|Form of government||Parliamentary republic|
|Government system||Parliamentary democracy|
|Head of state||
|Head of government||
|population||5,457,873 (December 31, 2019)|
|Population density||111 inhabitants per km²|
|Population development||+ 0.01% per year|
gross domestic product
|Human Development Index||0.857 ( 36th ) (2018)|
|founding||January 1, 1993|
|National anthem||Nad Tatrou sa blýska|
UTC + 1 CET
UTC + 2 CEST (March to October)
|ISO 3166||SK , SVK, 703|
The Slovakia (Slovak Slovensko landlocked country in Central Europe , which in Austria , Czech Republic , Poland , the Ukraine and Hungary borders. The capital and largest city of the country is Bratislava ( Pressburg in German ), other important cities are Košice ( Kaschau ), Prešov ( Eperies ), Žilina ( Sillein ), Banská Bystrica ( Neusohl ) and Nitra ( Neutra )., officially Slovak Republic , Slovak Slovenská republika ) is a
Two thirds of the country is mountainous and has a considerable share of the Carpathian Arc . In the west it extends to the part of the Vienna Basin to the north of the Danube , while the south and southeast to the Danube and a small part of the Tisza are shaped by the foothills of the Pannonian Plain . Slovakia lies in the continental temperate climate zone with differences between the lower south and the mountainous north of the country.
The area of today's Slovakia was settled by the Slavs at the turning point of the 5th and 6th centuries . Their first political formation was the empire of Samo (7th century), later one of the centers of the early medieval Moravian empire was in Slovakia . In the 11th century Slovakia was incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary , which was part of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1526 and part of Austria-Hungary from 1867 . After the dissolution of the dual monarchy in 1918, Slovakia became part of the newly established Czechoslovakia , except during the period from 1939 to 1945 when the Slovak state existed. After the end of the Second World War , the Czechoslovak state was restored. On January 1, 1993, after the peaceful division of this state structure, the independent Slovak Republic was established as the national state of the Slovaks .
Slovakia has been a member of the European Union and NATO since 2004 . In 2007, border controls with EU countries were lifted in accordance with the Schengen Agreement , and Slovakia joined the euro zone in 2009 . The country is a democratically constituted parliamentary republic. Together with Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, Slovakia forms the Visegrád Group .
In the ranking according to the human development index , Slovakia was ranked 36th out of 189 countries evaluated in 2018 with a value of 0.857 and is thus in the group with “very high human development”.
State name and ethnonym
The current German name of the area and state, Slovakia , is relatively new and appears for the first time in a petition to the Austrian emperor in 1849. The Slovak national name Slovensko has been documented in writing since the 15th century and was derived from the Old Slavic self-name of all Slavs, the Sloveni , which appeared in the 9th century . In the 14th century, the area of today's western and central Slovakia was often referred to as " Mattesland " (Slovak: Matúšová zem ), after the powerful Magyar prince Mattäus Csák . Since the 16th century, the term Upper Hungary (Slovak: Horné Uhorsko ) has been increasingly used for the area of today's Slovakia , after most of Hungary was under Turkish rule except for today's Slovakia.
Similarities between the state names of Slovakia and Slovenia
The current self-designation of the West Slavic Slovaks , like that of the South Slavic Slovenes, is derived from the original name of all Slavs, the Sloveni . Thus, the Slovaks refer to their country as Sloven sko, while Slovenia among Slovenians Sloven is ija. The Slovak language is in Slovak as sloven Cina, the Slovenian language in Slovenian as sloven referred Scina. The word for Slovak (in Slovak) and Slovenian (in Slovenian) is the same in both languages: Sloven ka. The only major difference today is the male form: While the Slovenian original male form Sloven ec has been preserved to this day, the Slovaks in the 15th century (under Czech and Polish influence) underwent a transformation in which the original Male name Sloven was replaced by today's name Slov ák.
Slovakia stretches between the 47th and 49th parallel north, between the 17th and 22nd east latitude and has a maximum east-west extension of 429 kilometers (from Záhorská Ves to Nová Sedlica ) and a north-south extension of 197 kilometers (from Obid to Skalité ). In the north and in the middle it has the character of a mountainous country , but in the south it extends into the Great and Small Hungarian Plains . The state has an area of almost a third of the entire Carpathian arch , especially the Western Carpathians . The highest point is the Gerlachovský štít (Gerlsdorferspitze) in the High Tatras with (also the highest mountain in the entire Carpathian Mountains); the number of two thousand peaks is around 100. The lowest point is on the Bodrog River near Streda nad Bodrogom , where the river leaves Slovakia at . The geographical center of Slovakia is on the Hrb mountain near Ľubietová , one of the claimed centers of Europe is located near Kremnické Bane . Slovakia has the following border lengths to the neighboring countries: Austria 107 km, Czech Republic 252 km, Poland 541 km, Ukraine 98 km and Hungary 655 km.
In the west, near Bratislava, the Carpathians begin with the Little Carpathians (height to 770 m), a small mountain range, northeast mind to close the White Carpathians ( Biele Karpaty , to 1000 m), Strážovské vrchy , Javorníky and various mountains in the Beskidy Mountains , which follow the Czech and later the Polish border. East of Žilina the altitude continues to increase, with mountains such as Small and Great Fatra ( Malá / Veľká Fatra , up to 1700 m), the Low Tatras ( Nízke Tatry , up to 2040 m) and the Tatras ( Tatry , highest peaks 2400–2655) m) on the Polish border. In the further course of the Outer Carpathians the altitude drops again, beginning with the Leutschauer Mountains and the Spiš Magura and further over the Lower Beskids to the Ukrainian border (altitude 500–1200 m); near Bardejov lies the border between the Western Carpathians and Eastern Carpathians (in this region also called Forest Carpathians in German ). This is followed by the Ondavská vrchovina mountain range , before the Slovak part of the outer Carpathians ends with the Bukovské vrchy mountains .
Further inland , the elevations begin with the Tribetz and the Vogelgebirge near Nitra and Topoľčany (up to 1340 m). The region to the west and south of Banská Bystrica is covered by various mountain ranges of the Slovak Central Uplands (up to 1300 m), including the Schemnitzer , Kremnitzer Mountains and the Po .ana. The entire area between Detva (east of Zvolen ) and Košice is covered by the Slovak Ore Mountains ( Slovenské rudohorie , up to almost 1500 m), with the altitude generally decreasing from north to south. To the east of Košice there are significant mountains, the Slanské vrchy and the Vihorlat (up to almost 1100 m).
The population in the mountains of the country is concentrated in the many basins; the most important are (from west to east): the Považské podolie , the Hornonitrianska kotlina , the Žilinská kotlina , the Turčianska kotlina , the Zvolenská kotlina , the Podtatranská kotlina , the Juhoslovenská kotlina and the Košická kotlina .
Larger lowlands are mainly in the west and south-east of the country. The Záhorská nížina is located between the March and the Little Carpathians, and it overlaps with the Záhorie landscape . From a geomorphological point of view, it is part of the Vienna Basin. The Danube lowlands (Podunajská nížina) stretches roughly between the Little Carpathians and the Slovak Central Uplands ; due to their size and different landscapes, it extends further into the Danube Plain (Podunajská rovina) in the southwest between Bratislava and Nové Zámky / Komárno and into the Danube Hills (Podunajská) pahorkatina) to the north and east of it. The height varies from 100 m in the south to 200 m in the north. In the area around Trebišov and Michalovce, the east Slovak lowland stretches out , which, like the Danube lowlands , is divided into a flat and hilly part.
Slovakia belongs to the Alpidic mountain system , which arose in the late Mesozoic and Cenozoic . Rocks of Paleozoic and possibly Proterozoic origin also took part in the formation . Until the late Mesozoic, most of what is now Slovakia was below sea level. The core of the later Western Carpathians is formed by metamorphosis , granite , gneiss and mica schist , which are covered by limestone and dolomite rock formed from sedimentary rocks. Towards the end of the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic there were significant changes in the structure of the earth's crust through folding and orogeny. In the Young Tertiary , today's mountains emerged from raised clods , from sunken basins and lowlands, which were formed on molasse basins in the Miocene and Pliocene . Mountain formation continued as the area gradually increased. There was volcanic activity in southern central and eastern Slovakia, from which today's volcanic mountains emerged. At the end of the Neogene , when the last parts of the world's oceans and lakes disappeared from Slovakia, today's river system emerged. The current relief was also formed by glacial activity in the Quaternary and erosion .
The geological structure of Slovakia is diverse. The flysch zone includes the outer western and eastern Carpathians in northern and northeastern Slovakia, which are separated from the inner Carpathians by the Pieninen rock belt . Then there are inner-Carpathian paleogene zones on the inner (southern) side of the rock belt, which include valleys, low mountain ranges and mountainous regions from Žilina to about Prešov, with a foothill to the Humenné area. The core mountains belong to the so-called Fatra-Tatra area , which consist of granite, gneiss and mica slate in the core and lime and dolomites on the ceiling and extend in two zones from the Little Carpathians and Tribeč Mountains to the Tatras and Low Tatras. The volcanic mountains are located south of the core mountains and essentially form the Slovak Central Mountains , the Slanské vrchy and the Vihorlat in the east and the small mountains Burda near Štúrovo are also volcanic mountains . The Slovak Ore Mountains consist of two separate zones, namely the Vepor zone in the west and the Čierna hora mountains in the east and the Gemer zone with other eastern parts of the mountains. Some authors consider the small mountain range Zemplínske vrchy as a separate tectonic unit (see also the map on the right), while others consider it to be volcanic mountains.
Slovakia lies on the Eurasian plate and has several seismically active areas. These include the Komárno area , the Little Carpathians (especially around Dobrá Voda), the area from Trenčín to Žilina, the area of Banská Bystrica, the High Tatras and the Northern Spiš (continued in Podhale in Poland ) and the Zemplín landscape. The strongest recorded earthquakes were in central Slovakia in 1443 and in Dobrá Voda in 1906 ( M w = 5.7) as well as in Žilina in 1613 and in Komárno (M w = 5.6) in 1763 .
The main European watershed between the Black Sea (Danube) and the Baltic Sea ( Vistula ) runs through the country , with 96% of the country belonging to the catchment area of the Danube. Due to the geographical location, only about 12% of the water volume flows in the rivers that originate in Slovakia. The Danube (Dunaj) in the southwest has a length of 172 km on Slovak territory (including the borders with Austria and Hungary, 22.5 km on both sides). With an average discharge of around 2060 m³ / s (MQ) near Bratislava, it is by far the most water-rich river in Slovakia. The longest Slovak river is the Waag (Váh) with a length of 403 kilometers, which flows through the whole north and west of the country and has a discharge of 142 m³ / s (MQ) at Komoča . Other important rivers are the March (Morava) on the borders with the Czech Republic and Austria, the Gran (Hron) in the middle, the Eipel (Ipeľ) on the border with Hungary, as well as Sajó (Slaná) , Hornád , Laborec , Latorica and Bodrog in the east, while the Tisza (Tisa) affected only the southeast corner of the country. Only the Poprad and the Dunajec (border with Poland) east of the Tatra Mountains belong to the catchment area of the Vistula .
Natural lake areas are concentrated in the High Tatras, where numerous mountain lakes ( plesá in Slovak ) were created as a result of glaciation during the Ice Age ; the largest is the Veľké Hincovo pleso . There are very few natural lakes elsewhere. Reservoirs, which were created in the course of river regulation for energy generation and flood protection, shape the landscape. Most are located on the Waag, whose system is also known as the Waag Cascade (Vážska kaskáda) . These include the dam Liptovská Mara (Liptovská Mara) , Reservoir Nosice , Sĺňava , Reservoir Kráľová and more. The largest is the Orava reservoir (35 km²), followed by the Zemplínska šírava and the Liptov reservoir. The reservoirs of the Danube hydroelectric power station Gabčíkovo are also important . Exceptions are the so-called tajchy around Banská Štiavnica , which were created in the course of mining there.
Slovakia has large groundwater reserves , but these are unevenly distributed across the country. The area of the Große Schüttinsel is important with around 10 billion m³ of groundwater. It has been a water protection area since 1978. Artesian springs are mainly found in the Danube lowlands around Galanta and Nové Zámky, in the Záhorie landscape, in the eastern Slovak lowlands. In the mountains there are groundwater reserves in limestone and dolomite , but they are hardly available in the Flysch mountains . The country is also rich in mineral springs with more than 1,600 known springs. More than 100 of these springs are bottled for mineral water or used for treatment purposes. The most famous spa town is Piešťany, other spas total Slovak importance Trenčianske Teplice , Bardejov Spa , Smrdáky , Rajecké Teplice , Sklené Teplice , Turčianske Teplice , Dudince , Sliač , Kováčová , Nimnica , Korytnica , Lúčky , Číž , Vyšné Ružbachy , Bojnice and Korytnica (except Business).
fauna and Flora
The natural area of Slovakia belongs to the moderate climatic zone .
There are a total of around 34,000 animal species , of which around 30,000 are insects alone . There are 934 types of arachnids , 352 types of birds , 346 types of molluscs , 90 types of mammals , 79 types of fish , 18 types of amphibians, and 12 types of reptiles .
Of the mammals, 24 species are bats : the most famous representatives are the great mouse-eared mouse and the little horseshoe bat . In the middle and high mountains one can still find predators such as wolves and brown bears ; foxes, game, wild cats and wild boars can be found in the deciduous forests, while brown bears, squirrels and lynxes are represented in the coniferous forest . Above the tree line one can find Tatra chamois , marmots and snow mice . Since 2004 there have been wild bison again in Slovakia (17 animals, as of 2013), in the Beskids in the far north-east of the country.
There are around 13,100 plant species in Slovakia, including around 3,000 algae and blue-green algae, 3,700 fungi, 1,500 lichens, 900 mosses and 4,000 vascular plants. According to the last forest inventory (2004–2007), the proportion of forest on the surface is 44.3% of the national area.
The prevailing climate divides the country into several levels of vegetation . Most of the lowlands have been landscaped , with only a few remains of the original forests. Alluvial forest ( willows , poplars ) has declined sharply, the best examples can be found along the Danube. Up to a height of about 550 m (lowlands, lower mountains), oaks and hornbeams are predominantly found, in the Záhorie the Swiss stone pine can also be found. Next up in 1100-1250 m (highlands) up Book and fir , while spruce up to the tree line can be found (1450-1700 m), in the Tatra also comes pineal ago. The Krummholz stage is located above the tree line, while the pure alpine stage is limited to the highest peaks of the Tatra Mountains. Overall, the forests consist of 60% deciduous forest and 40% coniferous forest, the most common beeches (with a share of more than 33%), spruce and oak.
Due to geological conditions, many karst caves and a smaller number of caves of other than karst origin (e.g. andesite , basalt , granite , slate ) have formed in Slovakia . Most of the karst caves were formed in Mesozoic limestones of the Middle Triassic , less in travertines or occasionally less soluble rocks. Including short transition caves, more than 7,100 caves are known in Slovakia and new ones are constantly being discovered. Most of them can be found in the Slovak Karst, the Muránska planina, the Great Fatra and all parts of the Tatra Mountains.
About 20 caves are operated as show caves , 13 of them by the Slovak State Cave Administration ( Slovenská správa jaskýň , abbreviated SSJ). These include five caves that are listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage “Caves of the Aggtelek and Slovak Karst”: Domica , Jasovská jaskyňa , Gombasecká jaskyňa , Ochtinská aragonitová jaskyňa and Dobšinská ľadová jaskyňa . In the Demänová cave system, the Demänovská jaskyňa Slobody and the Demänovská ľadová jaskyňa are open to the public. The other caves operated by the SSJ are the Belianska jaskyňa , the Brestovská jaskyňa , the Bystrianska jaskyňa , Driny , the Harmanecká jaskyňa and the Važecká jaskyňa . Other show caves outside the SSJ network include Bojnická hradná jaskyňa in Bojnice, Jaskyňa mŕtvych netopierov in the Low Tatras, Krásnohorská jaskyňa in the Slovak Karst and Zlá diera in the Bachureň Mountains.
The three longest caves include the Demänová cave system in the Low Tatras (41 kilometers), Mesačný tieň in the High Tatras (32 kilometers) and Stratenská diera in the Slovak Paradise (22 kilometers). The deepest caves are Hipmanove Jaskyne in the Low Tatras (495 meters), Mesačný tieň (451 meters) and Javorinka (374 meters) in the High Tatras.
Slovakia lies in the continental temperate zone, with the influence of the oceanic climate ( Gulf Stream ) decreasing towards the east. However, there are regional differences, mainly between the mountainous north and the southern lowlands. These regional conditions are shown below. The stated temperature and precipitation values refer to the period 1961 to 1990.
The warmest and driest areas are in the south. Typical here are the Danube lowlands , East Slovak lowlands and lower valleys and basins. The average annual temperature reaches 9 ° C to 11 ° C, in January the average is between −2 ° C and −1 ° C, in July between 18 ° C and 21 ° C. In addition, the temperature values in the west are around 1 ° C higher than in the east. The annual rainfall is also the lowest, from around 500 mm in Senec and Galanta to 550 mm in the eastern Slovak lowlands. This region is represented by the measuring stations Bratislava , Hurbanovo and Košice , while the measuring station Kamenica nad Cirochou represents a transition.
