The full name of the country is Slovenská Republika. This country offers modern amenities and a good quality life to its more than five million residents and numerous visitors. It has the fastest growth rates in the OECD and the European Union. Slovakia boasts a high income economy. The official language of the country is Slovak. The natives in the country arrived somewhere around the sixth century and were a part of the Samo Empire. After being separated from Czechoslovakia during the tenure of 1939 and 1944, it was again added to Czechoslovakia. However on the 1st of January in the 1993 it was given the status of an independent state.
People from all over the world seek opportunities to invest in the country’s businesses as it offers low wages and tax rates against a skilled and educated labor force. The main earning industries of the country are car manufacturing and electrical engineering. The country enjoys an important location and serves as the crossroads for international trade traffic. In 2008 Slovakia’s Ministry of Finance stopped receiving aid from the World Bank and instead became an aid provider. The following year i.e. in 2009, Slovakia switched its currency from the Koruna to the Euro at a rate of 30.1260 Korunas to the Euro.
Slovakia is a beautiful country that has an abundance of natural beauty and manmade wonders. The landscape consists of:
Medieval castles and towns
The highest number of tourists visiting the country includes visitors from the Czech Republic at about 26%. The souvenirs that visitors and tourists love to buy include:
a)Products made from corn husk
b)Fajura – folk instrument
c)Crpaks – wooden pitchers
e)Crystal glass and much more.
These can be bought from state run shops which are found all over the country. Sites that are worth seeing are:
1.Spiš Castle – The largest castle complex in Europe
It is located about two hundred meters above the surrounding land and was built in the 12th century. The castle has had many kings from the Hungarians clan to the Szapolyai family, the Csaky family and the Thurzo family. However, this castle has been owned by the Slovakia government since the mid 1940s.
2.Ochtinská Aragonite Cave
It is the only aragonite cave in Europe, which is situated in the southern part of the country. The length of the cave is 300 and was discovered by Jan Bystrický in 1954. After about two decades this cave was opened to the public for the first time in 1972. The most attractive part of the cave is the Milky Way Hall.
3.Wooden Bridge in Kolárovo
It is the longest wooden bridge in Europe and is located in a small town called Kolárovo. The dimensions of the bridge are 2.25 meters in width and 86 meters in length. This bridge is built over the Malý Dunaj River. The bridge was once destroyed by floating ice blocks but then it was rebuilt even longer than its original length and amazingly was completed within nine days. This bridge has been in use since 1992.
4.Dobšinská Ice Cave – One of the biggest ice caves in Europe
This cave is situated near Dobsina which is a mining town in Slovakia. The length of the cave is 1483 meters but only up to 515 meters is open to the public and that too, only for the time between May to September. This cave was discovered by Eugen Ruffinyi in 1870 and is listed as a World Heritage Site.
The cave also boasts the position of being the first electrically lit cave in all of Europe. The average temperature inside the cave is measured at around zero degrees centigrade. As it descends from its entrance, the temperatures continue to drop down as one goes further down into the cave; both summer and winter because warm air cannot flow into the cave.
Shopping in Slovakia
A.Hrnčiarska – It is a shopping hub for those who prefer traditional craftsmanship. There are numerous shops from where one can buy:
B.Vinotéka Matyšak – It is an ancient cellar with the capacity to store up to forty five thousand bottles. It is a favorite and a must visit spot for wine lovers as they can also taste wine while touring the cellar.
C.Úľuv – It is a utopia for art lovers who can sift through the artisans’ collection and studios when visiting the two stores and a courtyard which occupies the premise.
The Slovenská Republika experiences warm summers with humid and cloudy winters. The temperatures can drop to -20° centigrade or rise to 37° centigrade in the respective seasons. Also the weather is different in the north of the country that is comprised of mountains as opposed to the southern part of the country.
The warmest region of the country is the southern part and Bratislava. The mountainous regions experience snowfall till April and the temperatures t night are known to plunge below minus twenty degree centigrade. The Slovenská Republika does not experience hurricanes but it does get very windy in the region.
This country is situated in central Europe and is a landlocked state. The countries bordering the country on the West, North, East and South are;
1.Czech Republic and Austria
The country has an area of about 49,000 square kilometers.