Slovakia is my homeland
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SLOVAKIA – MY HOMELAND
The Slovak republic is a new state which came into existence on 1st January 1993 when Czechoslovakia was divided and two sovereign states were formed : The Czech eepublic and the Slovak republik. Slovakia is situated in the heart of Europe, the geographical centre of Europe being on the hill Krahule, near Kremnica. The Slovak republik covers an area of 49,038 sq km and borders the Czech Republic to the West, Austria to the Southwest, Hungary to the Southeast, Poland to the North and the Ukraine to the East.
The Slovak Republic has a population of 5 397 036 people, of which 85 % are Slovak, 11% Hungarian and the remaining 4 % of Romany, Czech, Ruthenian,Ukrainian and German. The density is 106 inhabitants per sq km. The offical language is Slovak. The majority of the population is Roman Catholic religion. Slovakia is a montainous country, 80 % of its territory is 750m above sea level. Its territory is rich in fauna and most animal species live in the mountainous woodland regions. The climate is a mixture of continental and ocean climates with four seasons. The coldest month is January, the warmes is July.
The National flag consists of three horizontal stripes: white, blue and red. The left half of the flag bears the state emblem of the Slovak Republic – a double cross with mountains in the backround. The capital of the Slovak Republic is Bratislava- the largest city, the centre of political, governmental, economic, educational and research institutions.
The system of government of the Slovak Republic is divided into three branches: the legislative branch represented by the National Council of the Slovak Republic ( Parliament ), the executive branch represented by the Government and the President and the judical branch ( the courts ).
The Slovak Government consists of the Prime Minister, vice-prime ministers and ministers. The judical power is represented by courts at various levels, starting with the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court and going down to the courts at all levels of regional and district government.
Slovakia is a small country but it has a long rich history.
833 – The Great Moravian Empire was founded
863 – Byzantine brothers Constantine and Methodius headed a mission to Great Moravia, devised the oldest Slavic alphabet
1843 – Ľ. Štúr codified the literary Slovak language
October 28, 1918 - The Czechoslovak Republic was founded
November 17, 1989 – The Velvet Revolution, restoration of democracy
January 1, 1993 – The independence of the Slovak Republic was declared
There are many interesting places to visit in Slovakia. There are several national parks and protected regions, sucha s the High Tatras – the highest mountains of the country, the Low Tatras, the Little Fatras, the Great Fatras, Slovak Paradise and others. The High Tatras is situated in the north of Slovakia and creates the natural border between Slovakia and Poland. The highest peak, Gerlachovský štít, is situated in the middle of the whole Massif and i tis visible from far and wide. The eastern part of the Higrh Tatras is dominated by the peak Lomnický štít and the western by the peak Kriváň. With its natural beauties this area attracts many tourists throughout the year.
The most frequently visited lake is Štrbské pleso situated at the heigh of 1355 metres. Slovak paradise is a romantic and picturesque region located in the northeast. There are numerous rock Windows, caves,waterfalls but also vast plains with fascinating views of the area. Dobšinská ľadová jaskyňa, located in the weastern part of this valley, is the oldest ice cave in Europe. I tis one of the most attractive places for tourists visiting Slovak Paradise.
Other places attractive for tourists include the Spiš Castle, the largest medieval castle of Central Europe and Vlkolínec, a mountain village. The most visited towns are Bratislava, Banská Štiavnica, Banská Bystrica and Košice.
Christmas is the most beautiful of all holidays in Slovakia. Special Christmas decorations, coloured lights and Christmas trees can be seen in the streets and shops. Christmas carols are sung almost everywhere, in houses and churches. People buy presents and sen Christmas cards to their relatives and friends. In Slovakia people open their presents which they find under the Christmas tree on December 24rh. Before they have a christmas dinner –fish- usually carp, with potato salad.
Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. It marks the anniversary of Christ´s crucifixion. Easter is the typical spring holiday.
Slovak are said to be hospitable, hard –working and willing to help others. However, other nations often say that Slovaks underestimate themselves. Slovak parents hepl their children a lot even when they grow up. Slovaks are also famous for being patriots, which means they have a positive attitude to their country. There are many typical Slovak restaurants serving traditional Slovak cousine. The most typical food is bryndzové halušky – gnocchi with sheep cheese, and typical alcoholic drinks include borovička- juniper gin and beer,
In May 2004, Slovakia became a member of the European Union, together with Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Cyprus and Malta. This membership has influenced the political and economical life of the country considerably. Many Slovak students get involved in Exchange programmes and study abroad.
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