The Heartland of Europe – Slovakia at a Glance
The Slovak Republic is located in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic in the west, by Austria in the southwest, by Hungary in the south, by Ukraine in the east, and by Poland in the north. Bratislava is the capital. Slovakia became an independent nation on Jan. 1st, 1993, when Czechoslovakia was dissolved.
Most of Slovakia is traversed by the Carpathian Mts., including the Tatra and the Beskids. The Gerlach (8,737 ft/2,663 m) in the High Tatra, is the highest peak. The most important river is the Danube, that connects Slovakia with the harbours of the Black Sea and, through the Rhine Main - Danube waterway, with west European harbours. Today, Slovakia is becoming an important junction of economic and commercial relations between the eastern and western half of Europe.
The peak of Krahule hill, in Middle Slovakia, is the geographical centre of Europe.
The mountainous part of Slovakia has vast forests and pastures, and is rich in mineral resources, including coal, high-grade iron ore, copper, manganese, lead, and zinc. There are also numerous mineral springs, and many popular spa resorts around the country. Slovakia has undergone considerable industrialization and urbanization since World War II. Its industries produce metals and metal products, foods and beverages, electricity, oil and gas, coal, synthetic fibres, machinery, paper, ceramics, cars, textiles, electrical and optical instruments.
Slovakia is a republic and governed under its constitution of 1992. The president, who is the head of state, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term and is eligible for a second term. The prime minister, who is the head of government, is appointed by the president with the approval of the legislature, as is the cabinet. The unicameral legislature, the National Council, has 150 members who are popularly elected by proportional representation for four-year terms.
Slovakia is situated in the temperate climatic zone with a regular changing of yearly seasons. The coldest month is January with night temperatures of -10°C to -15°C, the hottest is July with a daily maximum around 32°C. Often in winter, temperature differences arise when in the mountain hollows the temperatures are lower than on the surrounding higher hills. In the high mountains snow remains for 130 days of the year.
Most famous descendants of Slovakia
Alexander Dubcek, was an early protagonist of freedom and democracy in Eastern Europe and became a role model for democratic movements worldwide.
Andy Warhol, was a central figure in the movement known as pop art. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, he became famous worldwide for his work as a painter, avant-garde filmmaker, record producer, author, and public figure.
Superlatives of Slovakia
- The oldest glacial cave in Europe:Dobsinska glacial cave
- The biggest river island in Europe: Zitny island in southern Slovakia, 123,612 hectares
- The biggest wooden altar in the world, Levoca, St. Jacob’s church
- The oldest continuously working enterprise in the world: The state mint in Kremnica, founded in 1328
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