The moderately warm climatic area includes the inner-Carpathian valley basins and the lower mountains, whereby the average temperature generally drops by around 0.6 ° C per 100 meters of altitude and precipitation increases by around 50–60 mm. In the river valleys of the Waag , Nitra or Hron that adjoin the lowlands , the annual temperature fluctuates between 6 ° C and 8 ° C, in the highest basins ( Popradská kotlina , Oravská kotlina ) it drops below 6 ° C. Around 1000 meters altitude, the annual temperature reaches values of 4 ° C to 5 ° C. In the valley basins, the average temperature in January reaches values between −5 ° C and −3 ° C, in July between 14 ° C and 16 ° C. There is annual precipitation of 700–800 mm, in parts of the Zips in the rain shadow of the mountains only about 600 mm. There are measuring stations in Sliač , Poprad and Oravská Lesná .
The entire Tatras, the upper parts of the Low Tatras and the highest mountains of the Little and Great Tatras, the Slovak Beskids and the Slovak Ore Mountains are cold. The climate is characterized by the lowest annual temperatures: around 2000 meters above sea level, the annual average is −1 ° C, in the highest peaks of the Tatra Mountains it is −3 ° C. For January the average values in the Tatras are around –10 ° C, in July the average is around 3 ° C. The annual precipitation varies from about 1400 mm in the Little and Big Fatra and the Low Tatras to more than 2000 mm in the Tatras. The measuring station for this climate is located at the summit of Lomnický štít (2634 m).
In general, precipitation is concentrated in summer (June to August) with around 40% of the annual values, in spring it falls around 25%, in autumn around 20%, while the remainder of 15% falls in winter. The highest precipitation ever recorded on a day in Salka was a total of 231.9 mm on July 12, 1957. In summer there is often stormy weather, with daily precipitation reaching 100 mm somewhere almost every year. In the mountains as well as in mountain valleys and basins there is stormy weather on average for 30–35 days per year , while this value is lower in the lowlands. Winter storms are rare in Slovakia. Depending on the altitude, it can snow heavily in winter : In the Tatras the peaks can be covered with snow for more than 200 days per year, in the shaded valleys snowfields can sometimes remain all year round. The snow cover falls from 80–120 days in the mountains over 60–80 days in basins up to 40 days in southern Slovakia. Fog occurs particularly in autumn and winter, especially in valley basins, while temperature inversions can occur at higher altitudes in winter .
Environment and nature protection
Nature conservation has a tradition of more than a hundred years in Slovakia, some decisions and regulations on this go back to the Middle Ages. The formalities for nature protection are generally regulated in the Slovak constitution and by the specific “Law for the Protection of Nature and Landscape” (zákon o ochrane prírody a krajiny) . Slovakia was among the first countries in the world to adopt such a legal norm (1955). The Tatra National Park was established by law a few years earlier . The UN biodiversity convention has also been incorporated into the “Law for the Protection of Nature and Landscape” .
From the point of view of nature conservation, Slovakia is divided into five levels of protection, the first level being the lowest and the fifth level being the highest. The national parks (národné parky) and the protected landscape components (chránené krajiné oblasti) represent "large-scale protected areas" (veľkoplošné chránené územia) .
Slovakia has 23 large-scale protected areas as well as hundreds of small-scale protected areas. The first category includes nine national parks . The oldest and largest is the Tatra National Park with 73,800 ha, other important national parks Low Tatras National Park (72,842 ha), Poloniny National Park (29,805 ha), Malá Fatra National Park (22,630 ha) and Slovak Paradise National Park (19,763 ha). In addition, there are 14 landscape protection areas which, in addition to mountains, also place three lowland areas under protection. There are also 1101 small-scale protected areas, 642 protected areas of European importance and 41 bird protection areas.
Around 5.46 million people live in the country (as of 2019). The population development has had a rather stagnant course since independence. Life expectancy in the period from 2015 to 2020 was 77.3 years (men: 73.7 years, women: 80.8 years), the average age 41.2 years (as of 2020), with an increasing aging of the population being observed.
Distribution according to nationality and citizenship
The census in Slovakia is between the " nationality " (slowak. Narodnost ) in the sense of ethnic ethnicity and " citizenship " (slovak. Štátne občianstvo ) distinguished. The information on ethnic nationality is based on the self-classification of the population and includes all persons with permanent residence on Slovak territory. The ethnic structure is likely to differ from the results. This applies in particular to the proportion of Roma, which is estimated to be much higher than in official statistics. The so-called “Atlas of Roma communities”, born in 2013, gives an estimate of 402,840 Roma (around 7.5%), Amnesty International estimates the number at 300,000 to 600,000, which corresponds to 5 to 10% of the population. The last census in 2011 in particular showed gross inaccuracies. The Slovak Roma expert Martin Šuvada (2015) estimates the total number of Slovak Roma in his study at 450,000 people. It is clear that the number of Roma will continue to rise due to the high birth rate and that the value will have to be revised upwards in the future. The Roma are the only nationality in Slovakia, the majority of which does not admit to their ethnicity in censuses.
The "Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic" ( Štatistický úrad Slovenskej republiky , ŠU SR) made the following information for the 5,443,100 inhabitants in 2017 (seven main countries):
|citizenship||Proportion of (%)||number|
At the same time, the statistical office reported the following on the ethnic composition: Slovaks (81.5%), Magyars (8.3%), Roma (2%), Czechs (0.7%), Russians (0.6%), Ukrainians (0.2%), Germans (0.1%), Poles (0.1%) and others including those without information (6.4%).
|Slovak population by nationality|
|2011 census||2001 census||1991 census|
|Croatian||1,022||0.0||890||0.0||n / A||n / A|
|Serbian||689||0.0||434||0.0||n / A||n / A|
Like Israel and some other Eastern European and Asian states, Slovakia is described as an ethnic democracy with a “constitutional nationalism” in which “the dominance of an ethnic group is institutionalized”. The preamble to the Slovak constitution expresses the ethnonational ideological basis of the Slovak Republic:
“We, the Slovak people, in memory of the political and cultural heritage of our ancestors and the centuries of experience from the struggles for national existence and our own statehood, in the sense of the spiritual heritage of Cyrillios and Methodius and the historical legacy of the Great Moravian Empire , proceeding from the natural right of the peoples to self-determination, together with the members of the national minorities and ethnic groups living in the territory of the Slovak Republic, in the interest of a lasting peaceful cooperation with the other democratic states, in the endeavor to establish a democratic form of government, guarantees for a We, the citizens of the Slovak Republic, resolve this constitution through our representatives to enforce free life, the development of intellectual culture and economic prosperity: […]. "
With this preamble, the Slovak people are defined as a state people. Thus, the preamble does not emphasize sovereignty based on the citizens, but based on the Slovak nation. The Slovak constitution prohibits any discrimination against minorities and guarantees them the right to organize and the possibility of cultural self-determination, but at the same time it functions as an instrument to establish the absolute rule of the majority. The rights of minorities "must not jeopardize the sovereignty or territorial integrity of Slovakia or cause discrimination against the rest of the population". According to Robert J. Kaiser in 2014, the Slovak constitution of 1992 clearly signals that “Slovakia for the Slovaks” is the basis on which the nation-state will be constructed.
According to Art. 6 of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic, Slovak is the state language and, together with Kashubian , Polish , Sorbian and Czech, belongs to the West Slavic branch of the Slavic languages . Slovak is a heavily inflected language with six grammatical cases and is divided into three major dialect groups: West Slovak, Central Slovak and East Slovak . The orthography is based on the Latin alphabet and contains a total of 46 letters, 17 of which have diacritical marks and three are digraphs . Today's written language is based on Middle-Slovak dialects and was codified by Ľudovít Štúr in 1846. When Slovakia joined the EU on May 1, 2004, Slovak also became one of the official languages of the European Union.
Hungarian is widespread in southern Slovakia, while Russian can be found mainly in northeastern Slovakia in the area of the Lower Beskids. Romani is often spoken in Roma communities; German as an autochthonous language has almost disappeared since 1945, apart from smaller linguistic islands. Because they live together in Czechoslovakia and have linguistic similarities, Slovaks can usually understand Czech without any problems. Even after the separation, a high standard is guaranteed mainly by Czech-language television, even if the younger generation can have difficulties communicating. According to a representative survey by the Eurobarometer in 2012, 26% of Slovaks have sufficient English skills to have a conversation, followed by German with 22% and Russian with 17%. English, German, Italian, French, Spanish and Russian are offered in primary schools, with the first foreign language being introduced as a compulsory subject in the third grade. If the first foreign language is not English, this becomes a compulsory subject for the second foreign language from the seventh grade onwards.
According to the law, localities with a minority are those localities in which a non-Slovak population group reached at least 20% of the total population in two or more censuses. In these places, the minority language is used as the second official language, and inscriptions on public buildings are also bilingual. For example, in the central Slovak municipalities of Krahule (German Blaufuss ) and Kunešov (Kuneschhau), German is the second official language. In 2011, against the will of the opposition parties, a law was passed that reduces the percentage to 15%. In addition to German, the languages in question are Hungarian , Czech , Bulgarian , Croatian , Polish , Romani , Ruthenian and Ukrainian .
|Slovak population by language according to 2011 census|
|according to mother tongue||according to house language||according to lingua franca|
Slovakia is a country with a long Christian tradition. The most important denomination is the Roman Catholic Church , to which 62% of the population professed in 2011. The center of the Lutheran Christians are the western border areas with the Czech Republic and above all central Slovakia ; the Reformed population is concentrated in the Hungarian-speaking area in the south. In the north-east of the country there are Greek Catholic believers, mainly members of the Ruthenian minority. The Orthodox Church has 49,000 members. There are also several small Protestant denominations ( Methodists , Baptists , Brethren and Pentecostals ). There are also Jehovah's Witnesses , Seventh-day Adventists, and others.
In 1938 there were around 120,000 Jews in Slovakia , but as a result of the Holocaust and emigration during communism, their number has fallen to around 2,300. The official number of Muslims in Slovakia is not known as Islam was not a separate category in the 2011 census. The number has increased due to migration in recent years. Besides Estonia, Slovakia is the only country within the European Union that does not have a mosque. A tightening of the religious law of 2016 set the minimum number of members of a newly registered religious community to 50,000, which made it almost impossible to recognize Muslims. According to the spokesman for the Islamic Center in Bratislava, Ibrahim Mahmoud, there are currently around 5,000 Muslims living in the Slovak Republic, but they belong to different directions and do not feel represented by anyone.
According to a representative survey by the Eurobarometer , 63% of people in Slovakia believed in God in 2010 , and another 23% only partially believed in a spiritual force . 13% of the respondents believed neither in a god nor in any other spiritual force, 1% of the Slovaks were undecided.
|Population of Slovakia by religion|
|2011 census||2001 census||1991 census|
|Roman Catholic Church||3,347,277||62.0||3,708,120||68.9||3,187,120||60.4|
|Evangelical Church AB||316.250||5.9||372.858||6.9||326.397||6.2|
|Greek Catholic Church||206,871||3.8||219.831||4.1||178,733||3.4|
|Kresťanské zbory (Christian communities in Slovakia)||7,720||0.1||6,519||0.1||700||0.0|
|Fraternal unity of the Baptists||3,486||0.1||3,562||0.1||2,465||0.0|
|Czechoslovak Hussite Church||1,782||0.0||1,696||0.0||625||0.0|
|Old Catholic Church||1,687||0.0||1,733||0.0||882||0.0|
|Bahaitum||1,065||0.0||n / A||n / A||n / A||n / A|
|Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints||972||0.0||58||0.0||91||0.0|
|New Apostolic Church||166||0.0||22nd||0.0||188||0.0|
Slovakia is not one of the traditional destination countries for migrants and, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is a “culturally homogeneous country” that was not affected by the dramatic increase in migration in the 20th century. Until recently, Slovakia was almost exclusively affected by emigration , whose citizens left the country for various reasons. At the beginning of the 20th century, Slovakia was one of the most emigrated areas in the world. Even before the First World War , around 600,000 Slovaks emigrated to the USA alone, and in the interwar period, around 200,000 more residents were added, who left the country primarily for economic reasons. After the Communists came to power in 1948, many residents emigrated, mainly for political reasons. Estimates assume around 440,000 emigrants from all over Czechoslovakia for the period from 1948 to 1989. The mass emigration had many negative consequences for the country: a decrease in the number of young people, in some cases the emigration of many particularly educated residents.
This changed with the accession of Slovakia to the European Union and the Schengen area. Since then, the number of illegal migrants has fallen, while the number of legal migrants tripled. Although Slovakia recorded the second highest increase of all EU countries in the number of its foreign share of the population between 2004 and 2008, the share of foreigners in the population remains at a low level. In 2015, the proportion of foreigners in the total Slovak population was 1.56%, making Slovakia the sixth lowest of all EU countries. Of these, 42% come from the neighboring countries of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Austria and the Ukraine. The next largest group among foreign citizens in Slovakia are people with Southeast European and Russian citizenship (20.5%). A total of 8% of foreigners in Slovakia are of Asian origin. Of the total number of 58,321 asylum applications filed since 1993, 653 people were granted asylum and 672 people were granted subsidiary protection as a further form of international protection. In 2015, 330 asylum applications were made in Slovakia, of which a total of 8 were granted asylum.
Primeval times to antiquity
The area of today's Slovakia was already settled by humans before the last Ice Age. Numerous finds of objects of the Gravettian culture of the middle Upper Palaeolithic indicate a settlement at this time, especially in western Slovakia up to today's city of Žilina as well as in eastern Slovakia. Two important finds from prehistoric times are the travertine filling of the skull of a Neanderthal man near Gánovce from the last interglacial period (estimated age 100,000 years) and the Venus figurine from Moravany (estimated age 22,800 years).
The first agricultural settlements appeared around 5000 BC. BC, with numerous finds especially in western and south-eastern Slovakia. These include the linear ceramic culture (including the Želiezovce culture), the Bükker culture , the Lusatian culture and the Puchau culture . According to finds, there were large settlements near Spišský Štvrtok ( Myšia hôrka site ) and Nitriansky Hrádok (near Šurany ). The first people mentioned in writing in this area were the Celts , who began in the 5th century BC. A significant ethnic group of Europe and from the 4th century BC. BC also populated today's Slovakia. With the Celts there was a far-reaching development in the processing of iron, clay, wool and linen. Weapons in particular are among the most common Celtic finds. In the 1st century AD, the Celts were replaced by the Germanic Quads . The area of today's Slovakia was the scene of several Roman-Quadi Wars , of which the Roman inscription in today's Trenčín (then Laugaricio ) testifies. The Roman presence was limited otherwise on the Danube limes , with bearings in Gerulata (now Rusovce ) and Celemantia (now Iža ). Around 200 the Vandals settled in parts of eastern Slovakia.
From the end of the 4th century to the first half of the 5th century, the territory of Slovakia was part of the Kingdom of the Huns . After the end of the Huns, the Ostrogoths came to what is now Slovakia in 469 , but then moved further west. Next, the East Germanic Gepids settled in the Carpathian Basin . At the turn of the 5th and 6th centuries AD, the Lombards reached what is now Slovakia, but moved to northern Italy in 568.
Early Middle Ages (500 to 1000)
The Slavic ancestors of the Slovaks reached the area of today's Slovakia at the end of the 5th century and became the dominant ethnic group there in the course of the 6th century. Their first political entity was possibly the empire of Samo , which emerged in the 7th century, and in the 8th century they were under the rule of the Avars . At the beginning of the 9th century, one of the centers of the early medieval Moravian Empire emerged in the city of Nitra . Prince Pribina , who resided in Nitra - either ruler of an independent principality of Nitra or a Moravian local ruler - had the first Christian church in the area of today's Slovakia consecrated there around the year 828, but was inaugurated around 833 by the Moravian Prince Mojmir I (around 830– 846) exiled.
The Moravian Empire, which was the first significant Slavic state, played and still plays a prominent role in the Slovak national identity. Under the Moravian Prince Rastislav (846–870), the Moravians rebelled successfully against the East Frankish domination several times , and the Byzantine priests Cyril and Methodius introduced the Slavic written language they had created in Moravia as the liturgical language. Rastislav's successor Svatopluk I (871-894) continued his independence policy and created a large Slavic empire through the annexation of Wislania , Bohemia and possibly Lusatia , Silesia and Pannonia , which he successfully defended against the attacks of the Eastern Franks , Bulgarians and Magyars . After Svatopluk I's death in 894, the Moravian Empire - internally weakened by a civil war between his sons - went under in the first decade of the 10th century after several attacks by the Magyars, and the Magyars defeated a Bavarian army in the Battle of Pressburg . In the course of the 10th century, especially after the Magyar defeat on the Lechfeld in 955, the area of today's Slovakia gradually came under the rule of the newly emerging Hungarian state .
