The A to Z of Slovakia

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The name of this settlement was Gerulata. The military fort had an auxiliary cavalry unit, approximately horses strong, modelled after the Cananefates. However, Attila's death in brought about the disappearance of the Hun tribe. In , 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.

Indiana z Podskalky-Slovakia

In , the Slavic population living in the western parts of Pannonia seceded from their empire after a revolution led by Samo , a Frankish merchant. 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 Together with neighbouring Moravia , the principality formed the core of the Great Moravian Empire from Upon Rastislav's request, two brothers, Byzantine officials and missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius came in Cyril developed the first Slavic alphabet and translated the Gospel into the Old Church Slavonic language.

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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. 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.

He also named the German cleric Wiching the Bishop of Nitra. 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 , [32] invaded the Carpathian Basin and started to occupy the territory gradually around 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 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. Following 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. From the 11th century, when the territory inhabited by the Slavic-speaking population of Danubian Basin was incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary, until , when the Austro-Hungarian empire collapsed, the territory of modern Slovakia was an integral part of the Hungarian state. A significant decline in the population resulted from the invasion of the Mongols in 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. Owing to the Ottoman Empire 's expansion into Hungarian territory, Bratislava was designated the new capital of Hungary in , ahead of the old Hungarian capital of Buda falling in 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.

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 , Slovakia was not spared the Counter-Reformation , which brought the majority of its population from Lutheranism back to Roman Catholicism. 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. 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 , when it was transferred back to Buda.

During the revolution of —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. In , during the chaos following the break-up of Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia was formed with numerous Germans and Hungarians within the newly set borders.

In the peace following the World War, Czechoslovakia emerged as a sovereign European state.

The InterNations Expat Guide for working and living in Slovakia

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 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.

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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. Thereafter Czechoslovakia came under continuous pressure from the revisionist governments of Germany and Hungary. Eventually this led to the Munich Agreement of September , 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. After 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 and allied itself, as demanded by Germany, with Hitler's coalition. 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 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. As part of the Holocaust in Slovakia , 75, Jews out of 80, who remained on Slovak territory after Hungary had seized southern regions were deported and taken to German death camps.

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 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. More than 80, Hungarians [56] and 32, Germans [57] were forced to leave Slovakia, in a series of population transfers initiated by the Allies at the Potsdam Conference.

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 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 people, men, women, and children, were killed on the Czechoslovak border with Austria and West Germany between and The end of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in , 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. In November the federal parliament voted to dissolve the country officially on 31 December The Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic went their separate ways after 1 January , an event sometimes called the Velvet Divorce. On 1 January , Slovakia adopted the Euro as its national currency. The Slovak landscape is noted primarily for its mountainous nature, with the Carpathian Mountains extending across most of the northern half of the country.

The largest lowland is the fertile Danubian Lowland in the southwest, followed by the Eastern Slovak Lowland in the southeast. They are divided into several parts. The Tatra mountain range is represented as one of the three hills on the coat of arms of Slovakia. There are 9 national parks in Slovakia, they cover 6. Slovakia has hundreds of caves and caverns under its mountains, of which 30 are open to the public. Most of the rivers stem in the Slovak mountains. 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. The Slovak climate lies between the temperate and continental climate zones with relatively warm summers and cold, cloudy and humid winters. The weather differs from the mountainous north to the plains in the south. 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.

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In Slovakia, the weather and climate in the spring is very unstable. Showers or thunderstorms may occur because of the summer monsoon called Medardova kvapka Medard drop — 40 days of rain.

Antioxidant status in vegetarians and nonvegetarians in Bratislava region (Slovakia).

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. Late September and early October is a dry and sunny time of year so-called Indian Summer. 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. Slovakia signed the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity on 19 May , and became a party to the convention on 25 August 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. Over species of fungi have been recorded from Slovakia. The conservation status of non-lichen-forming fungi in Slovakia is not well documented, but there is a red list for its larger fungi.

Slovakia is a parliamentary democratic republic with a multi-party system. The last parliamentary elections were held on 5 March and two rounds of presidential elections took place on 16 and 30 March 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.


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Delegates are elected for a four-year term on the basis of proportional representation. It was amended in September to allow direct election of the president and again in February due to EU admission requirements. The civil law system is based on Austro-Hungarian codes. Slovakia accepts the compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction with reservations.

Slovakia is a member of the United Nations since and participates in its specialized agencies. The country was, on 10 October , elected to a two-year term on the UN Security Council from to In , Slovak citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to countries and territories, ranking the Slovak passport 10th in the world. Slovakia maintains diplomatic relations with countries, primarily through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As of December , 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.

U.S. Visas

Slovakia and the United States retain strong diplomatic ties and cooperate in the military and law enforcement areas. The U. Department of Defense programs have contributed significantly to Slovak military reforms.

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