 and 1945. Tuka was one the main forces behind the deportation of Slovak Jews to Nazi concentration camps in Poland...

, was strongly influenced by Germany and gradually became a puppet regime
Puppet state
A puppet state is a nominal sovereign of a state who is de facto controlled by a foreign power. The term refers to a government controlled by the government of another country like a puppeteer controls the strings of a marionette...

 in many respects.

Most Jews were deported from the country and taken to German labour camps
Labor camp
A labor camp is a simplified detention facility where inmates are forced to engage in penal labor. Labor camps have many common aspects with slavery and with prisons...

. Thousands of Jews, however, remained to labor in Slovak work camps in Sered, Vyhne, and Nováky. Tiso, through the granting of presidential exceptions, has been credited with saving as many as 40,000 Jews during the war, although other estimates place the figure closer to 4,000 or even 1,000.
Nevertheless, under Tiso's government, 83% of Slovakia's Jewish population, a total of 75,000 individuals, were murdered, though new estimates show increasing numbers of Jewish casualties, approximately 105,000 people. Tiso became the only European leader to actually pay Nazi authorities to deport his country's Jews.

After it became clear that the Soviet Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 was going to push the Nazis out of eastern and central Europe, an anti-Nazi resistance movement
Resistance movement
A resistance movement is a group or collection of individual groups, dedicated to opposing an invader in an occupied country or the government of a sovereign state. It may seek to achieve its objects through either the use of nonviolent resistance or the use of armed force...

 launched a fierce armed insurrection, known as the Slovak National Uprising
Slovak National Uprising
The Slovak National Uprising or 1944 Uprising was an armed insurrection organized by the Slovak resistance movement during World War II. It was launched on August 29 1944 from Banská Bystrica in an attempt to overthrow the collaborationist Slovak State of Jozef Tiso...

, near the end of summer 1944. A bloody German occupation and a guerilla war followed. The territory of Slovakia was liberated by Soviet and Romanian forces by the end of April 1945.

Rule of the Communist party


After World War II, Czechoslovakia was reconstituted and Jozef Tiso
Jozef Tiso
Jozef Tiso was a Slovak Roman Catholic priest, politician of the Slovak People's Party, and Nazi collaborator. Between 1939 and 1945, Tiso was the head of the Slovak State, a satellite state of Nazi Germany...

 was hanged in 1947 for collaboration with the Nazis. More than 80,000 Hungarians and 32,000 Germans were forced to leave Slovakia, in a series of population transfers
Expulsion of Germans after World War II
The later stages of World War II, and the period after the end of that war, saw the forced migration of millions of German nationals and ethnic Germans from various European states and territories, mostly into the areas which would become post-war Germany and post-war Austria...

 initiated by the Allies at the Potsdam Conference
Potsdam Conference
The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern, in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 16 July to 2 August 1945. Participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States...

. This expulsion is still a source of tension between Slovakia and Hungary. Out of about 130,000 Carpathian Germans
Carpathian Germans
Carpathian Germans , sometimes simply called Slovak Germans , are a group of German language speakers on the territory of present-day Slovakia...

 in Slovakia in 1938, by 1947 only some 20,000 remained.

Czechoslovakia came under the influence of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and its Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 after a coup in 1948. The country was occupied
Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia
On the night of 20–21 August 1968, the Soviet Union and her main satellite states in the Warsaw Pact – Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic , Hungary and Poland – invaded the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in order to halt Alexander Dubček's Prague Spring political liberalization...

 by the Warsaw Pact forces (with the exception of Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

) in 1968, ending a period of liberalization
Prague Spring
The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia during the era of its domination by the Soviet Union after World War II...

 under the leadership of Alexander Dubček
Alexander Dubcek
Alexander Dubček , also known as Dikita, was a Slovak politician and briefly leader of Czechoslovakia , famous for his attempt to reform the communist regime during the Prague Spring...

. In 1969, Czechoslovakia became a federation of the Czech Socialist Republic
Czech Socialist Republic
From 1969 to 1990, the Czech Socialist Republic was the official name of that part of Czechoslovakia that is the Czech Republic today. The name was used from 1 January 1969 to March 1990....

 and the Slovak Socialist Republic
Slovak Socialist Republic
From 1969 to 1990, the Slovak Socialist Republic was the official name of that part of Czechoslovakia that is Slovakia today. The name was used from 1 January 1969 until March 1990....

.


Establishment of the Slovak Republic


The end of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989, during the peaceful Velvet Revolution
Velvet Revolution
The Velvet Revolution or Gentle Revolution was a non-violent revolution in Czechoslovakia that took place from November 17 – December 29, 1989...

, was followed once again by the country's dissolution, this time into two successor states
Succession of states
Succession of states is a theory and practice in international relations regarding the recognition and acceptance of a newly created sovereign state by other states, based on a perceived historical relationship the new state has with a prior state...

. In July 1992 Slovakia, led by Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar
Vladimír Meciar
Vladimír Mečiar is a Slovak politician who was Prime Minister of Slovakia from 1990 to 1991, from 1992 to 1994, and from 1994 to 1998. He is the leader of the People's Party - Movement for a Democratic Slovakia...

, declared itself a sovereign state, meaning that its laws took precedence over those of the federal government. Throughout the Autumn of 1992, Mečiar and Czech Prime Minister Václav Klaus
Václav Klaus
Václav Klaus is the second President of the Czech Republic and a former Prime Minister .An economist, he is co-founder of the Civic Democratic Party, the Czech Republic's largest center-right political party. Klaus is a eurosceptic, but he reluctantly endorsed the Lisbon treaty as president of...

 negotiated the details for disbanding the federation. In November the federal parliament voted to dissolve the country officially on 31 December 1992.

The Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic went their separate ways after 1 January 1993, an event sometimes called the Velvet Divorce
Dissolution of Czechoslovakia
The dissolution of Czechoslovakia, which took effect on 1 January 1993, was an event that saw the self-determined separation of the federal state of Czechoslovakia. The Czech Republic and Slovakia, entities which had arisen in 1969 within the framework of Czechoslovak federalisation, became...

. Slovakia has remained a close partner with the Czech Republic. Both countries cooperate with Hungary and Poland in the Visegrád Group
Visegrád Group
The Visegrád Group, also called the Visegrád Four or V4, is an alliance of four Central European states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – for the purposes of cooperation and furthering their European integration...

. Slovakia became a member of NATO on 29 March 2004 and of the European Union on 1 May 2004. On 1 January 2009, Slovakia adopted the Euro as its national currency.

Geography



Slovakia lies between latitudes 47°
47th parallel north
The 47th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 47 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 50° N
50th parallel north
The 50th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 50 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

, and longitudes 16°
16th meridian east
The meridian 16° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 23° E
23rd meridian east
The meridian 23° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

.

The Slovak landscape is noted primarily for its mountainous nature, with the Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

 extending across most of the northern half of the country. Amongst these mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

s are the high peaks of the Tatra mountains
Tatra Mountains
The Tatra Mountains, Tatras or Tatra , are a mountain range which forms a natural border between Slovakia and Poland, and are the highest mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains...

. To the north, close to the Polish border, are the High Tatras
High Tatras
High Tatras or High Tatra are a mountain range on the borders between Slovakia and Poland. They are a part of the Tatra Mountains...

 which are a popular skiing
Skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

 destination and home to many scenic lakes and valleys as well as the highest point in Slovakia, the Gerlachovský štít at 2655 metres (8,711 ft), and the country's highly symbolic mountain Kriváň
Kriván (peak)
Kriváň is a mountain in the High Tatras, Slovakia, that dominates the upper part of the former Liptov County. Multiple surveys among nature lovers have ranked it as the country's most beautiful peak. Readily accessible along maintained marked trails and with the exceptional vistas afforded from...

.

Major Slovak rivers are the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

, the Váh
Váh
The Váh is the longest river in entire Slovakia. A left tributary of the Danube river, the Váh is 406 km long, including its Čierny Váh branch...

 and the Hron
Hron
Hron is a 298 km long left tributary of the Danube and the second longest river in Slovakia. It flows from its source located in the Low Tatra mountains through central and southern Slovakia, pouring into the Danube near Štúrovo and Esztergom...

