Coordinates: 48°40′N 19°30′E / 48.667°N 19.500°E / 48.667; 19.500
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Slovak Republic
Slovenská republika (Slovak)
Anthem: Nad Tatrou sa blýska (Slovak)
(English: "Lightning over the Tatras")
National seal
Ethnic groups
  • 23.8% No religion
  • 0.9% Others
  • 6.5% Unspecified
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
• President
Zuzana Čaputová
Ľudovít Ódor
Boris Kollár
Fourth Czechoslovak Republic
11 July 1960
• Slovak Socialist Republic (within Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, change of unitary Czechoslovak state into a federation)
1 January 1969
• Slovak Republic (change of name within established Czech and Slovak Federative Republic)
1 March 1990
1 January 1993
• Total
49,035 km2 (18,933 sq mi) (127th)
• Water (%)
0.72 (2015)[3]
• 2022 census
Neutral increase 5,460,185[4] (117th)
• Density
111/km2 (287.5/sq mi) (88th)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
• Total
Increase $211.119 billion[5] (70th)
• Per capita
Increase $38,320[5] (44th)
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $127,533 billion[5] (62nd)
• Per capita
Increase $21,665[5] (47th)
Gini (2019)Negative increase 22.8[6]
HDI (2021)Increase 0.848[7]
very high · 45th
CurrencyEuro () (EUR)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
• Summer (DST)
Date formatd. m. yyyy
Driving sideright
Calling code+421
ISO 3166 codeSK
Internet and .eu

Slovakia (/slˈvækiə, -ˈvɑːk-/ (listen);[8][9] Slovak: Slovensko [ˈslɔʋenskɔ] (listen)), officially the Slovak Republic (Slovak: Slovenská republika [ˈslɔʋenskaː ˈrepublika] (listen)), 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 southwest, and the Czech Republic to the northwest. Slovakia's mostly mountainous territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi), with a population of over 5.4 million. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, while the second largest city is Košice.

The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the fifth and sixth centuries. In the seventh century, they played a significant role in the creation of Samo's Empire. In the ninth century, they 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 then became the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000.[10] In 1241 and 1242, after the Mongol invasion of Europe, much of the territory was destroyed. The area was recovered largely thanks to Béla IV of Hungary, who also settled Germans, leading them to become an important ethnic group in the area, especially in what are today parts of central and eastern Slovakia.[11]


independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce

Slovakia is a developed country with an advanced high-income economy. The country maintains a combination of a market economy with a comprehensive social security system, providing citizens with universal health care, free education, and one of the longest paid parental leaves in the OECD.[12] Slovakia is a member of the European Union, the Eurozone, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, CERN, the OECD, the WTO, the Council of Europe, the Visegrád Group, and the OSCE. Slovakia is also home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The world's largest per-capita car producer, Slovakia manufactured a total of 1.1 million cars in 2019, representing 43% of its total industrial output.[13]


Slovakia's name in theory means the "Land of the

Slovensko in Slovak stemming from the older form Sloven/Slovienin). As such, it is a cognate of the words Slovenia and Slavonia. In medieval Latin, German, and even some Slavic sources, the same name has often been used for Slovaks, Slovenes, Slavonians, and Slavs in general. According to one of the theories, a new form of national name formed for the ancestors of the Slovaks between the 13th and 14th century, possibly due to foreign influence; the Czech word Slovák (in medieval sources from 1291 onward).[14]
This form slowly replaced the name for the male members of the community, but the female name (Slovenka), reference to the lands inhabited (Slovensko) and the name of the language (slovenčina) all remained the same, with their base in the older form (compare to Slovenian counterparts). Most foreign translations tend to stem from this newer form (Slovakia in English, Slowakei in German, Slovaquie in French, etc.).

In medieval Latin sources, terms Slavus, Slavonia, or Slavorum (and more variants, from as early as 1029)[14] have been used. In German sources, names for the Slovak lands were Windenland or Windische Lande (early 15th century),[15] with the forms "Slovakia" and "Schlowakei" starting to appear in the 16th century.[16] The present Slovak form Slovensko is first attested in the year 1675.[17]


The oldest surviving human artefacts from Slovakia are found near Nové Mesto nad Váhom and are dated at 270,000 BCE, in the Early Paleolithic era. These ancient tools, made by the Clactonian technique, bear witness to the ancient habitation of Slovakia.[18]


cranium (c. 200,000 BCE), discovered near Gánovce
, a village in northern Slovakia.