Upper Hungarian era (1000 to 1918)
In the year 1000 the Hungarian King Stephen I founded the multi-ethnic Kingdom of Hungary , in which the territory of Slovakia, however, formed an independent administrative unit as a feudal duchy until 1108. After that, the territory of Slovakia was fully integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary for more than 800 years. In 1075 the monastery in Hronský Beňadik was founded in the course of Christianization , and around 1110 the diocese of Nitra was re-established. The Mongol storms in 1241 and 1242 depopulated large parts of the national territory, whereupon German settlers (see Carpathian Germans ) were brought into the country for resettlement. These favored the heyday of Upper Hungarian mining in the 13th and 14th centuries, which gained European and world-wide importance. Another consequence was the construction of numerous castles. In the 14th century the first Wallachians came to Slovakia to colonize the country's plateaus. She was gradually Slovakized and Catholicized. At the same time, the Jews also came . After the Árpáden died out , there was a feudal anarchy with several oligarchs (e.g. Mattäus Csák ), which was ended after 20 years by Charles I from the Anjou family . In the course of the Hussite Wars between 1428 and 1433 large parts of the country were heavily devastated. In 1465 the first university on Slovak territory was founded in Pressburg (now Bratislava) on behalf of the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus . However, it was closed after his death in 1490.
After the defeat of the Hungarian army by the Turks in 1526, Hungary became part of the Habsburg monarchy . After the Turks had conquered most of Hungary up to today's Slovakia, today's Slovak capital Bratislava became the capital of Hungary and the coronation city of the Hungarian kings (until 1783 or 1830) and the city of Tyrnau became the center of the Hungarian church. Today's eastern Slovakia was temporarily under the rule of the Turkish vassal Transylvania and parts of southern central Slovakia around Fiľakovo were ruled directly by the Ottoman Empire . After that, the country suffered from almost constant Turkish wars ; in the 17th century Upper Hungary (Slovakia) was the center of the anti-Habsburg Kuruc uprisings . The Reformation in Hungary that has been going on since 1521 was counteracted in the 17th century by the Counter Reformation . After the Second Turkish Siege of Vienna and the Battle of Kahlenberg in 1683, the Ottomans were gradually ousted, while the class revolts only came to an end with the Peace of Sathmar (1711).
In the 18th century the area of today's Slovakia was the economic center of the Kingdom of Hungary. With the ongoing reconstruction of the country, Slovakia lost its supremacy in the kingdom when the University of Tyrnau , capital and seat of the Archbishop of Gran, was moved to Buda and Esztergom . The national rebirth of the Slovaks began at the end of the 18th century . The Catholic priest Anton Bernolák created the first written Slovak language in 1787, but it did not catch on. Since the beginning of the 19th century, the Slovak national movement under Ján Kollár and Pavel Jozef Šafárik pursued intensive cooperation with the Czech national movement active in the Austrian part of the monarchy. In 1846 Ľudovít Štúr published the Slovak written language, which is still valid today . Under Štúr's leadership, armed Slovak volunteer organizations fought alongside Croats, Serbs and Romanians during the Hungarian Revolution of 1848/1849 for the separation of their territories from the Magyar-dominated Kingdom of Hungary, but this failed. After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise in 1867 , there was a repressive Magyarization policy , which threatened the national existence of the Slovaks. Except for a narrow strip of north-east Slovakia in the winter battles of 1914/15, the country was spared the direct effects of the First World War .
Interwar Period and the Slovak State (1918 to 1945)
After the First World War , Slovaks and Czechs founded their joint state, Czechoslovakia , in 1918 , and Milan Rastislav Štefánik is revered by the Slovaks as one of its founding fathers . With the Treaty of Trianon , Slovakia was finally separated from Hungary after 1000 years. In the constitution of Czechoslovakia of February 29, 1920, among other things, the general active and passive right to vote for women was introduced, which also applies in today's Slovakia. Until 1938, Czechoslovakia was the only state in Eastern Europe to enable the Slovaks to develop democratically and to protect themselves from Hungarian revisionism , but tensions between Slovaks and Czechs increased because of the state doctrine of Czechoslovakism and the centralism of the government in Prague. The nationalist-clerical Ludaks, led by the Catholic priest Andrej Hlinka, developed into the most important mouthpiece for the Slovak demands for autonomy within the Czechoslovak state.
In September 1938, Czechoslovakia was targeted by the National Socialist Third Reich and, as a result of the Munich Agreement and the First Vienna Arbitration, lost large parts of its territory. In March 1939, the rest of the state, which had meanwhile been renamed Czecho-Slovakia , was smashed when Slovak politicians declared an independent Slovak state after German threats of a Hungarian occupation of Slovakia . This first Slovak nation-state was a one-party dictatorship of the Ludaks under President Jozef Tiso and Prime Minister Vojtech Tuka , with Tuka in particular advocating unconditional collaboration with the Third Reich. Slovakia participated in the invasion of Poland in 1939 and, from 1941, in the war against the Soviet Union . In addition, anti-Semitic laws were passed and in 1942 two thirds of Slovak Jews were deported to German extermination camps. The Slovak National Uprising, directed by parts of the Slovak army against the invasion of the Wehrmacht and the Ludaken regime in August 1944 , was put down after two months. Slovakia was occupied by the Red Army in April 1945 and after the Second World War it was part of the newly founded Czechoslovakia.
In the re-established Czechoslovakia (1945 to 1992)
In 1948 the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) took power in the state. A Stalinist dictatorship followed under the party leaders Klement Gottwald and Antonín Novotný . In the 1960s, the Slovak part of the country was liberalized after Alexander Dubček became First Secretary of the Slovak Communists in 1963 . When Dubček also rose to become party leader of the entire KSČ at the beginning of 1968, the so-called Prague Spring occurred , which was however crushed by the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops (with the exception of Albania, the GDR and Romania). Under Dubček's successor Gustáv Husák , the so-called normalization followed , in which the country was reoriented in a pro-Soviet direction. The only point of Dubček's reform program was the federalization of the state, so that now a Slovak Socialist Republic and a Czech Socialist Republic formed Czechoslovakia.
In November 1989, the Velvet Revolution brought about the bloodless overthrow of the communist regime, the new Czechoslovakian president was the dissident Václav Havel , the former reform communist Alexander Dubček was elected parliamentary president. After the democratic turnaround, tensions between the Slovaks and the Czechs quickly returned. The first conflict became the dispute over the new state name, known as the dash war . After the first free elections in June 1990, the different interests in economic, national and foreign policy issues became clear. The final break came after the 1992 elections. The Slovak Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar and the Czech Prime Minister Václav Klaus could not agree on a joint federal government and agreed on the amicable dissolution of Czechoslovakia and its division into two independent states on New Year's Eve on January 1, 1993 took place peacefully.
Slovak Republic (since 1993)
After independence, Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar dominated Slovak politics until 1998 , who ruled increasingly authoritarian , especially after his victory in the National Council election in 1994 . In terms of economic policy, Mečiar refused to completely open up the domestic economy, as was demanded by the West, and did not favor foreign companies in privatization, but primarily Slovak companies, mostly related to his party. In terms of foreign policy, Mečiar tried to lead Slovakia into the EU and NATO , but at the same time he wanted to maintain a balance between Russia and the West in terms of foreign policy orientation . However, since its domestic and economic policy repeatedly violated Western guidelines, Slovakia increasingly moved closer to Russia and became isolated from the West.
The government under Mikuláš Dzurinda , which came to power after the National Council elections in 1998 , initiated an extensive opening of the Slovak economy to foreign investors and began with large-scale austerity measures in the public sector. Foreign policy was now exclusively geared towards the USA and the EU , but joining NATO and the European Union did not take place until 2004, after Dzurinda was able to prevail again in the 2002 election . In his second term in office, Dzurinda implemented a strongly neoliberal policy in Slovakia, under which Slovakia was the first country to introduce a flat tax of 19%. The Dzurinda government was praised as a reform government in western countries, but met with growing discontent among the Slovak population because of its social cuts.
In the National Council election in 2006 , the left-wing populist Smer-SD of Robert Fico won , which initially faced strong criticism from the West after a coalition agreement with the nationalists and the Mečiar party . Under the Fico government, Slovakia joined the Schengen Agreement in 2007 , and the euro was introduced on January 1, 2009. Foreign policy was again oriented more towards Russia, but continued to emphasize membership of the EU and NATO. The neoliberal economic policy of the Dzurinda era was ended by the Fico government and workers rights were expanded, but the flat tax was retained for the time being. From 2010 to 2011 there was another short-term, economically liberal government under Prime Minister Iveta Radičová , who wanted to tie in with the policies of the Dzurinda government. The governing coalition broke up prematurely in 2011 because of the disagreement between the governing parties on the EU bailout fund .
In the 2012 National Council election , Robert Fico's Smer-SD won an absolute majority of the votes and was thus able to form the first sole government in Slovakia since 1989. The flat tax, which was retained during the first Fico government, has now been abolished as part of a reorganization of the 2013 state budget and corporate taxes and taxes for top earners have been increased. The budget deficit was reduced from 4.3% to 3% between 2013 and 2014, which means that Slovakia again met the Maastricht criteria . In foreign policy, the second Fico government supported the common EU position towards Russia during the Crimean crisis and the war in Ukraine since 2014 , but at the same time sharply criticized the economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU. During the refugee crisis in Europe in 2015 , the Slovak government, like the governments of other former Eastern Bloc countries , declared that it preferred Christian refugees and strictly opposed an EU quota system for the redistribution of refugees from Greece and Italy as well as a permanent, mandatory distribution key to all EU countries.
After the National Council election in 2016 , Ficos Smer-SD lost its previous absolute majority significantly and formed a broad left-right coalition . On March 14, 2018, Robert Fico resigned as a result of the scandal surrounding the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and subsequent protests. His successor was party colleague Peter Pellegrini . In the 2019 presidential election , the liberal candidate Zuzana Čaputová won the runoff against the Smer SD candidate Maroš Šefčovič and has been Slovakia’s first female president since June 15, 2019. After an election campaign focused on the issues of corruption and the murder of Kuciak, the Smer-SD lost the 2020 National Council elections . The strongest force has now become the OĽaNO , which also provides the prime minister. The Matovič government took office amid the COVID-19 pandemic on March 21, 2020.
According to the 1992 Constitution, Slovakia is a republic that is a parliamentary democracy. The head of state is the president, who is elected for a five-year term. He shares his power with parliament. The executive power in the country is exercised by the government of the Slovak Republic headed by the head of the government (prime minister).
The government consists of the Prime Minister (Slovakian predseda vlády ), his deputies and ministers. The government appointed by the President must submit its political program to Parliament within 30 days of its appointment and seek the confidence of the House. In addition, it can ask the National Council at any time to express its confidence in it and, in principle, combine every vote with a vote of confidence. For its part, parliament can at any time deny confidence in the government or one of its members. This requires an absolute majority of all MPs, but the government's vote of confidence is decided by a simple majority. The loss of parliamentary confidence inevitably results in the President's removal from office.
|President||Zuzana Čaputová||independently||In office since 2019, first woman to hold office as President|
|Prime Minister||Igor Matovič||OĽaNO||In office since 2020|
|President of Parliament||Boris Kollár||Sme rodina||In office since 2020|
Under the third Mečiar government (1994–1998) Slovakia was also characterized as an illiberal democracy , but under the Dzurinda government (1998–2006) it broke away from this consolidation towards the rule of law. In the 2019 Democracy Index, Slovakia ranks 42nd out of 167 countries, making it an "incomplete democracy".
Parliament and party landscape
|Political party||Alignment||Chair||Share of the vote||position|
Obyčajní ľudia a nezávislé osobnosti (OĽaNO)
Ordinary people and independent people
Protest party ,
economically liberal conservatives
Smer - sociálna demokracia (Smer-SD)
direction - social democracy
Left-wing populists ,
Sme rodina (SR)
We are family
Protest party ,
Kotlebovci - Ľudová strana Naše Slovensko (ĽSNS)
Kotlebians - People's Party Our Slovakia
Sloboda a Solidarita (SaS)
freedom and solidarity
For the people
Christian Democrats ,
The Parliament of Slovakia is the National Council of the Slovak Republic , which exercises the legislature as a unicameral parliament with a total of 150 members and is re-elected every four years. Election is open to all persons who are on election day at least 18 years old and it can also outside their own polling station with a ballot paper (hlasovací Preukaz) are matched.
In and immediately after the fall of the Wall in November 1989, numerous parties and political movements were founded, but they did not fit into a stable party system. Internal conflicts and splits led to the formation of new parties. In the meantime (as of 2010) there are over 100 political parties in Slovakia, which, according to the political scientist Rüdiger Kipke, seems far from a consolidation of the party system.
Since its independence in 1993, Slovakia has been divided into two large main political blocks: The first camp with an eastern orientation in foreign policy is described as "left-wing populist" or "social-national". In the 1990s the camp was dominated by the HZDS and since the mid-2000s by the Smer-SD . In addition, the SNS and the rather marginal communist party KSS are added to the camp. The second camp, with a more western orientation in foreign policy, is described as the “center-right” and historically comprised the parties SDKÚ and KDH in particular ; Today the parties SaS , OĽaNO , Progresívne Slovensko , Spolu and Za ľudí also belong to this camp . In recent years, the popularity of far-right and populist parties, especially ĽSNS and Sme rodina, has also increased .
An essential line of conflict within society with a corresponding influence on the party system and voting decisions is initially that between "Westerners" and national traditionalists. This manifests the deeply rooted contradiction between the supporters of a secular-liberal order of western character (for example, earlier SDKÚ-DS ) and the defenders of the historically formed community (e.g. formerly HZDS ). The socio-economic dividing line, the contrast between liberal market economists (SDKÚ-DS) and state interventionists (e.g. Smer-SD ) is also important. Finally, there is the national-ethnic dividing line, the contrast between Slovaks (e.g. SNS ) and Hungarians (e.g. Most – Híd ).
In the National Council election on February 29, 2020 , the conservative protest party OĽaNO (25.0%) led by Igor Matovič was the strongest party with 53 seats, an increase of 14 percentage points compared to the 2016 election . The leftist Smer-SD of Robert Fico fell from 28.3% to 18.3% (38 seats) back and missed the first time since the 2006 election victory. The populist protest party Sme rodina (8.2%) of Boris Kollár posted slight gains over the last election, while supporting the ultra-nationalist-extremist LSNS (8.0%) remained almost the same, but won as Sme Rodina 17 seats in the National Council. The neoliberal SaS (6.2%, 13 seats), which clearly distinguishes itself from Fico , was able to make it into the National Council, as did the centrist Za ľudí party of ex-President Andrej Kiska with 5.8% and 12 seats. The liberal coalition PS - Spolu (6.96%) narrowly failed because of the 7% threshold for coalitions. The Catholic-conservative KDH remained outside parliament with 4.7% for the second time in a row since the 1990 elections, while the national-conservative SNS lost all 15 seats in parliament with only 3.2%. For the first time since the 1990 elections, no minority party is represented in parliament, as both the Hungarian SMK-MKP (3.9%) and the Slovak-Hungarian party Most-Híd (2.1%) have a 5% threshold failed.
Today's Slovakia has been divided into eight “ Kraje ” (regional associations / regions) since 1996 , each with a regional capital. At the same time, since 2001, after a slight decentralization reform, the Krajs have had a small amount of autonomy in the design of certain areas (e.g. secondary schools, health care and infrastructure). Each Kraj has a state capital and a state chairman who is elected every four years. These self-governing landscape associations are territorially identical to the state landscape associations.
population / km²
|Banskobystrický kraj||Banská Bystrica||9,454||645.276||68|
As a sub-unit of the Krajs, 79 okresy were formed at the same time (comparable to political districts in Austria or (rural) districts in Germany), with Bratislava being divided into five and Košice into four okresy. In the beginning, district authorities (okresné úrady) were responsible for these . From 2004 to 2013, the Okresy were administratively insignificant, but had been kept for statistical purposes and for issuing license plates . For the state administration there were 50 areas, which usually comprised several districts and were administered by the district authorities. In 2007, landscape association authorities for general administration were also abolished and replaced by so-called district authorities in the state capital, which had their area of competence throughout the Kraj.
In a major administrative reform that amalgamated various area offices, 72 district authorities were reintroduced on October 1, 2013. These copy the Okresy with the exception of the urban districts of Bratislava and Košice, where there is only one district authority.
For their part, the okresy are made up of communities (obce) that have competencies primarily in the areas of education, culture, the environment, maintenance of local streets, squares and parks, and building permit procedures. Each municipality has a mayor and a municipal council, who are elected every four years in local elections. Municipalities can have city and municipality parts, but with the exception of Bratislava and Košice these have no administrative significance. There are a total of 2890 municipalities in Slovakia, 141 of which are designated cities. This number also includes the three military areas of Záhorie , Lešť and Valaškovce . The Javorina military area was abolished on January 1, 2011.