. The Tisa
Tisza
The Tisza or Tisa is one of the main rivers of Central Europe. It rises in Ukraine, and is formed near Rakhiv by the junction of headwaters White Tisa, whose source is in the Chornohora mountains and Black Tisa, which springs in the Gorgany range...

 marks the Slovak-Hungarian border for only5 km (3.1 mi).

The Slovak climate lies between the temperate and continental climate
Continental climate
Continental climate is a climate characterized by important annual variation in temperature due to the lack of significant bodies of water nearby...

 zones with relatively warm summers and cold, cloudy and humid winters. The area of Slovakia can be divided into three kinds of climatic zones and the first zone can be divided into two sub-zones.

Climate


There are four somewhat different climates in Slovakia, owing partly to the mountain region. These areas include the cities of Bratislava, Kosice, Poprad and lastly, the mountain village of Spis:

The average annual temperature is about 9 to 10 °C (48.2 to 50 F). The average temperature of the hottest month is about 20 °C (68 °F)and the average temperature of the coldest month is greater than -3 C. This kind of climate occurs at Záhorská nížina and Podunajská nížina
Danubian Lowland
The Danubian Lowland or Danube Lowland is the name of the part of Little Alföld situated in Slovakia, located between the Danube, the Little Carpathians and all other parts of the Western Carpathians....

. It is the typical climate of the capital city Bratislava.

The average annual temperature is about 8 to 9 °C (46.4 to 48.2 F). The average temperature of the hottest month is about 19 °C (66 °F)and the average temperature of the coldest month is less than -3 C. This kind of climate can be found at Košická kotlina and Východoslovenská nížina
Eastern Slovak Lowland
The East Slovak Lowland is the name of the part of Great Hungarian Plain situated in Slovakia....

. It is the typical climate of the city of Košice.

The average annual temperature is between 5 and 8.5 °C (41 and 47.3 F). The average temperature of the hottest month is between15 and 18.5 °C (59 and 65.3 F) and the average temperature of the coldest month is between -6 C. This climate can be found in almost all basins in Slovakia. For example Podtatranská kotlina, Žilinská kotlina, Turčianska kotlina, Zvolenská kotlina. It is the typical climate for the towns of Poprad
Poprad
Poprad is a city in northern Slovakia at the foot of the High Tatra Mountains famous for its picturesque historic centre and as a holiday resort. It is the biggest town of the Spiš region and the tenth largest city in Slovakia with a population of approximately 55,000.The Poprad-Tatry Airport is...

 and Sliač
Sliac
Sliač is a small spa town located in central Slovakia, on the Hron river, between Banská Bystrica and Zvolen. The town is known for its healing hot springs and for an airport which has been used for military as well as civil purposes...

.

The average annual temperature is less than 5 °C (41 °F). The average temperature of the hottest month is less than15 °C (59 °F) and the average temperature of the coldest month is less than -5 °C. This kind of climate occurs in mountains and in some villages in the valleys of Orava and Spiš
Spiš
Spiš is a region in north-eastern Slovakia, with a very small area in south-eastern Poland. Spiš is an informal designation of the territory , but it is also the name of one the 21 official tourism regions of Slovakia...

.

Politics




Slovakia is a parliamentary democratic
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 republic with a multi-party system
Multi-party system
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the United Kingdom formed in 2010. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally...

. The last parliamentary elections
Slovak parliamentary election, 2010
A parliamentary election took place in Slovakia on 12 June 2010. The elections were contested by eighteen parties, six of which passed the 5% threshold for sitting in parliament...

 were held on 12 June 2010 and two rounds of presidential elections
Slovak presidential election, 2009
The 2009 Slovak presidential elections were held on 21 March and 4 April. It was third peoples' presidential vote in the era of independent Slovak republic...

 took place on 21 March 2009 and 4 April 2009.

The Slovak head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 is the president (currently Ivan Gašparovič
Ivan Gašparovic
Ivan Gašparovič is a Slovak politician and law professor who has been the President of Slovakia since 15 June 2004. He is also the first Slovak president to be re-elected.-Biography:...

), elected by direct popular vote for a five-year term. Most executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 power lies with the head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, the prime minister (currently Iveta Radičová
Iveta Radicová
Iveta Radičová is the Prime Minister of Slovakia and a member of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party. She was sworn into office on 8 July 2010 as the head of a four-party center-right coalition government following the 2010 Slovak parliamentary election, until the fall of...

), who is usually the leader of the winning party, but he/she needs to form a majority coalition in the parliament. The prime minister is appointed by the president. The remainder of the cabinet is appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister.

Slovakia's highest legislative
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 body is the 150-seat unicameral
Unicameralism
In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house...

 National Council of the Slovak Republic
National Council of the Slovak Republic
The National Council of the Slovak Republic , abbreviated to NR SR, is the national parliament of Slovakia. It is unicameral, and consists of 150 MPs, who are elected by universal suffrage under proportional representation every four years....

 (Národná rada Slovenskej republiky). Delegates are elected for a four-year term on the basis of proportional representation
Proportional representation
Proportional representation is a concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council. PR means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received. For example, under a PR voting system if 30% of voters support a particular...

. Slovakia's highest judicial body
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 is the Constitutional Court of Slovakia
Constitutional Court of Slovakia
The Constitutional Court of Slovakia is a special court established by the Constitution of Slovakia. Its seat is in Košice.-Tasks:...

 (Ústavný súd), which rules on constitutional issues. The 13 members of this court are appointed by the president from a slate of candidates nominated by parliament.

Slovakia has been a member state of the European Union and NATO since 2004. As a member of the United Nations (since 1993), Slovakia was, on 10 October 2005, elected to a two-year term on the UN Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 from 2006 to 2007. Slovakia is also a member of WTO
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

, OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

, OSCE
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections...

, and other international organizations.

The Constitution of the Slovak Republic
Constitution of Slovakia
The Constitution of Slovakia, officially Constitution of the Slovak Republic is the current constitution of Slovakia. It was passed by the Slovak National Council on 1 September 1992 and signed on 3 September 1992 in the Knights Hall of the Bratislava Castle...

 was ratified 1 September 1992, and became effective 1 January 1993). It was amended in September 1998 to allow direct election
Direct election
Direct election is a term describing a system of choosing political officeholders in which the voters directly cast ballots for the person, persons or political party that they desire to see elected. The method by which the winner or winners of a direct election are chosen depends upon the...

 of the president and again in February 2001 due to EU admission requirements.
The civil law system
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 is based on Austro-Hungarian codes. The legal code
Code (law)
A code is a type of legislation that purports to exhaustively cover a complete system of laws or a particular area of law as it existed at the time the code was enacted, by a process of codification. Though the process and motivations for codification are similar in common law and civil law...

 was modified to comply with the obligations of Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections...

 (OSCE) and to expunge the Marxist-Leninist legal theory
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

. Slovakia accepts the compulsory International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 jurisdiction with reservations.

The president is the head of state and the formal head of the executive, though with very limited powers. The president is elected by direct, popular vote, under the two round system
Two-round system
The two-round system is a voting system used to elect a single winner where the voter casts a single vote for their chosen candidate...

, for a five-year term.

Following National Council elections, the leader of the majority party
Two-party system
A two-party system is a system where two major political parties dominate voting in nearly all elections at every level of government and, as a result, all or nearly all elected offices are members of one of the two major parties...

 or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president. Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister has to receive the majority in the parliament. The government coalition as of July 2010 consists of SDKU-DS, Freedom and Solidarity
Freedom and Solidarity
Freedom and Solidarity , abbreviated to SaS, is a centre-right classical liberal political party in Slovakia. The party was established in 2009 and is led by its founder, the economist Richard Sulík, who designed Slovakia's flat tax system...