Archaeologists have found prehistoric human skeletons in the region, as well as numerous objects and vestiges of the Gravettian culture, principally in the river valleys of Nitra, Hron, Ipeľ, Váh and as far as the city of Žilina, and near the foot of the Vihorlat, Inovec, and Tribeč mountains, as well as in the Myjava Mountains. The most well-known finds include the oldest female statue made of mammoth bone (22,800 BCE), the famous Venus of Moravany. The statue was found in the 1940s in Moravany nad Váhom near Piešťany. Numerous necklaces made of shells from Cypraca thermophile gastropods of the Tertiary period have come from the sites of Zákovská, Podkovice, Hubina, and Radošina. These findings provide the most ancient evidence of commercial exchanges carried out between the Mediterranean and Central Europe.

Bronze Age

During the Bronze Age, the geographical territory of modern-day Slovakia went through three stages of development, stretching from 2000 to 800 BCE. Major cultural, economic, and political development can be attributed to the significant growth in production of copper, especially in central Slovakia (for example in Špania Dolina) and northwest Slovakia. Copper became a stable source of prosperity for the local population.

After the disappearance of the Čakany and Velatice cultures, the Lusatian people expanded building of strong and complex fortifications, with the large permanent buildings and administrative centres. Excavations of Lusatian hill forts document the substantial development of trade and agriculture at that period. The richness and diversity of tombs increased considerably. The inhabitants of the area manufactured arms, shields, jewellery, dishes, and statues.

Iron Age

Left: a Celtic Biatec coin
Right: five Slovak crowns

Hallstatt Period

The arrival of tribes from Thrace disrupted the people of the Kalenderberg culture, who lived in the hamlets located on the plain (Sereď) and in the hill forts like Molpír, near Smolenice, in the Little Carpathians. During Hallstatt times, monumental burial mounds were erected in western Slovakia, with princely equipment consisting of richly decorated vessels, ornaments and decorations. The burial rites consisted entirely of cremation. Common people were buried in flat urnfield cemeteries.

A special role was given to weaving and the production of textiles. The local power of the "Princes" of the Hallstatt period disappeared in Slovakia during the century before the middle of first millennium BC, after strife between the Scytho-Thracian people and locals, resulting in abandonment of the old hill-forts. Relatively depopulated areas soon caught the interest of emerging Celtic tribes, who advanced from the south towards the north, following the Slovak rivers, peacefully integrating into the remnants of the local population.

La Tène Period

From around 500 BCE, the territory of modern-day Slovakia was settled by


Roman Period

A Roman inscription at the castle hill of Trenčín
(178–179 AD)

From 2 

Brigetio (present-day Szőny at the Slovák-Hungarian border). Such Roman border settlements were built on the present area of Rusovce, currently a suburb of Bratislava. The military fort was surrounded by a civilian vicus and several farms of the villa rustica type. The name of this settlement was Gerulata. The military fort had an auxiliary cavalry unit, approximately 300 horses strong, modelled after the Cananefates. The remains of Roman buildings have also survived in Stupava, Devín Castle, Bratislava Castle Hill, and the Bratislava-Dúbravka

Near the northernmost line of the Roman hinterlands, the

, existed in western and central Slovakia from 8–6 BCE to 179 CE.

Great invasions from the fourth to seventh centuries

In the second and third centuries AD, the

Pannonian Plain and established an empire dominating the Carpathian Basin

In 623, the Slavic population living in the western parts of Pannonia seceded from their empire after a revolution led by Samo, a Frankish merchant.[20] After 626, the Avar power started a gradual decline[21] but its reign lasted to 804.

Slavic states


Svätopluk I

Great Moravia (830–before 907)

Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius in Žilina. In 863, they introduced Christianity
to what is now Slovakia.

Great Moravia arose around 830 when Mojmír I unified the Slavic tribes settled north of the Danube and extended the Moravian supremacy over them.[22] When Mojmír I endeavoured to secede from the supremacy of the king of East Francia in 846, King Louis the German deposed him and assisted Mojmír's nephew Rastislav (846–870) in acquiring the throne.[23] The new monarch pursued an independent policy: after stopping a Frankish attack in 855, he also sought to weaken the influence of Frankish priests preaching in his realm. Duke Rastislav asked the Byzantine Emperor Michael III to send teachers who would interpret Christianity in the Slavic vernacular.

