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Slovakia
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{{Redirect|Slovak Republic|other political states|Slovak Republic (disambiguation)}}{{distinguish|Slovenia|Slavonia|Moravian Slovakia}}{{pp-pc1}}{{pp-move-indef|small=yes}}{{short description|Republic in Central Europe}}{{Use British English|date=November 2017}}{{Use dmy dates|date=February 2017}}{{Coord|48|40|N|19|30|E|display=title}}







factoids
| common_name = Slovakia| image_flag = Flag of Slovakia.svg| image_coat = Coat of Arms of Slovakia.svg| image_map = EU-Slovakia.svglocation_color=dark green region_color=dark grey European Union >subregion_color=green |legend=EU-Slovakia.svg}}| image_map2 = Slovakia in the world (W3).svg| map_caption2 = Location of Slovakia in the world()}}(File:National anthem of Slovakia, performed by the United States Navy Band.ogg>center)Slovak language>SlovakSlovaks>Slovak| ethnic_groups = {{unbulleted list
|80.7% Slovaks
|8.5% Hungarians
|2.0% Roma
|0.6% Czechs
|0.6% Rusyns
|0.1% Ukrainians
|0.1% Germans
|0.1% Poles
|0.1% Moravians
|7.2% Unspecified
}}PUBLISHER=PORTAL.STATISTICS.SK, 21 February 2016, | capital = Bratislava48N07type:city}}| largest_city = capitalUnitary state Parliamentary system>parliamentary}} republicPresident of Slovakia>President| leader_name1 = Zuzana ÄŒaputováPrime Minister of Slovakia>Prime Minister| leader_name2 = Peter PellegriniSpeaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic>Speaker| leader_name3 = Andrej DankoNational Council (Slovakia)>National Council| area_rank = 127th| area_km2 = 49,035 | area_sq_mi = 18,932| percent_water = 0.0789WEBSITE=SLOVAK.STATISTICS.SK, 31 December 2018, | population_estimate_rank = 116th| population_estimate_year = 2018| population_census = 5,397,036| population_census_year = 2011| population_census_rank = | population_density_km2 = 111| population_density_sq_mi = 287| population_density_rank = 88thPUBLISHER=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND ACCESS-DATE=15 MAY 2019, | GDP_PPP_rank = 68th| GDP_PPP_year = 2019| GDP_PPP_per_capita = $37,021| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 37th| GDP_nominal = $109.863 billion| GDP_nominal_rank = 61st| GDP_nominal_year = 2019| GDP_nominal_per_capita = $20,155| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 41st| sovereignty_type = Independencestyle=line-height:1.15em; from Austria–Hungary{{smallFirst Czechoslovak Republic>Czechoslovakia)}}}}}}| established_date1 = 28 October 1918autonomous Land of SlovakiaSlovenská autonomní zemÄ›}} {{small|(within Second Czechoslovak Republic)}}| established_date2 = 23 November 1938Slovak Republic (1939–1945)>First Slovak Republic {{small|(client state of Nazi Germany)}}| established_date3 = 14 March 1939Slovak Socialist Republic {{small>(within Czechoslovak Federation)}}| established_date4 = 1 January 1969Slovak Republic}} {{smallCzech and Slovak Federal Republic>Czechoslovak Federation)}}| established_date5 = 1 March 1990Dissolution of Czechoslovakia Czech and Slovak Federal Republic>Czechoslovakia}}| established_date6 = 1 January 1993aJoined the European Union}}| established_date7 = 1 May 2004| Gini_year = 2017| Gini_change = decrease | Gini = 23.2 PUBLISHER=EUROSTAT ACCESS-DATE=7 MARCH 2019, | Gini_rank = 8th| HDI_year = 2017| HDI_change = increase| HDI = 0.855 DATE=14 SEPTEMBER 2018, 14 September 2018, | HDI_rank = 38thEuro sign>€)| currency_code = EUR| country_code = Central European Time>CET| utc_offset = +1Central European Summer Time>CEST| utc_offset_DST = +2| drives_on = rightSaints Cyril and MethodiusOur Lady of the Seven Sorrows>Our Lady of SorrowsTelephone numbers in Slovakia>+421c| cctld = .sk and .euCzechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia; see Dissolution of Czechoslovakia>Velvet Divorce.| footnote_b = Slovak koruna before 2009.| footnote_c = Shared code 42 with Czech Republic until 1997.}}Slovakia ({{IPAc-en|audio=en-us-Slovakia.ogg|s|l|oÊŠ|ˈ|v|æ|k|i|É™|,_|-|ˈ|v|ɑː|k|-}};{{citation |last=Wells |first=John C. |year=2008 |title=Longman Pronunciation Dictionary |edition=3rd |publisher=Longman |isbn=978-1-4058-8118-0}}{{citation |last=Roach |first=Peter |year=2011 |title=Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary |edition=18th |place=Cambridge |publisher=Cambridge University Press |isbn=978-0-521-15253-2}} {{IPA-sk|ˈslɔʋɛnskÉ”||Sk-Slovensko.ogg}}), officially the Slovak Republic (, {{Audio|Sk-Slovenská republika.ogg|listen}}),{{IPA-sk|ˈslɔʋɛnskaː ˈrÉ›publika|IPA}} is a landlocked country in Central Europe.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="archive.today/20130616000715weblink">weblink yes, 16 June 2013, Austrian Foreign Ministry, 3 June 2013, dmy-all, WEB,weblink UNHCR regional classification, UNHCR, 3 June 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130826202405weblink">weblink 26 August 2013, dmy-all, It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west, and the Czech Republic to the northwest. Slovakia's territory spans about {{convert|49000|km2|sqmi}} and is mostly mountainous. The population is over 5.4 million and consists mostly of Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, and the second-largest city is KoÅ¡ice. The official language is Slovak.The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries. In the 7th century they played a significant role in the creation of Samo's Empire and in the 9th century established the Principality of Nitra, which was later conquered by the Principality of Moravia to establish Great Moravia. In the 10th century, after the dissolution of Great Moravia, the territory was integrated into the Principality of Hungary, which would become the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000.BOOK, Encyclopedia of Russian & Slavic myth and legend, Dixon-Kennedy, Mike, 1998, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-57607-130-4, 375,weblink 23 April 2009, In 1241 and 1242, much of the territory was destroyed by the Mongols during their invasion of Central and Eastern Europe. The area was recovered largely thanks to Béla IV of Hungary who also settled Germans who became an important ethnic group in the area, especially in what are today parts of central and eastern Slovakia. After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czechoslovak National Council established Czechoslovakia (1918–1939). A separate (First) Slovak Republic (1939–1945) existed during World War II as a totalitarian, clero-fascist one-party client state of Nazi Germany. At the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was re-established as an independent country. After a coup in 1948 Czechoslovakia became a totalitarian one-party socialist state under a communist administration, during which the country was part of the Soviet led Eastern Bloc. Attempts to liberalize communism in Czechoslovakia culminated in the Prague Spring, which was crushed by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution ended the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia peacefully. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce.Slovakia is a high-income advanced economyWEB,weblink Country and Lending Groups, worldbank.org, WEB,weblink Advanced economies, IMF, 14 September 2006, 16 October 2010, with a very high Human Development Index,Country and Lending Groups |Data. Data.worldbank.org. Retrieved on 11 August 2014.United Nations Development Programme: Human Development Report, 2014. undp.org. a very high standard of living and performs favourably in measurements of civil liberties, press freedom, internet freedom, democratic governance and peacefulness. The country maintains a combination of a market economy with a comprehensive social security system. Although regional income inequality is high, 90% of citizens own their homes. Citizens of Slovakia are provided with universal health care, free education and one of the longest paid parental leaves in the OECD.NEWS,weblink Which countries are most generous to new parents?, The Economist, 29 April 2017, The country joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 and joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2009.WEB,weblink Kyiv Post. Independence. Community. Trust – World – Slovakia 16th country to adopt euro, Kyivpost.com, 22 May 2012, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110209074433weblink">weblink 9 February 2011, Slovakia is also a member of the Schengen Area, NATO, the United Nations, the OECD, the WTO, CERN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group. As part of Eurozone, Slovak legal tender is the euro, the world's 2nd-most-traded currency. Slovakia is the world's largest per-capita car producer with a total of 1,090,000 cars manufactured in the country in 2018 aloneWEB,weblink Na Slovensku sa v roku 2018 vyrobil rekordný počet áut, 1 May 2019, and the 6th largest car producer in the European Union, representing 43% of Slovakia's total industrial output.

Etymology

The first written mention of name Slovakia is in 1586 ().JOURNAL, Ferdinand, Uličný, Toponymum Slovensko – pôvod a obsah názvu, The name Slovakia (Slovensko) – its origin and content, Historický časopis, Historický ústav SAV, 3, 2014, 548, 0018-2575, It derives from the Czech word Slováky; previous German forms were Windischen landen and Windenland (the 15th century). The native name Slovensko (1791) derives from an older name of Slovaks Sloven what may indicate its origin before the 15th century. The original meaning was geographic (not political), since Slovakia was a part of the multiethnic Kingdom of HungarySlovaks differentiate between Uhorsko (the historic state) and Maďarsko (the modern state) while both tend to be rendered as Hungary in English. and did not form a separate administrative unit in this period.

History

File:Moravianska venusa.jpg|thumb|right|upright=0.9|A Venus from Moravany nad VáhomMoravany nad VáhomRadiocarbon dating puts the oldest surviving archaeological artefacts from Slovakia – found near Nové Mesto nad Váhom – at 270,000 BCE, in the Early Paleolithic era. These ancient tools, made by the Clactonian technique, bear witness to the ancient habitation of Slovakia.Other stone tools from the Middle Paleolithic era (200,000 – 80,000 BCE) come from the Prévôt (PrepoÅ¡tská) cave in Bojnice and from other nearby sites.WEB,weblink Museum of Prehistoric, Museum of Prehistoric PrepoÅ¡tská Cave, muzeumpraveku.sk, 2011, 25 November 2011, The most important discovery from that era is a Neanderthal cranium (c. 200,000 BCE), discovered near Gánovce, a village in northern Slovakia.Archaeologists have found prehistoric human skeletons in the region, as well as numerous objects and vestiges of the Gravettian culture, principally in the river valleys of Nitra, Hron, Ipeľ, Váh and as far as the city of Žilina, and near the foot of the Vihorlat, Inovec, and Tribeč mountains, as well as in the Myjava Mountains. The most well-known finds include the oldest female statue made of mammoth-bone (22,800 BCE), the famous Venus of Moravany. The statue was found in the 1940s in Moravany nad Váhom near PieÅ¡Å¥any. Numerous necklaces made of shells from Cypraca thermophile gastropods of the Tertiary period have come from the sites of Zákovská, Podkovice, Hubina, and RadoÅ¡ina. These findings provide the most ancient evidence of commercial exchanges carried out between the Mediterranean and Central Europe.

