The Slovak Republic (SK) is a landlocked nation-state in Central Europe. More specifically, it is at the geographical center of Europe and is bordered by the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Austria.
The Slovak Republic is divided into 8 administrative regions named after each region's main city. Each region, in turn, is divided into several counties and certain counties are further divided into districts. Representation in the parliament (National Council) is partly based on these demarcations. However, they are mainly used to delegate local authority.
Slovakia was under the rule of the Hungarian part of the Hapsburg Empire. This map is from 1250 A.D and shows the rough political entities that were vying for the region. The Holy Roman Empire borders served as a demarcation point between Slovakia and Bohemia/Moravia (present day Czech Republic). Pressburg (Bratislava) became a important part of Royal Hungary when the Ottoman Turks invaded much of the Hungarian territory. Slovakia served as a battleground between the Turks and European armies and Pressburg was the only European fortress between the Turk armies and Vienna at most points in the conflict.
By 1718 A.D. most of Hungary was freed from Ottoman occupation mainly due to the military genius of the Eugene, Duke of Savoy. This was time of great ethnic friction as well. The Magyars successfully gained political parity with the Austrians in the Ausgleich of 1867. However, even before the Hungarians received autonomy they engaged in a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing against their neighbours, known as Magyarization.
The score for "Lightning over the Tatras", the Slovak national anthem, was written in 1884 during a trip by students of Bratislava´s Evangelical Grammar School to Levoca in support of Ludovít Štúr. The author, Janko Matúška, set his words to the Slovak folk song "A Well She Dug" and the work became the favourite song of Štúr´s young followers.
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The Slovak Republic
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