On Rastislav's request, two brothers, Byzantine officials and missionaries

first Slavic alphabet and translated the Gospel into the Old Church Slavonic language. Rastislav was also preoccupied with the security and administration of his state. Numerous fortified castles built throughout the country are dated to his reign and some of them (e.g., Dowina, sometimes identified with Devín Castle)[24][25] are also mentioned in connection with Rastislav by Frankish chronicles.[26][27]

Svatopluk I

During Rastislav's reign, the Principality of Nitra was given to his nephew Svätopluk as an appanage.[25] The rebellious prince allied himself with the Franks and overthrew his uncle in 870. Similarly to his predecessor, Svätopluk I (871–894) assumed the title of the king (rex). During his reign, the Great Moravian Empire reached its greatest territorial extent, when not only present-day Moravia and Slovakia but also present-day northern and central Hungary, Lower Austria, Bohemia, Silesia, Lusatia, southern Poland and northern Serbia belonged to the empire, but the exact borders of his domains are still disputed by modern authors.[28] Svatopluk also withstood attacks of the Magyar tribes and the Bulgarian Empire, although sometimes it was he who hired the Magyars when waging war against East Francia.[29]

In 880,

Methodius as its head. He also named the German cleric Wiching the Bishop of Nitra

Certain and disputed borders of Great Moravia under Svatopluk I
(according to modern historians)

After the death of Prince Svatopluk in 894, his sons

Eastern Francia
, Great Moravia lost most of its peripheral territories.

In the meantime, the semi-nomadic Magyar tribes, possibly having suffered defeat from the similarly nomadic

Carpathian Basin and started to occupy the territory gradually around 896.[31] Their armies' advance may have been promoted by continuous wars among the countries of the region whose rulers still hired them occasionally to intervene in their struggles.[32]

It is not known what happened with both Mojmír II and Svatopluk II because they are not mentioned in written sources after 906. In three battles (4–5 July and 9 August 907) near Bratislava, the Magyars routed Bavarian armies. Some historians put this year as the date of the break-up of the Great Moravian Empire, due to the Hungarian conquest; other historians take the date a little bit earlier (to 902).

Great Moravia left behind a lasting legacy in Central and Eastern Europe. The

Glagolitic script and its successor Cyrillic were disseminated to other Slavic countries, charting a new path in their sociocultural development

Kingdom of Hungary and Austro-Hungarian Empire (1000–1918)

Following the disintegration of the

Hungarians annexed the territory comprising modern Slovakia. After their defeat on the river Lech, the Hungarians abandoned their nomadic ways and settled in the centre of the Carpathian valley, slowly adopting Christianity and began to build a new state — the Hungarian kingdom.[33]

In the years 1001–1002 and 1018–1029, Slovakia was part of the

Duchy of Nitra. Comprising roughly the territory of Principality of Nitra and Bihar principality, they formed what was called a tercia pars regni, third of a kingdom.[35]

This polity existed up until 1108/1110, after which it was not restored. After this, until the year 1918, when the

Austro-Hungarian empire collapsed, the territory of Slovakia was an integral part of the Hungarian state.[36][37][38] The ethnic composition of Slovakia became more diverse with the arrival of the Carpathian Germans in the 13th century and the Jews
in the 14th century.

A significant decline in the population resulted from the

Jewish immigration, burgeoning towns, construction of numerous stone castles, and the cultivation of the arts.[39] The arrival of German element sometimes proved a problem for the autochthonous Slovaks (and even Hungarians in the broader Hungary), since they often quickly gained most power in medieval towns, only to later refuse to share it. Breaking of old customs by Germans often resulted in national quarrels. One of which had to be sorted out by the king Louis I. with the proclamation Privilegium pro Slavis (Privilege for Slovaks) in the year 1381. According to this privilege, Slovaks and Germans were to occupy each half of the seats in the city council of Žilina and the mayor should be elected each year, alternating between those nationalities. This would not be the last such case.[40]

One of the commanders of a Slovak volunteers' army captain Ján Francisci-Rimavský during the fight for independence from the Kingdom of Hungary

In 1465, King

Matthias Corvinus founded the Hungarian Kingdom's third university, in Pressburg (Bratislava), but it was closed in 1490 after his death.[41] Hussites also settled in the region after the Hussite Wars.[42]

Owing to the

Roman Catholicism. In 1655, the printing press at the Trnava
university produced the Jesuit Benedikt Szöllősi's Cantus Catholici, a Catholic hymnal in Slovak that reaffirmed links to the earlier works of Cyril and Methodius.


Pressburg retained its status as the capital of Hungary until 1848 when it was transferred back to Buda.[44]

During the

Magyarisation), culminating in the secession of Slovakia from Hungary after World War I.[45]

Czechoslovakia (1918–1939)

Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk
in the United States, 1918.