, KDH and Most-Híd.
|President
|Ivan Gašparovič
Ivan Gašparovic
Ivan Gašparovič is a Slovak politician and law professor who has been the President of Slovakia since 15 June 2004. He is also the first Slovak president to be re-elected.-Biography:...


|Movement for Democracy
Movement for Democracy (Slovakia)
The Movement for Democracy is a political party in Slovakia split from the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia in 2002. The first leader of the party was Ivan Gašparovič, the current president of Slovakia...


|15 June 2004
|-
|Prime Minister
|Iveta Radičová
Iveta Radicová
Iveta Radičová is the Prime Minister of Slovakia and a member of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party. She was sworn into office on 8 July 2010 as the head of a four-party center-right coalition government following the 2010 Slovak parliamentary election, until the fall of...


|SDKU-DS
|8 July 2010
|-
|Deputy prime minister
Deputy Prime Minister
A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some counties, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different, though both...

s
|Rudolf Chmel
Rudolf Chmel
Rudolf Chmel is a Slovak politician who was Minister of Culture in the government of Slovakia from 2002 to 2005 and again in 2006. He was also the last ambassador of Czechoslovakia accredited to Hungary, a member of the Parliament of Slovakia, and a writer and editor...


Ivan Mikloš
Ivan Mikloš
Ivan Mikloš is the incumbent Minister of Finance of Slovakia, appointed on July 9, 2010. He previously served as Slovakia's Minister of Finance from 2002 to 2006 and Deputy Prime Minister for Economy between 1998 and 2002....


Ján Figeľ
Ján Figel
Ján Figeľ is a Slovakian politician, previously European Commissioner for Education, Training & Culture. His area of responsibility also covered sport, youth, and relations with civil society.-Early career:...


Jozef Mihál
Jozef Mihál
Dr Jozef Mihál is a Slovak politician and tax consultant. He is Deputy Prime Minister; Minister for Labour, Social Affairs, and Family; and deputy leader of Freedom and Solidarity ....


|Most–Híd
Most–Híd
Most–Híd is a centre-right political party in Slovakia. Its programme calls for greater cooperation between the country's Hungarian minority and ethnic Slovaks...


SDKU-DS
KDH
SaS
Freedom and Solidarity
Freedom and Solidarity , abbreviated to SaS, is a centre-right classical liberal political party in Slovakia. The party was established in 2009 and is led by its founder, the economist Richard Sulík, who designed Slovakia's flat tax system...


|9 July 2010
9 July 2010
9 July 2010
9 July 2010
|}

Human rights



The U.S. State Department in 2010 reported:
"The government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, there were problems in some areas. Notable human rights problems included some continuing reports of police mistreatment of Romani suspects and lengthy pretrial detention; restrictions on freedom of religion; concerns about the integrity of the judiciary, corruption in national government, local government, and government health services; violence against women and children; trafficking in women and children; and societal discrimination and violence against Roma and other minorities."


Human rights in Slovakia are guaranteed by the Constitution of Slovakia
Constitution of Slovakia
The Constitution of Slovakia, officially Constitution of the Slovak Republic is the current constitution of Slovakia. It was passed by the Slovak National Council on 1 September 1992 and signed on 3 September 1992 in the Knights Hall of the Bratislava Castle...

 from the year 1992 and by multiple international laws signed in Slovakia between 1948 and 2006. Slovakia excludes multiple citizenships
Slovak nationality law
right|150pxSlovak nationality law is based on the principles of Jus sanguinis. Slovak citizenship is primarily acquired on the basis of descent from a Slovak parent, rather than birth in the territory of Slovakia....

.

Administrative divisions



As for administrative division
Administrative division
An administrative division, subnational entity, or country subdivision is a portion of a country or other political division, established for the purpose of government. Administrative divisions are each granted a certain degree of autonomy, and are required to manage themselves through their own...

, Slovakia is subdivided into 8 kraj
Kraj
A kraj is the highest-level administrative unit in the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. For lack of other English expressions, the Slavic term is often translated as "province", "region", or "territory", although it actually approximately means " country", or " countryside"...

ov
(singular – kraj, usually translated as "region"), each of which is named after its principal city. Regions have enjoyed a certain degree of autonomy since 2002. Their self-governing
Self-governance
Self-governance is an abstract concept that refers to several scales of organization.It may refer to personal conduct or family units but more commonly refers to larger scale activities, i.e., professions, industry bodies, religions and political units , up to and including autonomous regions and...

 bodies are referred to as Self-governing (or autonomous) Regions (sg. samosprávny kraj, pl. samosprávne kraje) or Upper-Tier Territorial Units (sg. vyšší územný celok, pl. vyššie územné celky, abbr. VÚC).

  1. Bratislava Region
    Bratislava Region
    The Bratislava Region is one of the administrative regions of Slovakia. Its capital is Bratislava. It is the smallest of the eight regions of Slovakia.-Geography:...

     (Bratislavský kraj) (capital Bratislava
    Bratislava
    Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

    )
  2. Trnava Region
    Trnava Region
    The Trnava Region is one of the eight Slovak administrative regions.-Geography:It is located in the middlewest part of Slovakia and forms a territorial band between the Bratislava Region and the rest of Slovakia, between Austrian and Czech borders in the north and Hungarian border in the south...

     (Trnavský kraj) (capital Trnava
    Trnava
    Trnava is a city in western Slovakia, 47 km to the north-east of Bratislava, on the Trnávka river. It is the capital of a kraj and of an okres . It was the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishopric . The city has a historic center...

    )
  3. Trenčín Region
    Trencín Region
    The Trenčín Region is one of the eight Slovak administrative regions. It consists of 9 districts .-Geography:It is located in the north-western Slovakia, has an area of 4,502 km² and a population of 600,386 . The Danubian Lowland reaches the region to Nové Mesto nad Váhom and Partizánske areas...

     (Trenčiansky kraj) (capital Trenčín
    Trencín
    Trenčín is a city in western Slovakia of the central Váh River valley near the Czech border, around from Bratislava. It has a population of more than 56,000, which makes it the ninth largest municipality of the country and is the seat of the Trenčín Region and the Trenčín District...

    )
  4. Nitra Region
    Nitra Region
    The Nitra Region is one of the administrative regions of Slovakia.-Geography:This region with a long history is situated in the southwest of Slovakia, mostly in the eastern part of the Danubian Lowland. It is divided into two sub-units: the Danubian Flat in the south-west, with eastern part of the...

     (Nitriansky kraj) (capital Nitra
    Nitra
    Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra. With a population of about 83,572, it is the fifth largest city in Slovakia. Nitra is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia and the country's earliest political and cultural center...

    )
  5. Žilina Region
    Žilina Region
    The Žilina Region is one of the eight Slovak administrative regions and consists of 11 districts .-Geography:It is located in northern Slovakia and has an area of 6,804 km² and a population of 694,763 . The whole area is mountainous, belonging to the Western Carpathians...

     (Žilinský kraj) (capital Žilina
    Žilina
    Žilina is a city in north-western Slovakia, around from the capital Bratislava, close to both the Czech and Polish borders. It is the fourth largest city of Slovakia with a population of approximately 85,000, an important industrial center, the largest city on the Váh river, and the seat of a...

    )
  6. Banská Bystrica Region
    Banská Bystrica Region
    The Banská Bystrica Region is one of the Slovak regions in the country of Slovakia in Europe.-Geography:It is located in the central part of Slovakia and has an area of 9,455 km². The region is prevailingly mountains, with several ranges within the area. The highest of them are the Low Tatras...

     (Banskobystrický kraj) (capital Banská Bystrica
    Banská Bystrica
    Banská Bystrica is a key city in central Slovakia located on the Hron River in a long and wide valley encircled by the mountain chains of the Low Tatras, the Veľká Fatra, and the Kremnica Mountains. With 81,281 inhabitants, Banská Bystrica is the sixth most populous municipality in Slovakia...

    )
  7. Prešov Region
    Prešov Region
    The Prešov Region is one of the eight Slovak administrative regions. It consists of 13 districts.-Geography:It is located in north-eastern Slovakia and has an area of 8,975 km². The region has diverse types of landscapes occurring in Slovakia, but mostly highlands and hilly lands dominate the...

     (Prešovský kraj) (capital Prešov
    Prešov
    Prešov Historically, the city has been known in German as Eperies , Eperjes in Hungarian, Fragopolis in Latin, Preszów in Polish, Peryeshis in Romany, Пряшев in Russian and Пряшів in Rusyn and Ukrainian.-Characteristics:The city is a showcase of Baroque, Rococo and Gothic...

    )
  8. Košice Region
    Košice Region
    The Košice Region is one of the eight Slovak administrative regions. It consists of 11 districts .-Geography:It is located in the southern part of eastern Slovakia and covers an area of 6,752 km²...