Bronze Age

The Bronze Age in the geographical territory of modern-day Slovakia went through three stages of development, stretching from 2000 to 800 BCE. Major cultural, economic, and political development can be attributed to the significant growth in production of copper, especially in central Slovakia (for example in Å pania Dolina) and northwest Slovakia. Copper became a stable source of prosperity for the local population.File:Web Biatec.jpg|thumb|Left: a Celtic Biatec coinRight: five Slovak crowns ]]After the disappearance of the ÄŒakany and Velatice cultures, the Lusatian people expanded building of strong and complex fortifications, with the large permanent buildings and administrative centres. Excavations of Lusatian hill forts 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, jewellery, dishes, and statues.

Iron Age

Hallstatt Period

The arrival of tribes from Thrace disrupted the people of the Kalenderberg culture, who lived in the hamlets located on the plain (Sereď) and in the hill forts like Molpír, near Smolenice, in the Little Carpathians. During Hallstatt times, monumental burial mounds were erected in western Slovakia, with princely equipment consisting of richly decorated vessels, ornaments and decorations. The burial rites consisted entirely of cremation. Common people were buried in flat urnfield cemeteries.A special role was given to weaving and the production of textiles. The local power of the "Princes" of the Hallstatt period disappeared in Slovakia during the century before the middle of first millennium BC, after strife between the Scytho-Thracian people and locals, resulting in abandonment of the old hill-forts. Relatively depopulated areas soon caught the interest of emerging Celtic tribes, who advanced from the south towards the north, following the Slovak rivers, peacefully integrating into the remnants of the local population.

La Tène Period

From around 500 BCE, the territory of modern-day Slovakia was settled by Celts, who built powerful oppida on the sites of modern-day Bratislava and Devín. Biatecs, silver coins with inscriptions in the Latin alphabet, represent the first known use of writing in Slovakia. At the northern regions, remnants of the local population of Lusatian origin, together with Celtic and later Dacian influence, gave rise to the unique Púchov culture, with advanced crafts and iron-working, many hill-forts and fortified settlements of central type with coinage of the "Velkobysterecky" type (no inscriptions, with a horse on one side and a head on the other). This culture is often connected with the Celtic tribe mentioned in Roman sources as Cotini.

Roman Period

File:Trencin-Roman2.JPG|thumb|A Roman inscription at the castle hill of TrenčínTrenčínFrom 2 AD, the expanding Roman Empire established and maintained a series of outposts around and just south of the Danube, the largest of which were known as Carnuntum (whose remains are on the main road halfway between Vienna and Bratislava) and Brigetio (present-day SzÅ‘ny at the Slovak-Hungarian border). Such Roman border settlements were built on the present area of Rusovce, currently a suburb of Bratislava. The military fort was surrounded by a civilian vicus and several farms of the villa rustica type. The name of this settlement was Gerulata. The military fort had an auxiliary cavalry unit, approximately 300 horses strong, modelled after the Cananefates. The remains of Roman buildings have also survived in Devín Castle (present-day downtown Bratislava), the suburbs of Dúbravka and Stupava, and Bratislava Castle Hill.Near the northernmost line of the Roman hinterlands, the Limes Romanus, there existed the winter camp of Laugaricio (modern-day Trenčín) where the Auxiliary of Legion II fought and prevailed in a decisive battle over the Germanic Quadi tribe in 179 CE during the Marcomannic Wars. The Kingdom of Vannius, a kingdom founded by the Germanic Suebian tribes of Quadi and Marcomanni, as well as several small Germanic and Celtic tribes, including the Osi and Cotini, existed in western and central Slovakia from 8–6 BCE to 179 CE.

Great invasions from the 4th to 7th centuries

In the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, 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 Turko-Mongol tribal confederacy, the Avars, conducted its own invasion into the Middle Danube region. The Avars occupied the lowlands of the Pannonian Plain, and established an empire dominating the Carpathian Basin.In 623, the Slavic population living in the western parts of Pannonia seceded from their empire after a revolution led by Samo, a Frankish merchant.BOOK, Benda, Kálmán, Magyarország történeti kronológiája ("The Historical Chronology of Hungary"), Akadémiai Kiadó, 1981, Budapest, 44, 963-05-2661-1, After 626, the Avar power started a gradual declineKristó, p.30–31 but its reign lasted to 804.

Slavic states

The Slavic tribes settled in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th century. Western Slovakia was the centre of Samo's empire in the 7th century. A Slavic state known as the Principality of Nitra arose in the 8th century and its ruler Pribina had the first known Christian church of the territory of present-day Slovakia consecrated by 828. Together with neighbouring Moravia, the principality formed the core of the Great Moravian Empire from 833. The high point of this Slavonic empire came with the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius in 863, during the reign of Duke Rastislav, and the territorial expansion under Duke Svätopluk I.

Great Moravia (830–before 907)

File:Cyril a metod zilina.jpg|thumb|left|upright= 0.7|A statue of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius in ŽilinaŽilinaGreat Moravia arose around 830 when Mojmír I unified the Slavic tribes settled north of the Danube and extended the Moravian supremacy over them.'Europe', p.360 When Mojmír I endeavoured to secede from the supremacy of the king of East Francia in 846, King Louis the German deposed him and assisted Mojmír's nephew Rastislav (846–870) in acquiring the throne.BOOK, Kristó, Gyula, Korai Magyar Történeti Lexikon (9–14. század), Encyclopedia of Early Hungarian History – 9th–14th centuries, Akadémiai Kiadó, 1994, Budapest, 467, 963-05-6722-9, 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. Duke Rastislav asked the Byzantine Emperor Michael III to send teachers who would interpret Christianity in the Slavic vernacular.Upon Rastislav's request, two brothers, Byzantine officials and missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius came in 863. Cyril developed the first Slavic alphabet and translated the Gospel into the Old Church Slavonic language. Rastislav 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)JOURNAL, 10.1080/00438243.1978.9979728, The Origins of Christianity in Slavonic Countries North of the Middle Danube Basin, World Archaeology, 1978, Josef, Poulik, 10, 2, 158–171, BOOK, ÄŒaplovič, DuÅ¡an, Viliam ÄŒičaj, DuÅ¡an Kováč, Ľubomír Lipták, Ján Lukačka, Dejiny Slovenska, AEP, 2000, Bratislava, are also mentioned in connection with Rastislav by Frankish chronicles.pages=167, 566BOOK, Annales Fuldenses, sive, Annales regni Francorum orientalis ab Einhardo, Ruodolfo, Meginhardo Fuldensibus, Seligenstadi, Fuldae, Mogontiaci conscripti cum continuationibus Ratisbonensi et Altahensibus / post editionem G. H. Pertzii recognovit Friderious Kurze; Accedunt Annales Fuldenses antiquissimi, Imprensis Bibliopolii Hahniani, 1978, Hanover,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070312020323weblink">weblink yes, 12 March 2007, 26 September 2009, File:Letter svatopluk.jpg|thumb|upright= 0.8|alt=The papal letter "Industriae Tuae"|Scire vos volumus, a letter written in 879 by Pope John VIII to Svatopluk ISvatopluk IDuring Rastislav's reign, the Principality of Nitra was given to his nephew Svätopluk as an appanage. The rebellious prince allied himself with the Franks and overthrew his uncle in 870. Similarly to his predecessor, Svätopluk I (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, Lower Austria, Bohemia, Silesia, Lusatia, southern Poland and northern Serbia belonged to the empire, but the exact borders of his domains are still disputed by modern authors.BOOK, Tóth, Sándor László, Levediától a Kárpát-medencéig ("From Levedia to the Carpathian Basin"), Szegedi Középkorász Műhely, 1998, Szeged, 199, 963-482-175-8, Svatopluk also withstood attacks of the Magyar tribes and the Bulgarian Empire, although sometimes it was he who hired the Magyars when waging war against East Francia.page=51In 880, Pope John VIII set up an independent ecclesiastical province in Great Moravia with Archbishop Methodius as its head. He also named the German cleric Wiching the Bishop of Nitra.File:Great Moravia.svg|thumb|left|Certain and disputed borders of Great Moravia under Svatopluk I (according to modern historians)]]After the death of Prince Svatopluk in 894, his sons Mojmír II (894–906?) and Svatopluk II succeeded him as the Prince 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, Great Moravia lost most of its peripheral territories.In the meantime, the semi-nomadic Magyar tribes, possibly having suffered defeat from the similarly nomadic Pechenegs, left their territories east of the Carpathian Mountains,BOOK, A Country Study: Hungary, Federal Research Division, Library of Congress,weblink 6 March 2009, invaded the Carpathian Basin and started to occupy the territory gradually around 896.pages=189–211 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.BOOK, Kristó, Gyula, Magyar honfoglalás – honfoglaló magyarok ("The Hungarians' Occupation of their Country – The Hungarians occupying their Country"), Kossuth Könyvkiadó, 1996, 84–85, 963-09-3836-7, It is not known 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, the Magyars routed Bavarian armies. Some historians put this year as the date of the break-up 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 and its successor Cyrillic were disseminated to other Slavic countries, charting a new path in their sociocultural development. The administrative system of Great Moravia may have influenced the development of the administration of the Kingdom of Hungary.

