I will try to introduce you a country lying in the very centre of Europe, literally in its heart. There is no sea but there is a beautiful nature. The destiny of the country and people living there was influenced by its beauty and underground riches as well as by location of the country itself.
Slovak territory used to be a crossroad of important ways leading from east to west and from south to north of Europe. The boundary between western and eastern culture was the reason of mutual cultural change as well as often war conflicts.
The Slovak Republic is a country the state sovereigny of which was re-established on January 1, 1993. On that day Czechoslovakia was split into two countries and the independent Slovak Republic came into being.
Slovakia, while only small in size, is richly endowed with tourist attractions. In its terrain and in the variety of its tourist attractions, Slovakia is similar to Switzerland and Austria.
Slovakia is characterised by large and interesting national parks, beautiful caves and ancient town represent.
We have more than 4200 caves registered in Slovakia, 12 caves, which are open to the public. Slovakia is unusual in that it can boast of three different kinds of caves – stalagtites, icicles and aragonite. What make the aragonite cave so unique is that it is one of only three in the world. Two Slovak karst cave systems – Slovenský kras – Agtelekský kras and Dobšinská ice cave, which is one of the biggest and most beautiful ones in Europe, are listed in UNESCO the World Nature Heritage. The Dobšinská ice cave was enlightened as the first one in Europe in 1882. To visit the ice kingdom is an unforgettable experience for children as well as for adults.
In Slovakia there are five national parks. Every national park is beautiful and worth seeing. We have Tatra national park, Pieniny , Nízke Tatry, Slovak paradise and Malá Fatra.
The High Tatras are the only truly alpine mountains in Eastern Europe and one of the smallest high mountain ranges in the world. The name of the highest peak is Gerlachovský štít, 2655 m.
We have also a great number of lakes and other places that are suitable for water sports. The water was a very important source of energy in the past. At present there are many artificial lakes such as Liptovská Mara, Oravská dam, Zemplínska Šírava, Domaša, Gabčíkovo dam and others used for electric energy production, drinking water providing and of course recreation and relaxing. These are our Slovak “seas” rich in fish, with good water and in lovely locations.
Slovakia has a number of internationally known spa towns, whose curative mineral water is used in the treatment of illnesses of the motive system, digestive tracts and for post-operation recuperation. The best-known of these spas are in Piešťany, Trenčianske Teplice, Dudince and Bardejov. There are also a number of towns in the High Tatras whose climate is ideal for the treatment of respiratory tracts.
Piešťany are known for medicinal mud used as a wrapping of sore extremities. The termal water has 69° Celsius. They were known in 12th century, but the first note is from 1545. At the entrance of spa there is a sculpture presenting the man breaking his crutch.
Trenčianske Teplice is the oldest and most known spa town from the 14th century in West Slovakia. It considered to be the most important in Hungary kingdom in 16th century. Exeptionally valuable building is the spa house Hamman, built in years 1888-1890 in the style of Oriental buildings. In the spa park there is the known Spa courtier where festivals of classical music “Music Summer” is annually organized.
Very unusual thermal pool is in Sklené Teplice. It is a cave where thermal mineral water is inhaled.
The highest mineral spas are in Korytnica in Low Tatras, 825 m high. There is the coldest water with the temperature of 5,4° Celsius only.
I will finish the part about Slovak mineral water by one European rarity. It is Herliansky geyser, the only cold geyser in Europe. The corruption is 10-15 meters, repeating every 32-34 hours and lasting 25 minutes. About 6000 liters of drinking mineral water come out by one eruption.
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Itinerary of a visit to Bratislava or Slovakia
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