     (Košický kraj) (capital Košice
    Košice
    Košice is a city in eastern Slovakia. It is situated on the river Hornád at the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, near the border with Hungary...

    )

(the word kraj can be replaced by samosprávny kraj or by VÚC in each case)

The "kraje" are subdivided into many okres
Okres
Okres refers to administrative entities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia...

y
(sg. okres, usually translated as districts). Slovakia currently has 79 districts.

In terms of economics and unemployment rate
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

, the western regions are richer than eastern regions; however the relative difference is no bigger than in most EU countries having regional differences.

Economy



The Slovak economy is considered an advanced economy
Developed country
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...

, with the country dubbed the "Tatra Tiger
Tatra Tiger
"Tatra Tiger" is a nickname that refers to the economy of Slovakia in period 2002 - 2007 and after 2010 following the ascendance of a right-wing coalition in September 2002 which engaged in a program of liberal economic reforms...

". Slovakia transformed from a centrally planned economy
Planned economy
A planned economy is an economic system in which decisions regarding production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by a central authority, usually by a government agency...

 to a market-driven economy. Major privatization
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

s are nearly complete, the banking sector is almost completely in private hands, and foreign investment has risen.

Slovakia has recently been characterized by sustained high economic growth
Economic growth
In economics, economic growth is defined as the increasing capacity of the economy to satisfy the wants of goods and services of the members of society. Economic growth is enabled by increases in productivity, which lowers the inputs for a given amount of output. Lowered costs increase demand...

. In 2006, Slovakia achieved the highest growth of GDP (8.9%) among the members of the OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

. The annual GDP growth in 2007 is estimated at 10% with a record level of 14% reached in the fourth quarter. According to Eurostat
Eurostat
Eurostat is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide the European Union with statistical information at European level and to promote the integration of statistical methods across the Member States of the European Union,...

 data, Slovak PPS GDP per capita stood at 72 percent of the EU average in 2008.

Unemployment, peaking at 19.2% at the end of 1999, decreased to 7.51% in October 2008 according to the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic. In addition to economic growth, migration of workers to other EU countries also contributed to this reduction. According to Eurostat
Eurostat
Eurostat is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide the European Union with statistical information at European level and to promote the integration of statistical methods across the Member States of the European Union,...

, which uses a calculation method different from that of the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, the unemployment rate is still the second highest after Spain in the EU-15 group, at 9.9%.

Inflation dropped from an average annual rate of 12.0% in 2000 to just 3.3% in 2002, the election year, but it rose again in 2003–2004 because of rising labor costs and excess taxes. It reached 3.7% in 2005.

Slovakia adopted the Euro currency on 1 January 2009 as the 16th member of the Eurozone
Eurozone
The eurozone , officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union of seventeen European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their common currency and sole legal tender...

. The euro in Slovakia was approved by the European commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 on 7 May 2008. The Slovak koruna
Slovak koruna
In 1993, coins were introduced in denominations of 10, 20 and 50 haliers, 1, 2, 5 and 10 korunas. The 10 and 20 halier coins were taken out of circulation on 31 December 2003....

 was revalued on 28 May 2008 to 30.126 for 1 euro, which was also the exchange rate for the euro.

Slovakia is an attractive country for foreign investors
Investment
Investment has different meanings in finance and economics. Finance investment is putting money into something with the expectation of gain, that upon thorough analysis, has a high degree of security for the principal amount, as well as security of return, within an expected period of time...

 mainly because of its low wages, low tax rates and well educated labour force
Labor force
In economics, a labor force or labour force is a region's combined civilian workforce, including both the employed and unemployed.Normally, the labor force of a country consists of everyone of working age In economics, a labor force or labour force is a region's combined civilian workforce,...

. In recent years, Slovakia has been pursuing a policy of encouraging foreign investment. FDI
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

 inflow grew more than 600% from 2000 and cumulatively reached an all-time high of $17.3 billion USD in 2006, or around $22,000 per capita by the end of 2008.

Despite a sufficient number of researchers and a decent secondary educational system
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, Slovakia, along with other post-communist
Post-Communism
Post-communism is a name sometimes given to the period of political and economic transformation or "transition" in former Communist states located in parts of Europe and Asia, in which new governments aimed to create free market-oriented capitalist economies with some form of parliamentary...

 countries, still faces major challenges in the field of the knowledge economy
Knowledge economy
The knowledge economy is a term that refers either to an economy of knowledge focused on the production and management of knowledge in the frame of economic constraints, or to a knowledge-based economy. In the second meaning, more frequently used, it refers to the use of knowledge technologies to...

. The business and public research and development
Research and development
The phrase research and development , according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, refers to "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of...

 expenditures are well below the EU average. The Programme for International Student Assessment
Programme for International Student Assessment
The Programme for International Student Assessment is a worldwide evaluation in OECD member countries of 15-year-old school pupils' scholastic performance, performed first in 2000 and repeated every three years...

, coordinated by the OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

, currently ranks Slovak secondary education the 30th in the world (placing it just below the United States and just above Spain).

In March 2008, the Ministry of Finance announced that Slovakia's economy is developed enough to stop being an aid receiver from the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

. Slovakia became an aid provider at the end of 2008.

Industry


Although Slovakia's GDP comes mainly from the tertiary (services) sector, the industrial sector also plays an important role within its economy. The main industry sectors are car
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 manufacturing and electrical engineering
Electrical engineering
Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. The field first became an identifiable occupation in the late nineteenth century after commercialization of the electric telegraph and electrical...

. Since 2007, Slovakia has been the world's largest producer of cars per capita, with a total of 571,071 cars manufactured in the country in 2007 alone. There are currently three automobile assembly plants: Volkswagen
Volkswagen
Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturer and is the original and biggest-selling marque of the Volkswagen Group, which now also owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, and Škoda marques and the truck manufacturer Scania.Volkswagen means "people's car" in German, where it is...

's in Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

, PSA Peugeot Citroen
PSA Peugeot Citroën
PSA Peugeot Citroën is a French manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles sold under the Peugeot and Citroën marques. Headquartered in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, PSA is the second largest automaker based in Europe and the number eight in the world.-History:In December 1974 Peugeot S.A....

's in Trnava
Trnava
Trnava is a city in western Slovakia, 47 km to the north-east of Bratislava, on the Trnávka river. It is the capital of a kraj and of an okres . It was the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishopric . The city has a historic center...

 and Kia Motors
Kia Motors
Kia Motors , headquartered in Seoul, is South Korea's second-largest automobile manufacturer, following the Hyundai Motor Company, with sales of over 1.4 million vehicles in 2010...

' Žilina Plant.

From electrical engineering companies, Sony
Sony
, commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

 has a factory at Nitra
Nitra
Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra. With a population of about 83,572, it is the fifth largest city in Slovakia. Nitra is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia and the country's earliest political and cultural center...

 for LCD TV manufacturing, Samsung
Samsung Group
The Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea...

 at Galanta
Galanta
Galanta is a small town in Slovakia. It is situated 50 km due east from the Slovak capital Bratislava.-Geography:Galanta lies in the Danubian Lowland , the warm southern part of Slovakia...

 for computer monitors and television sets manufacturing.

Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

's geographical position in Central Europe has long made Bratislava a crossroads for international trade
International trade
International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product...

 traffic. Various ancient trade route
Trade route
A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries which may further be connected to several smaller networks of commercial...

s, such as the Amber Road
Amber Road
The Amber Road was an ancient trade route for the transfer of amber. As one of the waterways and ancient highways, for centuries the road led from Europe to Asia and back, and from northern Africa to the Baltic Sea....

 and the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 waterway, have crossed territory of present-day Bratislava. Today, Bratislava is the road, railway, waterway and airway hub.

Transportation




Bratislava is a large international motorway junction: The D1 motorway connects Bratislava to Trnava
Trnava
Trnava is a city in western Slovakia, 47 km to the north-east of Bratislava, on the Trnávka river. It is the capital of a kraj and of an okres . It was the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishopric . The city has a historic center...

, Nitra
Nitra
Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra. With a population of about 83,572, it is the fifth largest city in Slovakia. Nitra is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia and the country's earliest political and cultural center...

