Slovakia and Bratislava
The Slovak Republic is situated in the heart of Europe. Slovakia border on with the Czech Republic to the West, Austria to the Southwest, Hungary to the Southeast, Poland to the North and Ukraine to the East. Slovakia has about 5 millions population. The most numerous minorities are Hungarians, Gypsies, Czechs. Ruthenians, Ukrainians and Germans. The official language is Slovak. Slovakia is mostly mountainous country. The mountains stretch from the Western Carpathians to the White Carpathians and Javorníky, near Czech – Slovak border, and to Beskids, near the Polish border. The fertile lowlands are in the south – west and south east of the SR. They are Danube Lowlands and East Slovakian Lawlands. The most important rivers of Slovakia are the Danube, the Vah, the Moravia, the Hron, the Nitra and the Orava. The rivers are short. The country has termal springs. The capital of Slovakia is Bratislava situated on the river Danube. The bigger towns of Slovakia are Košice, Žilina, BB, Trnava, Martin… The smaller towns are Bojnice, Zvolen, Trenčin are famous for their castles. Villages like Vlkolínec or Čičmany are known for their fold architecture. History
During the Bronze Age Slovakia was a crossroad of many different tribes and ethnic groups. The oldest West Slavonic national unit was Samo´s Empire. By the end of 8th century there were 2 princedoms. Pribina´s Princedom in Nitra and Mojmír´s Princedom in western Slovakia and in southern Moravia. Both of the princedoms united and in the 9th century laid the foundation of the Great Moravian Empire. In 863 Prince Rastilav invited 2 Byzantine brothers – Cyril and Metod who founded the oldest Slavonic alphabet and brough Christian religion to this region. After the disintegration of GME in the 11th century it became a part of Hungarian state (after Hun invasion). Hungarian dominated until 1918. Anton Bernolák and Ľ. Štúr were very important people in Slovak history. After World War I. the Czechs and Slovaks create the independent state the Czechoslovak Republik. This first republic lasted until World War II. In 1945 the Czechoslovak Republik was established.
On January 1st 1993, this ČSR split into 2 independent states the ČR and the SR. The official head of SR is the President. The legislative body is the National Council of SR which has 150 deputies = members.
The most important branch resort of Slovak economy is industry. The most important task is the installation of effective economy.
In the past people worked in agriculture. The fertile lowlands are good for wheat, corn, potatoes, sugar beat, sunflower, tobacco and hop. The country is famous for its thermal healing and mineral springs, numerous spas and recreation centers.
BA is the capital of SR. The town is situated in the south-western part of Slovakia, near Austrian border. BA is the place of residence of the President of the Republic. The capital is the sea of the National Council of SR. BA is a city with rich history. The first settlement in this area is dated from the Newer Stone Age. The first castle was built here by Slavonic tribes in 9th century, during the Great Moravian Empire. During Austro- Hungarian Monarchy, BA was the summer seat for Maria Theresia. She was crowned here. BA was coronation town of Hungarian kings and queens for 300 years. The coronation minister was the Gothic Cathedral of St. Martin.
Between 2 wars BA was the economic, cultural and scientific centre of Slovakia. There are many theatres, galleries, exhibition halls, concert halls, sport centr with numerous football clubs, volleyball and basketball playgrounds, tennis courts, swimming pools, fitness centres…
Young people from all over Slovakia come to BA to study. Most of the students live in hostels.
BA is an industrial city. Arriving trains bring people from the countryside to work there. The most important branch of industry is chemical industry represented by such firms as Istrochem and Slovnaft. This kind of industry is the source of pollution. There are also food industries – Figaro, Palma…there are also VW B
The most populous quarters is Petržalka on the right side of Danube. It house more than 100 000 people. People in their spare time go to woods in Koliba and Železná studnička to walk or have a picnic. The Danube is an important European Waterway connecting BA with the ports on the Black sea. BA is an important port.
People who are coming to visit BA are interested not only the history of our capital but its cultural life. The most important historical monuments are:
The Castle – it was burnt down after the World War II. It has been rebuilt and now is a partly a museum, partly a seat of the president.
Old Town hall – has been built in Gothic and Baroque style
St. Martin´s Cathedral – many Hungarian kings and queens were crowned here.
Franciscan church – it was the church where kings and queens came after their coronation for thanksgiving
Micheal´s Tower and Gate – there is a museum of the medieval weapons
The Academia Istropolitana – was the first university in BA
Devin Castle – during the period do GME the Devin castle became an important fortress.
The Mirbach Palace – here is a museum
The Grassalkowich Palace – it is the residence of the President of the SR
The Memorial of Slavin Hill – the resting place of many soldiers who died for the liberation of BA during World War II.