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Slovakia

Slovakia: political system

Slovakia is a parliamentary democracy. At the head of the state is a president who is directly elected by the people every 5 years. The President appoints the Prime Minister, the members of the Government and the President of the Constitutional Court. He also appoints university rectors and professors and is commander in chief of the military.

Slovakia: political system

The Slovak parliament has 150 seats and is elected for four years. According to Digopaul.com, the official name of the country is:

Slovak Republic

National anthem

The national anthem of Slovakia was written by Janko Matúška in 1844 and set to music based on the folk song Kopala studienku. In 1918 the first stanza of the Slovak anthem was integrated into the Czechoslovak anthem. The first stanzas of each of the two hymns were played one after the other. Since January 1, 1993, the following two stanzas have been the official anthem of the Slovak Republic.

In Slovak In the English translation
Nad Tatrou sa blýska

hromy divo bijú.

Zastavme ich bratia,

veď sa ony stratia,

Slováci ožijú.To Slovensko naše

posiaľ tvrdo spalo.

Ale blesky hromu

vzbudzujú ho k tomu,

aby sa prebralo.Ešte jedle rastú

na krivánskej strane.

Kto jak Slovák cíti, nech sa šable chytí,

a medzi nás stane.Už Slovensko vstáva,

putá si strháva. Hey rodina milá

hodina odbila, žije matka Sláva!

Lightning flashes over the Tatras, thunder beats wildly.

Stop them,

brothers, they will lose each other,

Slovaks are reviving.Our Slovakia has slept hard so far.

But lightning bolts awaken her to awaken her

.Firs still grow on Kriváň's side.

Anyone who feels as a Slovak

should grab a saber

and stand between us.Slovakia is already standing up,

breaking its fetters.

Hey, dear family,

the hour has struck,

long live Mother Sláva!

National flag

The national flag of Slovakia consists of the three Pan-Slavic horizontal stripes white, blue and red. On the Liek there is the Slovak national coat of arms, a white double cross (patriarchal cross) on a red background, which stands on a blue background - the blue three-mountain. The three mountain symbolizes the Tatras, Fatra and Mátra. Based on flag descriptions by Countryaah.com, the flag was adopted on September 1, 1992 and took on its present form on February 12, 1993.

Slovakia flag and coat of arms

Until around the year 1000

Germanic and Celtic peoples lived in what is now Slovakia until the Roman invasion. During the period of Roman influence, fortified camps and settlements marked the area until the 5th century. Slovakia was considered the border of the civilized world.

From the 5th century the Slavs and later Avars invaded Slovakia. The first state structure documented in writing, the kingdom of Samo, resulted from a war between the two peoples. A Christian principality was established around 800, which then became part of the Great Moravian Empire around 830. However, in 906 it fell victim to the Hungarians. In the fight for Christianization, 929the Przemyslide Wenceslaus murdered by his brother Boleslav. Wenceslaus then became a martyr and a symbol of the Christian state.

From the year 1000 to the 17th century

In the 11th century there were between Slavs and Germans several wars.

The Bohemian King Ottokar II expanded the power of the Bohemians again from 1253. Under the Bohemian King Charles IV, who was also King of Germany, Bohemia and Moravia became the central power in Europe. After the defeat of the Hungarian army by the Turks in 1526, Slovakia, which had been part of Hungary since the 11th century, fell to the Habsburgs by inheritance. In 1530 the Ottomans invaded Slovakia, but could not maintain their supremacy.

In Bohemia, the conflict between the Protestant nobility and the House of Habsburg led to the Thirty Years' War in 1618was triggered by the Prague window lintel. The political and religious borders established in the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 then existed for over a century.

In the 18th and 19th centuries

In 1787 Anton Bernolak tried to create a unified Slovak language for the first time with the codification of the written Slovak language. In the 19th century, the contrast to the Hungarian upper class became particularly clear in Slovakia. In response to this, the Slovak national movement enforced the codification of the Slovak written language in 1843. In 1848 the national movement presented a political and constitutional program that included the secession from Habsburg. In the September uprising in Slovakia, which was unsuccessful, the pursuit of independence culminated.

