Havránok is an important archaeological site in northern Slovakia. It was a prosperous Celtic oppidum which served as a religious center for druidic rituals. Biatecs are Celtic coins found in Slovakia. This is Spiš Castle, one of the biggest ones in Central Europe. On the hill you can see a geoglyphs (a big stone structure) made by australian sculptor Andrew Rogers. It shows a horse from the Celtic coin found in the castle.
Roman legions fought against German tribes living beyond the border of their empire „limes romanus“. In 179 CE they carved an inscription on the rock under the present-day castle in Trenčín (Laugaricio). Trenčín castle
The Slavs (the ascendants of Slovaks) arrived between 5-6th Century from the East. Samo was a Frankish buyer that united Slavs tribes in Slovakia against the Avars. It was the first state of Western Slavs. In the Chronicle of Fredegar it is recorded that Samo had twelve wives. The empire disappeared after his death.
Glagolitic. Cyrillic. After more than a hundred years after Samo´s death, a new state was born – Great Moravia. It existed under the influence of the Frankish Empire but stayed independent. Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers who became missionaries of Christianity in Great Moravia. They devised the Glagolitic alphabet and established Slavonic liturgy. Their students Naum, Preslav and Angelarius left Great Moravia and went to Bulgaria. They simplified the glagolitic and created the cyrillic alphabet which became azbuka.
In the 14th century, due to so-called Valachian colonization, many people from Romania came to Slovakia. They brought new forms of sheep farming and they colonized the northern regions. The valachian tradition became inseparable part of Slovak folkor. Slovakia was an important part of the kingdom. Rich in gold and silver it was a prosperous territory and the majority of beautiful towns and castles were built during this period.
Turkish tent from Fiľakovo. Banská Štiavnica - the „New Castle“ served as a watch tower in the anti-Turkish wars. After a great battle of Mohacs in 1526, Turks invaded the central part of Hungary. Hasburgs, the new dynasty, took over Slovakia and the western part of former Hungary. Bratislava became a crown town until 1830.
Maria Theresa (1740 –1780) was the only female ruler of the Habsburg monarchy and the last of the House of Habsburg. She had 16 children and her daughter became French queen Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution. The monarchy was touched by the Napoleonic Wars. After the battle of Austerlitz in 1805, the treaty of peace was signed in Bratislava. During the attacks, Bratislava castle was burnt. Napoleon married Maria Louisa, daughter of Austrian Emperor Francis I.
During the WWI, Slovakshad to fight against France, Great Britain and Russia. However, many Slovak politics understood that the defeat of the empire meant a chance to gain independence. Milan Rastislav Štefánik, Slovak astronomer, general and diplomat, worked with the Czech politics Masaryk and Beneš in Paris and they gained support of the Allies to create Czechoslovakia.
Czech and Slovak nations are very close. We understand each other and the common state was the only solution after the WWI. However, many conflicts troubled this short period. Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk became the first president of Czechoslovakia.
In 1938 Nazi Germany annexed the Sudetenland, border regions in Czechoslovakia mainly inhabited by Germans and Hungary annexed the south and east of Slovakia. In 1939 after the interview of Slovak politician Tiso and Hitler, Slovakia declared independence and became Nazi allie. Bohemia and Moravia became Nazi protectorate. Thanks to Slovak national uprising, Slovaks took place on the side of victorious countries in the WW2. Banská Bystrica was the center of uprising.
Velvet revolution 1989 finished with communism. It was the beginning of democracy. In 1945 Czechoslovakia was renewed but lost Carpathian Ruthenia in the East. After the communist putch in 1948 a period of totalitarianism started and lasted for 40 years. In 1968 there was an attempt to build the socialism with a human face. But this „Prague spring“ finished by the invasion and then occupation by Soviet troops and tanks.
Václav Havel was the last president of Czechoslovakia. In the democratic regime the conflicts between Czechs and Slovaks became more and more obvious. They concerned the name of the state, economy, sport... Finally, the politics (not people) decided the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.
On 1st January 1993 the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic were born. After hundreds of years the Slovaks were given a chance to be independent. With its area of 49 034 km2 and population of 5 429 763 inhabitants Slovakia is one of the smallest countries in Europe. In 2009 the euro was adopted. In 2004 Slovakia entered the European Union. The capital city of Bratislava
Thank you for your attention and we are looking forward to your visit in Slovakia in June.