By far the largest city is the capital Bratislava with 437,725 inhabitants, the only other major city is Košice with 238,593 inhabitants. Towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants include Prešov (88,464 pop), Žilina (80,727 pop), Banská Bystrica (78,084 pop), Nitra (76,533 pop), Trnava (65,033 pop), Trenčín (55,383 pop). ), Martin (54,168 pop) and Poprad (51,235 pop) (all information as of December 31, 2019). From an administrative point of view, the distinction between town and municipality is meaningless, except in the case of Bratislava and Košice, however, mayors of the towns carry the official designation primátor , while for "ordinary" mayors this is starosta . Special laws regulate the position of Bratislava and Košice, which in addition to a city level also have district levels, each of which has its own district mayor and administration. The above competencies are shared between the city and the districts.
History of the administrative division
The administrative structure of Slovakia has been subject to intense change, especially since the establishment of the first Czechoslovak Republic. As part of the Kingdom of Hungary, the area of Slovakia was integrated into the county system, in which counties formed the highest administrative unit. The number of these units in Slovakia was 17 up to the 13th century, 21 from the 13th century to 1882 and 20 thereafter (see also the list of historical counties of Hungary ). The historical counties in Slovakia were as follows (status after 1882, names German / Hungarian / Slovak):
There was also a tiny part of Szabolcs County in south-eastern Slovakia.
Only in the years 1785–1790 and 1850–1860 were there districts as higher administrative units: in 1785, following reforms by Joseph II , the area of Slovakia was largely divided into three districts (Neutra, Neusohl and Kaschau) with smaller parts by three others (Raab, Pesth and Munkatsch). During the time of Bach absolutism in the Austrian Empire from 1850 to 1860, districts emerged again, with Slovakia mainly divided into two districts (Pressburg and Kaschau), with a small part in the district of Ödenburg. In both reforms, the number of counties fell to 16 and 18 respectively.
The newly created Czechoslovakia took over the existing county system as a provisional arrangement. After some changes, the number of counties was reduced to 16. In 1923, so-called Großgaue (veľžupy) (officially only župy ) and Okresy were introduced. There were six Großgaue (Bratislava, Nitra, Považie, Zvolen, Untertatra and Košice) with 79 okresy as well as a tiny part of the seventh Großgau (Uschhorod, near Lekárovce ). After the abolition of the Großgaue in 1928, Slovakia was now part of Czechoslovakia, divided into 77 Okresy. In the Slovak state, the territory was divided into six districts (Bratislava, Nitra, Trenčín, Pohronie, Tatra and Šariš-Zemplín) with 60 Okresy between 1940 and 1945. In the restored Czechoslovakia, one year after the February coup of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Slovakia was divided into six regional associations (Bratislava, Nitra, Žilina, Banská Bystrica, Prešov and Košice) and 90 (when it was founded), most recently 91 Okresy.
Between 1960 and 1990, Slovakia consisted of only three major regional associations: Western Slovakia ( Západoslovenský kraj ), Central Slovakia ( Stredoslovenský kraj ) and Eastern Slovakia ( Východoslovenský kraj ). In addition, the city of Bratislava existed from 1968/1970 to 1990 in the rank of a landscape association. Initially there were 33 okresy, the number of which increased to 38 following an administrative reform in 1968. The 38 Okresy continued to exist until 1996, when the current administrative structure was introduced.
Slovakia has been part of the EU and NATO since 2004 . However, the foreign policy orientation of the country has been subject to strong fluctuations since its independence. The concept of a foreign policy based on a balance between Russia and the West and the concept of an emphatically pro-Western foreign policy stand in opposition. The former was represented by Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar during the 1990s and has been promoted again since 2006 by the multiple Prime Minister Robert Fico . The pronounced pro-Western foreign policy was pursued by the governments of Dzurinda (1998–2006) and Radičová (2010–2012), which also supported the military operations of NATO in the war in Kosovo , Afghanistan , Iraq and in Libya . The Fico government, on the other hand, demonstratively sided with Russia during the war in Georgia in 2008 and also rejects the missile shield propagated by the USA in Central Europe and the independence of Kosovo . In 2014, Prime Minister Fico declared against the background of the Crimean crisis that Slovakia rejects the "senseless" sanctions against Russia, as they caused Slovakia "considerable damage".
With regard to its neighbors, Slovakia has the best relationship with the former "brother" Czech Republic . In addition to the close economic relations, the mutual sympathy of the two nations, which had to suffer from national disputes in the early 1990s, has risen continuously since their independence in 1993 and is currently at a record high. Several joint TV shows will be broadcast, including the entertainment program Czech-Slovak Superstar , and a joint soccer and ice hockey league was also planned. Newly elected presidents and heads of government of the two countries traditionally make their first foreign visit to the capital of the other country - regardless of their political orientation.
Relations with our southern neighbor, Hungary , are the most difficult . Historically, they are heavily burdened by the fact that the Slovaks belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary for a thousand years, whose government tried to assimilate the non-Magyar peoples of Hungary through a repressive Magyarization policy in the 19th century , as well as the occupation of southern and eastern Slovakia by Hungarian troops before the Second World War (see First Vienna arbitration and the Slovak-Hungarian War ). The Hungarian army was also involved in the suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968 under the Warsaw Pact . Since the independence of Slovakia in 1993, the relationship between the two states has been characterized by chronic disputes over the Hungarian minority living in Slovakia , the Gabčíkovo hydropower plant and the Beneš decrees , which also affected the Hungarians living in what was then Czechoslovakia. Since Fico's second government took office , observers have been speaking of a clear improvement in relations between the Slovak government and the Hungarian government under Viktor Orbán , as both sides are now holding back on the minority issue.
In contrast, bilateral relations with Austria are not historically burdened. The only point of contention in the otherwise good conditions is the Bohunice nuclear power plant in Slovakia . Slovakia insists on adhering to nuclear power in its energy policy, while Austria insists on corresponding safety standards.
The relationship with neighboring Poland can be described as good and free from conflict. Slovakia generally has good relations with its eastern and largest neighbor Ukraine , however, as a result of the gas crisis in 2009 and the crisis in Ukraine in 2014 , differences arose between the Ukrainian government and the government in Bratislava, which was concerned about the gas supply to Slovakia.
With the onset of the refugee crisis in Europe in 2015, Slovakia was one of the countries that strictly opposed a distribution quota in the EU for incoming refugees. The Slovak government under Robert Fico sued in December 2015 against such a quota. Together with Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, Slovakia is part of the Visegrád Group , which primarily relies on isolation when it comes to the refugee issue. Slovakia particularly emphasizes that it will not accept any Muslim war refugees. The Ministry of the Interior in Bratislava declared at the beginning of 2016 that they would not feel at home in Slovakia either. In the Catholic dominated Slovakia only Christians are accepted. In 2015, only 169 people applied for political asylum in Slovakia; eight of them were granted asylum.
Police and military
The centralized “ Police Corps of the Slovak Republic ” (Slovak: Policajný zbor Slovenskej republiky ) is responsible for tasks in the field of internal public order and security as well as the fight against crime . The police are divided into criminal , financial, security, traffic, rail, border and immigration police as well as property protection and special services. In 2018 the workforce was around 22,500 civil servants. In addition, municipalities can set up their own municipal and city police forces ( obecná polícia or mestská polícia ) whose powers focus on traffic monitoring (administrative offenses), implementation of municipal ordinances and the maintenance of public order in the municipality. The Military Police (vojenská polícia) is part of the Slovak Armed Forces and is therefore under the Ministry of Defense.
As of December 31, 2018, Slovakia had 12,342 soldiers . In 2017, the Slovak Armed Forces had 30 main battle tanks, 313 armored personnel carriers, 67 pieces of artillery and 16 fighter jets. In 2017, Slovakia spent almost 1.2 percent of its economic output or 1.1 billion US dollars on its armed forces.
Slovakia has been a NATO member since 2004 . General conscription was lifted in peacetime in 2006, and since then citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 have been able to do voluntary military service. Women have been allowed to serve in the military since 2012. In 2017, the lack of a large number of hand-held anti-tank shells and 300,000 rounds of ammunition was noted.
Judiciary and prison system
Slovak law belongs to the Roman-Germanic legal system and is divided into public law and private law . According to Article 1 of the Constitution, the Slovak Republic sees itself as a constitutional state . The system of the judiciary consists of the constitutional court and general courts on three levels, with a two-level series of instances . The judicial system is based on Article 143 of the Constitution (for the Constitutional Court) and Law No. 757/2004 (for general courts).
The Constitutional Court ( Ústavný súd Slovenskej republiky in Slovak ) is responsible for constitutional issues and can override unconstitutional laws. The court is composed of 13 judges who are appointed by the President of the Republic for a period of 12 years on the proposal of the National Council. Its seat is in Košice.
The highest general court is the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (Slovak Najvyšší súd Slovenskej republiky ) in Bratislava. Below are the eight regional courts (Slovak Krajský súd ) with first instance in administrative matters and 54 district courts (Slovak Okresný súd ), which act as first instance in civil and criminal matters. Other constitutional bodies are the Public Prosecutor's Office (Slovak prokuratúra ), Ombudsman (Slovak verejný ochranca práv , unofficially ombudsman ) and the Supreme Control Authority of the Slovak Republic (Slovak Najvyšší kontrolný úrad Slovenskej republiky , abbreviation NKÚ ).
Since 2009 there has also been a special criminal court (Slovak : Špecializovaný trestný súd ) based in Pezinok as the successor to the Special Court (Slovak : Špeciálny súd ) established in 2004 for criminal cases in the area of corruption, bribery, organized crime and particularly serious financial and property crimes. Together with the original special court, the authority of the special prosecutor's office (Slovak Úrad špeciálnej prokuratúry ) was created. The formerly existing military courts (Slovak Sg. Vojenský súd ) were abolished on March 31, 2009 and their powers were transferred to general courts.
The Corps of the Prison and Justice Guards (Slovak Zbor väzenskej a justičnej stráže , abbreviation ZVJS) is responsible for the execution of prison sentences . The corps operates 18 prisons across Slovakia, the oldest being Leopoldov Prison . As of April 1, 2020, there were 10,543 prisoners in Slovak prisons, which corresponds to 195 inmates per 100,000 population.
The Slovak state organs suffer from a lack of public trust. According to a survey by the Standard Eurobarometer 92 from November 2019, only 23% of Slovak citizens trusted the judicial system, compared to 51% of citizens in the EU-28, making Slovakia one of the worst performers in the EU. Similar results were obtained for the National Council (23%, EU-28: 34%) and the government (25%, EU-28: 34%). The police also performed poorly in the EU comparison with 41% (EU-28: 71%), the armed forces only achieved the penultimate place in the EU with 51% (EU-28: 72%), but came to the national comparison highest value.
The gross domestic product (GDP) of Slovakia was 89.7 billion euros in 2018. The gross domestic product per capita was 16,475 euros in the same year. In comparison with the GDP of the EU expressed in purchasing power standards , Slovakia achieved an index value of 74 (EU-27: 100) in 2018, which is around 60% of the German value. Economic growth in 2018 was 4%. The unemployment rate was 5.8% in 2019, which is slightly below the EU average. Youth unemployment was 16.1%. In 2017, 3.8% of the total workforce worked in agriculture, 35% in industry and 61.2% in the service sector. The total number of employees is estimated at 2.76 million in 2017. The average gross earnings in 2019 was 1,092 euros per month. The minimum wage for 2020 is 580.00 euros. The price development was 2.7% in 2019.
In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Slovakia ranks 59th out of 137 countries (2017-2018). In 2020, the country ranks 60th out of 180 countries in the index for economic freedom .
In the 14th and 15th centuries, the area of today's Slovakia, which then belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary, was world famous for its mining industry. The most important mining towns were in the towns of Kremnica ("Golden Kremnitz"), Banská Štiavnica ("Silver Schemnitz") and Banská Bystrica . Hungary was the largest European gold producer in the Middle Ages, accounting for a third of world gold production and a quarter of European silver production. The copper ores from Banská Bystrica also achieved a dominant market position, at least in Europe.
In the 20th century, Slovakia was initially considered a technologically backward agricultural state within democratic Czechoslovakia, but was heavily industrialized in the course of the communist era through the development of a heavy and arms industry. As a result, Slovakia rose to become one of the most important tank workshops in Europe and worldwide.
After the democratic turnaround, the Czechoslovak economy collapsed between 1989 and 1993 and the large armories in central Slovakia were closed. Because of the total slump in industrial production, the country was almost completely de-industrialized. In 1994 industrial production began to grow again and from the mid-1990s Slovakia managed to achieve the strongest economic growth within the post-communist countries with 6.5%. This growth was supported in particular by exports and, from 1996, massive public investments by the Mečiar government, which led to a tripling of Slovakian foreign debt and a dramatic deterioration in the balance of payments. The process of privatization, in which the Mečiar government often practiced unprofitable nepotism , was also problematic .
When the Dzurinda government took office in 1998, a strongly economically liberal course was taken. The austerity programs of 2002 and 2004 were of particular importance. The economic historian Hannes Hofbauer describes the program of 2002 as presumably the toughest austerity program of an EU candidate country . Both austerity packages were based on price and tax increases in the public sector and cuts in the private sector to improve the state budget while attracting foreign investors. In 2004, Slovakia became the first country to introduce a flat tax of 19%. In the same year, the country also joined NATO and the European Union .
Under the Dzurinda government (1998–2006) Slovakia developed into the leading location for car production outsourced from Western Europe. This corresponds to around 40% of Slovak exports. In 2003 Volkswagen opened a plant in Bratislava, followed by PSA Peugeot Citroën in Trnava and Hyundai -Kia in Žilina . All automobile factories together produce an average of up to one million cars per year, making Slovakia the country with the highest automobile production per capita in Europe with a total population of 5.4 million. As a result of the global economic crisis from 2007 onwards , there were severe slumps in production, which, however, stabilized again relatively until 2012.
Slovakia is also known as the " Detroit of Europe". In 2013, 980,000 vehicles were produced in Slovakia. In 2015, the automotive industry represented 12% of GDP, according to the Slovak Automobile Association, and contributed 26% to the country's total exports. In the same year Jaguar Land Rover announced that it would also set up a factory in Nitra , the factory started operations in October 2018. In the first phase, 150,000 vehicles are to be manufactured per year, and production is to increase to 300,000 cars per year within ten years. In 2015, the Slovak auto industry produced more than a million vehicles for the first time, represented 46.8% of total Slovakia's industry in 2018 and employed over 145,000 people. In 2019, 1.1 million vehicles rolled off the production line in Slovakia and the country ranked first in the world in production per capita with 202 cars per 1,000 inhabitants.
The Fico government (2006-2010) ended the neoliberal course of the previous cabinet and tried to implement a social democratic program. The economic growth in 2007 reached 10.4% for the entire year, which Slovakia recorded the highest economic growth within the EU. The nominal wage level is the lowest in Central Europe. In 2008 Slovakia joined the Schengen Agreement , on January 1, 2009 Slovakia became part of the Eurozone . The last central rate of the Slovak crown was 30.1260 crowns to the euro.
The economic strengths of Slovakia lie among other things in the long industrial tradition, the high economic growth compared to other European countries, a well-trained workforce and the elimination of exchange rate risks and transaction costs due to its membership in the euro zone. The weaknesses of the Slovak economy include a high level of dependency on exports, a small domestic market, deficiencies in practical training and the poorly developed infrastructure in the east of the country.
Another problem is the strong east-west divide and the different development of the individual regions. Thus, the capital city of Bratislava with its hinterland overcomes the rest of the country in all economic areas. The quality of life here reaches a level similar to that in the richer countries of the European Union, the GDP per capita here is 119.7% of the average Union value. In comparison, the Prešov Regional Association achieves only 10% of economic output with the same number of inhabitants. Despite this inequality, the home ownership rate is 91.3% (2018), making it one of the highest rates in the world. When it comes to energy policy, Slovakia relies on two Soviet-built nuclear power plants, of which the Mochovce nuclear power plant in particular has been highly controversial since the end of the 1990s due to Austrian lawsuits and objections.
|rank||region||GDP PPP in € million||
GDP / capita, PPS ,
(EU27 = 100) (2018)
GDP / capita in €
Agriculture and Forestry
According to the OECD, the entire primary sector (agriculture, forestry, fisheries) contributed around 3.4% of Slovakia's GDP in 2017.
About 19,200 km² (39.2%) of the state's area is used for agriculture. The main crops are wheat , corn , hops , barley , beets , sunflowers , alfalfa , potatoes and soybeans . The country's granaries are mainly the Danube lowlands in the south-west and south of the country and the East-Slovak lowlands in the east. Wine is mainly grown in the west and south of the country. Cattle, chickens, pigs and sheep make up a large part of livestock breeding, although a significant decline has been observed since around 2000, particularly in cattle and pig breeding. The main catches of carp and trout in inland waters.
Forests cover a little more than 20,000 km² (about 41%) of Slovakia, which also produces wood for export. In 2018, 9.87 million m³ of wood were extracted.