, Trenčín
Trencín
Trenčín is a city in western Slovakia of the central Váh River valley near the Czech border, around from Bratislava. It has a population of more than 56,000, which makes it the ninth largest municipality of the country and is the seat of the Trenčín Region and the Trenčín District...

, Žilina
Žilina
Žilina is a city in north-western Slovakia, around from the capital Bratislava, close to both the Czech and Polish borders. It is the fourth largest city of Slovakia with a population of approximately 85,000, an important industrial center, the largest city on the Váh river, and the seat of a...

 and beyond, while the D2 motorway, going in the north-south direction, connects it to Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

, Brno
Brno
Brno by population and area is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, the largest Moravian city, and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. Brno is the administrative centre of the South Moravian Region where it forms a separate district Brno-City District...

 and Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

 in the north-south direction. The D4 motorway (an outer bypass), which would ease the pressure on the city highway system, is mostly at the planning stage.

The A6 motorway
Nordostautobahn
The Nordost Autobahn A6 or Northeastern motorway is a motorway in eastern Austria and it connects Slovakia to the Austrian motorway system.It begins at A4 junction near Bruckneudorf, going east, bypassing Potzneusiedl, crossing the Leitha river by a 410 m long bridge, then beyond Gattendorf copying...

 to Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 connects Slovakia directly to the Austrian motorway system and was opened on 19 November 2007.

Currently, five bridges stand over the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 (ordered by the flow of the river): Lafranconi Bridge
Lafranconi Bridge
Lafranconi Bridge is a concrete motorway bridge in Bratislava, Slovakia, located on the D2 motorway. It was built in 1985-1991, with its right half opened in 1990 and the rest in 1992. It is 766 m long , and has a 30 m wide four-lane motorway. There are lanes for cyclists and pedestrians as well. ...

, Nový Most
Nový Most
Nový Most is a road bridge over the Danube in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. It is the 32nd-tallest, and thus shortest, member of the World Federation of Great Towers, and is the only bridge to be a member...

 (The New Bridge), Starý most
Starý most (Bratislava)
Starý most is the oldest still-standing bridge over the river Danube in Bratislava, Slovakia. The 460 meter long bridge includes a wooden pathway for pedestrians, a two-lane road and railway track, connecting unspoiled historic Bratislava with Petržalka. The bridge was closed for all traffic since...

 (The Old Bridge), Most Apollo and Prístavný most
Prístavný most
Prístavný most is a double-floor motorway-railroad truss bridge over the Danube in Bratislava, Slovakia, near the Port of Bratislava. It lies on the D1 motorway. It is a 599 m long bridge , and was built between 1977 and 1985...

 (The Harbor Bridge).

The city's inner network of roadways is made on the radial-circular shape. Nowadays, Bratislava experiences a sharp increase in the road traffic, increasing pressure on the road network. There are about 200,000 registered cars in Bratislava, (approximately 2 inhabitants per car).
Bratislava's M. R. Štefánik Airport
M. R. Štefánik Airport
-Cargo airlines:-Charter airlines:winter 2011/12 list-VIP and other operators:*ABS Jets – base*Tatra Jet – focus city*OPERA JET – base*VR Jet – base...

 is the main international airport
International airport
An international airport is any airport that can accommodate flights from other countries and are typically equipped with customs and immigration facilities to handle these flights to and from other countries...

 in Slovakia. It is located 9 kilometres (5.59 mi
Mile
A mile is a unit of length, most commonly 5,280 feet . The mile of 5,280 feet is sometimes called the statute mile or land mile to distinguish it from the nautical mile...

) north-east of the city centre. It serves civil and governmental, scheduled and unscheduled domestic and international flights. The current runways support the landing of all common types of aircraft currently used. The airport has enjoyed rapidly growing passenger traffic in recent years; it served 279,028 passengers in 2000, 1,937,642 in 2006 and 2,024,142 in 2007. Smaller airports served by passenger airlines include those in Košice
Košice
Košice is a city in eastern Slovakia. It is situated on the river Hornád at the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, near the border with Hungary...

 and Poprad
Poprad
Poprad is a city in northern Slovakia at the foot of the High Tatra Mountains famous for its picturesque historic centre and as a holiday resort. It is the biggest town of the Spiš region and the tenth largest city in Slovakia with a population of approximately 55,000.The Poprad-Tatry Airport is...

.

The Port of Bratislava
Port of Bratislava
The Port of Bratislava is a major port on the river Danube and — in a wider sense — on the Rhine-Main-Danube waterway....

 is one of the two international river ports
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

 in Slovakia. The port connects Bratislava to international boat traffic, especially the interconnection from the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 to the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 via the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal.
Additionally, tourist lines operate from Bratislava's passenger port, including routes to Devín
Devín
Devín originally a separate town at the confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers, is now a suburb of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. It is an important archaeological site, famous for the ruins of Devín Castle...

, Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and elsewhere.

Tourism


Slovakia features natural landscapes, mountains, caves, medieval castles and towns, folk architecture, spas and ski resorts
Ski and winter sports in Slovakia
Ski and winter sports in Slovakia are very prominent and popular given the mountainous topography of the region and the fact that much of the country is covered by snow for a greater part of the year.- Downhill Skiing :...

. More than 1.6 million people visited Slovakia in 2006, and the most attractive destinations are the capital of Bratislava
Bratislava
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia and, with a population of about 431,000, also the country's largest city. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries.Bratislava...

 and the High Tatras
High Tatras
High Tatras or High Tatra are a mountain range on the borders between Slovakia and Poland. They are a part of the Tatra Mountains...

. Most visitors come from the Czech Republic (about 26%), Poland (15%) and Germany (11%).

Typical souvenirs from Slovakia are dolls dressed in folk costumes, ceramic objects, crystal glass, carved wooden figures, črpáks (wooden pitchers), fujara
Fujara
The fujara originated in central Slovakia as a large sophisticated folk shepherd's fipple flute of unique design. It is technically a contrabass instrument in the tabor pipe class....

s (a folk instrument
Folk instrument
A folk instrument is an instrument that developed among common people and usually doesn't have a known inventor. It can be made from wood, metal or other material. It is a part of folk music...

 on the UNESCO list) and valaška
Valaška
The Shepherd's axe is a long thin light axe used in past centuries by shepherds in the Carpathian Mountains, especially in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. The features of a shepherd's axe combine a tool with a walking stick, that could be used as a light weapon...

s (a decorated folk hatchet) and above all products made from corn husks
Husk
Husk in botany is the outer shell or coating of a seed. It often refers to the leafy outer covering of an ear of maize as it grows on the plant. Literally, a husk or hull includes the protective outer covering of a seed, fruit or vegetable...

 and wire, notably human figures.

Souvenirs can be bought in the shops run by the state organization ÚĽUV (Ústredie ľudovej umeleckej výroby – Center of Folk Art
Folk art
Folk art encompasses art produced from an indigenous culture or by peasants or other laboring tradespeople. In contrast to fine art, folk art is primarily utilitarian and decorative rather than purely aesthetic....

 Production). Dielo shop chain sells works of Slovak artists and craftsmen. These shops are mostly found in towns and cities.
Prices of imported products are generally the same as in the neighboring countries, whereas prices of local products and services, especially food, are usually lower.

Science


Some Slovaks have made notable technical contributions. Jozef Murgaš
Jozef Murgaš
Jozef Murgaš was a Slovak inventor, architect, botanist, painter, patriot, and Roman Catholic priest...

 contributed to development of wireless telegraphy
Wireless telegraphy
Wireless telegraphy is a historical term used today to apply to early radio telegraph communications techniques and practices, particularly those used during the first three decades of radio before the term radio came into use....

; Ján Bahýľ
Ján Bahýl
Ján Bahýľ was a Slovak inventor and constructor. He was working on several problems from the areas of military science, military construction, engineering etc. Among others, he focused on flying machines. In 1895, he was granted a patent on helicopter.-Biography:Ján Bahýľ was born in Zvolenská...

 constructed the first motor-driven helicopter (four years before Bréguet and Cornu
Paul Cornu
Paul Cornu was a French engineer who manufactured bicycles by trade.French engineer Paul Cornu designed the world's first manned rotary wing aircraft and made the first piloted free flight with it at Lisieux, Calvados, France on November 13, 1907. This first flight lifted Cornu about 30 cm ...

