Slovakia is situated in the heart of Europe (Central Europe) surrounded by Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and Ukraine. The shortest border is with Ukraine and the longest with Hungary. The Slovak Republic belongs with its total area 49,0039 sq km to middle-sized European country. It is rather mountainous country, 80% of its teritory is 750m above the sea level. There are High Tatras in the north, where the highest peak of Slovakia called Gerlach Peak with height of 2655m is also located. The most famous places of the High Tatras are Gerlach Peak, Kriváň Peak or Lomnický Peak. A few kilometres southern there are the Low Tatras that are not as high as the High Tatras. The most popular peaks are here Ďumbier, Chopok and Kráľová Hoľa. There are also other mountains in the country, but they are not as popular as the Tatras. In the west there is Big Fatra, Small Fatra and White Carpathian Mountains, Small Carpathian Mountains. Slovak territory is rich in fauna and most animal species live in the mountainous woodland. You can find some interesting species of butterflies, lizards, the brown bear, the lynx or bats. The largest and the most important lowland for agriculture is Podunajska Plain, which is situated in the southwest of the country. In the west there is Zahorska Plain and in the southeast there is located another large lowland called Eastern Slovakia Plain, with the lowest place of Slovakia called Streda nad Bodrogom (94 m). Overall, lowlands occupy 11% of the territory of Slovakia. Most of the rivers rise and disappear in the Slovak territory. The biggest rivers are Danube, Vah, Hron, Ipel, Hornad and Nitra. The most important river is Danube, because it is the only river used for river transport. The longest river is The Vah (378km). There are many lakes and reservoirs in Slovakia but they are not very large. The most famous lakes are in the High Tatras, where they are called tarns. Well-known are Popradske tarn, Strbske tarn and Veľké Hincovo tarn. The largest reservoir is Zemplinska Sirava, which is also called The Slovak Sea. The climate is the mixture of continental and ocean climates with four seasons. July is the hottest month everywhere, January the coldest. Lowlands are the driest and warmest areas with an average temperature of 10.4 °C. The coldest places are peaks with the average temperature of -4 °C.
The population of Slovakia is 5.38 million inhabitants, so it belongs to smaller countries in Europe. The majority of the population is represented by the Slovak nationality (85.8 %). The largest minority is Hungarians (9.7 %) living mostly in the southern part of the country. Romany (1.7%) live dispersed on whole territory. Ukrainians and Ruthenians live in the east. Other minorities are: Czechs, Germans, Poles, Bulgarian, Jewish and Croatians. National minorities of the Slovaks live in the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, the USA, Canada, Australia and Hungary. Population density is 109 inhabitants per sq km. The average age of the inhabitants is 36 years and the average life expectancy for men is 70 and 78 years for woman. The official language is Slovak but there are various dialects in regions. There are 15 registered churches in Slovakia. 69% of inhabitants of Slovak Republic profess Roman-Catholic, 6.9% Evangelist of the Ausburg Confession and 4.1% Greek-Catholic. 14% of the inhabitants are without denomination.
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