Kingdom of Hungary (1000–1918)

File:Istvan-ChroniconPictum.jpg|thumb|upright|Stephen I, King of HungaryKing of HungaryFollowing the disintegration of the Great Moravian Empire at the turn of the 10th century, the Hungarians annexed the territory comprising modern Slovakia. After their defeat on the Lech River they abandoned their nomadic ways; they settled in the centre of the Carpathian valley, adopted Christianity and began to build a new state – the Hungarian kingdom.WEB,weblink The kingdom of Hungary, loststory.net, 15 February 2015, From the 11th century, when the territory inhabited by the Slavic-speaking population of Danubian Basin was incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary, until 1918, when the Austro-Hungarian empire collapsed, the territory of modern Slovakia was an integral part of the Hungarian state.BOOK, Felak, James Ramon, At the Price of the Republic: Hlinka’s Slovak People’s Party, 1929–1938,weblink 15 June 1995, University of Pittsburgh Pre, 978-0-8229-7694-3, 3–, BOOK, Schuster, Rudolf, The Slovak Republic: A Decade of Independence, 1993–2002,weblink January 2004, Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 978-0-86516-568-7, 71–, BOOK, Prokhorov, A. M., 71, Great Soviet encyclopedia,weblink 1982, Macmillan, The ethnic composition became more diverse with the arrival of the Carpathian Germans in the 13th century, and the Jews in the 14th century.A significant decline in the population resulted from the invasion of the Mongols in 1241 and the subsequent famine. However, in medieval times the area of the present-day Slovakia was characterised by German and Jewish immigration, burgeoning towns, construction of numerous stone castles, and the cultivation of the arts.BOOK, Tibenský, Ján, Slovensko: Dejiny, Obzor, 1971, Bratislava, etal, In 1465, King Matthias Corvinus founded the Hungarian Kingdom's third university, in Pressburg (Bratislava, Pozsony), but it was closed in 1490 after his death.WEB, City of Bratislava,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080507064915weblink">weblink 7 May 2008, Academia Istropolitana, 14 February 2005, 5 January 2008, yes, dmy-all, Hussites also settled in the region after the Hussite Wars.WEB,weblink The History of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, William, Mahoney, 18 February 2011, ABC-CLIO, Google Books, File:1franci2.jpg|thumb|left|upright|One of commanders of a Slovak volunteers' army captain Ján Francisci-Rimavský during the fight for independence from the Kingdom of Hungary ]].Owing to the Ottoman Empire's expansion into Hungarian territory, Bratislava was designated the new capital of Hungary in 1536, ahead of the old Hungarian capital of Buda falling in 1541. It became part of the Austrian Habsburg monarchy, marking the beginning of a new era. The territory comprising modern Slovakia, then known as Upper Hungary, became the place of settlement for nearly two-thirds of the Magyar nobility fleeing the Turks and far more linguistically and culturally Hungarian than it was before. Partly thanks to old Hussite families, and Slovaks studying under Martin Luther, the region then experienced a growth in Protestantism. For a short period in the 17th century, most Slovaks were Lutherans. They defied the Catholic Habsburgs and sought protection from neighboring Transylvania, a rival continuation of the Magyar state that practiced religious tolerance and normally had Ottoman backing. Upper Hungary, modern Slovakia, became the site of frequent wars between Catholics in the west territory and Protestants in the east, also against Turks, the frontier was on a constant state of military alert and heavily fortified by castles and citadels often manned by Catholic German and Slovak troops on the Habsburg side. By 1648, Slovakia was not spared the Counter-Reformation, which brought the majority of its population from Lutheranism back to Roman Catholicism. In 1655, the printing press at the Trnava university produced the Jesuit Benedikt Szöllősi's Cantus Catholici, a Catholic hymnal in the Slovak language that reaffirmed links to the earlier works of Cyril and Methodius.The Ottoman wars, rivalry between Austria and Transylvania, and the frequent insurrections against the Habsburg Monarchy inflicted a great deal of devastation, especially in the rural areas."Part of Hungary, Turkish occupation". Slovakiasite.com In the Austro-Turkish War (1663–1664) a Turkish army led by the Grand Vizier decimated Slovakia. Even so, Slovaks from the Principality of Upper Hungary fought alongside the Turks against the Austrians and Poles at the Battle of Vienna of 1683 led by John III Sobieski. As the Turks withdrew from Hungary in the late 17th century, the importance of the territory comprising modern Slovakia decreased, although Pressburg retained its status as the capital of Hungary until 1848, when it was transferred back to Buda.Bratislava. Slovakiasite.comDuring the revolution of 1848–49, the Slovaks supported the Austrian Emperor, 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), culminating in the secession of Slovakia from Hungary after World War I.WEB, Divided Memories: The Image of the First World War in the Historical Memory of Slovaks, Slovak Sociological Review, Issue 3, 2003,weblink 25 November 2012,

Czechoslovakia (1918–1939)

File:Masaryk a Å tefánik.jpg|thumb|A monument to Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Milan Å tefánik – both key figures in early Czechoslovakia]]File:Prohlášení nezávislosti.jpg|thumb|right|Czechoslovak declaration of independence by Tomáš Garrigue MasarykTomáš Garrigue MasarykIn 1918, Slovakia and the regions of Bohemia, Moravia, Czech Silesia and Carpathian Ruthenia formed a common state, Czechoslovakia, with the borders confirmed by the Treaty of Saint Germain and Treaty of Trianon. In 1919, during the chaos following the break-up of Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia was formed with numerous Germans and Hungarians within the newly set borders. A Slovak patriot Milan Rastislav Å tefánik (1880–1919), who helped organise 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 state. It provided what were at the time rather extensive rights to its minorities and remained the only democracy in this part of Europe in the interwar period.During the Interwar period, democratic Czechoslovakia was allied with France, and also with Romania and Yugoslavia (Little Entente); however, the Locarno Treaties of 1925 left East European security open. Both Czechs and Slovaks enjoyed a period of relative prosperity. There was progress in not only the development of the country's economy, but also culture and educational opportunities. The minority Germans came to accept their role in the new country and relations with Austria were good. Yet the Great Depression caused a sharp economic downturn, followed by political disruption and insecurity in Europe.J. V. Polisencky, History of Czechoslovakia in Outline (Prague: Bohemia International 1947) at 113–114.Thereafter Czechoslovakia came under continuous pressure from the revisionist governments of Germany and Hungary. Eventually this led to the Munich Agreement of September 1938, which allowed Nazi Germany to partially dismember the country by occupying what was called the Sudetenland, 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 reclaimed by Hungary at the First Vienna Award of November 1938.

World War II (1939–1945)

File:Jozef Tiso (Berlin).jpg|thumb|Adolf Hitler greeting Jozef TisoJozef TisoAfter the Munich Agreement and its Vienna Award, Nazi Germany 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 coalition.Gerhard L. Weinberg, The Foreign Policy of Hitler's Germany: Starting World War II, 1937–1939 (Chicago, 1980), pp. 470–481. Secession had created the first Slovak state in history.WEB, Dominik Jůn interviewing Professor Jan Rychlík, Czechs and Slovaks – more than just neighbours, Radio Prague, 2016,weblink 28 October 2016, The government of the First Slovak Republic, led by Jozef Tiso and Vojtech Tuka, was strongly influenced by Germany and gradually became a puppet regime in many respects.Meanwhile, the Czechoslovak government-in-exile sought to reverse the Munich Agreement and the subsequent German occupation of Czechoslovakia, and to return the Republic to its 1937 boundaries. The government operated from London and it was ultimately considered, by those countries that recognised it, the legitimate government for Czechoslovakia throughout the Second World War.File:Nastupeni povstalci.jpg|thumb|left|Troops of Slovak anti-Nazi resistance movementresistance movementAs part of the Holocaust in Slovakia, 75,000 Jews out of 80,000 who remained on Slovak territory after Hungary had seized southern regions were deported and taken to German death camps.JOURNAL, 20 May 1946, Obžaloba pri Národnom súde v Bratislave, Spis Onľud 17/46, JOURNAL, Daxner, Igor, 25 July 1946, Rozsudok Národného súdu v Bratislave, Spis Tnľud 17/1946, Thousands of Jews, Gypsies and other politically undesirable people remained in Slovak forced labor camps in Sereď, Vyhne, and Nováky.Leni Yahil, The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932–1945 (Oxford, 1990), pp. 402–403. Tiso, through the granting of presidential exceptions, allowed between 1,000 and 4,000 people crucial to the war economy to avoid deportations.For the higher figure, see Milan S. Ďurica, The Slovak Involvement in the Tragedy of the European Jews (Abano Terme: Piovan Editore, 1989), p. 12; for the lower figure, see Gila Fatran, "The Struggle for Jewish Survival During the Holocaust" in The Tragedy of the Jews of Slovakia (Banská Bystrica, 2002), p. 148.Under Tiso's government and Hungarian occupation, the vast majority of Slovakia's pre-war Jewish population (between 75,000–105,000 individuals including those who perished from the occupied territory) were murdered.Dawidowicz, Lucy. The War Against the Jews, Bantam, 1986. p. 403WEB, Rebekah Klein-Pejšová, An overview of the history of Jews in Slovakia, Slovak Jewish Heritage, Synagoga Slovaca, 2006,weblink The Slovak state paid Germany 500 RM per every deported Jew for "retraining and accommodation" (similar payment, but only 30 RM was paid by Croatia).Nižňanský, Eduard (2010). Nacizmus, holokaust, slovenský štát [Nazism, holocaust, Slovak state] (in Slovak). Bratislava: Kalligram. {{ISBN|978-80-8101-396-6}}.After it became clear that the Soviet Red Army was going to push the Nazis out of eastern and central Europe, an anti-Nazi resistance movement launched a fierce armed insurrection, known as the Slovak National Uprising, near the end of summer 1944. A bloody German occupation and a guerilla war followed. Germans and their local collaborators completely destroyed 93 villages and massacred thousands of civilians, often hundreds at a time."Slovenské Národné Povstanie – the Slovak national uprising". SME.sk. The territory of Slovakia was liberated by Soviet and Romanian forces by the end of April 1945.

Soviet influence and Communist party rule (1948–1989)

{{multiple image
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|caption1 = Resignation of the democratic ministers after the Czechoslovak coup d'état in 1948. The last independent government in Eastern Europe had become communist.
|image2 = Alekseev alexander 4.jpg
|caption2 = Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 stopped Alexander Dubček's liberalisation reforms and strengthened the authority of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.
|image3 = Praha 19891122-419-02.jpg
|caption3 = The Velvet Revolution ended 41 years of authoritarian Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989.
}}After World War II, Czechoslovakia was reconstituted and Jozef Tiso was executed in 1947 for collaboration with the Nazis. More than 80,000 HungariansWEB,weblink Management of the Hungarian Issue in Slovak Politics, PDF, 16 October 2010, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090325004909weblink">weblink 25 March 2009, and 32,000 GermansWEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080620073924weblink">weblink 20 June 2008, German minority in Slovakia after 1918, Nemecká menÅ¡ina na Slovensku po roku 1918, Slovak, 20 June 2008, 16 October 2010, yes, dmy-all, were forced to leave Slovakia, in a series of population transfers initiated by the Allies at the Potsdam Conference.BOOK, Rock, David, Stefan Wolff, Coming home to Germany? The integration of ethnic Germans from central and eastern Europe in the Federal Republic, Berghahn, 2002, New York; Oxford, Out of about 130,000 Carpathian Germans in Slovakia in 1938, by 1947 only some 20,000 remained.WEB,weblink Dr. Thomas Reimer, Carpathian Germans history, Mertsahinoglu.com, 16 October 2010, {{failed verification|date=June 2014}}As a result of the Yalta Conference, Czechoslovakia came under the influence and later under direct occupation of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact, after a coup in 1948. 8,240 people went to forced labour camps in 1948-1953."weblink." upn.gov.sk. Retrieved on June 9, 2019. "Communist crimes in Slovakia."The country was invaded by the Warsaw Pact forces (People’s Republic of Bulgaria, People’s Republic of Hungary, People’s Republic of Poland, Socialist Republic of Romania, and Soviet Union, with the exception of Socialist Republic of Romania and People's Socialist Republic of Albania) in 1968, ending a period of liberalisation under the leadership of Alexander Dubček. 137 Czechoslovakian civilians were killedWEB, Fraňková, Ruth, Historians pin down number of 1968 invasion victims,weblink radio.cz, 30 August 2018,weblink 26 August 2017, 18 August 2017, and 500 seriously wounded during the occupation.WEB, August 1968 – Victims of the Occupation,weblink ustrcr.cz, Ústav pro studium totalitních režimů, 23 June 2011,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110718191818weblink">weblink 18 July 2011, In 1969 Czechoslovakia became a federation of the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic. Czechoslovakia became a puppet state of the Soviet Union. Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was never part of the Soviet Union and remained independent to a degree.Borders with the West were protected by the Iron Curtain. About 600 people, men, women, and children, were killed on the Czechoslovak border with Austria and West Germany between 1948 and 1989."weblink." spectator.sme.sk. Retrieved on June 9, 2019. "Border killings remain unpunished decades later."