In Slovakia, lignite , magnesite , dolomite and limestone , and to a lesser extent other ores, are mined. The mining of materials for cement production and natural stone mining is also important . There is abundant talc deposits near Gemerská Poloma . The once important gold and silver mining has been completely shut down except for one mine in Hodruša-Hámre , although there are gold and silver deposits in Kremnica- Šturec and near Rožňava . The still existing lignite mining around Nováky and Handlová is to be shut down by 2027; that at Veľký Krtíš was terminated in 2015.
According to the OECD, the entire secondary sector (industry and construction) contributed around 34.9% to Slovakia's GDP in 2017. The country has a long industrial tradition, but all raw materials have to be imported from abroad.
The most important branches of industry in Slovakia are the automotive and electrotechnical and electronic industries. Since the year 2000 in particular, there has been a rapid upswing in the automotive industry, with four automobile plants. These are sorted chronologically: Volkswagen Slovakia in Bratislava, PSA Peugeot Citroën in Trnava, Hyundai-Kia in Žilina and Jaguar-Land Rover in Nitra. The electronics industry is also important, with a Samsung plant in Galanta and a Sony plant in Nitra. The metal industry produces for domestic consumption, but also for export, with locations in Žiar nad Hronom (aluminum works), Podbrezová ( ironworks ) and Košice ( US Steel Košice steel works ). Wood processing and cellulose industries can be found in Žilina, Ružomberok, Štúrovo, Harmanec and Slavošovce; The printing industry can be found mainly in important cultural centers (e.g. Banská Bystrica, Bratislava, Komárno, Martin, Nitra).
The mechanical engineering industry is concentrated in the middle and upper Waag valley, with locations in Poprad (wagon construction, washing machines) and Tlmače. The largest chemical plants are located in Bratislava ( Slovnaft , oil refinery), Šaľa (Duslo, mineral fertilizers), Nováky, Svit and Strážske. Important locations for the rubber industry are Púchov ( Matador ) and Dolné Vestenice . Medicines are manufactured in Bratislava, Dunajská Streda, Hlohovec, Martin, Slovenská Ľupča and Šarišské Michaľany, among others.
The food industry is most evenly distributed and mainly produces goods for domestic use. On the other hand, the importance of the textile industry declined considerably after 1989 due to cheap imports from Asian countries, especially China. The remaining locations include Trenčín, Púchov and the east of the country. The situation is similar with the glass industry , whose tradition goes back to the 14th century. There are glass factories in Bratislava, Trnava, Nemšová and Lednické Rovne , but the importance of glass production in Poltár and the surrounding area, which once housed twenty glassworks, has declined considerably.
According to the OECD, the entire tertiary sector (services, tourism) contributed around 61.7% to Slovakia's GDP in 2017. Since the Velvet Revolution, the importance of services in the Slovak economy has increased and is now the most important branch of the economy.
The banking sector is almost entirely in foreign hands; even before Slovakia joined the EU, it was 75% of Slovak banks; in 2012 it was 96%. The world financial crisis of the late 2000s also hit the Slovak financial sector, but unlike other countries it was hardly dependent on government support and at no point did it endanger macroeconomic stability.
Since the 2000s, several international companies have opened shared service centers in Slovakia, especially in Bratislava and a few in other cities in the country.
With over 2.25 million foreign tourists in 2018, Slovakia ranked 87th among the most visited countries in the world. The country thus had a lower number of visitors than the neighboring countries. The main tourist destinations are the capital Bratislava and the High Tatras. There are a total of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country . In 2017, most of the tourists were from the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Hungary and Austria.
The important economic indicators GDP, inflation, budget balance and foreign trade have developed as follows in recent years:
- Foreign trade:
2016: imports: 67,800 million euros, exports: 70,000 million euros, trade balance: 2,200 million euros
2017: imports: 73,400 million euros, exports: 74,800 million euros, trade balance: 1,400 million euros
2018: imports: 79,200 million euros . EUR, exports: EUR 79,800 million, trade balance: EUR 0.600 million
|Export (in%) to||Import (in%) of|
|Czech Republic||11.9||Czech Republic||10.3|
|Poland||7.6||People's Republic of China||5.8|
|other states||35.1||other states||43.8|
- Economic growth:
|+1.9%||+ 6.21%||+ 5.84%||+6.62%||+5.93%||+ 4.08%||−0.11%||+1.17%||+ 3.25%||+ 4.51%||+5.5%||+ 5.28%||+6.62%||+ 8.49%|
|+ 10.83%||+ 5.57%||−5.46%||+ 5.72%||+ 2.86%||+1.9%||+0.67%||+ 2.75%||+ 4.82%||+2.12%||+3.04%||+ 4.03%|
- Unemployment (2019: provisional values or forecast):
The state budget in 2018 comprised expenditures of 37.52 billion euros, which was offset by income of 36.57 billion euros. This results in a budget deficit of 1.1% of GDP . The national debt was 49.4% of GDP in 2018.
Slovak government bonds are rated as largely safe investments, with the following ratings : A + ( Standard & Poor's ), A ( Fitch Ratings ), A2 ( Moody's ) and A (high) ( DBRS ) (as of May 2020). Compared to the five neighboring countries, Slovakia is classified worse than Austria and the Czech Republic, but mostly better than Poland and significantly better than Hungary and Ukraine.
The share of government spending (in% of GDP, 2018) in selected areas:
- Social security : 14.3%
- Health : 7.3%
- General public administration : 5.0%
- Education : 4.0%
- Public order and security: 2.2%
- Military : 1.0%
The country's most important rail link is the electrified east-west link from the Ukraine via Košice to Bratislava with continuation to the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary. The connection from the Czech Republic via Bratislava to Hungary is also important. Important railway companies here are for the passenger , the Železničná spoločnosť Slovensko , as (ŽSSK), for the transport of goods , the Železničná spoločnosť Cargo Slovakia , as (ZSSK Cargo), as rail operators, the Railways of Slovak Republic (ZSR) and - earlier - the regionally operating Bratislavská regionálna koľajová spoločnosť (BRKS). Only on the Bratislava – Komárno railway line is local passenger transport provided by the private company Regiojet , which also operates international rail connections from Prague to Žilina (via Bratislava) and from Prague to Košice. In 2018, a total of 50.93 million tons of freight and 77.75 million passengers were transported on Slovakian railways.
As of 2017, the Slovak rail network has a length of 3626 km and, with the equivalent of 73.95 km per 1000 square kilometers of land, is one of the ten densest rail networks in the world. It consists of 2610 km of single-track and 1016 km of multi-track routes. 1588 km or 44% are electrified, of which 763 km are operated with alternating current (25 kV, 50 Hz) and 825 km with 3 kV direct current.
With regard to the gauges , 46 km are narrow-gauge lines and 99 km are Russian broad-gauge lines with a gauge of 1520 mm. The broad gauge line comes from Ukraine and ends in Haniska. Since 2007 there have been official plans to extend the broad-gauge line to Bratislava. Austria also showed interest in carrying them out to Vienna. In June 2010, however, the new Slovak government announced that it was no longer pursuing the project. The ÖBB stated in March 2011 that they did not expect completion before 2024 . In 2011, it was agreed between Slovakia and Austria to prepare a feasibility study for the broad-gauge Košice – Vienna line . In 2019, Austria, Slovakia and Russia signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding on the expansion of the broad gauge to the Danube. The aim of the project is continuous freight traffic between East Asia and Vienna without time-consuming re- gauging or reloading measures.
Modernization work is concentrated on the TEN-T railway lines, namely Bratislava – Žilina , Žilina – Košice , Košice – Čierna nad Tisou , Žilina – Czech border , Kúty – Bratislava , Bratislava – Štúrovo or Komárno and Púchov – Horní Lideč . By the end of 2021, the Bratislava – Žilina line should have been fully expanded to a speed of 160 km / h; further expansion work is largely still being planned.
The Slovak road network at the end of 2018 comprised:
- 482 km of highways (diaľnice)
- 282 km of expressways (rýchlostné cesty)
- 3,312 km of 1st-order roads (cesty I. triedy)
- 3,610 km of 2nd order roads (cesty II. Triedy)
- 10,358 km of 3rd order streets (cesty III. Triedy)
- 38,895 km of local roads (miestne komunikácie)
Maintenance is divided on several levels: motorways, expressways and a few 1st order roads are operated by the state joint-stock company Národná diaľničná spoločnosť (National Motorway Company ), most 1st order roads, with the exception of Bratislava, by the state organization Slovenská správa ciest ( Slovak Road Administration), the roads of 2nd and 3rd order from the self-governing areas with the exception of Bratislava and Košice. The only private operator is currently Granvia , which manages parts of the R1 expressway. The Obchvat Nula consortium is currently building parts of the D4 motorway and the R7 expressway .
Compared to other post-communist states in Central Europe, the pace of motorway construction is rather moderate. There is also a well-developed network of trunk roads. There are four motorway connections in Slovakia:
- Motorway D1 from Bratislava via Žilina and Košice to the Ukrainian border
- Motorway D2 from Brno ( Czech Republic ) via Bratislava to Hungary
- D3 motorway from Žilina to the Polish border
- Motorway D4 , Bratislava ring road
The motorway network is to be supplemented by the expressway network. Although nine connections (see list of motorways and expressways in Slovakia ) are planned, only the R1 expressway , which connects Trnava with Banská Bystrica (170 kilometers), is supraregional. The other parts of other expressways are meanwhile only minor bypasses.
User fees are due for the use of motorways and expressways. A vignette is required for cars up to 3.5 tons GVW (excluding motorcycles) and mobile homes . Since January 1, 2016, vignettes have only been available in electronic form, called e-známka . Annual vignettes are available (2020 price: 50 euros) and shorter 30-day and 10-day vignettes (2020 price: 14 and 10 euros, respectively). A route-related electronic toll, called e-mýto , applies to trucks and buses , which covers not only motorways and expressways but also selected 1st-order roads.
The degree of motorization in 2018 was approx. 426 out of a total of 2,321,608 cars. Public bus transport in Slovakia is largely provided by 18 bus companies that emerged from the division and privatization of the state bus company Slovenská autobusová doprava (SAD). With the exception of Bratislava, Košice, Prešov and Žilina, these companies also operate public transport systems in cities in Slovakia. In 2018, 242.73 used. Million passengers on public bus routes (except city public transport).
There are three international airports in Slovakia with regular scheduled flights , which are also classified as Schengen airports . By far the most important of these is the airport in Bratislava , from which various European countries are served as well as tourist destinations on the Mediterranean and the Red Sea . There is also a connection to Dubai . The majority of the flights are offered by the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair . The other two Schengen airports in the country are in Poprad and Košice with individual scheduled flights within Europe and charter flights in holiday regions. The airports in Nitra , Piešťany , Prievidza , Sliač and Žilina , from which charter planes depart for holiday areas, are also classified as international . In 2018, Slovak airports recorded 2.94 million passengers, of which 2.29 million in Bratislava and 0.54 million in Košice. The Austrian airport Vienna-Schwechat , only 50 kilometers away from Bratislava, is also used by many Slovaks, especially from western Slovakia, due to the larger number of airlines.
According to the CIA World Factbook , there were a total of 34 airports and places in 2019, 19 of them with paved runways.
Just a few months after Slovakia's independence, Air Slovakia (initially Air Terrex Slovakia ) started operations as a national airline. In addition to European destinations, several Asian destinations were served as well as, with a stopover in Djibouti , Mauritius in the Indian Ocean . In 2006, the company previously owned by the Slovak company founders was sold to a foreign businessman and in 2010 had to cease flight operations due to bankruptcy . With Slovak Airlines and Danube Wings , two other Slovak companies tried their hand at the market for a short time, as did a Slovak-Austrian cooperation with SkyEurope . There are now only several small charter airlines left in Slovakia.
The only important inland waterway route is the Danube , which can accommodate transit traffic from the North Sea to the Black Sea via the Main-Danube Canal . The main ports are in Bratislava and Komárno. Since 1998, the Waag has been navigable over a length of 75 km from Sereď to the mouth in Komárno. A further expansion of the so-called Waag waterway (Vážska vodná cesta) is planned in several stages to Púchov and Žilina. The project also provides for a connection with the Oder in the Czech Republic, but the Czech government has not expected this section to be realized since 2015. In 2018, a total of 5.57 million tons of freight were transported on Slovak waters. With the Twin City Liner , which connects Vienna and Bratislava , there has also been a special connection for commuters since the 21st century.
Electrical energy is generated from several sources in Slovakia. In 2018, Slovak power plants generated a total of 27,149 GWh (gigawatt hours) of electricity and the country consumed 30,947 GWh. This results in a balance of 3,797 GWh, ie around 12.3% of the energy demand that had to be covered by imports from abroad. In 2018, Slovakia imported electricity mainly from the Czech Republic (9,078 GWh) and Poland (3,235 GWh) and exported further to Hungary (6,813 GWh) and the Ukraine (1,797 GWh).
The Atomic Energy participates in the production of electricity by 54.7%, followed by fossil fuels with 21.7%, hydro at 14.4% and renewable energy 8.8%. Other sources accounted for 0.3% of production.
The two nuclear power plants are Bohunice and Mochovce , both in western Slovakia, each with two active pressurized water reactors. When Slovakia joined the EU, the Bohunice 1 and Bohunice 2 units were shut down as planned at the end of 2006 and 2008, respectively. The shutdown of the two units in operation is planned for the year 2025. There are plans to put two more units into operation in addition to the existing Mochovce 1 and Mochovce 2 units.
Thermal power plants are located in Nováky and Vojany . The Danube power plant Gabčíkovo supplies a large part of the hydro energy into the network, followed by dams on the Waag (so-called Waag cascade), such as the Liptovská Mara dam and the Čierny Váh dam , further on to the Orava dam and other power plants on various rivers Slovakia.
Gas and oil supply
When it comes to oil supplies, Slovakia is practically dependent on deliveries from abroad, with minor domestic production (e.g. 9000 tons of oil in 2014). The southern leg of the Druzhba oil pipeline passes through Slovakia from the border with Ukraine on to the Czech Republic with a length of approx. 444 km, with a branch for the Slovnaft oil refinery in Bratislava. At Šahy, there is a connection to the Adriatic Pipeline to the Croatian port of Omišalj via Százhalombatta in Hungary and can be used if deliveries from Russia fail. According to an international contract between Slovakia and Russia, six million tons of oil are to be delivered annually for Slovak end consumption and a further six million tons for transit further west by 2029.
Slovakia is also dependent on foreign countries for its gas supply, with around 90 million m³ from domestic production in 2017. Thus, 98% of the demand has to be met elsewhere. According to the Ministry of Economy, 5.1 billion m³ of natural gas was consumed in Slovakia in 2017. In the same year, according to the company eustream , which belongs to the state-owned SPP , 64.2 billion m³ of natural gas were transported in the Slovak section of the Transgas pipeline , with almost 45 billion m³ being delivered to Austria via Baumgarten an der March .
In 2014, 2,234 of 2,890 municipalities and around 94 percent of the population were connected to the natural gas network. Almost 33,000 kilometers of lines in the distribution network were in operation.
Since 1995 the abstraction of surface and groundwater has decreased significantly. While the respective values in 1995 were 808 billion m³ or 18,332.2 l / s, in 2018 these values were 234 billion m³ or 10,745.8 l / s. The withdrawal from the total runoff is generally less than 10%, the usable volume of groundwater was 77,117.8 l / s in 2018. In 2018, 89.25% of the population and 2,416 of 2,890 municipalities were supplied to the public water distribution network, but there were some regional differences. While more than 95% of households in Bratislava and the surrounding area and parts of central and northern Slovakia were connected, some parts of southern and eastern Slovakia had less than 80%.
In 2018, almost 292 million m³ of drinking water were produced and the losses in the distribution network amounted to around 24%. The household water consumption per person / day in the same year was almost 78 liters and the annual water consumption per inhabitant in 2013 was 118 m³.
The share of residents connected to a public sewer system was 68.4% in 2018. This is a low value compared to other EU countries. Here, too, the proportion fluctuates depending on the region. While more than 90% of households were connected in the large cities of Bratislava and Košice as well as in Okres Poprad and more than 70% in parts of southwest, central and northern Slovakia, there was okresy with a share of less than 50% or in southern Slovakia in particular also 40%. In 2018 there were a total of 706 sewage treatment plants with a total capacity of 2.42 million m³ of water per day. In the same year, 597 million m³ of wastewater was discharged, 93% of which was treated in sewage plants. The sewage treatment plants produced 55,929 tons of sewage sludge , almost 80% of which was composted or used for energy, the rest was filled into landfills.
Media and communication
In the ranking of press freedom 2020 published by Reporters Without Borders , Slovakia was ranked 33rd out of 180 countries, with a “satisfactory location”. The country thus had a largely free press and achieved the highest position of the V4 countries.
