The Slovak Republic


Slovakia is an independent state situated in the heart of Europe.
It is bordered by:

  • the Czech Republic to the west
  • Poland to the north
  • Ukraine to the east
  • Hungary and Austria to the south.

The capital of Slovakia is Bratislava, which lies on the banks of the Danube River. Our
country has much to offer tourists, including old towns and cities, fairytale castles, caves,
and spa resorts.


Slovakia isn’t very big; it’s about 49,000 square kilometers in size. It’s divided into 3 regions:
Western Slovakia, Central Slovakia, and Eastern Slovakia.


Slovakia is mostly a mountainous country with rich wildlife and plants.
There are several mountain ranges:

  • the Small Fatra
  • the High Fatra
  • the Low Tatras
  • the High Tatras

The highest point in the Tatras is Gerlach Peak, which is 2,654 meters above sea level.

Our forests have many coniferous trees like spruce, fir, and pine, along with leafy trees like
beech, oak, and birch. In terms of animals, you can find brown bears, mountain chamois,
mountain marmots, storks, eagles, deer, and other creatures in our region.


Our country has many rivers. Some of them are:

  • the Danube, which is short but the largest. It flows into the Black Sea.
  • the Váh, the longest river, which also flows into the Danube.
  • the Hron,
  • the Ipeľ, and more.


Slovakia has many man-made dams. They create energy and protect against floods.
Some famous dams are:

  • Orava Dam
  • Liptovská Mara
  • Zemplín Dam
  • Domaša
  • Gabčíkovo Dam


Slovakia has many mineral and thermal springs. These springs helped create famous spa
places in towns like Piešťany, Bardejov, Sliač, and Turčianske Teplice.


Caves are an integral part of our natural beauty and many tourists visit them every year.
Some famous caves include:

  • Dobšinská Ice Cave, the biggest ice cave in Slovakia.
  • Ochtinská Aragonite Cave
  • Demänovská Ice Cave
  • Domica Cave


  1. Where is Slovakia situated, and what is the size of its territory?
  2. Which countries does Slovakia share its borders with?
  3. Is Slovakia a mountainous or flat country? Could you provide some facts to support your answer?
  4. Can you name any typical animals and the types of trees found in Slovakia?
  5. Is Slovakia rich in water resources?
  6. List some dams and explain why they were constructed.
  7. Why are spa resorts popular among foreigners? Name some well-known caves.


The climate is mild. There is the alternation of four seasons (spring, summer, autumn (UK) / fall (US), winter).

The warmest regions are in the south of Slovakia, while the coldest areas are in the north of the country. The hottest month is July, with very hot and sunny weather, while the coldest month is January, with temperatures dropping to about minus 20°C (degrees Celsius). Slovakia experiences a lot of rainfall throughout the year, especially in the Orava and Kysuce regions.


Slovakia has approximately 5.4 million residents, with a population density of 110 people per square kilometer.

Nationalities in Slovakia:

  • The largest nationality is Slovak, forming about 86% of the total population.
  • The largest minority is Hungarian, making up about 11% of the total population.
  • Other nationalities include Czechs, Ukrainians, Germans, Poles, and more.
  • Around three-quarters of the Slovak population are religious believers. The predominant religion is Roman Catholicism.
  • The patron saint of Slovakia is Our Lady of Sorrows


  • In November 1989, the Velvet Revolution marked the end of communist rule in
  • Slovakia officially came into existence on January 1, 1993, following the division of former Czechoslovakia into two independent states: the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
  • The political system in Slovakia is a parliamentary democracy.
  • The head of state is the president, elected for a 5-year term.
  • The head of government is the Prime Minister.
  • The National Council of Slovakia has 150 members who are elected directly by the people for 4-year terms.
  • The national anthem is “Nad Tatrou sa blýska.”
  • The Slovak flag consists of three horizontal stripes (white, blue, and red), with the Slovak national emblem on the left side, featuring a double cross on the central hill among three hills.
  • The official language is Slovak.
  • Slovakia became a member of the European Union on May 1, 2004.
  • The currency used there is the Euro (since January 1, 2009).


