Slovakia - My Homeland

Cudzie jazyky » Angličtina

Autor: lenka
Typ práce: Maturita
Dátum: 24.05.2009
Jazyk: Angličtina
Rozsah: 1 181 slov
Počet zobrazení: 24 036
Tlačení: 858
Uložení: 799
GENERAL INFORMATION: Slovakia – small country in the hearth of Europe, Slovak republic was established 1.1.1993 as an independent country.
Capital: Bratislava
Official language: Slovak
Anthem: Nad Tatrou sa blýska “Lightning over the Tatras”
Government: parliamentary republic
President: Ivan Gašparovič
Prime minister: Róbert Fico
Population: cca. 5,5 mill.
Currency: after 1.1.2009 Euro, before Slovak crown
Borders: Czech republic, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Austria
Climate: continental with 4 seasons
State emblem: a double cross with mountains in the background
National flag: 3 horizontal stripes – white, blue, red on the left side with the state emblem
HISTORY: The Slavic people arrived in the territory of present day Slovakia between the 5th - 6th century AD. Various parts of Slovakia belonged to Samo's Empire, the first known political unit of Slavs, Great Moravia (in 863 Byzantine brothers Constantine and Methodius came here to spread Slavonic language, religion and they made up hlaholics – first Slavic alphabet. Various parts of Slovakia belonged to Samo's Empire, the first known political unit of Slavs, Great Moravia, the Kingdom of Hungary, Habsburg-Austrian monarchy, Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia throughout history. Slovakia became independent on January 1, 1993 with the peaceful division of Czechoslovakia in the Velvet Divorce; it was with Czech Republic the last European country to become independent in the 20th century.
SURFACE, NATURE: two thirds (2/3) of Slovakia are mountainy (hornaté) = the Carpathians, the High Tatras (summer = tourism, winter = skiing) ... The highest point in Slovakia is the Gerlachovský štít (2655 m), the country’s most symbolic mountain is Kriváň. In Tatras live many protected animals (chamois = kamzík, marmot = svišť) and plants (edelweiss = plesnivec). Major Slovak rivers are the Danube, Váh, Hron.
Alexander Dubček: leader of the Prague spring
Milan Rastislav Štefánik: astronomer, scientist, politician, and general; one of the founders of Czechoslovakia.
Matej Bel: pMatej Bel: polyhistor, teacher, one of the greatest Slovak scholars of the eighteen century.
Anton Bernolák: author of the first Slovak language standard which was based on western Slovak dialects
Ľudovít Štúr: best known for his role in the development of the modern Slovak language, in 1846 he codified the new language standard in his Nauka reči Slovenskej (Theory of the Slovak language)
Jozef Murgaš: inventor of the wireless telegraph (fwireless telegraph (forerunner of the radio).
Aurel Stodola: enabled the construction of steam and gas turbines.
Ján Bahýľ: inventor of the motor-driven helicopter
Andy Warhol: one of the most famous artists of the 20th century. He introduced Pop-Art to the world, and was the first artist to use a photographic silk-screen technique in his work. He was born in the United States as USA as the son of emigrants from eastern Slovakia. The Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art is located in Medzilaborce.
Juraj Jánošík: national folk legend, bandit (zbojník), Slovak Robin Hood who took from rich and gave to poor people
Móric Beňovský: man from Vrbové who became a king of Madagascar
TOURISM: in Slovakia offers natural landscapes, mountains, caves, medieval castles and towns, folk architecture, spas and ski resorts. More than 1.6 million people visited Slovakia in 2006, and the most attractive destinations are the capital of Bratislava and the High Tatras. Most visitors come from the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany.
BRATISLAVA: Slovak national museum, Town museum, Clock museum, Slovak national gallery, Slovak philharmony, Reduta, P.O. Hviezdoslav theatre, Incheba – exhibition area, Old town hall, Primatial palace, Grassalkovich palace, Michael gate, Slavín, Bratislava castle, St. Elisabeth church – Blue church, St. Martin´s Dome, surroundings: open air swimming pools - Zlaté piesky, Senec, castles - Devín, Červený kameň, nature – botanical garden, zoo, Koliba...

Mountains: One of Slovakia's main tourist attractions are the Tatra Mountains, (particularly the High Tatras), the highest part of the Carpathians. They feature many rare plant and animal species and offer numerous ski, hiking and mountaineering opportunities.

Rivers: Rivers and streams in the mountains of Slovakia are often used for rafting and other white-water based activities and sports. The use of rafts has a very long tradition and especially rafts on the spectacular Dunajec river are very popular among tourists.

Spas: Slovakia contains numerous mineral springs and spas: Balneological spas (Bojnice, Brusno, Dudince, Piešťany, Sklené Teplice, Sliač, Smrdáky, Trenčianske Teplice, Turčianske Teplice), climatic spas (Nový Smokovec, Štós, Štrbské Pleso, High Tatras). New water parks are being built thorough the country. Recently built parks include Tatralandia in Liptovský Mikuláš, Aquacity in Poprad and Aquathermal in Senec.

Slovakia's karst areas offer an extremely high number of caves and their list is being expanded every year due to new discoveries. The number of caves per capita is the highest one or among the highest ones in Europe. Thirteen caves are open to the public, the longest one of which is 9 km long. Some of them have been proclaimed UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. Among them, Ochtinská Aragonite Cave is one of three aragonite caves in the world.

Castles: Slovakia contains a lot of castles, most of which are in ruins. The best known castles include Bojnice Castle (often used as a filming location), Spiš Castle (the largest fortified castle in Europe, on the UNESCO list), Orava Castle, Bratislava Castle, and the ruins of Devín Castle. Čachtice Castle used to be home of the world's most prolific female serial killer, the 'Bloody Lady', Elizabeth Báthory.
Historical architecture: A historical center with at least one square has been preserved in many towns. Large historical centers can be found in Bratislava, Košice, Banská Štiavnica, Levoča, and Trnava. Historical centers have been going through restoration in recent years.
Churches: The St. James Church in Levoča with the highest wood-carved altar in the world, The St. Martin's Concathedral in Bratislava served as the coronation church in the Kingdom of Hungary. The oldest sacral buildings in Slovakia stem from the Great Moravian period in the 9th century – Nitra castle. Very precious structures are the complete wooden churches of northern and northern-eastern Slovakia.

Folklore: Slovakia also has rich folk traditions: songs, dances, folk art, folk costumes and folk and vernacular architecture. Complete historical villages were preserved only in some cases, such as in Čičmany, Vlkolínec (UNESCO site), Brhlovce, Podbiel, Plavecký Peter, Veľké Leváre, and Ždiar.
Souvenirs, typical slovak products: Typical souvenirs from Slovakia are dolls dressed in folk costumes, ceramic objects, crystal glass, carved wooden figures, črpák (wooden pitcher), fujara (a folk instrument on the UNESCO list) and valaška (a decorated folk hatchet) and above all products made from corn husks and wire, notably human figures. Slovakia offers regional wines and beer brands. The most popular wines are from the Tokaj, Little Carpathians, Nitra, Topoľčany and Záhorie regions. Hubert is a Slovak sparkling wine brand and Karpatské Brandy Špeciál is a popular brandy. Demänovka and Horec are traditional herbal liqueurs. Other popular Slovak distilled beverages include slivovica (plum brandy) and borovička, made of juniper berries. Popular beer brands are Topvar, Zlatý Bažant, Šariš, and Corgoň. Cheese and cheese products (especially bryndza, korbáčik, oštiepok, parenica, and tvaroh cheeses), žinčica are traditional Slovak specialties.
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