Portal:Slovakia

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Introduction

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Slovakia (/slˈvækiə, -ˈvɑːk-/ (About this soundlisten); Slovak: Slovensko [ˈslɔʋɛnskɔ] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Slovak Republic (Slovak: Slovenská republika, About this soundlisten ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west, and the Czech Republic to the northwest. Slovakia's territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi) and is mostly mountainous. The population is over 5.4 million and consists mostly of Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, and the second largest city is Košice. The official language is Slovak.

The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries. In the 7th century, they played a significant role in the creation of Samo's Empire and in the 9th century established the Principality of Nitra, which was later conquered by the Principality of Moravia to establish Great Moravia. In the 10th century, after the dissolution of Great Moravia, the territory was integrated into the Principality of Hungary, which would become the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000. In 1241 and 1242, much of the territory was destroyed by the Mongols during their invasion of Central and Eastern Europe. The area was recovered largely thanks to Béla IV of Hungary who also settled Germans which became an important ethnic group in the area, especially in what are today parts of central and eastern Slovakia. After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czechoslovak National Council established Czechoslovakia (1918–1939). A separate (First) Slovak Republic (1939–1945) existed during World War II as a totalitarian, clero-fascist one-party client state of Nazi Germany. At the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was re-established as an independent country. A coup in 1948 ushered in a totalitarian one-party state under the Communist regime during whose rule the country existed as a satellite of the Soviet Union. Attempts for liberalization of communism in Czechoslovakia culminated in the Prague Spring, which was crushed by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution ended the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia peacefully. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce.

Selected article

Gerlachovský štít (translated into English as Gerlachov Peak, Gerlachovský Peak or Gerlach Peak) is the highest peak in the High Tatras, in Slovakia, and in the whole 1,500 km (900 mi.) long Carpathian mountain chain, as well as in northern and eastern Central Europe.

The south face of Gerlachovský štít, the highest peak of Slovakia.

Usually listed at 2,655 metres AMSL (8,711 ft), its exact elevation is actually 0.6 metres (2 ft) lower. The pyramidal shape of the massif is marked by a huge cirque. Despite its relatively low elevation, the about 2,000 m vertical rise from the valley floor makes Gerlachovský štít soar. Mistaken for an average mountain in the rugged High Tatras range in the more distant past, it has since played a symbolic role in the eyes of the rulers and populations of several Central European nations, to the point that between the 19th and mid-20thcentury, it had four different names with six name reversals. It managed to be the highest mountain of the Kingdom of Hungary, and of the countries of Czechoslovakia and Slovakia within the span of only about two decades of the 20thcentury.

Gerlachovský štít shares its geology and ecology with the rest of the High Tatras, but provides a worthwhile environment for biologists as the highest ground anywhere in Europe north of the parallel linking approximately Munich, Salzburg, and Vienna. The mountain used to be particularly treasured as the loftiest point to climb to by Czechs, eastern Germans, Hungarians, Poles, and Slovaks during the period of restricted travel in the 20th century. It continues to attract its share of visitors although the local authorities have been continually adding new restrictions on access.

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The Bojnice Castle is located above the town of Bojnice and is one of the country's tourist attractions.

Bojnice Castle is a castle in Bojnice, Slovakia. It hosts the single most popular museum in Slovakia and has been featured in many movies. Bojnice Castle was first mentioned in written records in 1113, in a document held at the Zobor abbey. Originally built as a wooden fort, it was gradually replaced by stone, with the outer walls being shaped according to the uneven rocky terrain.

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Móric Beňovský (born 1741 or 1746 as Móritz Benyovszky - died May 23, 1786) was a Slovak noble in the Kingdom of Hungary, adventurer, globetrotter, explorer, colonizer, writer, chess player, the King of Madagascar, a French colonel, Polish military commander and Austrian soldier.

Móric Beňovský

Beňovský was born in Vrbové near Trnava in present-day Slovakia (at that time part of the Kingdom of Hungary). The year of his birth (1741 or 1746) is disputed. His career began as an officer of Austrian army in the Seven Years' War, because Hungary was part of the Austrian monarchy at that time. However, his religious views and attitudes towards authority resulted in his leaving the country. From this time on he was called a sailor, an adventurer, a visionary, a colonizer, an entrepreneur, and a king.

In 1768 he joined the Confederation of Bar, Polish national movement against Russian intervention. He was captured by the Russians and interned in Kazan and later exiled in Siberia (Kamchatka). Subsequently, he escaped from Siberia and started a discovery trip through the Northern Pacific. In 1772 Beňovský arrived in Paris where impressed King Louis XV. He was offered to act in the name of France on Madagascar. In 1776 Beňovský was elected by the local tribal chiefs an Ampansacabe, (king) of Madagaskar. In 1776 he returned to Paris and in appreciation for his services as Commander of Madagascar, he was awarded with promotion to the rank of General, and granted the military Order of Saint Louis and a life pension by Louis XVI. In 1779 Beňovský came to America, where he tried to obtain support in proposal to use Madagascar as a base in the struggle against England. He died in 1786 fighting with the French on Madagascar.

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