20th century until today

In 1918, in the Treaty of Pittsburgh, the Czechs and Slovaks agreed to work together to build a future common state. Czechoslovakia was founded on October 28, 1918.

Due to the guaranteed but not granted autonomy, a Slovak autonomy movement emerged with the "Slovak People's Party".

Germany's goal since 1933 was to join the Sudetenland to the German Reich. In 1938 this claim was implemented in the Munich Agreement. Other areas also had to be given to Hungary and Poland. Under pressure from Germany was 1939Slovakia declared independent. The remaining national territory was annexed to Germany under the name Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia under the breach of the Munich Agreement. After Germany's defeat in World War II, Slovakia was occupied by Soviet troops in 1945 and the Czechoslovak Republic reintroduced.

In 1948 the Communist Party took over power in a covert coup in the Czechoslovak Republic and introduced a communist people's democracy. Since 1962 a democratic socialism prevailed in the CSSR, which was introduced by Alexander Dubcek and is called the Prague Spring. The invasion of Prague by Soviet troops on August 21, 1968ended this policy. After the collapse of the communist system, it was transformed into a federal republic within the CSFR in 1990. The CSFR only existed for a short time because of the Slovaks' aspirations for autonomy.

On July 17th, 1992 the Slovak parliament proclaimed independence from the Czech Republic. On January 1st, 1993, Slovakia became a sovereign state again.

Slovakia became effective on 29.03.2004 NATO and on 01/05/2004 with the European Union.

Slovakia: Known People

Architects and builders

  • Emil Belluš (1899-1979)

    architect and set designer. In 1946 he received the Slovak National Prize.

  • Fridrich Weinwurm (1885 - 1942)

    architect who worked in Pressburg.

  • Jozef Chrobák (born 1927)

    architect and caricaturist.

  • Blažej Bulla (1852-1919)

    architect and interior designer

Visual artist

  • Jozef Božetech Klemens (1817-1883)

    painter

Musician

  • Ján Levoslav Bella (1843-1936)

    composer. The Conservatory in Banská Bystrica was named after Ján Levoslav Bella.

  • Juraj Beneš (1940 - 2004)

    composer, teacher and pianist.

  • Ladislav Karol Kupkovic (born 1936)

    composer, conductor and university professor. He lives near Hanover and has been a professor at the Hanover University of Music and Theater since 1978.

  • Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806 - 1856)

    composer and guitar virtuoso.

  • Alexander Moyzes (1906-1984)

    composer. Together with Eugen Suchon and Ján Cikker, Moyzes forms the composer's triad that laid the foundation for the development of Slovak music.

Natural scientist

  • Josef Maximilian Petzval (1807-1891)

    mathematician and physicist

Politicians and rulers

  • Mikuláš Dzurinda (born 1955)

    Prime Minister of Slovakia since October 30, 1998

  • Alexander Dubcek (1921 - 1992)

    politician and leading figure of the so-called Prague Spring of 1968.

  • Ivan Gašparovic (born 1941)

    politician and President of Slovakia since June 15, 2004.

  • Andrej Hlinka (1864-1938)

    priest, politician and leader of the Slovak patriots. He is depicted on the 1000 kroner banknote of today's Slovakia.

  • Gustáv Husák (1913 - 1991)

    He was President of Czechoslovakia from 1975 to 1989.

  • Milan Rastislav Štefánik (1880 - 1919)

    He was a politician, astronomer, diplomat, adventurer and officer, French military pilot, later a general. From 1912 to 1918 he was a French citizen. From 1918 he was Minister of War of Czechoslovakia and involved in the founding of Czechoslovakia. His tomb is on Bradlo Hill in the Myjavská pahorkatina Mountains.

  • Ludovít Štúr (1815 - 1856)

    philologist, writer and politician. In the revolutionary year of 1848 he was an organizer and leader of the Slovak freedom struggle.

Writer and poet

  • Ján Kollár (1793 - 1852)

    He was one of the most important poets and scholars of the 19th century.

  • Juraj Papánek (1738-1802)

    Catholic clergyman and historian.

