Offical name: Slovak Republic (Slovakia/ Slovenská Republika)
Form of Government:
Area: 49,035 km²
Population: 5.4 million
Other Major citiies:
Levoca, Košice, Banská Štiavnica
By Peter Tóth - Pixabay
After the break-up Czechoslovakia, Slovakia become an independent nation. Slovakia is a land of castles, mountains and unspoiled areas of enchanted forests . The northern and central regions are rugged with mountains. The southern region is fertile lowlands. The mighty Danube is the main river in Slovakia.
For those who love history, Slovakia invites you to visit the well-preserved medieval and historical
mining town of Banska Stiavnica, the Romantic-era Bojnice Castle, or Košice ,a city that was once a fortification for the country.
Bratislava is the capital and largest city of Slovakia, lying along the Danube, surrounded by dense forest and vineyards. Because of its location, nearby Austria, Czechia, and Hungary, resulted a profound impact on the Slovakia’s colorful culture, diverse identity and architecture.
Bratislava is famous for its microbreweries, most of the pubs and restaurants served their own beer using their traditional brewing technique. This draws visitors to its tankard clanking drinking culture.
Walking along the resplendent old town and munching on a delicious Trdelnik (a local pastry); exploring some of its winding streets, hidden away among the concrete blocks, or stop for a coffee or a drink in acozy cafes or trendy bars, and enjoy the atmosphere of tranquility.
Perched on a small hill, the castle commands a glorious position on the crown of a hill overlooking the capital, the River Danube, and across the borders into Austria and Hungary.
The former seat of the rulers, today the symbol of Bratislava and the seat of the National Museum, covering Slovakian history from the middle ages to the present day. Wandering around its many rooms, courtyards, and gardens is a great way to learn more about Slovakia’s captivating past.
Built between 1957 and 1960, this impressive memorial commemorates and honors the Soviet Army who lost their lives while liberating the city from from the Nazis in the Second World War.
Main Square (Hlavne Namestie)
Flanked by many elegant townhouses and fascinating historical buildings, full of fantastic architecture, with Gothic, Neo-Baroque and Romanesque elements all on display. The square is home to a number of embassies, as well as the Old Town Hall. There’s also an abundance of outdoor cafe, artisan stores and gelato shops to tempt you along the way.
Michael's Gate is the only remaining city gate from the fortified walls and towers built in the 14th century. You can climb the tower and check out the small Museum of Weapons and City Fortifications.
The Old Slovak National Theatre
Slovak National Theatre built in 1886, looks similar to performance halls in Vienna because it was designed by Viennese architects in a Neo-Renaissance style.
A broad pedestrian boulevard lined by leafy trees and lovely buildings, Hviezdoslav Square is named after the famous Slovak poet Hviezdoslav, whose wonderful statue sits proudly in the middle of the square. It is here that many of the city’s cultural events take place. In summer, the square is a popular meeting point, while in winter, a truly magical atmosphere for Christmas markets.
The Grassalkovich Palace in Bratislava, the residence of the President of the Slovak Republic. It was built in 1760 and is named after the Croatian aristocrat who commissioned it. Its elegant and elaborate Rococo architecture makes for a splendid sight.
The gardens of the palace are open to the public, and visitors can walk around from dawn to dusk to discover the many old trees; a statue of the Empress Maria Theresa; a number of statues by old and modern Slovak sculptors; and the famous Fountain of Youth, a beautiful design of three naked statues playing in the water.
St Martin’s Cathedral
One of the largest, oldest, and most important churches in the country where many Hungarian monarchs were coronated between 1563 and 1830. The popular Queen Maria Theresa was crowned here.
Church of St. Elizabeth (Blue Church)
Built in 1908, the Church of St. Elizabeth, commonly known as Blue Church, is a Hungarian Secessionist Catholic church located in the Old Town. Both the interior and exterior of the church are painted in shades of pale blue and decorated with blue majolica; even the roof is tiled with blue-glazed ceramics.
Statues in the Old Town
Bratislava is full of whimsical, funny statues around the city which provide great pictures opportunity. Cumil, a bronze figure of a man working on the sewers peeping out of a hole to get some air is undoubtedly the most photographed statue in the city. Next, Schone Naci Statue, representing a Pressburg citizen, Ignac Lamar with jovial nature, holding out his top hat, greeting people here and there. Do not overlook the Napoleon's soldier statue, leaning over a bench. If you're visiting the Hviezdoslav square, look for the statue of Hans Christian Anderson set in the park to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth.
Keep your eyes open and you will see them as you walk around, some of them are a truly exciting find.
SNP (Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising) opened in 1972, and holds the record as the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge to have only one pylon and a single set of cables. At the top of that pylon is a structure known as the “UFO” restaurant. An iconic tower of Bratislava.
The old medieval mining town, which once used to be rich in silver and gold, grew into a town with Renaissance palaces, 16th-century churches, elegant squares and astonishing castles.
It’s well preserved walls soaked with gripping stories, mines with forgotten mysteries, beautiful hills with the memories of the former greatness. Let yourself to get charmed by the fabulous narrow streets and amazed by the richness of the cultural, technical and artistic heritage.
Banská Štiavnica Calvary
One of the most impressive Calvary in the world, located on the top of a picturesque hill of Banská Štiavnica. This Calvary consists of three churches in Baroque style, nineteen chapels and a statue of the Virgin Mary. It used to be an important place of pilgrimage. Today it serves as a recreational and educational place. In the premises of the Lower church there is an exhibition displaying valuable artifacts, sculptures, and paintings. It is part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Open Air Mining Museum
The Open Air Mining Museum, which is one of its permanent expositions, is a unique museum of its kind in Slovakia. It allows access in the old gold and silver mine.
Dressed in a mining coat and heltmet, get a fascinating insight into life as a miner at the underground museum.
High Tatras National Park
The High Tatras National Park (Vysoke Tatry) is situated in the north of Slovakia, shared partly with Poland. The High Tatras is a breathtaking mountain range where you can enjoy hiking on epic trails during summer and skiing or snowboarding during winter. Natural beauties await to be discovered, to be admired and contemplated.
Slovakia's Tatra National Park is a Unesco-protected biosphere reserve, along with the Polish National Park.
Ski resorts typically open for the season in mid-to-late December and remain open until March or April.
For hiking and other adventure sports, best time is between mid-June and late October.
Lomnicky Stit (2.634 m / 8.642 ft) is Slovakia’s second-highest peak, is possibly the most visited peak, probably because of its accessibility by cable car. You will find the highest situated Astronomical and Meteorological Observatory in Slovakia on the top.