Establishment of the Slovak Republic (after 1993)

File:Tratado de Lisboa 13 12 2007 (081).jpg|thumb|left|Slovakia became a member of the European Union in 2004 and signed the Lisbon TreatyLisbon TreatyThe end of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989, during the peaceful Velvet Revolution, was followed once again by the country's dissolution, this time into two successor states. The word "socialist" was dropped in the names of the two republics, i.e., the Slovak Socialist Republic was renamed Slovak Republic. On 17 July 1992 Slovakia, led by Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, 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 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.WEB,weblink The Breakup of Czechoslovakia, Slovakia, 3 June 2011, WEB,weblink Velvet divorce, Dictionary.reference.com, 3 June 2011, Slovakia has remained a close partner with the Czech Republic. Both countries co-operate with Hungary and Poland in the Visegrád Group. 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

{{See also|Geomorphological division of Slovakia}}{{Wide image|High Tatras Panorama.jpg|1000px|Panorama of the High Tatras}}Slovakia lies between latitudes 47° and 50° N, and longitudes 16° and 23° E. The Slovak landscape is noted primarily for its mountainous nature, with the Carpathian Mountains extending across most of the northern half of the country. Among these mountain ranges are the high peaks of the Fatra-Tatra Area (including Tatra Mountains, Greater Fatra and Lesser Fatra), Slovak Ore Mountains, Slovak Central Mountains or Beskids. The largest lowland is the fertile Danubian Lowland in the southwest, followed by the Eastern Slovak Lowland in the southeast.WEB, Slovakia, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, 2007,weblink 26 April 2008, Forests cover 41% of Slovak land surface.WEB,weblink Až dve pätiny územia Slovenska pokrývajú lesy, etrend.sk, 29 August 2017,

Tatra mountains

File:Slovakia topo.jpg|thumb|300px|A topographical map of Slovakia]]The Tatra Mountains, with 29 peaks higher than {{convert|2500|m|ft|0|abbr=off}} AMSL, are the highest mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains. The Tatras occupy an area of {{convert|750|km²|0|abbr=out}}, of which the greater part {{convert|600|km²|0|abbr=out}} lies in Slovakia. They are divided into several parts.To the north, close to the Polish border, are the High Tatras which are a popular hiking and skiing destination and home to many scenic lakes and valleys as well as the highest point in Slovakia, the Gerlachovský štít at {{convert|2655|m|ft|0}} and the country's highly symbolic mountain Kriváň. To the west are the Western Tatras with their highest peak of Bystrá at {{convert|2248|m|ft|0}} and to the east are the Belianske Tatras, smallest by area.Separated from the Tatras proper by the valley of the Váh river are the Low Tatras, with their highest peak of Ďumbier at {{convert|2043|m|ft|0}}.The Tatra mountain range is represented as one of the three hills on the coat of arms of Slovakia.

National parks

{{prose|date=May 2019}}File:Palcmanská Maša.JPG|thumb|right|Slovak Paradise National ParkSlovak Paradise National ParkThere are 9 national parks in Slovakia, they cover 6.5% of Slovak land surface.WEB,weblink Národné parky na Slovensku, lamnia.sk, 26 August 2017, {|class="wikitable sortable"!Name!Established!AreaTatra National Park, Slovakia>Tatra National Park|1949738ha|0}}|Low Tatras National Park|1978728ha|0}}|Veľká Fatra National Park|2002404ha|0}}|Slovak Karst National Park|2002346ha|0}}|Poloniny National Park|1997298ha|0}}|Malá Fatra National Park|1988226ha|0}}|Muránska planina National Park|1998203ha|0}}|Slovak Paradise National Park|1988197ha|0}}Pieniny National Park (Slovakia)>Pieniny National Park|196738ha|0}}

Caves

File:Domica Cave 20.jpg|thumb|right|DomicaDomicaSlovakia has hundreds of caves and caverns under its mountains, of which 30 are open to the public.WEB,weblink Verejnosti voľne prístupné jaskyne, ssj.sk, 19 August 2017, Most of the caves have stalagmites rising from the ground and stalactites hanging from above. There are currently five Slovak caves under UNESCO's World Heritage Site status. They are Dobšinská Ice Cave, Domica, Gombasek Cave, Jasovská Cave and Ochtinská Aragonite Cave. Other caves open to the public include Belianska Cave, Demänovská Cave of Liberty, Demänovská Ice Cave or Bystrianska Cave.

Rivers

File:Belá river (Slovakia).jpg|thumb|right|Belá River ]]Most of the rivers stem in the Slovak mountains. Some only pass through and the others make a natural border with surrounding countries (more than {{convert|620|km|mi|0}}). For example, the Dunajec ({{convert|17|km|mi|0}}) to the north, the Danube ({{convert|172|km|mi|0}}) to the south or the Morava ({{convert|119|km|mi|0}}) to the West. The total length of the rivers on Slovak territory is {{convert|49774|km|mi|0}}.The longest river in Slovakia is the Váh ({{convert|403|km|mi|0}}), the shortest is the Čierna voda. Other important and large rivers are the Myjava, the Nitra ({{convert|197|km|mi|0}}), the Orava, the Hron ({{convert|298|km|mi|0}}), the Hornád ({{convert|193|km|mi|0}}), the Slaná ({{convert|110|km|mi|0}}), the Ipeľ ({{convert|232|km|mi|0}}, forming the border with Hungary), the Bodrog, the Laborec, the Latorica and the Ondava.The biggest volume of discharge in Slovak rivers is during spring, when the snow melts from the mountains. The only exception is the Danube, whose discharge is the greatest during summer when the snow melts in the Alps. The Danube is the largest river that flows through Slovakia.WEB, Nie ste prihlásený.,weblink Translated from Slovak language, Slovakregion.sk, 10 September 2013,

Climate

File:Koppen-Geiger Map SVK present.svg|thumb|left|Köppen climate classificationKöppen climate classificationThe Slovak climate lies between the temperate and continental climate zones with relatively warm summers and cold, cloudy and humid winters. Temperature extremes are between {{convert|-41|to|40.3|C|F|1}} although temperatures below {{convert|-30|°C|0}} are rare. The weather differs from the mountainous north to the plains in the south.The warmest region is Bratislava and Southern Slovakia where the temperatures may reach {{convert|30|°C|0|abbr=on}} in summer, occasionally to {{convert|39|°C|0|abbr=on}} in Hurbanovo. During night, the temperatures drop to {{convert|20|°C|0|abbr=on}}. The daily temperatures in winter average in the range of {{convert|-5|°C|0|abbr=on}} to {{convert|10|°C|0|abbr=on}}. During night it may be freezing, but usually not below {{convert|-10|°C|0|abbr=on}}.In Slovakia, there are four seasons, each season (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter) lasts three months. The dry continental air brings in the summer heat and winter frosts. In contrast, oceanic air brings rainfalls and reduces summer temperatures. In the lowlands and valleys there is often fog, especially in winter.{{multiple image| align =| direction = vertical | width =| image1 = CulHer14Slovakia328.JPG| width1 = 190| caption1 = Summer in Spišské Podhradie| image2 = Banská Štiavnica im Herbst.JPG| width2 = 195| caption2 = Winter in Banská Štiavnica; the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.}}Spring starts with 21 March and is characterised by colder weather with average daily temperature of {{convert|9|°C|0}} in the first weeks and about {{convert|14|°C|0}} in May and {{convert|17|°C|0}} in June. In Slovakia, the weather and climate in the spring is very unstable.Summer starts on 22 June and is usually characterised by hot weather with daily temperatures exceeding {{convert|30|°C|0}}. July is the warmest month with temperatures up to about {{convert|37|to|40|C|F}}, especially in regions of southern Slovakia – in the urban area of Komárno, Hurbanovo or Štúrovo. Showers or thunderstorms may occur because of the summer monsoon called Medardova kvapka (Medard drop – 40 days of rain). Summer in Northern Slovakia is usually mild with temperatures around {{convert|25|°C|0|abbr=on}} (less in the mountains).Autumn in Slovakia starts on 23 September and is mostly characterised by wet weather and wind, although the first weeks can be very warm and sunny. The average temperature in September is around {{convert|14|°C|0}}, in November to {{convert|3|°C|0}}. Late September and early October is a dry and sunny time of year (so-called Indian Summer).Winter starts on 21 December with temperatures around {{convert|-5|to|-10|C|F}}. In December and January it is usually snowing, these are the coldest months of the year. At lower altitudes, snow does not stay the whole winter, it changes into the thaw and frost. Winters are colder in the mountains, where the snow usually lasts until March or April and the night temperatures fall to {{convert|-20|°C|0|abbr=on}} and colder.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071026021233weblink">weblink 26 October 2007, Based on the "Climate" article from, www.slovensko.com, 10 September 2013,

Biodiversity

{{see also|Endemic Plant Species in Slovakia}}File:Vysoké Tatry, Dolina Bielej vody, cestou od Zeleného plesa na Jahňací štít (32).JPG|thumb|left|Rupicapra rupicapra tatrica in the Tatra MountainsTatra MountainsSlovakia signed the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity on 19 May 1993, and became a party to the convention on 25 August 1994.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110124005746weblink">weblink 24 January 2011, List of Parties, 8 December 2012, It has subsequently produced a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, which was received by the convention on 2 November 1998.WEB,weblinkweblink 21 July 2008, National Biodiversity Strategy of Slovakia, 8 December 2012, The biodiversity of Slovakia comprises animals (such as annellids, arthropods, molluscs, nematodes and vertebrates), fungi (Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Chytridiomycota, Glomeromycota and Zygomycota), micro-organisms (including Mycetozoa), and plants.