When it comes to souvenirs, visitors often like buying:

  • Dolls dressed in folk costumes
  • Small figures and other items made from corn husks
  • Ceramics (jars, vases, plates, and more)
  • Valaška, a decorated folk hatchet
  • Laced and embroidered tablecloths


  1. Can you describe the climate in Slovakia, including the coldest and warmest regions and months?
  2. What is the population of Slovakia, and which nationalities reside there?
  3. Can you name the main religion in Slovakia and its Patron Saint?
  4. How did the end of communist rule in Czechoslovakia begin?
  5. When was the Slovak Republic officially established?
  6. What is the political system in Slovakia?
  7. Who is the head of state in Slovakia?
  8. Who serves as the head of government in Slovakia?
  9. What is the name of the Slovak national anthem?
  10. Could you provide a description of the Slovak flag?
  11. Since when has Slovakia been a member of the EU?
  12. What currency has Slovakia used, and since when?
  13. What souvenirs would you buy for your foreign friends?


Slovaks like to keep their cultural traditions alive, especially their folklore. In each region, there are groups in traditional clothes who play regional music and dance. A special part of men’s traditional clothing is handmade leather shoes called “krpce” and a big leather belt like what the Slovak national hero Juraj Jánošík used to wear.

Special musical instruments include:

  • Fujara – a long shepherd’s flute with colorful decorations.
  • Cimbal – a kind of string instrument played by hitting the strings.

There are many typical Slovak restaurants serving traditional Slovak food. The most
common dish is “Bryndzové halušky,” which is like dumplings with sheep cheese and fried bacon on top.

Other special foods include:

  • Pirohy – small dumplings with different fillings.
  • Makové slíže – noodles with poppy seeds, melted butter, and sugar.

Popular drinks include:

“Slivovica” (plum brandy), “Borovička” (juniper gin), and beer.
There are also non-alcoholic drinks, like “žinčica,” which is a type of sour milk from sheep.

On Easter Monday, there’s a unique tradition that might seem strange to foreigners. It
involves pouring cold water on girls and gently hitting/whipping them with willow
branches/whips. This is believed to bring strength and good health to the girls for the rest of the year.


  • Peter Sagan is a three-time world champion in road cycling.
  • Petra Vlhová is a world-class ski racer.
  • Štefan Banič was a Slovak inventor who invented the parachute in 1914.


Many Slovaks believe they are friendly, family-oriented, modest, hardworking, willing to help
others, and skillful. They can repair their cars themselves, fix a leaking roof, decorate their
apartments, and even build their houses. They are also very hospitable and treat their guests kindly and generously.


The economy in Slovakia consists of 3 sectors: industry, agriculture, and tourism.


The car industry is the key sector of the Slovakian economy. Currently, there are four car

  • Volkswagen Slovakia in Bratislava
  • Peugeot Citroën in Trnava
  • Kia Motors in Žilina
  • Jaguar Land Rover in Nitra

Other industries include the food industry, chemical industry, paper industry, and rubber


The most significant agricultural sectors/branches are:

  • Pig breeding, sheep farming, cattle ranching, and poultry farming.
  • Cultivation of crops such as wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, and vegetables.


Slovakia attracts tourists with its rich historical monuments and amazing landscapes. There
are lots of old castles, ruins, and interesting places to see.


  1. What customs and traditions are Slovaks proud of?
  2. Can you list some unique musical instruments?
  3. What is included in traditional Slovak cuisine?
  4. Can you describe any unusual traditions that are observed on Easter Monday?
  5. Which famous Slovak personalities do you consider to be good role models?
  6. How do Slovaks usually present themselves?
  7. Could you provide some facts about the Slovak economy?