Public broadcasting is called Rozhlas a televízia Slovenska (RTVS) and is divided into two large organizational parts. The television is called Slovenská televízia (STV) and comprises three channels: Jednotka (general), Dvojka (education, culture, minorities) and Trojka (own production, archive, since December 22, 2019). The radio is called Slovenský rozhlas and operates five national programs: Rádio Slovensko (SRo 1), Rádio Regina (SRo 2), Rádio Devín (SRo 3), Rádio FM (SRo 4) and Rádio Patria (SRo 5, minority broadcast). The international service Radio Slovakia International (RSI) has only been provided via the Internet or satellite since 2010.
Several commercial radio stations and newspapers have sprung up since the Velvet Revolution, and the first commercial television station followed in 1996. The best-known national daily newspapers are (share of readership in 2019 in brackets):
- Nový čas , tabloid (14%)
- Plus every deň , tabloid (6%)
- Pravda , social liberal (6%)
- SME , right-wing liberal (5%)
- Denník N , investigative journalism (3%)
There are also the specialized daily newspapers Hospodárske noviny (business newspaper, 3%) and Šport (sports newspaper, 4%). Other language newspapers include Új Szó (for the Hungarian minority) and The Slovak Spectator (English, intended for foreigners).
According to a survey by Median SK, the most popular radio stations in 2019 were as follows: Rádio Expres (22%), Rádio Slovensko (21%), Fun Rádio (12%), Rádio Vlna (8%), Rádio Európa 2 (7 %), Rádio Jemné (7%) and Rádio Regina (6%). Other broadcasters made up 22% of the audience. There are a total of 32 commercial broadcasters.
In 2019, TV Markíza was the most watched TV channel with a 40% share, followed by TV JOJ with 28% and Jednotka with 19%. Other television channels include TA3 (news station), TV Doma and TV Dajto (both belonging to CME ), TV WAU , Plus and TV Jojko (children's television station) owned by the JOJ Group. There are around 50 commercial TV channels, some of which only broadcast regionally or locally.
There are four major mobile operators in Slovakia: Slovak Telekom , which emerged from the former state company Slovenské telekomunikácie , Orange Slovensko, O 2 Slovakia and 4ka (a brand of SWAN Mobile). In 2018, there were 13 landline connections and 133 mobile phone contracts per 100 inhabitants in Slovakia .
In 2016, 82.5% of Slovaks used the internet. According to DESI 2019 , 88% of households have broadband internet access , while 4G mobile communications are available to 87% of households. The most common type of Internet access was via one of the DSL variants with 34.4%, followed by FTTH / B with 29.7%. Per cable modem 11.9% of the participants were connected to the Internet. Major internet service providers include Slovak Telekom, Orange Slovensko, UPC Broadband Slovakia, Slovanet, Antik Telekom and SWAN.
The Slovak state health system is predominantly based on the Bismarckian model with liberal features, which were introduced in a health reform in 2004 and have been partially reversed. Treatments by a doctor are generally free of charge, although some of the costs for dental treatment and medication have to be paid by the patient. Patients have to register with one of the three health insurances : the Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa (literally General Health Insurance) is state-owned, with a market share of 63.6% in 2015, while the other two, Dôvera and Union (market share 27.7% and 8 , 7%), are private. The system is mainly financed through social security contributions, for example health insurance contributions for employees amount to 14% of gross wages, whereby the employee has to pay 4% and the employer 10%.
According to the EHCI 2018 report by the Swedish think tank Health Consumer Powerhouse, the quality of the Slovak health system is rated as average compared to other European countries. According to the WHO , Slovak hospitals have relatively good medical equipment, but suffer from insufficient funding and shortages of staff, especially nurses. In 2014 there were a total of 73 general hospitals, 24 of which were under the direct control of the Ministry of Health, and 44 specialized hospitals, of which 27 were under the Ministry of Health. Outpatient clinics are almost exclusively run privately. According to the CIA World Factbook, there are 246 doctors per 100,000 population (2016) and 580 beds per 100,000 population (2015).
education and Science
The constitution guarantees the right to free education in elementary and middle schools. In addition, universities in the standard study period are generally free of charge, while church or private schools can charge fees. The organization of the Slovak education system is divided between the Ministry of Education, the regional associations and municipalities and the length of compulsory education is set to ten years (alternatively up to the age of 16). In the area of pre-school education, there are crèches (detské jasle) and kindergartens (materská škola) (ISCED 0), with attendance at a kindergarten in the last year before primary school becomes compulsory from 2021. Visiting a primary school (základná škola) is required from six year old and lasts for nine years, with grades 1-4 in the first stage (corresponding to ISCED 1 ) and classes 5-9 in the second stage (corresponding to ISCED 2) fall. The formal founders of public kindergartens and elementary schools are usually municipalities; there are also church or private schools.
After completing the 5th grade, it is possible to switch to an eight-year grammar school (gymnázium) , which combines the second level with the middle school. There are also four to six-year grammar schools. In the area of upper secondary education (corresponds to ISCED 3) there are schools that end with the Matura and thus enable admission to college or university . In addition to grammar schools that offer general education, this category includes vocational schools such as conservatories (konzervatórium) , dance conservatories (tanečné konzervatórium) and four to five-year middle technical schools (stredná odborná škola) . Two- to four-year middle technical schools end with a final examination (possibly an apprenticeship letter) and enable post-secondary education (ISCED 4), while studies at a two- to three-year middle technical school (simple professional secondary education) also end with a final examination and possibly a Apprenticeship letter, but does not entitle to further studies in post-secondary or tertiary education. Medium-sized technical schools, conservatories and dance conservatories can also offer education at ISCED 5 level, which ends with a graduate examination. Formal founders are usually landscape associations or district offices.
Tertiary education is divided between universities (univerzita) , colleges (vysoká škola) and academies (akadémia) . The majority of universities and colleges are publicly owned, three are state-run, while the others are privately owned or are branches of foreign universities. Three- to four-year bachelor's programs (bakalár) (ISCED 6), one to three-year master’s ( magister ), engineering ( inžinier ) and professional doctoral programs ( doktor ) (ISCED 7) and doctoral programs (doktorát ) (ISCED 8) are offered. The most important universities in the country are the Comenius University , the Slovak Technical University and the University of Economics in Bratislava, the P.J. Šafárik University and the Technical University in Košice, the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica and the University in Žilina.
In the 2018 PISA ranking , Slovak students ranked 41st out of 79 countries for reading comprehension, 32nd in math and 41st in science. Slovakia is below average in reading comprehension and science, and close to the OECD average in mathematics .
The most important research institute is the Slovak Academy of Sciences , which is divided into three departments and around 60 institutes. However, funding in the area of research and development has been below average for many years, at 0.88 percent of GDP in 2017 (for comparison, the EU average in the same year was 2.06 percent), which is also reflected in research performance .
Well-known scientists or technicians of Slovak or Slovak origin include Jan Jessenius (doctor), Dionýz Štúr (geologist), Jozef Murgaš (wireless telegraphy), Štefan Banič (parachute inventor ), Ján Bahýľ (engineer, helicopter builder), Vojtech Alexander (doctor, radiologist) , Milan Rastislav Štefánik (astronomy), Dionýz Ilkovič ( physical chemist). Other important scientists from Slovakia are Sámuel Mikoviny (cartographer), Jozef Karol Hell (mining engineer), Maximilian Hell (astronomy), Wolfgang von Kempelen (inventor), Josef Maximilian Petzval (mathematician), Ányos Jedlik (physicist and inventor), Aurel Stodola (engineer) and Philipp Lenard (physicist, Nobel Prize winner 1905). A well-known contemporary scientist is astronomer Peter Kušnirák , who discovered more than 200 asteroids.
Holidays and customs
There are five national holidays in Slovakia, which are also days off:
|January 1st||Day of the Creation of the Slovak Republic||Deň vzniku Slovenskej republiky||1993|
|5th July||Holiday of Saints Cyril and Methodius||Sviatok svätého Cyrila a Metoda||Activity in Moravia from 863 to 885|
|29th August||Anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising||Výročie SNP||Revolt against the occupation of Slovakia by the Wehrmacht in 1944|
|September 1||Constitution Day of the Slovak Republic||Deň Ústavy Slovenskej republiky||1992|
|November 17th||Day of the struggle for freedom and democracy||Deň boja za slobodu a demokraciu||The fall of communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989|
Non-governmental days off are January 6th ( Epiphany ), Good Friday, Easter Monday, May 1st (Labor Day), May 8th (Victory Day over Fascism), September 15 ( Day of the Seven Sorrows of Mary , patroness of Slovakia) November 1st ( All Saints Day ), December 24 ( Christmas eve ), 25 December (Christmas Day), of 26 December (Boxing Day).
Slovak customs are for the most part taken from Christian culture, but contain some pre-Christian or pagan traditions, especially in connection with the seasons ( solstice , equinox ). These customs are mainly upheld in the country, although there are regional differences according to the motto “different village, different customs”. During the year z. To name as: the Carnival , the addition carrying and burning of Morena , different Easter customs (painted Easter eggs, willow-Schmitzen, water pouring), setting up the maypole , of St. John , of All Souls' Day , the day of St. Nicholas. , The day of St. Lucia. And the christmas .
Several cities and municipalities organize folklore festivals to present folklore customs. Among the largest are the festivals in Východná , Myjava and Detva , organized under the auspices of CIOFF . The other festivals are more regionally designed, but do not decrease in quality. Examples are annual folk festivals in Heľpa , Hrušov , Kokava nad Rimavicou , Košice , Terchová and Zuberec . State folklore ensembles such as SĽUK or Lúčnica present traditional customs both in Slovakia and abroad. In addition to professional, there are also numerous amateur ensembles across the country. The state organization Ústredie ľudovej umeleckej výroby (ÚĽUV, German Center for Folk Art ) has been responsible for the promotion and storage of folklore customs since 1945 . It operates three galleries in Bratislava, Tatranská Lomnica and Košice, a design studio in Bratislava and has been holding the so-called Days of Master Craftsmen in Bratislava every year since 1990 .
A kind of national hero in the Slovak folk tradition is the robber leader Juraj Jánošík (1688–1713), comparable to Robin Hood or William Tell . Legend has it that he stole from the rich and passed the proceeds on to the poor and fought against injustice. His life has been thematized several times in Slovak literature, painting and film, and various geographical objects in Slovakia are named after him.
The intangible cultural heritage includes the fujara , the music of Terchová, the bagpipe culture, the polyphonic singing from Horehronie , the puppet theater (together with the Czech Republic), the blueprint (together with Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary) and the wire craft.
Similar to Czech cuisine, Slovak cuisine is hearty and rich. The main ingredients are milk, potatoes, sauerkraut and meat. Typical Slovak soups are e.g. B. sauerkraut soup (kapustnica) , brim soup (demikát) , garlic soup, bean soup with sausages as well as beef and chicken soup.
The national dish of Slovakia is called bryndzové halušky (German Brimsennocken ), which is served with sheep's cheese and bacon. Another popular cam dish is called strapačky or kapustové halušky (sauerkrautnocken) with many variations throughout Slovakia. Particularly in eastern Slovakia are pierogi (pirohy) popular with salty or sweet fillings. Typical of Slovakia are also potato cake (lokše) and roasted meat dishes such as roast goose and meat dishes, such as black pudding (jaternica) , brawn (tlačenka) and Sulz (huspenina) . Traditionally prepared to different Breigerichte from cereal plants, such as cream of wheat (krupicová kaša) . Scrambled eggs were a popular dish in strenuous agricultural work , and various egg dishes were also firmly anchored in festive dishes. For historical reasons, Slovak cuisine has been influenced by Austrian and Hungarian cuisine in addition to Czech cuisine. B. sirloin (sviečková) , Wiener schnitzel (viedenský rezeň) and goulash (guláš) are also popular in Slovakia. Similar to the Czech Republic, breaded cheese (vyprážaný syr) is widely used as street food . Of the different types of meat, pork, beef and chicken are used the most, game meat is less common. Despite the alpine farming tradition , lamb and sheep are not very common, unlike in the past when these were the most common types of meat. For fish dishes, carp and trout are most often used.
Typical Slovak pastries are cakes made from yeast and shortcrust pastry , poppy seed, nut or quark strudel or Buchteln with jam, poppy seeds, quark or nuts. Baked poppy seed noodles (opekance s makom) are prepared especially for Christmas , as poppy seeds, among other things, symbolize wealth in the Slovak folk tradition. Some specialties are trdelník (tree cake) from the western Slovak city of Skalica and the Bratislava croissants (bratislavské rožky) from Bratislava. Pogatschen (pagáče) and sauerkraut cakes as salty pastries are also popular. Country- specific cheeses are made from sheep's milk and include parenica , oštiepok and korbáčiky in addition to brimsen .
Specific Slovak brandies are borovička (juniper brandy) and hriatô (mixture of fried bacon, alcohol and honey or sugar). Besides the well-known in other European countries slivovitz (slivovica) also are other Obstschäpse as marhuľovica (Marillenschnaps) jablkovica (apple brandy) or Hruškovica consumed (pear brandy). A Slovak herbal liqueur is Demänovka from Liptovský Mikuláš. Even beer is popular in Slovakia, with local brands such Corgoň , Kelt , Smädný mních , stone , Saris , Topvar and bažant Zlatý that are now the international beer companies. To this end, numerous small breweries emerged from the late 2000s : at the beginning of 2020 there were a total of 76 small breweries in addition to four medium-sized and large breweries. Viticulture is particularly practiced in the west and south of the country , with the Small Carpathian wine-growing region ( Blaufränkisch , Riesling ) and the Slovak part of the Tokaj wine-growing region being the best known. The Hubert company has been producing sparkling wine since 1825 as the first sparkling wine cellar outside the borders of France.
Slovakia has a number of buildings that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage: farming village in Vlkolínec , Levoča , Spiš Castle , mining town Banská Štiavnica , the historical center of Bardejov and others.
The architectural styles are reflected in the building materials used. In the mountainous northern Slovakia, wood was used for this, and the log houses with wooden shingles that are typical there were made from it . In the lower parts of Slovakia, however, clay and stone were primarily used. The folk architecture of different regions is shown today in ten folk architecture reserves. These places are Brhlovce , Čičmany , Osturňa , Plavecký Peter , Podbiel , Sebechleby , Špania Dolina , Veľké Leváre , Vlkolínec and Ždiar . Other examples can be found in open-air museums called skanzen (singular) in Slovak, all over Slovakia. The largest open-air museum is the Museum of the Slovak Village in Martin. B. The Liptov Village Museum in Pribylina , the Kysuce Village Museum in Vychylovka , the Orava Museum in Zuberec , the Stará Ľubovňa Open Air Museum in the town of the same name and the Museum of Ukrainian Culture in Svidník .
The changeable history of the country left numerous castles, palaces, churches and other cultural monuments. There are 18 urban monument reserves in Slovakia, these include Banská Bystrica, Banská Štiavnica, Bardejov, Bratislava, Kežmarok , Košice, Kremnica , Levoča, Nitra, Podolínec , Prešov, Spišská Kapitula , Spišská Sobota , Svaty Jur , Štiavnické Bane , Trenčín, Trnava and Žilina. The wooden churches in the north-east of the country deserve a mention , eight of which have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites as wooden churches in the Slovak part of the Carpathian Mountains since 2008 .
Castles and Palaces
The first of today's Slovak castles date back to the founding days of the old Kingdom of Hungary , many of which are originated from the ancient castles of Mährerreichs (z. B. the Bratislava Castle , Castle of Nitra ). In the years 1241 to 1242 the Kingdom of Hungary was invaded by Tatar hordes, whose attacks could only be repulsed by fortified structures. As a result, another castle was built. In the 13th century came to the older castles ( Spiš castle , castle Slanec , Trenčín Castle , Devin Castle new buildings added and others) ( Stará Ľubovňa , Branč , Strečno , Blatnica castle , castle Krasna Horka , etc.). In addition to royal castles, Slovakia was primarily home to the castles of local sovereigns, the seats of large landowners, as well as county and county castles .
In the 14th and 15th centuries, the originally Romanesque castles underwent a Gothic renovation. They had to be strengthened and expanded in order to withstand the attacks of the Hussites (e.g. the Spiš Castle), many castles also lined up in conflicts between warring noble families and in the struggle for the Hungarian throne (e.g. the Muráň Castle ). In the 16th and 17th centuries the medieval castles began to be perceived as uncomfortable and worn out. Many of them underwent renaissance reconstruction and became strong anti-Turkish fortresses (e.g. Červený Kameň Castle , Zborov Castle ). Nevertheless, many castles fell into the hands of the Ottomans (z. B. the castle Levice , Castle Fiľakovo ). The Slovak castles suffered the greatest damage during the Kuruzen rebellions . The majority of the lords of the castle sided with the rebels against the Habsburgs , for which their seats were destroyed by the imperial troops. Because of this, there are many ruins in Slovakia to this day. The nobility no longer tried to renew them, but moved to the more comfortable castles . In Levice , Modrý Kameň and the castle Liptov castle castles were built off the ruins. In other places they were erected in villages and outer castles.
