Slovakia (Slovensko in Slovak) or the Slovak Republic (Slovenská republika in Slovak) is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Europe. Its neighbors are the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Austria. Slovakia is a member of the European Union and its passport-free Schengen area, as well as NATO.
The land covers an area of 49,035 square kilometers and has a population of about 5.4 million. The capital of Slovakia is Bratislava on the Danube.
For centuries, Slovakia has been part of the power of Greater Moravia and Hungary, and thus of the Habsburgs. Together with the Czech Republic, it has been part of Czechoslovakia twice: from 1918 to 1939 and from 1945 to 1993. During World War II, the National Socialists supported its apparent independence, which many Slovaks later suffered during Czechoslovak communist rule.
Slovakia did well in the transition from a planned to a market economy. Its industry focuses on cars and electronics.
Slovakia is for the most part in the mountains: the northern and central parts of the country are dominated by the Western Carpathians, which include the Tatra Mountains. The highest peak is Gerlachovský štít (2,655 meters). About 80 percent of the earth's surface is more than 750 meters above sea level. Notable mountain areas are the Low Tatras (highest peak 2,043 meters above sea level), the Great Tatras (1,592 meters) and the Low Tatras (1,709 meters). The largest contiguous plain is located in southeastern Slovakia, northeast of the Danube. The main rivers in Slovakia are the Danube and its tributaries Váh and Hron. There are many glacial lakes in the mountains, 183 in the Great Tatras. Artificial lakes have been created in rivers, especially along the Váh River. The climate in Slovakia is mild. Summers are relatively warm and winters are humid, cloudy and cold. Regional climate variations are large. The driest and warmest areas are the plains of southern and eastern Slovakia. There, the average annual temperature is 10 degrees and the rainfall is 500 mm. In the highlands and mountains, the average annual temperature can be as low as 0 degrees and the rainfall is 2,000 mm.
The snow-covered period varies from 40 days to 100 days, depending on the altitude and the severity of the winter. Oaks and beeches grow in the lowlands, spruces and pines at medium altitudes (700 - 1,500 meters) and dwarf pines still above average altitudes. There are many wildlife in the Tatra Mountains: bears, wolves, lynxes, marmots, otters, eagles and mink. The terrain is difficult to navigate, making the tourist rarely see animals. Gemssi has been calmed and thus saved from the brink of extinction. The heaviest bird in Europe lives in the floodplains of the Danube. Almost a quarter of Slovakia's area is protected as a national park. Founded in 1949, the Tatra Mountains National Park is the oldest in the country. Slovensky Raj National Park in the eastern part of the country was established in 1969. There are many gorges and caves. There are two natural sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List: the Carpathian beech forests (shared with Ukraine) and the karst caves of Aggtelek and Slovakia, which is a common site with Hungary.
Archaeological finds tell of a settlement in what is now Slovakia in the middle of the Paleolithic period, around 200,000 to 35,000 BC. Traces of a Neanderthal skull have been found in Gánovce. The famous Moravian Venus is a sculpture over 22,800 years old. During the Bronze Age, Slovakia was a major center for bronze production. The oldest buildings, Iron Age stone walls and fortresses show influences from Greek and Etruscan culture. The oldest coins found in Slovakia are made by the Celts in the 4th century BC. Shortly before the beginning of time, the Roman Empire spread to the Danube. Four years