  • Pavel Jozef Šafárik (1795 - 1861)

    He was a scientist and poet.

  • Július Satinský (1941-2002)

    author and actor.

  • Peter Puskás (born 1923)

    writer of the second half of the 20th century. After the war he worked as a journalist in Bratislava and Prague. In the 1970s he emigrated to Austria. His most famous book "From the Eger to the Tisza".

  • Michal Hvorecký (born 1976)

    He is one of the most important contemporary authors and journalists.

  • Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav (1849-1921)

    poet

athlete

  • Daniela Hantuchova (born 1983)

    She is one of the world's best tennis players.

  • Martina Jasicova (born 1983)

    biathlete.

  • Miroslav Satan (born 1974)

    He is one of the world's best ice hockey players and 2002 world champion.

  • Peter Bondra (born 1968)

    He is one of the world's best ice hockey players and world champion from 2002.

Theologians and philosophers

  • Jozef Tomko (born 1924)

    cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Since 2001 he has been President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.

Slovakia: animals

Mammals

The wild animals of the Carpathian Mountains are wolves, lynxes, wild cats and brown bears in the High and Low Tatras.

Brown bears belong to the family of real bears and are distributed throughout the northern hemisphere. However, there are also numerous subspecies of the brown bear. The European brown bear, which occurs in Slovakia, also lives in the Alps, the Pyrenees, in Eastern and Southern Europe and in Scandinavia. They inhabit mountain regions and areas with little or no trees. The predator is omnivorous, with the vegetable part being the predominant part. This includes ripe berries, fruits and roots. The animal part is made up of insects, ground-breeding birds, small rodents, ungulates and also carrion.

The brown bear hibernates between October and April. During this time, the young are born. A fully grown male can reach a height of 2.30 m and a weight of 350 kg. The brown bear can be dangerous to humans if it is surprised or if the mother animal has the feeling that it has to defend its cub.

The Tatra chamois, like the Tatra marmot, is a symbol of the Tatra National Park. It developed after the end of the last ice age as a subspecies of the chamois and is mainly at home on alpine meadows and on mountain slopes at altitudes above 1,700 m.

It becomes up to 75 - 85 cm long and 70 - 90 cm high. The curved horn is present in both males and females. The Tatra chamois is classified as critically endangered.

Other animals of the High Tatras are roe deer, deer, wild boars, foxes, squirrels and snow mice.

The otter is also native to Slovakia.

In the Muránska Planina National Park you can admire 18 bat species.

Reptiles, amphibians

The green lizard is one of the lizards found in Slovakia, but it is not very common here.

With a body length of around 50 cm, it is one of the four largest lizards in the world, even if 2/3 of them are on the tail. Their diet consists of insects, spiders, worms and snails. A special feature that it has in common with some other lizard species is that it can actively detach its tail from its body in a dangerous situation. This wriggles for around 20 minutes and thus distracts the robber from the fleeing lizard. After a while the tail grows back, but then it can no longer be separated. The green lizard inhabits mostly dry terrain with a lot of sunshine, meadows with bushes, scree slopes, light hedges and rocky slopes. Another type of lizard is the wall lizard, which lives in the Slovak Kars National Park. She has strong legs a long tail and reaches a total length of 22 cm. Due to its high need for warmth, it is mostly diurnal and you can often see it lying in the sun. It inhabits mainly dry and stony slopes, rock faces, walls and banks. The top is gray-brown or reddish with black spots that often form a reticulate pattern.

Außerden under local reptiles include the non-toxic grass snake n, Aesculapian snakes and smooth snakes.

The poisonous animals include fire salamanders, which secrete a poison when threatened, which must not come into contact with mucous membranes, open wounds or saliva, otherwise severe symptoms of poisoning can occur.

In Slovakia only the adder occurs as a venomous snake.

The amphibians include the fire salamander and the common frog. The fire salamander belongs to the tailed amphibians, becomes between 15 and 20 cm tall and can be clearly recognized by its black color with yellow or reddish spots. He prefers to stay in damp mixed deciduous and coniferous forests or pure beech forests near rivers. Its diet consists of snails, earthworms, spiders and butterflies.