Only a few castles have survived in their entirety. In Smolenice and Bojnice they were rebuilt into Romanesque castles by the Pálffy family , while the Krásna Hôrka castle was preserved as an ancestral museum by the Andrássy family. : Apart from them following citadels could be obtained or renewed Banská Štiavnica , Banská Bystrica , Kremnica and Kežmarok , on the Bratislava castle , castle Nitra , castle Cerveny Kamen, castle Liptsch , Trenčín Castle, Budatín Castle , Orava Castle , Zvolen Castle and Stará Ľubovňa.
Several settlements emerged during the Bronze Age, such as the fortified settlement near Spišský Štvrtok . The Roman Empire , which only touched today's Slovakia with the Limes on the southern edge, left behind the military camps Gerulata near Rusovce and Celemantia near Iža . There are very few testimonies of any kind from the time of the Moravian Empire, such as the Church of St. Margaret in Kopčany . From the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, some Romanesque and many Gothic buildings have survived in Slovakia. Good examples of Romanesque architecture are the church in Nitra-Dražovce and the rotunda in Bíňa . Gothic architecture began to establish itself from the late 12th century and has mostly French, German, Bohemian, and Austrian influences. Old towns characterized by the Gothic style can be found mainly in the Spiš and in the central Slovakian mountain towns, but also in other towns, such as the St. Elisabeth Cathedral in Košice.
The difficult political conditions in the 16th and 17th centuries led to the implementation of the Renaissance style, especially in fortresses, castles and cities such as Komárno and Nové Zámky . In contrast, the 18th century was more peaceful in the Kingdom of Hungary, which was reflected in the increased construction of sacred buildings, palaces and castles. The old towns of Bratislava and Trnava, which at that time were political and ecclesiastical capitals of the Kingdom of Hungary, are largely baroque in design. The Enlightenment reforms of Joseph II ushered in the entry of classicism , while the industrialization and modernization of the 19th century brought a variety of new architectural styles, from Romanticism ( Bojnice Castle ) to Art Nouveau ( Blue Church in Bratislava ).
After the emergence of Czechoslovakia, functionalism intruded into the architecture, which lasted until the outbreak of World War II. A good example of Slovak functionalism is the colonnade bridge in the Piešťany spa town. Thereafter, traditional elements returned, which are anchored in particular in socialist realism in the 1950s. The loosening of political conditions in the 1960s brought modernity to Slovakia, for example at the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising in Banská Bystrica or the bridge of the Slovak National Uprising in Bratislava. The need to resolve the shortage of housing quickly led to the massive construction of prefabricated houses throughout Slovakia , particularly in the 1970s and 1980s . Postmodern trends first appeared in civil buildings around 1985 and, after the Velvet Revolution, can also be seen increasingly in sacred buildings.
Painting as an independent art developed in Slovakia in the pre-Romanesque and Romanesque epochs , from around the 10th and 11th centuries. Paintings from this period are almost only preserved in village churches, such as in Kostoľany pod Tribečom , Dechtice , Dravce and Šivetice, and in the Bíňa rotunda. Gothic paintings from the High and Late Middle Ages are particularly well preserved in cities with many Gothic monuments, such as the Spiš, the central Slovak mountain towns and parts of western Slovakia. Almost all of them are liturgical motifs. Only with the rise of the Renaissance from Italy in the early 16th century did the first paintings appear on secular buildings. For the first time, painted epitaphs and painted coffered ceilings appear in sacred buildings. The Baroque style was increasingly expressed through the increased construction of sacred buildings in the 18th century. Important baroque painters from the area of today's Slovakia are Johann Kupetzky and Jakob Bogdani , who mostly worked outside of the then Kingdom of Hungary. Conversely, Italian and Austrian painters (e.g. Paul Troger , Franz Anton Maulbertsch , Johann Lucas Kracker ) were represented alongside the local ones .
In the early 19th century, painting was particularly concentrated in the Zips, where a circle of landscape and portrait painters was located. The development of independent Slovak painting in the so-called National School towards the middle of the 19th century led to the increased national awareness of the Slovaks. Jozef Božetech Klemens , Peter Michal Bohúň , Július Benczúr and Dominik Skutecký are exemplary Slovak painters from this period. The Hungarian landscape painter László Mednyánszky came from today's Slovakia. Realistic landscape painters Ľudovít Čordák , Karol Miloslav Lehotský and Jozef Hanula should be mentioned up to 1918 .
The emergence of Czechoslovakia brought more possibilities for Slovak painting to expression and began to copy trends in the world more promptly. Some names that are also known abroad: Martin Benka , Koloman Sokol , Albín Brunovský , Janko Alexy , Vincent Hložník and Ľudovít Fulla . Andy Warhol's parents were born in Slovakia.
Medieval sculpture began with the Christianization of the country and oriented itself towards the prevailing architectural styles. The Romanesque period is mainly represented by reliefs. Gothic sculpture used wood and stone and made liturgical objects such as Madonnas, saints, and calvaries. The masterpiece of late Gothic wood carving is the 18.62 meter high carved wood altar in the St. James' Church in Levoča from the workshop of Master Paul . As a result of the Reformation and the emergence of the Renaissance, the focus of sculpture shifted to epitaphs , such as the epitaph of the Archbishop of Gran, Miklós Oláh in St. Nicholas Cathedral in Trnava.
With the baroque style, sculpture returned to wood carving and church furnishings. The influence of the royal seat of Vienna is particularly noticeable in western Slovakia, with sculptors such as Georg Raphael Donner , Franz Xaver Seegen and Franz Xaver Messerschmidt . Well-known sculptors of the 19th and early 20th centuries are Viktor Tilgner , Johann Fadrusz and Alois Rigele , who focused on what was then Pressburg, and Alajos Strobl from Liptov.
An independent Slovak sculpture could only develop after the creation of Czechoslovakia. The first representatives include Ján Koniarek , then Jozef Kostka and Ladislav Majerský . From the post-war period Jozef Jankovič , Arpád Račko , Rudolf Uher , Vladimír Kompánek and Ján Kulich should be mentioned.
Today's Slovak folk music and the art music practiced in Slovakia can be traced back to the Middle Ages via (hypothetical) lines of development. The folk music, based on old Slavic stylistic elements and more recent forms taken from Western European folk and art music, forms a stylistic unit encompassing all genres and functions. According to a historical layer model, old songs are first differentiated from new song genres created in the 17th and 18th centuries. The oldest layer includes magical-ritual songs that are recitative with close second and third tone sequences. Slovak folk music research, which presented the first draft of a musical style history in the 1940s, documented 1,100 melodies of this type, which make up 1.5% of the entire known repertoire and occur mainly in western Slovakia.
The peasant songs include around 4000 melodies (5% of the repertoire), which typically rise in fourths , are metrically unbound and are made up of stanzas with four lines and six syllables each. The pastoral melodies, which date back to the 14th to 16th centuries, are based on fifths and sequences of thirds and fifths. The shepherds' songs, which make up 35% of the nationwide repertoire and 60% of the songs in central Slovakia, deal with the life of the shepherds in the mountain regions and the traditional shepherd dances. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the group of robber songs was added as a continuation of the shepherd songs, whose more stretched melodies use a range of over an octave . They include love songs and ballads that are about social issues. The vocal parts alternate with instrumental pieces played on the simple shepherd's flute with six finger holes, píšťala , the double flute dvojačka or the long beaked flute fujara, which is characteristic of Slovak folk music .
In the 17th and 18th centuries, folk music with its harmonious tone sequences - inspired by Western European art music, among other things - developed into a modal layer of songs based on old church modes with Lydian , Mixolydian , Doric and Aeolian modes . These modal tone sequences were used in different genres of folk and art music.
The style of singing known as “new songs”, which is characterized by the major-minor tonality , is also based on a Western European influence . The lines of verse, up to 25 syllables in length, are sung in fixed rhythmic structures to accompany couple dances. Thematically, the new songs follow the love poetry written in the 17th and 18th centuries, and they also deal with social issues from the class of craftsmen, soldiers and emigrants. In addition, there are epic bank and fairground songs. German folk songs, Hungarian music and fairground songs from Poland, Bohemia and Moravia and, towards the end of the 19th century, urban Roma music have also been incorporated into the new style .
At the beginning of the 20th century, some traditional styles disappeared, in exchange for new forms of folk music, including the workers' and dance songs of the 1930s and 1940s. The partisan songs during the Second World War were recasting of older songs, as were the chants of the socialist cooperatives in the 1950s.
In addition to the historical stratification of the folk song tradition, there is a stylistic distinction in four regions: In western and southern Slovakia, the modal and the new songs dominate, while shepherd songs are hardly available. Together with Lydian and Mixolydian tone sequences, these belong mainly to the mountainous areas of central Slovakia. Fast dance songs and polyphonic chants that date from the 18th century are characteristic of eastern Slovakia. Another musical region includes the historical landscapes of Spiš in the north and Gemer in the central south, which have been shaped economically by mining and wood processing since the late Middle Ages. In the numerous craft villages, robber songs, epic ballads and polyphonic dance songs were cultivated according to old traditions.
The repertoire of instrumental music is taken from the stock of song melodies. Of the 103 listed aerophones , a good half belong typologically to the flutes that dominate Slovak instrumental music. The aforementioned core gap flutes fujara, dvojačka and the fingerhole-free koncovka are originally used after shepherds flutes. The for numerically small group of Slovak single-reed instrument belonging drček was during the 20th century by the clarinet replaced.
Influences from classical music shape the folk music string quartets with violin , second violin, viola and double bass , often supplemented by a dulcimer ( cimbal ) and a clarinet. The violin and string instruments, which the musicians used to make from a block of wood in the villages, are commonly called husle . The string ensembles accompany dances at village festivals and family celebrations. In the north and in the rest of Slovakia there are two different types of bagpipes ( gajdy ) .
In the 11th century Gregorian chant was predominant, in the 13th and 14th centuries German settlers brought with them a repertoire of polyphonic sacred songs. In the cities of central Slovakia, the baroque music of German composers was cultivated in the 17th century . Ottoman influences ( Janissary music ) had an effect on the instrumental music of the 17th and 18th centuries , along with Heiduken and shepherd dances. During this time, the monasteries were important centers of music creation, but the leading position for the cultivation of sacred music was taken by Bratislava from the 16th century. From 1760 the music of this city across the Danube was inspired by the Viennese classical music . The classic style period in Slovakia lasted until 1830. After a gradual cultural decline in the 19th century, music found its way into the service of national aspirations at the end of the 19th century, which gave Slovak folk song melodies a new meaning. The first important Slovak nationalist composer was Ján Levoslav Bella (1843–1936), one of his successors was Mikuláš Schneider-Trnavský (1881–1958). The first Slovak national opera was composed by Viliam Figuš-Bystrý (1875–1937).
The musical modernity of the first half of the 20th century continued national music. Until the 1960s it was particularly popular with Eugen Suchoň (1908–1993, Oper Svätopluk 1960), Alexander Moyzes (1906–1984), Ján Cikker (1911–1989), Jozef Grešák (1907–1987), Andrej Očenáš (1911– 1995) and Šimon Jurovský (1912–1963). In the 1960s, the change to New Music took place under the influence of the Second Vienna School , the Darmstadt Summer Courses and the avant-garde in Poland. This was accompanied by a gradual departure from the doctrine of socialist realism .
The younger composers include Ilja Zeljenka (1932-2007), Juraj Beneš (1940-2004), Vladimír Godár (* 1956) and Peter Machajdík (* 1961). There are two big names among opera singers: Edita Gruberová (* 1946) and Peter Dvorský (* 1951).
The founder of Slovak light music (populárna hudba) is considered to be Gejza Dusík , the founder of the Slovak operetta and the Slovak tango . His hits received notable interpretations by František Krištof Veselý . For a long time, light music developed as dance music, referred to as "middle current" (stredný prúd) . New fashionable genres such as rock 'n' roll were not supported by the communist regime and were even banned as music of the “ bourgeoisie ”, although they came to Slovakia mainly via television and radio from neighboring Austria. It was not until the freer 1960s that a change came, the big beat arrived in Slovakia, its pioneers were Dežo Ursiny with the bands The Beatmen and The Soulmen and the group Prúdy from Pavol Hammel . Marián Varga with the group Collegium Musicum , František Griglák with Fermata and again Dežo Ursiny went in the direction of a more demanding audience .
The most important event in the field of light music in Slovakia was the Bratislavská lýra (“Bratislava Lyra”) festival, which took place from 1964 to 1989 . The top of Slovak pop music prevailed in the competition, represented by Karol Duchoň , Marcela Laiferová , Eva Kostolányiová and Jana Kocianová as the "middle trend", or rather the rocky mode , Elán , Juraj Lehotský , Marika Gombitová and Miroslav Žbirka . The 1980s brought new styles to Slovakia, which prevailed despite the unfavorable communist regime. The main representative of punk was the group Zóna A , in ska and reggae the group Ventil RG prevailed. The music scene was dominated mainly by the groups Elán, Banket with Richard Müller , Team with Pavol Habera , Indigo with Peter Nagy , Vidiek with Ján Kuric and the star Miroslav Žbirka. The Bez ladu a skladu group stood out with its own style .
After the fall of 1989 and the division of Czechoslovakia in 1992/93, conditions arose for Slovak light music to create more freely. In the difficult economic situation, groups that were able to adapt to the changes were added to the group of older stars: IMT , Smile , No Name , Horkýže Slíže , Hex , Polemic , Peha , Zuzana Smatanová and Jana Kirschnerová . There is also the Slovensko hladá superstar television competition (“Slovakia is looking for the superstar”) in Slovakia. Musicals and numerous summer music festivals are also enjoying increasing popularity in Slovakia, the largest of which is the Pohoda Festival in Trenčín. The singer Kristína Peláková did poorly with her title Horehronie in the semifinals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, but reached number 1 in the Slovak singles charts.
Jazz, Folk, Country and World Music
Slovak jazz gradually changed from the more popular, traditional swing jazz of the 1950s to more demanding, but also more marginal forms such as rock jazz of the 1970s. Ladislav Gerhardt , Laco Déczi , Gabriel Jonáš , Dodo Šošoka , Peter Lipa and the publicist Igor Wasserberger were particularly responsible for the development of this genre in Slovakia . Since 1975, the Slovak audience has had the opportunity to come into direct contact with global jazz through the Bratislavské jazzové dni (“Bratislava Jazz Days”). Younger musicians also joined the jazz scene, such as B. Andrej Šeban , Martin Valihora and Oskar Rózsa . The group Ghymes , belonging to the Hungarian minority, plays jazz with folklore elements.
The first Slovak folk musician was Samuel Ivaška , and the groups Prešporok , Slnovrat and Jednofázove kvasenie as well as Zuzana Homolová and Ivan Hoffman also stood out . Country music is well represented in Slovakia by Allan Mikušek and Zuzana Smatanová , and world music has established itself in Slovakia in recent years , the main protagonists of which are Zuzana Mojžišová , the groups Družina and Sui Vesan .
The Slovak theater tradition goes back to the tradition of amateur theater (Slovak ochotnícke divadlo ) in the 19th century, which in turn represents a further development from the drama in Latin schools and folk theater. The first Slovak amateur theater performance took place in Liptovský Mikuláš in 1830. Important personalities of the Slovak amateur theater were among others Gašpar Fejérpataky-Belopotocký , Ján Chalupka , Jozef Gregor Tajovský , Ján Palárik and Jonáš Záborský . The most important Slovak theater company before the First World War was Slovenský spevokol (literally Slovak Choral Society) in Martin.
In the case of Pressburg in particular, a tradition can be traced back to the 17th century, when the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary and especially accompanied coronations, conferences and royal visits. The first permanent theater was opened there as the municipal theater in 1776 . Until the First World War, mainly German and Hungarian-language pieces were performed there.
The Slovak National Theater in Bratislava was founded in 1919 and began with regular performances from 1920, and since 2007 there has been a modern national theater near the Danube bank in addition to the historic National Theater on Hviezdoslav Square . Professional theaters were established in Nitra, Martin and Prešov and temporarily in Košice by 1945. But also in the newly formed Czechoslovakia the long tradition of amateur theater was continued and further developed.
After 1945 there was a rapid development of regional theater, including minority, puppet, and children's and youth theater . Today there are more than 20 professional, publicly subsidized theaters in Slovakia, as well as independent theaters.
The first literary work from the area of today's Slovakia is the philosophical work Self-Contemplations of the Roman Emperor Mark Aurel from the year 174, written on the bank of the Granus (Hron) during his campaigns against the Quads .
Literary works from the time of the Moravian Empire include Proglas , Zakon sudnyj ljudem as well as translations of some liturgical texts (e.g. the New Testament ) into Old Church Slavonic , which was written in the Glagolitic script ( Glagolitic script ) developed for the mission of Cyril and Methodius .
Medieval literature in present-day Slovakia was mainly written in Latin, Czech and Slovakized Czech. Mainly liturgical literature was written. The oldest written evidence includes the documents from Zobor from 1111 and 1113. The late medieval Chronica Hungarorum was written by the lay author Johannes de Thurocz .