Fungi

Over 4000 species of fungi have been recorded from Slovakia.WEB,weblink Cybertruffle's Robigalia. Observations of fungi and their associated organisms, 8 December 2012, Pavel Lizoň & Kamila Bacigálová, Huby – Fungi in F. Hindák [ed.] Checklist of Non-vascular and Vascular Plants of Slovakia (Bratislava, 1998), pp. 102–227. Of these, nearly 1500 are lichen-forming species.Ivan Pišút, Lichenizované Huby (Lišajníky) – Lichen-forming Fungi (Lichens) in F. Hindák [ed.] Checklist of Non-vascular and Vascular Plants of Slovakia (Bratislava, 1998), pp. 229–295. Some of these fungi are undoubtedly endemic, but not enough is known to say how many. Of the lichen-forming species, about 40% have been classified as threatened in some way. About 7% are apparently extinct, 9% endangered, 17% vulnerable, and 7% rare. The conservation status of non-lichen-forming fungi in Slovakia is not well documented, but there is a red list for its larger fungi.Pavel Lizoň, Threatened macrofungi in Slovakia Biologia (Bratislava) 50: 9–12(1995).

Politics and government

{{See also|Prime Minister of Slovakia|List of Presidents of Slovakia}}File:Grassalkovich Palace (2).jpg|upright=1.8|right|thumb|Grassalkovich Palace in Bratislava is the seat of the President of SlovakiaPresident of Slovakia{{multiple image
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|image1 = Bratislava, Parlament, Slovensko.jpg
|caption1 = The National Council building in Bratislava
|image2 = Bratislava, Letný arcibiskupský palác, Slovensko.jpg
|caption2 = Episcopal Summer Palace, the seat of the government of Slovakia
}}Slovakia is a parliamentary democratic republic with a multi-party system. The last parliamentary elections were held on 5 March 2016 and two rounds of presidential elections took place on 16 and 30 March 2019.The Slovak head of state and the formal head of the executive is the president (currently Zuzana ÄŒaputová, the first female president), though with very limited powers. The president is elected by direct, popular vote under the two-round system for a five-year term. Most executive power lies with the head of government, the prime minister (currently Peter Pellegrini), who is usually the leader of the winning party, but he or 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 body is the 150-seat unicameral National Council of the Slovak Republic (Národná rada Slovenskej republiky). Delegates are elected for a four-year term on the basis of proportional representation.Slovakia's highest judicial body is the Constitutional Court of Slovakia (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.The Constitution of the Slovak Republic was ratified 1 September 1992, and became effective 1 January 1993. It was amended in September 1998 to allow direct election of the president and again in February 2001 due to EU admission requirements. The civil law system is based on Austro-Hungarian codes. The legal code was modified to comply with the obligations of Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and to expunge the Marxist–Leninist legal theory. Slovakia accepts the compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction with reservations.{{office-table}}List of Presidents of Slovakia>President|Zuzana ÄŒaputováIndependent (politician)>Independent|15 June 2019Prime Minister of Slovakia>Prime Minister|Peter PellegriniDirection – Social Democracy>SMER-SD|22 March 2018|Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic|Andrej DankoSlovak National Party>SNS|23 March 2016|Deputy Speakers of the National Council of the Slovak Republic|Béla Bugár Martin GlváčAndrej HrnčiarLucia ÄŽuriÅ¡ NicholsonováMost–Híd Direction – Social Democracy>SMER-SD#SIEŤFreedom and Solidarity|23 March 201623 March 201623 March 201623 March 2016

Foreign relations

{{See also|List of diplomatic missions of Slovakia}}{{multiple image
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|image1 = President Trump Welcomes the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic to the White House (33889395928).jpg
|caption1 = Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini with U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House, 2019
|image2 = Secretary Pompeo Meets With Slovak Prime Minister Pellegrini (40106451633).jpg
|caption2 = U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini in Bratislava, 2019
}}The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs () is responsible for maintaining the Slovak Republic's external relations and the management of its international diplomatic missions. The ministry's director is Miroslav Lajčák.WEB, Minister-Curriculum Vitae,weblink mzv.sk, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, 18 May 2012, WEB, Background Note: Slovakia,weblink State.gov, The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, 18 May 2012, The ministry oversees Slovakia's affairs with foreign entities, including bilateral relations with individual nations and its representation in international organizations.Slovakia joined the European Union and NATO in 2004 and the Eurozone in 2009.Slovakia is a member of the United Nations (since 1993) and participates in its specialized agencies. The country was, on 10 October 2005, elected to a two-year term on the UN Security Council from 2006 to 2007. It is also a member of the Schengen Area, the Council of Europe (CoE), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and part of the Visegrád Four (V4: Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland).In 2019, Slovak citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 180 countries and territories, ranking the Slovak passport 10th in the world.WEB, Global Ranking â€“ Visa Restriction Index 2019,weblink Henley & Partners, 11 May 2019, File:Bratislava, the Japanese Embassy.JPG|thumb|left|Embassy of Japan in BratislavaBratislavaSlovakia maintains diplomatic relations with 134 countries, primarily through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As of December 2013, Slovakia maintained 90 missions abroad, including 64 embassies, seven missions to multilateral organisations, nine consulates-general, one consular office, one Slovak Economic and Cultural Office and eight Slovak Institutes.SITA. "Slovensko má veľvyslanectvo v Spojených arabských emirátoch", WebNoviny.sk, Bratislava, 1 December 2013. Retrieved on 29 April 2014. There are 44 embassies and 35 honorary consulates in Bratislava.Slovakia and the United States retain strong diplomatic ties and cooperate in the military and law enforcement areas. The U.S. Department of Defense programs have contributed significantly to Slovak military reforms. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have their roots in Slovakia, and many retain strong cultural and familial ties to the Slovak Republic. President Woodrow Wilson and the United States played a major role in the establishment of the original Czechoslovak state on October 28, 1918.

Military

(File:Slovak Army 5th Special Forces Regiment in Afghanistan2.jpg|thumb|right|Slovak 5th Special Forces Regiment operating in eastern Afghanistan)The Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic number 14,000 uniformed personnel.WEB,weblink Slovenská armáda se zbaví tanků –, Novinky.cz, 10 September 2013, Slovakia joined NATO in March 2004.WEB,weblink NATO Update: Seven new members join NATO, Nato.int, 26 March 2004, 10 September 2013, The country has been an active participant in US- and NATO-led military actions. There is a joint Czech-Slovak peacekeeping force in Kosovo. From 2006 the army transformed into a fully professional organisation and compulsory military service was abolished.Slovak Ground Forces are made up of two active mechanised infantry brigades. The Air and Air Defence Forces comprise one wing of fighters, one wing of utility helicopters, and one SAM brigade. Training and support forces comprise a National Support Element (Multifunctional Battalion, Transport Battalion, Repair Battalion), a garrison force of the capital city Bratislava, as well as a training battalion, and various logistics and communication and information bases. Miscellaneous forces under the direct command of the General Staff include the 5th Special Forces Regiment.

Human rights

The US State Department in 2017 reported:The government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, there were problems in some areas. The most significant human rights issues included incidents of interference with privacy; corruption; widespread discrimination against Roma minority; and security force violence against ethnic and racial minorities government actions and rhetoric did little to discourage. The government investigated reports of abuses by members of the security forces and other government institutions, although some observers questioned the thoroughness of these investigations. Some officials engaged in corrupt practices with impunity. Two former ministers were convicted of corruption during the year.U.S. Dept. of State, "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017 – Slovakia" 27 September 2018Human rights in Slovakia are guaranteed by the Constitution of Slovakia from the year 1992 and by multiple international laws signed in Slovakia between 1948 and 2006.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110515054034weblink">weblink yes, 15 May 2011, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia – list of international acts relating to human rights, Mzv.sk, 10 September 2013, dmy-all,

Administrative divisions

File:Bratislava Cityscape.jpg|thumb|right|BratislavaBratislavaAs for administrative division, Slovakia is subdivided into 8 krajov (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 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. vyÅ¡Å¡ie územné celky, abbr. VÚC).The "kraje" are subdivided into many okresy (sg. okres, usually translated as counties). Slovakia currently has 79 districts.The okresy are further divided into obcí (sg. obec, usually translated as "municipality"). There are currently 2,890 obcí.In terms of economics and unemployment rate, the western regions are richer than eastern regions. Bratislava is the third-richest region of the European Union by GDP (PPP) per capita (after Hamburg and Luxembourg City); GDP at purchasing power parity is about three times higher than in other Slovak regions.WEB,weblink Bratislava je tretí najbohatší región únie. Ako je možné, že predbehla Londýn či Paríž?, finweb.hnonline.sk, 14 April 2019, WEB,weblink Bratislava – capital city of Slovakia versus other regions of Slovak Republic, matejvician, 29 April 2013, wordpress.com, 14 April 2019, {|style="width:98%; background:none;"|{{Heraldic map of Slovakia}}|{|class="wikitable"! Name in English! Name in Slovak! Administrative seat! Population (2011)|Bratislava RegionBratislavský kraj style="font-size:90%;"14px) Bratislava602,436|Trnava RegionTrnavský kraj (File:Coa Slovakia Town Nagyszombat.svg|14px) Trnava554,741|Nitra RegionNitriansky kraj (File:Nitra CoA.svg|14px) Nitra689,867|Trenčín RegionTrenčiansky kraj (File:Coat of arms of Trenčin.png|14px) Trenčín594,328|Banská Bystrica RegionBanskobystrický kraj (File:Banska Bystrica Erb.svg|14px) Banská Bystrica660,563|Žilina RegionŽilinský kraj (File:Žilina Erb.svg|14px) Žilina688,851|KoÅ¡ice RegionKoÅ¡ický kraj (File:Kosice Coat of Arms.svg|14px) KoÅ¡ice791,723|PreÅ¡ov RegionPreÅ¡ovský kraj (File:CoA PreÅ¡ov.svg|14px) PreÅ¡ov814,527