Birds

Storks are widespread and common in Slovakia. On the other hand, golden eagles, screaming eagles, white-tailed eagles and the black stork are rarely observed.

The latter can be found in lonely and swampy forests, where it nests on trees. It was named after its shiny black plumage, with the underside white and the legs and beak bright red. Small vertebrates and larger insects are on the menu. The black stork is widespread in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in parts of Asia, but lives very withdrawn and avoids human settlements. It is under nature protection.

The golden eagle is at home in the forests of Slovakia. It is a very large bird of prey, in which the females can reach a wingspan of 2 m. Adult animals are dark brown in color with red-gold reflections on the back and head. The golden eagle's hunting grounds are wide grassy areas where it looks for small to medium-sized mammals. These include hares, young foxes, quails and, in winter, carrion.

Other birds are the great bustard and the white storks. The great bustard belongs to the order of the crane birds and is a very shy and sensitive bird. It lives in the steppe areas that have remained originally or in areas used for agriculture. But despite this closeness to humans, you rarely see them, not least because of the inconspicuous coloration outside of the courtship. Both males and females have brown-black patterned plumage and a light gray head and neck. The main difference between the two is in size.

The males weigh between 8 and 16 kg, while the females weigh just 3 to 5 kg.

However, during courtship the male changes significantly. Its underside is colored white, and it is turned upside down so that it finally turns into a white pile of feathers. The food of the great bustard includes buds, shoots, leaves, seeds, but also mice, lizards, grasshoppers and other small animals. Despite its relatively wide distribution, the Great Bustard is on the red list. A main reason for the massive decline is the industrialization of agriculture.

The falcon is the symbol of the Vel'ká Fatra National Park.

And of course numerous species of songbirds and other species of birds such as crows and pigeons live here.

Insects, spiders

More than 1,600 different butterfly species have been counted in the Pieniny National Park, with the Apollo butterfly from the knight butterfly family becoming the symbol of the national park. It has thinly scaled and partially transparent white wings with black spots and rings filled with red. The butterfly lives on flowery meadows and rock corridors. You can find it on nectar-rich sucking plants such as thistles, knapweeds and scabiosis. With a wingspan of 7 cm, it is one of the largest butterflies. The hairy caterpillar lives on rocky slopes with various sedum species, on scree slopes and on vineyard walls. You can experience the Apollo butterfly flying from the beginning of June to August.

Common insects are grasshoppers. The Alpine longhorn beetle is one of the most beautiful but also one of the most endangered beetles.

It has become very rare and is now considered to be critically endangered.

The ticks, which can be a carrier of Lyme disease and TBE, are not very pleasant.

Bees, wasps, bumblebees, hornets, mosquitoes, flies and dragonflies also live here.

Slovakia: plants

Trees

Typical trees in the higher regions are spruce and pine.

In the deeper zones, oak, ash and maple predominate.

The mixed forests consist of beech, oak, pine and spruce. A rarity in Central Europe is the yew forest of the great Fatra, which is a legacy of the Tertiary.

The forest and cedar pines, the blue fir and the dwarf pines are characteristic of the Tatra National Park.

The krammetsberry also grows in Slovakia.

This tree, which is also native to Northern Europe and Western Asia, is known under the names mountain ash, quitsche, blackberry or rowan. The tree can reach an average height of 1 m and is often used as an ornamental tree in gardens and parks. It owes its name to its orange- to red-colored fruits, which birds like to eat, especially Krammet birds and juniper thrushes. Contrary to popular belief, the fruits are not poisonous for humans but are inedible because their taste is determined by malic acid and tannins.

Crops

Soy plants and hops are grown in Slovakia. Furthermore wine, potatoes, beets, corn and various types of grain. You can also experience the yellow rapeseed fields here.

Medicinal plants

An essence can be made from the bark of the actually highly poisonous daphne, which is used for inflammation of the stomach, intestines and kidneys as well as for rheumatism, flu and skin, ear and eye infections.

