Slovakia and Bratislava
The area of modern Slovakia was settled by Slavs at the end of the 5th century. At the beginning of the 7th century, the Slavs were attacked by the Avars. The peacful Slavs resisted under the leadership of a Frankish Merchant called Samo who defeated the Avars. The destruction of the Avar Empire around the year 800 made it possible for independent Slav states to rise in its place. The Principality of Moravia, centred arond the modern Slovak-Czech border, was led by Mojmir, while the Principality of Nitra in western Slovakia was ruled by Pribina. After 833, Mojmir added the Principality of Nitra to his own and created an independent state, the Great Moravian Empire. In 906, the country was defeated by the Magyars and for most of the second millennium Slovakia was a part of another country.
In 1918, Slovaks and Czechs decided to form the Czechoslovak Republic. After World War II., the country, having been liberated by soviet soldiers, started to develop as a socialist country. In 1968 the leader of communists, Alexander Dubček started reforms, calling for „Socialism with a Human Face“. It was called the Prague Spring, but the Soviet Union did not like the cahnde and sent in troops to stop it. Real change did not come until 1989 when communism started to fall all over Central and Eastern Europe. In Czechoslovakia, it was called the Velvet Revolution. Since January 1st, 1993 Slovakia has been an independent state.
Slovakia has heros and folk festivals. The most legend is festival in Terchová. Juro Jánošík was a folk hero who robbed the rich and gave to the poor. He was born at Terchová in 1688. Janošík lived in mountains and later becoming the leader of a band of outlaws. People loved him. Stories about Jánošík´s life, adventures and deeds are sure to be arond for a long time to come. The next prominent presonality in Slovak history was General Milan Rastislav Štefánik. He was scientist, astronomer, politician, general in the French army and commander of Slovak legionaries. In 1915, he established, together with Eduard Beneš and T. G. Masaryk, the National Council of Czechoslovakia. In 1918, after the establishment of Czechoslovakia, he became the first Minister of War. He died tragically while he was flying home, when his plane was shot down in mysterious circumstances near Vajnory, close to Bratislava.
Bratislava is the Capital, and the biggest city in Slovak Republic. The population is approximately 450 000. The city spans on both banks of the second longest river in Europe, the river Danube. Bratislava was founded on the crossroads of two important trade routes - the Podunajská, and the Amber route. Bratislava was inhabited by Celts and than by Romans and a lot of others. In 5th century Bratislava was inhabited by Slavic tribes. Bratislava and Devin castles became very important centres of the Great Moravia Empire. The first written record about Bratislava exists from 907 (about a castle named after the Duke of Braslav). In 1405 Bratislava became a free royal town. Bratislava was prominent city with culture, education and trades. From 1536 until 1784 Bratislava was the capital of Hungarian Kingdom. There was crowned 8 royal wives in St. Marti's Cathedral. It's building, which is situated below Bratislava Castle. It was originaly built in the Gothic style, but later in the Renaissaince and Baroque pariods. Others buildings which has very rich history are Bratislava Castle, Devin Castle, Academia Istropolitana (the first university founded by King Mathias Corvinus). Bratislava castle is situated on the left bank of the Danube, 74 metres above the river. It is surrounded with a Gothic and Renaissance fortification. It´s name, and also the name of the whole town was probably derived from the Duke of Braslav. In 907 Bavarian Troops were defeated by Hungarians at the foot of the Castle cliff near the river. In 16th century it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style and in the 18th century the palace was given a new, Baroque appearance. In 1811 the whole castle bumt down and for a long period of time there were only ruins. The middle of the 20th century were the years of it´s reconstruction. Then Bratislava castle became a representative seat of the government of the Slovak Socialist Republic and the Slovak National Council and a partial seat of the Slovak National Museum. At present Bratislava Castle is the seat of our government. In modern times Bratislava is city with a lot of monuments which visited the tourists. There are a lot of modern buildings wtih 40 and more stairs. Bratislava is the modern city today.