Economy

File:Bratislava Central Bank3.jpg|upright|thumb|National Bank of SlovakiaNational Bank of SlovakiaThe Slovak economy is a developed, high-incomeWEB,weblink World Bank 2007, Web.worldbank.org, 25 April 2010, economy, with the GDP per capita equalling 78% of the average of the European Union in 2018."GDP per capita in PPS, Eurostat", retrieved 7 July 2019. The country has difficulties addressing regional imbalances in wealth and employment.WEB,weblink Regional Wealth, 2010-04-10, Votruba, Martin, Slovak Studies Program, University of Pittsburgh, GDP per capita ranges from 188% of EU average in Bratislava to 54% in Eastern Slovakia."weblink." eurostat. Retrieved on July 7, 2019. "GDP per capita in 281 EU regions." Although regional income inequality is high, 90% of citizens own their homes.The OECD in 2017 reported:The Slovak Republic continues exhibiting robust economic performance, with strong growth backed by a sound financial sector, low public debt and high international competitiveness drawing on large inward investment.oecd.org, "Economic Survey of the Slovak Republic 2017" 3 July 2017In 2018, Slovakia was ranked by the International Monetary Fund as the 37th richest country in the world (out of 187 countries), with purchasing power parity per capita GDP of $35,130. The country used to be dubbed the "Tatra Tiger". Slovakia successfully transformed from a centrally planned economy to a market-driven economy. Major privatisations are completed, the banking sector is almost completely in private hands, and foreign investment has risen.File:Eurozone.svg|thumb|left|upright=0.75|Slovakia is part of the Schengen Area, the EU single market, and since 2009, the EurozoneEurozoneThe Slovak economy is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and 3rd fastest in eurozone (2017). In 2007, 2008 and 2010 (with GDP growth of 10.5%, 6% and 4% retrospectively). In 2016, more than 86% of Slovak exports went to European Union, and more than 50% of Slovak imports came from other European Union member states.WEB, Intra-EU trade in goods - recent trends,weblink The ratio of government debt to GDP in Slovakia reached 52% by the end of 2016, far below the OECD average.Economic Survey of the Slovak Republic 2017. oecd.org (3 July 2017).Unemployment, peaking at 19% at the end of 1999, decreased to 4,9% in 2019, lowest recorded rate in Slovak history.WEB,weblink Historické čísla nezamestnanosti, prvýkrát klesla pod 5 percent, Slovak, 25 May 2019, Inflation dropped from an average annual rate of 12% in 2000 to just 3.3% in 2002, an election year, but it rose again in 2003–2004 because of rising labour costs and taxes. It reached only 1% in 2010 which is the lowest recorded rate since 1993.WEB,weblink Inflation in Slovakia since 1993, Ako-investovat.sk, 10 September 2013, The rate was at 4% in 2011.Slovakia adopted the Euro currency on 1 January 2009 as the 16th member of the Eurozone. The euro in Slovakia was approved by the European commission on 7 May 2008. The Slovak koruna was revalued on 28 May 2008 to 30.126 for 1 euro,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080601034210weblink">weblink 1 June 2008, Slovakia revalues currency ahead of euro entry, Marcin, Grajewski, The Guardian, 28 May 2008, 9 July 2010, yes, dmy-all, which was also the exchange rate for the euro.NEWS,weblink Slovak euro exchange rate is set, BBC News, 8 July 2008, 9 July 2010, (File:Bratislava highrises 2009 4.jpg|thumb|High-rise buildings in Bratislava's business districts)The Slovak government encourages foreign investment, since it is one of the driving forces of the economy. Slovakia is an attractive country for foreign investors mainly because of its low wages, low tax rates, well educated labour force, favorable geographic location in the heart of Central Europe, strong political stability and good international relations reinforced by the country's accession to the European Union. Some regions, mostly at the east of Slovakia have failed to attract major investment, which has aggravated regional disparities in many economic and social areas. FDI inflow grew more than 600% from 2000 and cumulatively reached an all-time high of $17.3 billion in 2006, or around $22,000 per capita by the end of 2008. Slovakia ranks 42nd out of 190 economies in terms of ease of doing business, according to the 2019 World Bank Doing Business Report.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. Slovakia became an aid provider at the end of 2008.WEB,weblink Slovakia Is Sufficiently Developled to Offer Aid Within World Bank at TASR, Tasr.sk, 16 October 2010, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20081010073540weblink">weblink 10 October 2008,

Industry

{{See also|Automotive industry in Slovakia}}File:Aupark Tower 2009.jpg|thumb|left|ESETESETAlthough 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 manufacturing and electrical engineering. Since 2007, Slovakia has been the world's largest producer of cars per capita,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="wayback.archive-it.org/all/20171010140003weblink">weblink yes, 10 October 2017, Slovak Car Industry Production Almost Doubled in 2007, Industryweek.com, 9 April 2008, 16 October 2010, with a total of 1,090,000 cars manufactured in the country in 2018 alone. 250,000 people is employed directly and indirectlyby the automotive industry.WEB,weblink Automotive Sector in Slovakia, 10 May 2019, There are currently four automobile assembly plants: Volkswagen's in Bratislava (models: Volkswagen Up, Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q7, Audi Q8, Porsche Cayenne, Lamborghini Urus), PSA Peugeot Citroën's in Trnava (models: Peugeot 208, Citroën C3 Picasso), Kia Motors' Žilina Plant (models: Kia Cee'd, Kia Sportage, Kia Venga) and Jaguar Land Rover's in Nitra (model: Land Rover Discovery). Hyundai Mobis in Žilina is the largest suppliers for the automotive industry in Slovakia.WEB,weblink Takto funguje fabrika, v ktorej sa vyrába takmer polovica z každého auta žilinskej Kie, 10 May 2019, From electrical engineering companies, Foxconn has a factory at Nitra for LCD TV manufacturing, Samsung at Galanta for computer monitors and television sets manufacturing. Slovnaft based in Bratislava with 4,000 employees, is an oil refinery with a processing capacity of 5.5 - 6 million tonnes of crude oil, annually. Steel producer U. S. Steel in Košice is the largest employer at the east of Slovakia with 12,000 employees.(File:Slovakia Export Treemap.png|thumb|A graphical depiction of Slovakia's product exports in 28 colour-coded categories)ESET is an IT security company from Bratislava with more than 1,000WEB,weblink ESET Achieves Another Milestone: More Than 1000 Employees Globally, PressReleasePoint, 23 April 2015, employees worldwide at present. Their branch offices are in the United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, Argentina, the Czech Republic, Singapore and Poland.WEB,weblink About ESET: Company Profile: History, ESET, 1 July 2011, In recent years, service and high-tech-oriented businesses have prospered in Bratislava. Many global companies, including IBM, Dell, Lenovo, AT&T, SAP, and Accenture, have built outsourcing and service centres here.WEB, Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency,weblink Lenovo invests in Slovakia with new jobs, April 20, 2006, April 25, 2007, . WEB, Dell,weblink Dell in Bratislava, 2007, April 25, 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070927191504weblink">weblink September 27, 2007, Reasons for the influx of multi-national corporations include proximity to Western Europe, skilled labour force and the high density of universities and research facilities.JOURNAL, Regional Polarization under Transition: The Case of Slovakia, Vladimír, Baláž, 2007, European Planning Studies, 15, 5, 587–602, 10.1080/09654310600852639, Other large companies and employers with headquarters in Bratislava include Amazon, Slovak Telekom, Orange Slovensko, Slovenská sporiteľňa, Tatra banka, Doprastav, Hewlett-Packard Slovakia, Henkel Slovensko, Slovenský plynárenský priemysel, Microsoft Slovakia, Mondelez Slovakia, Whirlpool Slovakia and Zurich Insurance Group Slovakia.Bratislava's geographical position in Central Europe has long made Bratislava a crossroads for international trade traffic.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Encyclopædia Britannica,weblink Bratislava in Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007, 30 April 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20071012145432weblink">weblink 12 October 2007, dmy-all, WEB, City of Bratislava,weblink MIPIM 2007 – Other Segments, 2007, 30 April 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070611190123weblink">weblink 11 June 2007, Various ancient trade routes, such as the Amber Road and the Danube waterway, have crossed territory of present-day Bratislava. Today, Bratislava is the road, railway, waterway and airway hub.WEB, City of Bratislava,weblink Transport and Infrastructure, 2007, 12 June 2007, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070611185402weblink">weblink 11 June 2007,

Energy

File:Mochovce - chladice veže.JPG|thumb|left|Nuclear Power Plant Mochovce ]]In 2012, Slovakia produced a total of 28,393 GWh of electricity while at the same time consumed 28 786 GWh. The slightly higher level of consumption than the capacity of production (- 393 GWh) meant the country was not self-sufficient in energy sourcing. Slovakia imported electricity mainly from the Czech Republic (9 961 GWh – 73.6% of total import) and exported mainly to Hungary (10 231 GWh – 78.2% of total export).Nuclear energy accounts for 53.8% of total electricity production in Slovakia, followed by 18.1% of thermal power energy, 15.1% by hydro power energy, 2% by solar energy, 9.6% by other sources and the rest 1.4% is imported.WEB, Electricity consumption / production in Slovakia in 2012,weblink National Control Centre of Slovakia, 2013, 3 October 2013, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20131005021455weblink">weblink 5 October 2013, dmy-all, The two nuclear power-plants in Slovakia are in Jaslovské Bohunice and Mochovce, each of them containing two operating reactors. Prior to the accession of Slovakia to the EU in 2004, the government agreed to turn-off the V1 block of Jaslovské Bohunice power-plant, built in 1978. After deactivating the last of the two reactors of the V1 block in 2008, Slovakia instantly stopped being self-dependent in energy production.{{citation needed|date=February 2018}} Currently there is another block (V2) with two active reactors in Jaslovské Bohunice. It is scheduled for decommissioning in 2025. Two new reactors are under construction in Mochovce plant. The nuclear power production in Slovakia sometimes draws attention to Austrian green-energy activists who occasionally organise protests and block the borders between the two countries.{{citation needed|date=February 2018}}

Transportation

{{Multiple image
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|image1 = Vysoké Tatry, Starý Smokovec, nádraží, jednotka 425.965.jpg
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|caption1 = A tram in the northern town of Vysoké Tatry
|image2 = VysokeTatry11Slovakia17.JPG
|alt2 =
|caption2 = D1 motorway
}}There are four main highways D1 to D4 and eight express ways R1 to R8. Many of them are still under construction.The D1 motorway connects Bratislava to Trnava, Nitra, Trenčín, Žilina and beyond, while the D2 motorway connects it to Prague, Brno and Budapest in the north-south direction. A large part of D4 motorway (an outer bypass), which should ease the pressure on Bratislava's highway system, is scheduled to open in 2020.WEB, SME (newspaper), SME,weblink Érsek oficiálne spustil výstavbu bratislavského obchvatu, 2016, 14 November 2016, Slovak, The A6 motorway to Vienna connects Slovakia directly to the Austrian motorway system and was opened on 19 November 2007.WEB, Pravda (Slovakia), Pravda,weblink Do Viedne už netreba ísÅ¥ po okresnej ceste, 2007, 19 November 2007, Slovak,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080205010048weblink">weblink 5 February 2008, yes, dmy-all, Slovakia has four international airports. Bratislava's M. R. Å tefánik Airport is the main and largest international airport. It is located {{convert|9|km|mi|lk=out|abbr=off}} northeast 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 and 2,292,712 in 2018.WEB, Letisko M.R. Å tefánika – Airport Bratislava,weblink Letisko Bratislava – O letisku – Å tatistické údaje (Airport Bratislava – About airport – Statistical data), 2008, 19 January 2008, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110903131836weblink">weblink 3 September 2011, KoÅ¡ice International Airport is an airport serving KoÅ¡ice. It is the second largest international airport in Slovakia. The Poprad–Tatry Airport is the third busiest airport, the airport is located 5 km east – northeast of ski resort town Poprad. It is an airport with one of the highest elevations in Central Europe, at 718 m, which is 150 m higher than Innsbruck Airport in Austria. The Sliač Airport is the smallest international airport and currently operates only summer charter flights to popular sea resort destinations.Railways of Slovak Republic provides railway transport services on national and international lines.The Port of Bratislava is one of the two international river ports in Slovakia. The port connects Bratislava to international boat traffic, especially the interconnection from the North Sea to the Black Sea via the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal.Additionally, tourist boats operate from Bratislava's passenger port, including routes to Devín, Vienna and elsewhere. The Port of Komárno is the second largest port in Slovakia with an area of over 20 hectares and is located approximately 100 km east of Bratislava. It lies at the confluence of two rivers - the Danube and Váh.