).; Štefan Banič
Štefan Banic
Štefan Banič was a Slovak inventor who devised a military parachute, the first parachute ever deployed in actual use....

 constructed the first actively used parachute; Aurel Stodola
Aurel Stodola
Aurel Boleslav Stodola was an engineer, physicist, and inventor. He was an ethnic Slovak. He was a pioneer in the area of technical thermodynamics and its applications and published his book Die Dampfturbine in 1903...

 created a bionic arm in 1916 and pioneered steam and gas turbine
Turbine
A turbine is a rotary engine that extracts energy from a fluid flow and converts it into useful work.The simplest turbines have one moving part, a rotor assembly, which is a shaft or drum with blades attached. Moving fluid acts on the blades, or the blades react to the flow, so that they move and...

s. More recently, John Dopyera
John Dopyera
John Dopyera was a Slovak-American inventor and entrepreneur, and a maker of stringed instruments. His inventions include the resonator guitar and important contributions in the early development of the electric guitar....

 constructed a resonator guitar
Resonator guitar
A resonator guitar or resophonic guitar is an acoustic guitar whose sound is produced by one or more spun metal cones instead of the wooden sound board . Resonator guitars were originally designed to be louder than conventional acoustic guitars which were overwhelmed by horns and percussion...

, an important contribution to the development of acoustic string instrument
String instrument
A string instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. In the Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification, used in organology, they are called chordophones...

.

American astronaut Eugene Cernan (Čerňan), the last man to visit the Moon, has Slovak heritage. Ivan Bella
Ivan Bella
Ivan Bella is a Slovak Air Force officer who became the first Slovak citizen to fly in space...

 was the first Slovak citizen in space, having participated in a 9-day joint Russian-French-Slovak mission on the space station
Space station
A space station is a spacecraft capable of supporting a crew which is designed to remain in space for an extended period of time, and to which other spacecraft can dock. A space station is distinguished from other spacecraft used for human spaceflight by its lack of major propulsion or landing...

 Mir
Mir
Mir was a space station operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001, at first by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Assembled in orbit from 1986 to 1996, Mir was the first modular space station and had a greater mass than that of any previous spacecraft, holding the record for the...

 in 1999.

Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 winners Daniel Gajdusek
Daniel Carleton Gajdusek
Daniel Carleton Gajdusek was an American physician and medical researcher who was the co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1976 for work on kuru, the first human prion disease demonstrated to be infectious....

 and David Politzer
Hugh David Politzer
Hugh David Politzer is an American theoretical physicist. He shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics with David Gross and Frank Wilczek for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in quantum chromodynamics.-Life and career:...

 have Slovak ancestors.

Demographics



The majority of the inhabitants of Slovakia are ethnically Slovak
Slovaks
The Slovaks, Slovak people, or Slovakians are a West Slavic people that primarily inhabit Slovakia and speak the Slovak language, which is closely related to the Czech language.Most Slovaks today live within the borders of the independent Slovakia...

 (85.8%). Hungarians
Hungarians in Slovakia
Hungarians in Slovakia are the largest ethnic minority of the country, numbering 520,528 people or 9.7% of population . They are concentrated mostly in the southern part of the country, near the border with Hungary...

 are the largest ethnic minority
Minority group
A minority is a sociological group within a demographic. The demographic could be based on many factors from ethnicity, gender, wealth, power, etc. The term extends to numerous situations, and civilizations within history, despite the misnomer of minorities associated with a numerical statistic...

 (9.5%). Other ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

s, as of the 2001 census, include Roma with 1.7%, and others or unspecified, 2.4%. Unofficial estimates on the number of Roma
Roma in Slovakia
The Roma constitute an ethnic group in Slovakia. According to the last census from 2001, there were 89,920 persons counted as Roma, or 1.7% of the population...

 population are much higher, around 9%. Before World War II, 135,000 Jew
History of the Jews in Slovakia
Before World War II, 135,000 Jews lived in Slovakia. Some emigrated before the war, but most were killed in deportation. After the Slovak Republic proclaimed its independence in March 1939 under the protection of Nazi Germany, Slovakia began a series of measures aimed against the Jews in the...

s lived in Slovakia.

In 2007 Slovakia was estimated to have a total fertility rate
Total Fertility Rate
The total fertility rate of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if she were to experience the exact current age-specific fertility rates through her lifetime, and she...

 of 1.33. (i.e., the average woman will have 1.33 children in her lifetime), which is significantly below the replacement level
Sub-replacement fertility
Sub-replacement fertility is a total fertility rate that leads to each new generation being less populous than the previous one in a given area. In developed countries sub-replacement fertility is any rate below approximately 2.1 children born per woman, but the threshold can be as high as 3.4...

 and is one of the lowest rates among EU countries
Member State of the European Union
A member state of the European Union is a state that is party to treaties of the European Union and has thereby undertaken the privileges and obligations that EU membership entails. Unlike membership of an international organisation, being an EU member state places a country under binding laws in...

.

The Slovaks endured the largest wave of emigration at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. In the US census of 1990, a total of 1.8 million people identified themselves as being of Slovak ancestry.

Languages


The official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 is Slovak
Slovak language
Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

, a member of the Slavic language family
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

. Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

 is widely spoken in the southern regions and Rusyn
Rusyn language
Rusyn , also known in English as Ruthenian, is an East Slavic language variety spoken by the Rusyns of Central Europe. Some linguists treat it as a distinct language and it has its own ISO 639-3 code; others treat it as a dialect of Ukrainian...

 is used in some parts of the Northeast. Minority language
Minority language
A minority language is a language spoken by a minority of the population of a territory. Such people are termed linguistic minorities or language minorities.-International politics:...

s hold co-official status in the municipalities in which the size of the minority population meets the legal threshold of 20%.

Religion


The Slovak constitution
Constitution of Slovakia
The Constitution of Slovakia, officially Constitution of the Slovak Republic is the current constitution of Slovakia. It was passed by the Slovak National Council on 1 September 1992 and signed on 3 September 1992 in the Knights Hall of the Bratislava Castle...

 guarantees freedom of religion
Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any...

. 60.4% of Slovaks identify themselves as Roman Catholics, 9.6% as nonreligious or atheist, 6% as Protestant, 4.1% as Greek Catholic and 0.9% as Orthodox; 19% chose "other" to identify themselves. Generally about one third of church members regularly attend church services. The pre–World War II population of the country included an estimated 90,000 Jews (1.6% of the population). After the genocidal policies of the Nazi era, only about 2,300 Jews remain today (0.04% of the population).

Culture


See also List of Slovaks

The art of Slovakia can be traced back to the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, when some of the greatest masterpieces of the country's history were created. Significant figures from this period included the many Masters, among them the Master Paul of Levoča
Master Paul of Levoca
Master Paul of Levoča was a medieval carver and sculptor of the15th and 16th century, active mostly in the town of Levoča , in the Kingdom of Hungary, in what is today eastern Slovakia....

 and Master MS
Master MS
Master M. S. was a 16th century painter who specialized in late Gothic art and in early Renaissance art.He was active in Banská Štiavnica and probably led a workshop there. Since his true name is unknown, he is sometimes identified with various other Gothic "masters"...

. More contemporary art
Contemporary art
Contemporary art can be defined variously as art produced at this present point in time or art produced since World War II. The definition of the word contemporary would support the first view, but museums of contemporary art commonly define their collections as consisting of art produced...

 can be seen in the shadows of Koloman Sokol
Koloman Sokol
Koloman Sokol was one of the most prominent Slovak painters, graphic artists and illustrators...

, Miloš Alexander Bazovský
Miloš Alexander Bazovský
Miloš Alexander Bazovský was an eminent Slovak painter, often ranked among the most prominent figures of 20th century art from Slovakia.-Further reading:*Cincík, J.: Miloš A. Bazovský...

, Martin Benka
Martin Benka
Martin Benka was a Slovak painter and illustrator. He is regarded as the founder of Modernist 20th century Slovak painting...

, Mikuláš Galanda
Mikuláš Galanda
Mikuláš Galanda was a renowned painter, illustrator, and one of the most important pioneers and propagators of Slovakian modern art. He is buried in the National Cemetery in Martin.-Education:* 1914-1916 Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest* 1922 Artistic and Industrial School in Prague Mikuláš...