Eyebright is a meadow plant that mainly thrives on mountain slopes and can grow up to 30 cm. The white flowers that are picked in late summer are used. Eyebright is used externally for eye inflammation and weak eyes and internally for coughs and sore throats. What is interesting is that the higher the location of the plant, the more effective it is. The chrysanthemum from the sunflower family has flowers in a wide variety of colors. These flower heads are often used as a bath additive or extract. The plant is used for menstrual pain and is also a component of many remedies against head lice, pubic lice and clothing lice.

The wormwood grows as a bush up to 1.20 m tall with small, round and yellow flowers, widespread on rocky slopes, on dry grassy areas, on the banks of streams and rivers, as well as on roadsides. Its bitter substances and essential oils strengthen the stomach and stimulate the appetite. However, one should refrain from using the medicinal plant during pregnancy.

Furthermore, larger amounts and prolonged use of wormwood can cause headaches and dizziness.

Poisonous plants

The protected and very poisonous daphne grows as a 40 - 150 cm large shrub in the Great Fatra. Its branches are gray to light brown and not very branched. The flowers appearing between February and April have 4 petals, are pink-red to purple and very fragrant. The pea-sized berries that ripen between August and November are bright red and contain a black seed.

The home of the daphne is Asia Minor, Northern Asia and Europe. It is mainly found on hill country and in deciduous and mixed forests. But it also grows in coniferous forests and in the Alps up to a height of about 2,000 m and is often planted as an ornamental plant in gardens, parks and playgrounds. All parts are highly poisonous, but the toxins are especially concentrated in the bark and seeds of the berries.

10-12 berries are considered a lethal dose for an adult, and the amounts are correspondingly smaller for children. Contact causes skin irritation with redness, blistering and severe itching over a long period of time. When the plant parts are ingested, the mucous membranes in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract are severely irritated, the mouth stinging and scratching, and the lips and the oral mucous membrane swell. Other signs of poisoning are nausea, vomiting, increased salivation, dryness in the mouth, stomach pain, feeling thirsty, difficulty swallowing, restlessness, headache, increased nasal secretion, disorientation, bloody urine and watery and bloody diarrhea. Cramps, breathing difficulties and kidney inflammation are also possible. Even if the poisoning is over, Kidney damage and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract can persist for a long time. All signs of poisoning must always be taken very seriously, as 1/3 of all daphne poisoning is fatal.

The yew, an evergreen conifer that can grow up to 20 m high, is also highly poisonous. Overall, the yew has become rare, as it used to be almost extinct because of its wood. In addition to the needles, the seeds are also poisonous, as they mature in the first green, then red seed coat, which is non-toxic itself. The numerous symptoms of intoxication are vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, abdominal pain, dilated pupils and even unconsciousness. Death from cardiac arrest often occurs after 1.5 hours. The deadly nightshade and a number of mushrooms are also poisonous, although the cap mushroom, which can be confused with the meadow mushroom, contains a deadly poison.

More plants

Endemic plants (only occurring in Slovakia) are the sea-eye lady's mantle, eyebright and wax flower. Alpine edelweiss, white pasque flower and the strictly protected spotted glacier gentian grow in the Low Tatras.

The red-brown lady's slipper is an orchid from the Little Fatra. It is between 20 and 60 cm tall, and its clog-like flowers are golden yellow and purple-blue veined. It grows mainly in light mixed forests as well as on the edges of forests and bushes. The red-brown lady's slipper is common and very rare in the Alps, the Pyrenees and Norway.

The plants of the Great Fatra include the protected alpine asters growing on sunny and calcareous stone lawns, the poisonous daphne and the special Fatra violet.

A specialty in Pieniny is the spar bush.

Other plants that also grow here are the knapweed, the chrysanthemum and wormwood.

The Fatra cyclamen, the numerous fern species and the marigold grow in the Great Fatra National Park.

The wax flower, which originates from southern China, East India and Australia, is a climbing plant whose meter-long shoots lignify with age. The star-shaped, white to light pink flowers, especially at night, are striking.

The wormwood originally comes from North Africa and Southern Europe.

 

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