Tourism

{{See also|List of castles in Slovakia|List of World Heritage Sites in Slovakia}}{{multiple image
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|caption1 = Bojnice Castle
|image2 = Bardejov10Slovakia6.JPG
|caption2 = The centre of Bardejov – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
|image3 = Jasná Ski Resort - gondola lift Kosodrevina - Chopok (4).jpg
|caption3 = Cable cars at Jasná in the Tatra Mountains
|image4 = Hlavné námestie-The napoleonic soldier, Old Town Hall and Roland Fountain-Bratislava.JPG
|caption4 = The Old Town in Bratislava
}}Slovakia features natural landscapes, mountains, caves, medieval castles and towns, folk architecture, spas and ski resorts. More than 5,4 million tourists visited Slovakia in 2017, and the most attractive destinations are the capital of Bratislava and the High Tatras.NEWS, The Slovak Spectator,weblink Popularity of Slovakia as a tourist destination increases, 24 May 2018, 24 May 2018, English, Most visitors come from the Czech Republic (about 26%), Poland (15%) and Germany (11%).Top 15 krajín AZCR 2012–2015 {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160508215727weblink |date=8 May 2016 }}. Slovenská Aagentúra pre Cestovný Ruch sacr.sk (March 2016)Slovakia contains many castles, most of which are in ruins. The best known castles include Bojnice Castle (often used as a filming location), Spiš Castle, (on the UNESCO list), Orava Castle, Bratislava Castle, and the ruins of Devín Castle. Čachtice Castle was once the home of the world's most prolific female serial killer, the 'Bloody Lady', Elizabeth Báthory.Slovakia's position in Europe and the country's past (part of the Kingdom of Hungary, the Habsburg monarchy and Czechoslovakia) made many cities and towns similar to the cities in the Czech Republic (such as Prague), Austria (such as Salzburg) or Hungary (such as Budapest). A historical center with at least one square has been preserved in many towns. Large historical centers can be found in Bratislava, Trenčín, Košice, Banská Štiavnica, Levoča, and Trnava. Historical centers have been going through restoration in recent years.Historical churches can be found in virtually every village and town in Slovakia. Most of them are built in the Baroque style, but there are also many examples of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, for example Banská Bystrica, Bardejov and Spišská Kapitula. The Basilica of St. James in Levoča with the tallest wood-carved altar in the world and the Church of the Holy Spirit in Žehra with medieval frescos are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The St. Martin's Concathedral in Bratislava served as the coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary. The oldest sacral buildings in Slovakia stem from the Great Moravian period in the 9th century.Very precious structures are the complete wooden churches of northern and northern-eastern Slovakia. Most were built from the 15th century onwards by Catholics, Lutherans and members of eastern-rite churches.Typical souvenirs from Slovakia are dolls dressed in folk costumes, ceramic objects, crystal glass, carved wooden figures, črpáks (wooden pitchers), fujaras (a folk instrument on the UNESCO list) and valaškas (a decorated folk hatchet) and above all products made from corn husks and wire, notably human figures. Souvenirs can be bought in the shops run by the state organisation ÚĽUV (Ústredie ľudovej umeleckej výroby – Centre of Folk Art 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 neighbouring countries, whereas prices of local products and services, especially food, are usually lower.

Science

The Slovak Academy of Sciences has been the most important scientific and research institution in the country since 1953. Slovaks have made notable scientific and technical contributions during the history. Slovakia is currently in the negotiation process of becoming a member of the European Space Agency. Observer status was granted in 2010, when Slovakia signed the General Agreement on CooperationNEWS,weblink Spolupráca s ESA - Slovak Space Portal, Slovak Space Portal, 2017-11-05, sk-SK, in which information about ongoing education programmes was shared and Slovakia was invited to various negotiations of the ESA. In 2015, Slovakia signed the European Cooperating State Agreement based on which Slovakia committed to the finance entrance programme named PECS (Plan for the European Cooperating States) which serves as preparation for full membership. Slovak research and development organizations can apply for funding of projects regarding space technologies advancement. Full membership of Slovakia in the ESA is expected in 2020 after signing the ESA Convention. Slovakia will be obliged to set state budget inclusive ESA funding.

Demographics

{{further|List of Slovaks}}{{Largest cities of Slovakia}}File:Slovakiapop.svg|thumb|right|Population pyramidPopulation pyramidAccording to the 2011 census,WEB, Official data on the structure of the Slovak population,weblink PDF, Portal.statistics.sk, 12 November 2012, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121114093710weblink">weblink 14 November 2012, the majority of the inhabitants of Slovakia are Slovaks (80.7%). Hungarians are the largest ethnic minority (8.5%). Other ethnic groups include Roma (2%),WEB, Roma political and cultural activists estimate that the number of Roma in Slovakia is higher, citing a figure of 350,000 to 400,000,weblink Slovakia.org, 25 November 2012, Czechs (0.6%), Rusyns (0.6%) and others or unspecified (7.6%).WEB, Slovakia: Ethnicity of the Population Section, Government of Slovakia, 2010,weblink 5 October 2010, Unofficial estimates on the Roma population are much higher, around 5.6%.M. VaÅ¡ečka, "A Global Report on Roma in Slovakia", (Institute of Public Affairs: Bratislava, 2002) + Minority Rights Group. See:weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070309014137weblink">Equality, Diversity and Enlargement. European Commission: Brussels, 2003, p. 104In 2018 the median age of the Slovak population was 41 years.HTTPS://WWW.CIA.GOV/LIBRARY/PUBLICATIONS/THE-WORLD-FACTBOOK/GEOS/LO.HTML, The World FactBook - Serbia, July 12, 2018, The World Factbook, {{PD-notice}}The largest waves of Slovak emigration occurred in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 1990 US census, 1.8 million people self-identified as having Slovak ancestry."The Slovaks in America". European Reading Room, Library of Congress.

Languages

{{See also|History of the Slovak language}}File:Slovak alphabet.png|thumb|right|upright=0.9|The Slovak alphabet has 46 characters, of which 3 are digraphs and 18 contain diacriticdiacriticThe official language is Slovak, a member of the Slavic language family. Hungarian is widely spoken in the southern regions, and Rusyn is used in some parts of the Northeast. Minority languages hold co-official status in the municipalities in which the size of the minority population meets the legal threshold of 15% in two consecutive censuses.WEB,weblink Zákon 184/1999 Z. z. o používaní jazykov národnostných menšín, Slovenskej Republiky, Národná Rada, 1999, Zbierka zákonov, Slovak, 3 December 2016, Slovakia is ranked among the top EU countries regarding the knowledge of foreign languages. In 2007, 68% of the population aged from 25 to 64 years claimed to speak two or more foreign languages, finishing 2nd highest in the European Union. The best known foreign language in Slovakia is Czech. Eurostat report also shows that 98.3% of Slovak students in the upper secondary education take on two foreign languages, ranking highly over the average 60.1% in the European Union.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130124065821weblink">weblink 24 January 2013, Eurostat report on foreign languages September 2009, Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu, 25 November 2012, The deaf community uses the Slovak Sign Language. Even though spoken Czech and Slovak are similar, the Slovak Sign language is not particularly close to Czech Sign Language.

Religion

{{See also|History of Christianity in Slovakia|History of the Jews in Slovakia}}{{Multiple image
|align =right
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|image1 = Levoča (2).jpg
|caption1 = Basilica of St. James in Levoča
|image2 = Dóm svätej Alžbety a Kaplnka sv. Michala, KoÅ¡ice, Slovensko.jpg  
|caption2 = St. Elisabeth Cathedral in Košice is Slovakia's largest church
}}The Slovak constitution guarantees freedom of religion. In 2011, 62.0% of Slovaks identified themselves as Roman Catholics, 8.9% as Protestants, 3.8% as Greek Catholics, 0.9% as Orthodox, 13.4% identified themselves as atheists or non-religious, and 10.6% did not answer the question about their belief.WEB, Data from the Slovak Statistical Office 2011, 2011,weblink yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121114093733weblink">weblink 14 November 2012, In 2004, about one third of the church members regularly attended church services.WEB, Manchin, Robert, Religion in Europe: Trust Not Filling the Pews, Gallup, 2004,weblink 4 December 2009, The Slovak Greek Catholic Church is an Eastern rite sui iuris Catholic Church. Before World War II, an estimated 90,000 Jews lived in Slovakia (1.6% of the population), but most were murdered during the Holocaust. After further reductions due to postwar emigration and assimilation, only about 2,300 Jews remain today (0.04% of the population).WEB, Vogelsang, Peter, Brian B. M. Larsen, Deportations, The Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 2002,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20110810055334weblink">weblink 10 August 2011, 26 April 2008, There are 18 state-registered religions in Slovakia, of which 16 are Christian, one is Jewish, and one is Bahá'í.NEWS,weblink The Conversation, Miroslava Hukelova, Slovak president vetoes controversial law heaping hostility on Muslims in Central Europe, January 5, 2017, In 2016, a two-third majority of the Slovak parliament passed a new bill that will obstruct Islam and other religious organisations from becoming state-recognised religion by doubling the minimum followers threshold from 25,000 to 50,000; however, Slovak president Andrej Kiska vetoed the bill. In 2010, there were an estimated 5,000 Muslims in Slovakia representing less than 0.1% of the country's population.Na Slovensku je 5-tisíc moslimov: Bude v naÅ¡ej krajine meÅ¡ita? | Nový ÄŒas. Cas.sk (2010-08-11). Retrieved on 2017-02-04. Slovakia is the last member state of the European Union without a mosque.WEB,weblink Slovensko je poslednou krajinou únie, kde nie je meÅ¡ita, 15 November 2014, Pluska, 7 PLUS, s.r.o., 5 April 2014, slovak,

Education

File:Мальчики ловящие гусей - panoramio.jpg|thumb|left|Comenius University headquarters in BratislavaBratislavaThe Programme for International Student Assessment, coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks Slovak secondary education the 30th in the world (placing it just below the United States and just above Spain).WEB,weblink Range of rank on the PISA 2006 science scale at OECD, PDF, 16 October 2010, Education in Slovakia is compulsory from age 6 to 16. The education system consists of elementary school which is divided into two parts, the first grade (age 6–10) and the second grade (age 10–15) which is finished by taking nationwide testing called Monitor, from Slovak language and math. Parents may apply for social assistance for a child that is studying on an elementary school or a high-school. If approved, the state provides basic study necessities for the child. Schools provide books to all their students with usual exceptions of books for studying a foreign language and books which require taking notes in them, which are mostly present at the first grade of elementary school.After finishing elementary school, students are obliged to take one year in high school.After finishing high school, students can go to university and are highly encouraged to do so. Slovakia has a wide range of universities. The biggest university is Comenius University, established in 1919. Although it's not the first university ever established on Slovak territory, it's the oldest university that is still running. Most universities in Slovakia are public funded, where anyone can apply. Every citizen has a right to free education in public schools.Slovakia has several privately funded universities, however public universities consistently score better in the ranking than their private counterparts. Universities have different criteria for accepting students. Anyone can apply to any number of universities.