, Ľudovít Fulla
Ludovít Fulla
Ľudovít Fulla was a Slovak painter, graphic artist, illustrator, stage designer and art teacher. He is considered one of the most important figures of Slovakian Creative Art in the 20th century....

, Július Koller, Mária Bartuszová and Stanislav Filko, in the 21st century Roman Ondák, Blažej Baláž
Blažej Baláž
Blažej Baláž is a contemporary Slovak artist. His practise as an artist is usually associated with Neo-conceptualism, Postminimalism, Post-Geo and Post Radical Painting...

. The most important Slovak composers have been Eugen Suchoň
Eugen Suchon
Eugen Suchoň was one of the greatest Slovak composers of the 20th century.-Early life:...

, Ján Cikker
Ján Cikker
Ján Cikker was a Slovak composer, a leading exponent of modern Slovak classical music. He was awarded the title National Artist in Slovakia, the Herder Prize and the UNESCO Prize .-Life:...

, and Alexander Moyzes
Alexander Moyzes
Alexander Moyzes , was a Slovak 20th century neoromantic composer.-Biography:Moyzes was born into a musical family in 1906 at Kláštor pod Znievom in present Slovakia. His father was the composer and educator Mikuláš Moyzes...

, in the 21st century Vladimir Godar
Vladimír Godár
Vladimír Godár is a Slovak composer who is active in the fields of contemporary classical music and film music. He is also known for his collaboration with the Czech violinist, singer and composer Iva Bittová. As an academic, he is a writer, editor and translator of books on historical music...

 and Peter Machajdik
Peter Machajdik
Peter Machajdík is a contemporary Slovak composer and sound artist. He grew up in Bratislava, Slovakia and lives in Berlin, Germany....

.

Slovakia is also known for its polyhistors, of whom include Pavol Jozef Šafárik
Pavel Jozef Šafárik
Pavol Jozef Šafárik Pavol Jozef Šafárik (Safáry / Schaffáry/ Schafary/ Saf(f)arik / Šafarík/ Szafarzik, Czech Pavel Josef Šafařík, German Paul Joseph Schaffarik, Serbian Павле Јосиф Шафарик, Latin Paulus Josephus Schaffarik, Hungarian Pál József Saf(f)arik) Pavol Jozef Šafárik (Safáry /...

, Matej Bel, Ján Kollár
Ján Kollár
Ján Kollár was a Slovak writer , archaeologist, scientist, politician, and main ideologist of Pan-Slavism.- Life :...

, and its political revolutionaries and reformists, such Milan Rastislav Štefánik
Milan Rastislav Štefánik
Milan Rastislav Štefánik , Kingdom of Hungary – May 4, 1919 in Ivanka pri Dunaji, Czechoslovakia) was a Slovak politician, diplomat, and astronomer. During World War I, he was General of the French Army, at the same time the Czechoslovak Minister of War, one of the leading members of the...

 and Alexander Dubček
Alexander Dubcek
Alexander Dubček , also known as Dikita, was a Slovak politician and briefly leader of Czechoslovakia , famous for his attempt to reform the communist regime during the Prague Spring...

.

There were two leading persons who codified the Slovak language. The first was Anton Bernolák
Anton Bernolák
Anton Bernolák Anton Bernolák Anton Bernolák (1 October 1762 in Slanica (a now inundated village near Námestovo – 15 January 1813 in Nové Zámky) was a Slovak linguist and Catholic priest and the author of the first Slovak language standard.-Life:...

 whose concept was based on the western Slovak dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

 in 1787. It was the codification of the first ever literary language of Slovaks. The second was Ľudovít Štúr
Ludovít Štúr
Ľudovít Štúr , known in his era as Ludevít Velislav Štúr, was the leader of the Slovak national revival in the 19th century, the author of the Slovak language standard eventually leading to the contemporary Slovak literary language...

, whose formation of the Slovak language took principles from the central Slovak dialect in 1843.

The best known Slovak hero is Juraj Jánošík
Juraj Jánošík
Juraj Jánošík was a famous Slovak Carpathian Highwayman....

 (the Slovak equivalent of Robin Hood
Robin Hood
Robin Hood was a heroic outlaw in English folklore. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor", assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men". Traditionally, Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes....

). Famous globetrotter and explorer, count Móric Benyovszky had Slovak ancestors.

In terms of sport, the Slovaks are probably best known (in North America) for their hockey stars, especially Stan Mikita
Stan Mikita
Stanislav "Stan" Mikita , is a Slovak-born Canadian retired professional ice hockey player, generally regarded as the best centre of the 1960s. In 1961, he won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks, with whom he played his entire career.-Early life:Mikita was born in Sokolče, Slovak Republic...

, Peter Šťastný
Peter Stastny
Peter Šťastný , also known colloquially as "Peter the Great" and "Stosh", is a retired Slovak professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League from 1980 to 1995. During his time with the Quebec Nordiques, Stastny became a Canadian citizen. Since 2004, he has also served as a...

, Peter Bondra
Peter Bondra
Peter Bondra is a former Slovak professional ice hockey player. He was the general manager of the Slovak national team from 2007 to 2011...

, Žigmund Pálffy
Zigmund Palffy
Žigmund "Ziggy" Pálffy is a Slovak professional ice hockey player of Hungarian origin, who plays for HK 36 Skalica of the Slovak Extraliga....

 and Marián Hossa
Marian Hossa
Marián Hossa is a Slovak professional ice hockey player who currently plays for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League . Hossa was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft; after playing for the Senators, he played for the Atlanta Thrashers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and...

. For a list see List of Slovaks.
For a list of notable Slovak writers and poets, see List of Slovak authors.

Literature


Christian topics include: poem Proglas
Proglas
Proglas is the foreword to the Old Church Slavonic translation of the four Gospels. It was written by Saint Cyril in 863-867 in Great Moravia...

 as a foreword to the four Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

s, partial translations of the Bible into Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic
Old Church Slavonic or Old Church Slavic was the first literary Slavic language, first developed by the 9th century Byzantine Greek missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius who were credited with standardizing the language and using it for translating the Bible and other Ancient Greek...

, Zakon sudnyj ljudem, etc.

Medieval literature
Medieval literature
Medieval literature is a broad subject, encompassing essentially all written works available in Europe and beyond during the Middle Ages . The literature of this time was composed of religious writings as well as secular works...

, in the period from the 11th to the 15th centuries, was written in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, Czech and Slovakized Czech. Lyric (prayers, songs and formulas) was still controlled by the Church, while epic was concentrated on legends. Authors from this period include Johannes de Thurocz
Johannes de Thurocz
Johannes de Thurocz , was a Hungarian historian in the Kingdom of Hungary, and is the author of Chronicle of the Hungarians , the most extensive 15th century work on Hungary, and the first chronicle on Hungary written by a layman.-Life:Thurocz's parents came from Turóc county , Upper Hungary...

, author of the Chronica Hungarorum
Chronica Hungarorum
Chronica Hungarorum is the title of several works treating the early Hungarian history.-Chronicon Pictum:...

 and Maurus, both of them Hungarians. The worldly literature also emerged and chronicles were written in this period.

Cuisine




Pork, beef and poultry are the main meats consumed in Slovakia, with pork being substantially the most popular. Chicken is the most widely eaten poultry, followed by duck, goose, and turkey. A blood sausage called jaternice, made from any and all parts of a butchered pig, also has a following. Game, especially boar, rabbit, and venison, are generally available throughout the year. Lamb and goat are eaten but are not widely popular.