There are many interesting places worth visiting. For example:

  • VLKOLÍNEC: This village displays typical folklore architecture, and in this open-air museum, tourists can see how people lived in the past. It is included on the UNESCO List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage sites.
  • Castles: Spiš Castle, the largest medieval castle in Central Europe, is included on UNESCO’s list. Other notable castles include Orava Castle, Bojnice Castle, Trenčín Castle, Zvolen Castle, Nitra Castle, Krásna Hôrka, Bratislava Castle, and more.
  • The Gothic Wooden Church of All Saints in Tvrdošín is also on the UNESCO list.
  • Caves: Dobšinská Ice Cave, Demanovská Cave, Ochtinská Aragonite Cave, Domica Cave, and others.
  • National parks and protected regions: Slovak Paradise, the High Tatras National Park, the Low Tatras, and others. These areas are suitable for hiking, biking, and winter sports.
  • Water parks: Oravice, Bešeňová, Aquacity Poprad, and Tatralandia. Their thermal healing waters help cure and rejuvenate our bodies.
  • The town of Levoča – here, you can find the world’s largest wooden altar. It was made by Master Paul in the 16th century.

BRATISLAVA – The Capital of Slovakia Bratislava

Bratislava is the political, cultural, social, and business center of the country.
Here are some places worth visiting:

  • Bratislava Castle: This iconic landmark resembles an upside-down table.
  • St. Martin’s Cathedral: Constructed in the 13th century in the Gothic style, it’s where former Hungarian kings and queens were crowned.
  • Grassalkovich Palace: This functions as the president’s residence.
  • Nový Most / New Bridge: An elevator takes you to the bridge’s top, where you’ll find the UFO café offering an incredible panoramic view of the city.
  • Michael’s Gate
  • Devín Castle

Bratislava is also nicknamed “the student city” due to its universities, such as:

  • Comenius University
  • Economic University
  • Slovak Technical University


  1. Which places are on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List?
  2. What places would you recommend to nature lovers to visit, and why?
  3. Name some water parks with therapeutic thermal waters.
  4. Which towns in Slovakia are definitely worth seeing?
  5. How would you promote the capital of Slovakia?
  6. Do you believe Slovakia is an appealing/attractive tourist destination?
  7. Are you proud of being Slovak? If so, why?


1. to border [tu ˈbɔrdər] skhraničiť s
2. bank [bæŋk] skbreh (rieky)
3. to offer [tu ˈɔfər] skponúknuť
4. fairy tale [ˈfɛri teɪl] skrozprávka, rozprávkový
5. cave [keɪv] skjaskyňa
6. spa [spɑ] skkúpele
7. spa town [spɑ taʊn] skkúpeľné mesto
8. at a spa [æt ə spɑ] skv kúpeľoch
9. territory [ˈtɛrɪˌtɔri] skúzemie
10. to divide [tu dɪˈvaɪd] skrozdeliť, deliť
11. mountainous ranges [ˈmaʊntənəs ˈreɪnʤəz] skpohoria
12. coniferous tree [kəˈnɪfərəs tri] skihličnatý strom
13. spruce [sprus] sksmrek
14. fir [fɜr] skjedľa
15. pine [paɪn] skborovica
16. leafy trees [ˈlifi triz] sklistnaté stromy
17. beech [biʧ] skbuk
18. oak [oʊk] skdub
19. birch [bɜrʧ] skbreza
20. mountain chamois [ˈmaʊntən ˈʃæmwɑ] skkamzík
21. mountain marmot sksvišť
22. stork [stɔrk] skbocian
23. lynx [lɪŋks] skrys

The Slovak Republic

24. deer [dɪr] skjeleň
25. to flow [tu floʊ] sktiecť
26. water dam [ˈwɔtər dæm] skpriehrada, hrádza
27. to prevent from [tu prɪˈvɛnt frʌm] skzabrániť, predchádzať
28. flood [flʌd] skzáplava, povodeň
29. throughout [θruˈaʊt] skpočas, cez
30. to attract [tu əˈtrækt] skpriťahovať, lákať
31. inseparable [ɪnˈsɛpərəbəl] skneoddeliteľný
32. alternation [ˈɔltərˌneɪʃən] skstriedanie sa
33. mild [maɪld] skmierny
34. rainfall [ˈreɪnˌfɔl] skdažďové zrážky
35. density [ˈdɛnsəti] skhustota
36. believers [bəˈlivərz] skveriaci
37. religion [rɪˈlɪʤən] sknáboženstvo
38. saint patron [seɪnt ˈpeɪtrən] sksvätý patrón
39. Our Lady of Sorrows [ˈaʊər ˈleɪdi ʌv ˈsɑroʊz] skSedembolestná Panna Mária
40. crucial [ˈkruʃəl] skkľúčový, zásadný
41. The Velvet Revolution [ˈvɛlvət ˌrɛvəˈluʃən] skZamatová revolúcia
42. elected [ɪˈlɛktəd] skzvolený
43. government [ˈɡʌvərmənt] skvláda
44. national council [ˈnæʃənəl ˈkaʊnsəl] sknárodná rada
45. direct election [dəˈrɛkt ɪˈlɛkʃən] skpriama voľba
46. anthem [ˈænθəm] skhymna