The Renaissance and humanistic literature was also predominantly written in Latin. A well-known author from this period is Martin Rakovský . Adam František Kollár and Matthias Bel are known as polyhistorians from the time of the Enlightenment .
The first Slovak novel, René mláďenca príhodi a skúsenosťi by Jozef Ignác Bajza , appeared in 1783. Anton Bernolák developed the first written Slovak language clearly differentiated from Czech in 1787, which was used by the writers Juraj Fándly and Ján Hollý . Ján Kollár , however, tried to popularize a common "Czechoslovak" written language. Today's Slovak goes back to Ľudovít Štúr , who published his codification in 1846 and became the standard after a reform by Martin Hattala in 1852. Well-known literary poets are Samo Chalupka , Janko Kráľ , Ján Botto and Andrej Braxatoris-Sládkovič . The best-known realist is Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav , other authors include Svetozár Hurban Vajanský and Božena Slančíková-Timrava . Pavol Dobšinský was active as a poet and collector of oral traditions at that time. Janko Jesenský and Ivan Krasko worked at the turn of the century .
After the First World War, a more favorable period for Slovak literature came with new literary magazines and new contemporary currents. Expressionism , surrealism and vitalism were particularly popular at this time . Jozef Cíger-Hronský , Janko Jesenský , Fraňo Kráľ , Martin Rázus and Milo Urban are known from the interwar period . Authors who were initially enthusiastic about communism but then became critics include Ladislav Novomeský , Ladislav Mňačko and Dominik Tatarka . Margita Figuli and Milan Rúfus were also active during the period of real socialist Czechoslovakia .
After the principle of filming had been known since 1877 and the French Lumière brothers presented the first film in 1895, the first cinematographic screenings in Slovakia were realized in Bratislava and Košice as early as 1896. In 1905, performances began in the first Slovak cinema, the "Electro Bioscop", in Bratislava. In 1910, Jozef Schreiber created the first short fiction film Únos (“The Abduction”) in Lednické Rovne . In 1921 the US-American-Slovak Siakeľovci brothers shot the first silent feature film Jánošík in Blatnica . The film Strídža spod hája was made in 1922 . Six films were made in Slovakia by 1930, in 1929 the first documentary by Karel Plicka Za slovenským ľudom (“To the Slovak People”) and in 1933 Plicka made the first full-length documentary Zem spieva (“The earth sings”).
In the inter-war period, Czech colleagues helped Slovak cinematography, especially Martin Frič , who in 1935 produced a new version of the film Jánošík with Paľo Bielik in the leading role and in 1947 the film Varuj! (“Warne!”), In which many important Slovak actors played. Stories from the Second World War such as Vlčie diery (1948), Kapitán Dabač (1959), as well as structural issues, e. G. B. Oceľová cesta (1949), Priehrada (1950). Comedies such as Katka (1949) and Kozie mlieko (1950) also appeared. Between 1951 and 1960 the activity of the Slovak film producers reached an unprecedented pace. Forty films were made, and a strong generation of Slovak directors formed ( Vladimír Bahna , Andrej Lettrich , Stanislav Barabáš , Peter Solan , Jozef Medveď , Ján Lacko ).
From 1961 to 1970, Slovak filmography experienced its golden heyday in a freer environment. In 1965 Obchod na korze (German: The store in the main street ) was created, which was the only Slovak film to receive the Oscar for best foreign language film . Other outstanding films were Boxer a smrť (1962), Slnko v sieti (1962), Majster kat (1966), Kristove roky (1967), Rok na dedine (1967), Slávnosť v botanickej záhrade (1969) and Medená veža (1970) . During this time, many ambitious Slovak directors began their work, such as Juraj Herz , Elo Havetta , Leopold Lahola , Štefan Uher , Dušan Hanák and above all Juraj Jakubisko as the most important personality in Slovak film. In this period of time, the new phenomenon of television films was born . The years 1971 to 1989 were marked by normalization , some filmmakers were banned from producing for a certain time (e.g. Juraj Jakubisko), others emigrated (e.g. Stanislav Barabáš). Nevertheless, many important and excellent films were made, such as Ľálie poľné (1972) and Ružové sny (1976), the first full evening cartoon Zbojník Jurko (1980), the films Signum laudis (1980), Kanchengjunga (1981), Pásla kone na betóne ( 1982), Tisícročná včela (1983), Fontána pre Zuzanu (1985) and Perinbaba (1985).
Since the Velvet Revolution of 1989, Slovak film production has undergone a fundamental change in its development. On the one hand, the turnaround brought a freer environment for filmmaking; on the other hand, very few films were made under the changed economic conditions. One of the most important is the film drama Báthory (2008) by Juraj Jakubisko, which is his largest production to date. Bathory was seen by 912,000 moviegoers, making it one of the most successful films in Central Europe. Jakubisko's next planned film production is Slavic Epopee. A Thousand Years of Solitude , intended to cover the history of the Slavs in the 9th century. Another successful Slovak film director is Martin Šulík . Šulík celebrated his first major success with the film Záhrada (1995, German: The Garden ), and his film Cigán (2011) received several awards at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival . Slovak actors often star in Czech films, many of whom received the Czech film prize Český lev for their performance . The largest Slovak film festival is Art Film in Trenčianske Teplice .
The most successful and most popular team sport in Slovakia after football is ice hockey . In 1929 the first Tatra Cup took place in Starý Smokovec , so only the Spengler Cup in Davos is older. The first Slovak ice hockey associations were members of the Czechoslovak ice hockey federation, from 1930 the Majstrovstvá Slovenska ("Slovakia Championships") took place and in 1936 HC Tatry, the first Slovak ice hockey team, made it into the national Czechoslovak league. In 1937 the rise of VŠ Bratislava followed . In the beginning of the Czechoslovak national ice hockey team , Slovak players were only sporadically represented. In 1938 the first Slovak Ice Hockey Federation (Slovenský hokejový sväz) and the first Slovak national team, which as the national team of the independent Slovak state, played a total of 10 interstate games between 1940 and 1943, was established. After the end of the Second World War, three Slovak teams made it into the renewed Czechoslovak League: ŠK Bratislava, ŠK Banská Bystrica and HC Vysoké Tatry .
In the national Czechoslovak league, other Slovak teams also rose, with the club HC Slovan Bratislava , which also gathered the best Slovak players from outside Bratislava, remained a permanent representative . In the 1960s, a strong generation of players prevailed at Slovan Bratislava, the team was seven times contenders for the championship title. At the ice hockey world championship in 1972 , at which Czechoslovakia won the world championship title in Prague, six Slovak players were there (Dzurilla, Kužela , Tajcnár, Haas , Nedomanský and Sakáč). The golden 1970s culminated for Slovak ice hockey in 1976 and 1977 , when the Czechoslovak national team won gold medals twice at the world championships. The Slovaks Dzurilla, Marián Šťastný and Peter Šťastný , Vincent Lukáč and Marcel Sakáč were represented in the successful national team . The 1978/79 Czechoslovak ice hockey season brought Slovan Bratislava the memorable title of Czechoslovak champion.
In 1977, after Slovan Bratislava and Dukla Košice , Dukla Trenčín became the third Slovak club in the Czechoslovak league, from whose ranks a large number of personalities emerged who later prevailed in the American NHL . At the ice hockey world championship in Prague, which was again victorious for Czechoslovakia in 1985 , the Slovak Dárius Rusnák was team captain, the attacking team Igor Liba and Dušan Pašek senior also earned the title . In 1986 and 1988 the Slovakian club VSŽ Košice became Czechoslovakian champions, this title was won again by Dukla Trenčín in 1992. After the division of Czechoslovakia, the top Slovak ice hockey division began in the Slovakian extra league in the 1993/1994 season . The Slovak national team had to start in the lower C-category at the world championships and played up to the A-category up to the 1996 world championships. The Slovak national team achieved its first major success in 1994 when Slovakia finished 6th at the Winter Olympics in Norway . The Slovak juniors won the first medal from an international competition at the U20 World Cup in Canada in 1999 (3rd place).
In 2000, the Slovak national team under coach Ján Filc was able to build on the success of the juniors and won the silver medal at the World Championships in St. Petersburg . At the 2002 World Cup in Sweden , the Slovak national team, under captain Miroslav Šatan, won the gold medal and the only world title to date. In 2003 the Slovak medal collection was completed with the bronze medal at the World Championships in Finland . In 2011, Slovakia, with the cities of Bratislava and Košice, hosted the World Cup for the first time . At the 2012 World Cup , Slovakia won its second silver medal. The Slovak juniors won their second silver medal at the U20 World Cup in 2015 . In 2019, Slovakia hosted an ice hockey world championship for the second time . The Slovaks are particularly interested in the games against the Czechs , known as "brother duels" .
The participation of Slovak players in the American prestigious NHL represents a separate chapter of Slovak ice hockey . At the beginning of the 1990s a strong generation of Slovak players went overseas, many of whom were among the best players in the NHL (Šatan, Švehla, Pálffy, Stümpel, Cíger, Chára, Demitra, Gáborík, Višňovský, Zedník, Handzuš). In some seasons, about 30 players from Slovakia played in the clubs of the NHL. The most successful of them was Peter Bondra (1,124 games, 528 goals, 406 assisted goals). The Slovak national team is one of the strongest teams in the world and is currently (2019) in ninth place in the IIHF world rankings . According to the Slovak Ice Hockey Association (SZĽH), 10,910 players (as of June 2019) are registered in the country. The Slovak Ice Hockey Federation organizes several competitions, including the highest Tipsport league . Further down in the hierarchy are the 1st league , the 2nd league and so on, with women's and junior leagues also being organized.
Football is the most popular sport in Slovakia. The first Slovak Football Association was established in 1919. In 1922 the first competition took place in the three Slovak administrative units belonging to Czechoslovakia (West, Central, East), with the first Slovak champion I. ČsŠK Bratislava. The first national competition began in Czechoslovakia in 1925, in which Slovakia was represented by I. ČsŠK Bratislava, who won his first title in 1927 as the Czechoslovak amateur champion. From 1939 to 1945 there was an independent Slovak football association and an independent Slovak league in Slovakia. In their historically first international game, the Slovak national team defeated Germany 2-0 in August 1939 . After the re-establishment of Czechoslovakia, Sokol NV Bratislava (today's club ŠK Slovan Bratislava ) became Czechoslovak champion for the first time in 1949 . This success at the national level could be repeated in 1950 and 1951.
Since 1953 Slovakia has been represented by three teams in the Czechoslovak League, in 1955 Slovan Bratislava won its fourth title and the number of Slovak teams in the national league rose to six. In 1959 Slovan's rival Červená hviezda Bratislava won the Czechoslovak title. The Czechoslovak national team celebrated a great success at the 1962 World Cup , with eight Slovak team players contributing to the silver medal. In 1969, Slovan Bratislava achieved its greatest success to date when, after a 3-2 win over FC Barcelona, they became the only Czechoslovak club to win a European Cup, in this case the European Cup Winners' Cup . The years 1968 to 1973 were the golden years of the Spartak Trnava club , which was Czechoslovakian champion five times in those years, won the Mitropa Cup in 1967 and reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1969 . Since Slovan Bratislava was Czechoslovakian champion in 1970, 1974 and 1975, Slovak teams won the title eight times in a row, ending the dominance of the big Prague clubs Dukla and Sparta . Slovan players also formed the backbone of the Czechoslovak representation that won against Germany in the 1976 European Football Championship on the night of Belgrade and thus became European champions . In addition to the Slovanists, other Slovak players were also represented in the golden team, making the 15 Slovaks the majority of the victorious Czechoslovak team.
In 1980, the Slovak coach Jozef Vengloš, together with the Czech Václav Ježek, led the Czechoslovak team to third place at the European Championships in Italy and to the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Moscow . Slovak players were also involved here. In 1992, Slovan Bratislava obtained the last federal title. After the independence of Slovakia in 1993, the federal league was completed until the summer of that year, in autumn 1993 the first league of the Slovak Republic began: today's Fortuna league . It consists of 12 teams, well-known clubs are in addition to ŠK Slovan Bratislava (first Slovak champion in 1994) and Spartak Trnava also FK AS Trenčín and MŠK Žilina . So far, three Slovak clubs have reached the group stage of the UEFA Champions League : 1. FC Košice ( 1997/98 ), FC Artmedia Bratislava ( 2005/06 ) and MŠK Žilina ( 2010/11 ). At the national level, the 2nd division is still played, while the 3rd division is divided into four groups (Bratislava, West, Middle and East). Further down in the soccer hierarchy are the 4th division with seven groups and the 5th division with fourteen groups. This is followed by 38 regional leagues organized by the respective regional football associations.
The Slovak national football team qualified for a major tournament for the first time in 2010. At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa , coach Vladimir Weiss' team survived the preliminary round with a 3-2 win in the final group game against defending champions Italy , who were thus eliminated from the competition. In the second round, Slovakia then lost to eventual runner-up Netherlands 2-1. At the European Football Championship in France in 2016 , the team reached the round of 16, where they were eliminated 3-0 against reigning world champions Germany . The best placement in the FIFA world rankings was 14th place in 2015. The home ground of the national team is the Národný futbalový štadión (NFŠ, German National Football Stadium ) in Bratislava, which replaced the old Tehelné pole stadium , and the team also used the Pasienky Stadium also in Bratislava as well as stadiums in Trnava , Žilina and occasionally in other cities. Well-known Slovak football players who have also prevailed abroad are Róbert Vittek , Marek Hamšík and Martin Škrteľ . Peter Dubovský , who had played for the Spanish top club Real Madrid for two seasons , died at the age of only 28 due to a vacation accident in Thailand .
In Canoeing Slovak athletes since independence are very successful. In addition to numerous successes at the European and Canoe World Championships and Canoe Slalom World Cup , Slovak canoeists have won at least one medal at all Summer Olympics since 1996. Michal Martikán is a two-time Olympic champion and five-time Olympic medalist in the single canoe (C-1). The Slovak canoeist Peter Hochschorner together with his brother Pavol Hochschorner is a three-time Olympic champion in the two-man canoe (C-2). Elena Kaliská won two Olympic championships in the single kayak (K-1) for women . At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, brother Ladislav Škantár and Peter Škantár were Olympic champions in C-1 and C-2 respectively. In the categories double kayak (K-2) and four-man kayak (K-4) could Juraj Tarr , Erik Vlček , Michal Riszdorfer and his brother Richard Riszdorfer prevail. Other well-known canoeists are Matej Beňuš (bronze medal in Rio 2016), Juraj Minčík (bronze medal in Sydney 2000), Jana Dukátová and Alexander Slafkovský .
Important water sports centers in Slovakia are located in Čunovo near Bratislava and in Liptovský Mikuláš, with regular events.
In the chess game, the native Armenian Sergej Movsesjan , who belongs to the world elite, played for Slovakia for ten years, but is now playing again for his home country Armenia . The women's team of Slovakia surprisingly won the European team championship in chess in 1999 in Batumi .
In basketball , the women's clubs MBK Ružomberok and Good Angels Košice are particularly successful and have won the Slovak women's basketball extra league most times. MBK Ružomberok is also the only Slovak club to have won the Euroleague Women twice in a row (1999, 2000). The Slovak women's national team won silver at the 1997 European Women's Championship.
The first female winter Olympic champion in Slovakia was the Russian-born biathlete Anastasiya Kuzmina at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and is a six-time Olympic medalist (3 gold, 3 silver). Today Paulína Fialková is the most successful Slovak biathlete. Pavol Hurajt (bronze medal in Vancouver 2010) prevailed among the men . Several European and World Cups have already taken place in the small biathlon arena Osrblie and it was the venue for the 1997 biathlon world championships . The alpine ski racer Petra Vlhová became world champion in the giant slalom in 2019 . Before that, Veronika Velez-Zuzulová was able to successfully assert herself . The Olympic champion in figure skating at the 1972 Winter Games in Sapporo was Ondrej Nepela from Slovakia .
The most famous tennis players are the 1988 Olympic champions Miloslav Mečíř , Dominika Cibulková , Dominik Hrbatý and Daniela Hantuchová . The best performances by national teams were the 2002 Fed Cup victory for women and the 2005 Davis Cup final for men . Also Mirka Vavrinec Federer and Martina Hingis were born in Slovakia, but have for the Switzerland game.
In athletics , walker Matej Tóth was the first Slovak athlete to win gold in a world championship ( Beijing 2015 ) and an Olympic victory (Rio de Janeiro 2016). In the days of Czechoslovakia, Jozef Pribilinec was an outstanding walker of the 1980s and Olympic champion at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul .
In motorsport , the Slovak speedway racing driver Martin Vaculík celebrated the first international success in speedway sport for Slovakia in 2013 by winning the European Speedway Championship. Martin Vaculík is also a participant in the Grand Prix for the Speedway Individual World Championship. In the Slovakiaring near Dunajská Streda , several races of the World Touring Car Championship as well as the World Touring Car Cup have taken place since it was opened in 2009 . The Slovak cyclist Peter Sagan won the green jersey seven times in the Tour de France (2012–2016, 2018–2019) and was world champion in road racing in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
General, economics and politics
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