Wine is enjoyed throughout Slovakia. Slovak wine
Slovak wine
Slovak wine is produced in the southern part of Slovakia, which is divided into 6 wine-producing areas.Although Slovak wines except Tokaj are not well known internationally, they are popular domestically and in neighbouring countries.-Regions:...

 comes predominantly from the southern areas along the Danube and its tributaries; the northern half of the country is too cold and mountainous to grow grapevines. Traditionally, white wine was more popular than red or rosé (except in some regions), and sweet wine
Sweetness of wine
The subjective sweetness of a wine is determined by the interaction of several factors, including the amount of sugar in the wine to be sure, but also the relative levels of alcohol, acids, and tannins. Briefly: sugars and alcohol enhance a wine's sweetness; acids and bitter tannins counteract it...

 more popular than dry, but in recent years tastes seem to be changing. Beer (mainly of the pilsener
Pilsener
Pilsner is a type of pale lager. It takes its name from the city of Pilsen , Bohemia, in today's Czech Republic, where it has been developed since 1842, when a bottom-fermented beer was first produced. The original Pilsner Urquell beer is produced there today.-Origin:Until the mid-1840s, most ...

 style, though dark lagers
Dunkel
Dunkel, or Dunkles, is a dark German beer. Dunkel is the German word meaning dark, and dunkel beers typically range in colour from amber to dark reddish brown. They are characterized by their smooth malty flavour....

 are also consumed) is also popular throughout the country.

Music



Popular music
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

 began to replace folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 beginning in the 1950s, when Slovakia was still part of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

; American jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, R&B
Rhythm and blues
Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated to R&B, is a genre of popular African American music that originated in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a...

, and rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

 were popular, alongside waltz
Waltz
The waltz is a ballroom and folk dance in time, performed primarily in closed position.- History :There are several references to a sliding or gliding dance,- a waltz, from the 16th century including the representations of the printer H.S. Beheim...

es, polka
Polka
The polka is a Central European dance and also a genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemia...

s, and czardas
Csárdás
Csárdás is a traditional Hungarian folk dance, the name derived from csárda . It originated in Hungary and was popularized by Roma music bands in Hungary and neighboring lands of Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Burgenland, Croatia, Ukraine, Transylvania and Moravia, as well as among the Banat...

, among other folk forms. By the end of the 1950s, radios were common household items, though only state stations were legal. Slovak popular music began as a mix of bossa nova
Bossa nova
Bossa nova is a style of Brazilian music. Bossa nova acquired a large following in the 1960s, initially consisting of young musicians and college students...

, cool jazz
Cool jazz
Cool is a style of modern jazz music that arose following the Second World War. It is characterized by its relaxed tempos and lighter tone, in contrast to the bebop style that preceded it...

, and rock, with propagandistic
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 lyrics. Dissenters listened to ORF (Austrian Radio), Radio Luxembourg
Radio Luxemburg
Radio Luxemburg is the name of a commercial radio station that has broadcast in the German language from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on 208 metres in the Medium Wave Band since the conclusion of World War II....

, or Slobodná Európa (Radio Free Europe), which played more rock.

Due to Czechoslovak isolation, the domestic market
Domestic market
A domestic market is a financial market. Its trades are aimed toward a single market. A domestic market is also referred to as domestic trading...

 was active and many original bands evolved. Slovakia had a very strong pop culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

 during 1970s and 1980s. This movement brought many original bands with their own unique interpretations of modern music. The quality of socialist music was very high. Stars such as Karel Gott
Karel Gott
Karel Gott is a Czech Schlager singer, and an amateur painter. He is considered as the most successful male singer in former Czechoslovakia and currently in the Czech Republic; he has being voted the Most Favorite Male Singer in the annual national pool Český slavík in total thirty-six times...

, Olympic, Pražský výběr (from Czechia) or Elán
Elán (band)
Elán is a Slovak pop-rock band, founded in 1969 by Jožo Ráž, Juraj Farkaš, Vašo Patejdl and Zdeno Baláž. It became one of the most popular Czechoslovak bands during the 1980s. In 1993, the group represented Slovakia in the preliminary round of the Eurovision Song Contest but having finished in...

, Modus
Modus (band)
Modus was a popular Czechoslovak band, originally established in 1967 by Stanislav Hrda, Ján Baláž, Peter Krutek, Juraj Czinege, T. Psota, Ľubomír Stankovský, Gabriel Wertlen and Miroslav Žbirka. The formation Modus was a popular Czechoslovak band, originally established in 1967 by Stanislav...

, Tublatanka
Tublatanka
Tublatanka is a Slovak rock band formed in the fall of 1982 in Bratislava, Slovakia best known for the hits Pravda víťazí and Dnes. The classic lineup consisted of Maťo Ďurinda , Palo Horváth, and Ďuro Černý from 1982-1992. In 1992, Palo left the band leaving Martin and Ďuro to record their 1993...

, Team
TEAM (Slovak band)
TEAM is a contemporary Slovak rock music band.They are most famous for a single from their third album which was called "Držím ti miesto", which was included in the soundtrack of the 2005 American film Hostel.- Discography :*Team 1...

 (from Slovakia) and many others were highly acclaimed and many recorded their LP's in foreign language
Foreign language
A foreign language is a language indigenous to another country. It is also a language not spoken in the native country of the person referred to, i.e. an English speaker living in Japan can say that Japanese is a foreign language to him or her...

s.

After the Velvet Revolution
Velvet Revolution
The Velvet Revolution or Gentle Revolution was a non-violent revolution in Czechoslovakia that took place from November 17 – December 29, 1989...

 and the declaration of the Slovak state, domestic music dramatically diversified as free enterprise
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 encouraged the formation of new bands and the development of new genres of music
Music genre
A music genre is a categorical and typological construct that identifies musical sounds as belonging to a particular category and type of music that can be distinguished from other types of music...

. Soon, however, major label
Label
A label is a piece of paper, polymer, cloth, metal, or other material affixed to a container or article, on which is printed a legend, information concerning the product, addresses, etc. A label may also be printed directly on the container or article....

s brought pop music to Slovakia and drove many of the small companies out of business. The 1990s, American grunge
Grunge
Grunge is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged during the mid-1980s in the American state of Washington, particularly in the Seattle area. Inspired by hardcore punk, heavy metal, and indie rock, grunge is generally characterized by heavily distorted electric guitars, contrasting song...

 and alternative rock
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

, and Britpop
Britpop
Britpop is a subgenre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom. Britpop emerged from the British independent music scene of the early 1990s and was characterised by bands influenced by British guitar pop music of the 1960s and 1970s...

 have a wide following, as well as a new found enthusiasm for musicals.

See also


  • Communications in Slovakia
  • Education in Slovakia
    Education in Slovakia
    Education in Slovakia consists of a free education system based on 10 years of compulsory school attendance.- General characteristics:Most schools, especially universities, are owned by the state, though since the 1990s there are also church-owned and private schools .Slovakia has 10 years of...

  • Foreign relations of Slovakia
    Foreign relations of Slovakia
    Slovak Republic has been a member of European Union since 2004. Slovakia has been an active participant in U.S.- and NATO-led military actions. There is a joint Czech-Slovak peacekeeping force in Kosovo. After the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack on the United States, the government opened its...

  • Military of Slovakia
    Military of Slovakia
    The Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic number 14,000 uniformed personnel. Slovakia joined NATO in March 2004. From 2006 the army transformed into a fully professional organization and compulsory military service was abolished.-Structure of the Armed Forces:...

  • Protected areas of Slovakia
  • Cinema of Slovakia
    Cinema of Slovakia
    The cinema of Slovakia encompasses a range of themes and styles typical of European cinema. Yet there are a certain number of recurring themes that are visible in the majority of the important works. These include rural settings, folk traditions, and carnival...

  • Slovak literature
    Slovak literature
    -Middle Ages:The first monuments of literature in present-day Slovakia are from the time of Great Moravia . Authors from this period are Saint Cyril, Saint Methodius and Clement of Ohrid...

  • Slovak language
    Slovak language
    Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

  • Slovak cuisine
    Slovak cuisine
    Slovak cuisine varies slightly, though sometimes dramatically, from region to region. It was influenced by the traditional cuisine of its neighbours and it influenced these as well...

  • Slovak national axe
    Valaška
    The Shepherd's axe is a long thin light axe used in past centuries by shepherds in the Carpathian Mountains, especially in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. The features of a shepherd's axe combine a tool with a walking stick, that could be used as a light weapon...

  • National holidays in Slovakia
    Public holidays in Slovakia
    National holidays in SlovakiaSee also Remembrance days in Slovakia.- References :*...

  • Remembrance days in Slovakia
    Remembrance days in Slovakia
    Remembrance Days in Slovakia are working days.For Public holidays in Slovakia see National holidays in Slovakia....



Lists:

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