47. flag [flæɡ] skvlajka
48. horizontal stripes [ˌhɔrəˈzɑntəl straɪps] skvodorovné pásy
49. double cross [ˈdʌbəl krɔs] skdvojkríž
50. currency [ˈkɜrənsi] skpeňažná mena
51. corn husks [kɔrn hʌsks] skšúpolie
52. decorated folk hatchet [ˈdɛkəˌreɪtəd foʊk ˈhæʧət] skvalaška
53. embroidered [ɛmˈbrɔɪdərd] skvyšívaný
54. tablecloth [ˈteɪbəlˌklɔθ] skobrus
55. establishment [ɪˈstæblɪʃmənt] skzaloženie, zriadenie
56. foreign [ˈfɔrən] skcudzí
57. customs [ˈkʌstəmz] skzvyky
58. alive [əˈlaɪv] sknažive
59. proud of [praʊd ʌv] skpyšný na
60. hand-made leather shoes [hænd-meɪd ˈlɛðər ʃuz] skkrpce
61. leather belt [ˈlɛðər bɛlt] skkožený opasok
62. national hero [ˈnæʃənəl ˈhɪroʊ] sknárodný hrdina
63. unique [juˈnik] skunikátny
64. sheperd´s flute [ˈʃɛpərd´ɛs flut] skfujara
65. gnocchi with sheep cheese skbryndzové halušky
66. little dumplings with different fillings skpirohy
67. noodles with poppy seeds skmakové slíže
68. plum brandy [plʌm ˈbrændi] skslivovica
69. juniper gin [ˈʤunəpər ʤɪn] skborovička


70. sheep´s sour milk [ʃip´ɛs ˈsaʊər mɪlk] skžinčica
71. to whip [tu wɪp] skšibať korbáčom
72. willow whip [ˈwɪˌloʊ wɪp] skkorbáč z vŕby
73. modest [ˈmɑdəst] skskromný
74. skilful skzručný
75. hospitable [ˈhɑˈspɪtəbəl] skpohostinný
76. willing [ˈwɪlɪŋ] skochotný
77. plant [plænt] skzávod, prevádzka
78. significant [səɡˈnɪfɪkənt] skvýznamný
79. branch [brænʧ] skodvetvie, oblasť
80. pig breeding [pɪɡ ˈbridɪŋ] skchov ošípaných
81. cattle breeding [ˈkætəl ˈbridɪŋ] skchov hovädzieho dobytka
82. poultry farming [ˈpoʊltri ˈfɑrmɪŋ] skchov hydiny
83. worth seeing [wɜrθ ˈsiɪŋ] skstojí za videnie
84. open air museum [ˈoʊpən ɛr mjuˈziəm] skskanzen
85. nature heritage [ˈneɪʧər ˈhɛrətəʤ] skpríprodné dedičstvo
86. medieval [mɪˈdivəl] skstredoveký
87. healing water [ˈhilɪŋ ˈwɔtər] skliečivá voda
88. to cure [tu kjʊr] skliečiť
89. landmark [ˈlændˌmɑrk] skvýrazný / orientačný bod v meste, v krajine
90. shape [ʃeɪp] sktvar
91. upside-down table [ˈʌpˈsaɪd-daʊn ˈteɪbəl] skprevrátený stôlborde

bratislava castle
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