Culture

File:Vlkolinec 02.jpg|thumb|right|Wooden folk architecture can be seen in the well preserved village of Vlkolínec, a UNESCO World Heritage SiteUNESCO World Heritage Site

Folk tradition

Folk tradition has rooted strongly in Slovakia and is reflected in literature, music, dance and architecture. The prime example is a Slovak national anthem, "Nad Tatrou sa blýska", which is based on a melody from "Kopala studienku" folk song.Manifestation of Slovak folklore culture is the "Východná" Folklore Festival. It is the oldest and largest nationwide festival with international participation,WEB, "Východná" festival,weblink which takes place in Východná annually. Slovakia is usually represented by many groups but mainly by SĽUK (Slovenský ľudový umelecký kolektív – Slovak folk art collective). SĽUK is the largest Slovak folk art group, trying to preserve the folklore tradition.An example of wooden folk architecture in Slovakia can be seen in the well preserved village of Vlkolínec which has been the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993.WEB, UNESCO information about Vlkolínec,weblink The Prešov Region preserves the world's most remarkable folk wooden churches. Most of them are protected by Slovak law as cultural heritage, but some of them are on the UNESCO list too, in Bodružal, Hervartov, Ladomirová and Ruská Bystrá.The best known Slovak hero, found in many folk mythologies, is Juraj Jánošík (1688–1713) (the Slovak equivalent of Robin Hood). The legend says he was taking from the rich and giving to the poor. Jánošík's life was depicted in a list of literature works and many movies throughout the 20th century. One of the most popular is a film Jánošík directed by Martin Frič in 1935.WEB, Jánošík movie on Czechoslovak Film Database, 1935,weblink

Art

File:St. James, Levoča, Main altar, 2017 v2.jpg|thumb|right|Main altar in Basilica of St. James from the workshop of Master Paul of LevočaMaster Paul of LevočaVisual art in Slovakia is represented through painting, drawing, printmaking, illustration, arts and crafts, sculpture, photography or conceptual art. The Slovak National Gallery founded in 1948, is the biggest network of galleries in Slovakia. Two displays in Bratislava are situated in Esterházy Palace (Esterházyho palác) and the Water Barracks (Vodné kasárne), adjacent one to another. They are located on the Danube riverfront in the Old Town.WEB, Muzeum.sk,weblink Slovak National Gallery (SNG) Bratislava, n.d., May 17, 2007, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120311061018weblink">weblink 11 March 2012, About SNG – SNG, Sng.sk, 25 November 2012, The Bratislava City Gallery, founded in 1961 is the second biggest Slovak gallery of its kind. It stores about 35,000 pieces of Slovak and international art and offers permanent displays in Pálffy Palace and Mirbach Palace, located in the Old Town. Danubiana Art Museum, one of the youngest art museums in Europe, is situated near Čunovo waterworks (part of Gabčíkovo Waterworks). Other major galleries include: Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art (Warhol's parents were from Miková), East Slovak Gallery, Ernest Zmeták Art Gallery, Zvolen Castle.

Literature

{{Further|Slovak literature}}File:Bozetech Klemens Stur.jpg|thumb|left|upright=0.6|Ľudovít ŠtúrĽudovít ŠtúrFor a list of notable Slovak writers and poets, see List of Slovak authors.Christian topics include: poem Proglas as a foreword to the four Gospels, partial translations of the Bible into Old Church Slavonic, Zakon sudnyj ljudem.Medieval literature, in the period from the 11th to the 15th centuries, was written in Latin, Czech and Slovakised 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, author of the Chronica Hungarorum and Maurus, both of them Hungarians.BOOK, The dictionary of biographical reference: containing one hundred thousand names, together with a classed index of the biographical literature of Europe and America, Lawrence Barnett Phillips, 1871, S. Low, Son, & Marston, 1020, The worldly literature also emerged and chronicles were written in this period.There were two leading persons who codified the Slovak language. The first was Anton Bernolák whose concept was based on the western Slovak dialect in 1787. It was the codification of the first ever literary language of Slovaks. The second was Ľudovít Štúr, whose formation of the Slovak language took principles from the central Slovak dialect in 1843.Slovakia is also known for its polyhistors, of whom include Pavol Jozef Šafárik, Matej Bel, Ján Kollár, and its political revolutionaries and reformists, such Milan Rastislav Štefánik and Alexander Dubček.

Cuisine

{{See also|Slovak wine|Beer in Slovakia}}File:Halusky kapustnica.jpg|thumb|Halušky with bryndza cheese, kapustnica soup and Zlatý Bažant dark beer – examples of Slovak cuisine]]Traditional Slovak cuisine is based mainly on pork, poultry (chicken is the most widely eaten, followed by duck, goose, and turkey), flour, potatoes, cabbage, and milk products. It is relatively closely related to Hungarian, Czech and Austrian cuisine. On the east it is also influenced by Ukrainian and Polish cuisine. In comparison with other European countries, "game meat" is more accessible in Slovakia due to vast resources of forest and because hunting is relatively popular.BOOK, United Nations. Economic Commission for Europe, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Forest resources of Europe, CIS, North America, Australia, Japan and New Zealand (industrialised temperate/boreal countries): UN-ECE/FAO contribution to the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000,weblink 2000, United Nations, 978-92-1-116735-1, 347–, In some countries, the commercial sale of game meat is an important economic activity, including the export of game meat. ... value in the Netherlands, and as the value of export, domestic consumption, and industrial processing in Slovakia., Boar, rabbit, and venison are generally available throughout the year. Lamb and goat are eaten but are not widely popular.The traditional Slovak meals are bryndzové halušky, bryndzové pirohy and other meals with potato dough and bryndza. Bryndza is a salty cheese made of a sheep milk, characterised by a strong taste and aroma. Bryndzové halušky must be on the menu of every traditional Slovak restaurant.A typical soup is a sauerkraut soup ("kapustnica"). A blood sausage called "krvavnica", made from any and all parts of a butchered pig is also a specific Slovak meal.Wine is enjoyed throughout Slovakia. Slovak wine 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 more popular than dry, but in recent years tastes seem to be changing.WEB,weblink Slovak Cuisine, Slovakiasite.com, 16 October 2010, Beer (mainly of the pilsener style, though dark lagers are also consumed) is also popular.

Sport

Sporting activities are practised widely in Slovakia, many of them on a professional level. Ice hockey and football have traditionally been regarded as the most popular sports in Slovakia, though tennis, handball, basketball, volleyball, whitewater slalom, cycling and athletics are also popular.
Ice Hockey
File:Slovakia2010WinterOlympicscelebration2.jpg|thumb|left|The Slovak national ice hockey team celebrating a victory against Sweden at the 2010 Winter Olympics2010 Winter OlympicsOne of the most popular team sports in Slovakia is ice hockey. Slovakia became a member of the IIHF on 2 February 1993WEB,weblink Slovakia, Iihf.com, 2 February 1993, 25 November 2012, and since then has won 4 medals in Ice Hockey World Championships, consisting of 1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze. The most recent success was a silver medal at the 2012 IIHF World Championship in Helsinki. The Slovak national hockey team made five appearances in the Olympic games, finishing 4th in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The country has 8280 registered players and is ranked 7th in the IIHF World Ranking at present. Prior to 2012, the Slovak team HC Slovan Bratislava participated in the Kontinental Hockey League, considered the strongest hockey league in Europe, and the second-best in the world.WEB,weblink World of difference for KHL?, iihf.com, 7 May 2012, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20130123082543weblink">weblink 23 January 2013, Slovakia hosted the 2011 IIHF World Championship, where Finland won the gold medal and 2019 IIHF World Championship, where Finland also won the gold medal. Both competitions took place in Bratislava and Košice.
Football
File:Tehelne pole.jpg|thumb|right|Football stadium Tehelné poleTehelné poleAssociation football is the most popular sport in Slovakia, with over 400,000 registered players. Since 1993, the Slovak national football team has qualified for the FIFA World Cup once, in 2010. They progressed to the last 16, where they were defeated by the Netherlands. The most notable result was the 3–2 victory over Italy. In 2016, the Slovak national football team qualified for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament, under head coach Ján Kozák. This helped the team reach their best ever position of 14th in the FIFA World Rankings.In club competitions, only three teams have qualified for the UEFA Champions League Group Stage, namely MFK Košice in 1997–98, FC Artmedia Bratislava in 2005–06 season, and MŠK Žilina in 2010–11. FC Artmedia Bratislava has been the most successful team, finishing 3rd at the Group Stage of the UEFA Cup, therefore qualifying for the knockout stage. They remain the only Slovak club that has won a match at the group stage.

See also

Notes

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References

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Bibliography

  • Julius Bartl et al., Slovak History: Chronology & Lexicon. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2002.
  • Olga Drobna, Eduard Drobny, and Magdalena Gocnikova, Slovakia: The Heart of Europe. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 1996.
  • Pavel Dvorak, The Early History of Slovakia in Images. Budmerice, Slovakia: Vydavatel'stvo Rak Budmerice, 2006.
  • Sharon Fisher, Political Change in Post-Communist Slovakia and Croatia: From Nationalist to Europeanist. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
  • Karen Henderson, Slovakia: The Escape from Invisibility. London: Routledge, 2002.
  • Rob Humphrey, The Rough Guide to the Czech and Slovak Republics. New York: Rough Guides, 2006.
  • Michael Jacobs, Blue Guide: Czech and Slovak Republics. London: A.&C. Black, 1999.
  • Owen V. Johnson, Slovakia 1918–1938: Education and the Making of a Nation. Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, 1985.
  • Lil Junas, My Slovakia: An American's View. Martin, Slovakia: VydavatelÅ›tvo Matice slovenskej, 2001.
  • Stanislav Kirschbaum, A History of Slovakia: The Struggle for Survival. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995.
  • Eugen Lazistan, Fedor Mikovič, Ivan Kučma, and Anna Jurečková, Slovakia: A Photographic Odyssey. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2001.
  • Elena Mannová, A Concise History of Slovakia. Bratislava: Historický ústav SAV, 2000.
  • Anton Spiesz and Dusan Caplovic, Illustrated Slovak History: A Struggle for Sovereignty in Central Europe. Wauconda, IL : Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2001.

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