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History

Slavs living on the present-day territory of Slovakia belong among the oldest inhabitants of Europe and the first tribes had already found their homes here at the end of the fifth century and at the beginning of the sixth century. Under the threat of raids and attacks of Avars, these Slavs integrated under the Frankish merchant Samo’s leadership established the Samo’s Empire. It was the first state unit on the territory of Slovakia. In the next centuries, this was a base of establishment of other tribe units, and later of principalities, which enabled to establish the Great Moravian Empire led by the king Svätopluk due to the merger of Moravian and Nitra principalities. This period signified a great cultural blossoming and through the Byzantine apostles Cyril and Methodius, not only Christianity, but also the first script, have been brought on this territory. Lots of monuments coming from these times can be found in the Nitra town and in its surroundings, which was at the same time the town of consecration of the first Christian Church on the current territory of the Slovak Republic. Blossoming period of the Great Moravian Empire is also declared by the extensive discovery sites in the Devín castle near Bratislava belonging to the oldest castles in Slovakia, and it was an important Great Moravian defensive fortress. Nowadays, you can admire the splendid view of confluence of the Danube and Morava rivers from the top of well-preserved and renovated Devín castle ruins. After death of the king Svätopluk, however, the Great Moravian Empire began to fall apart and it became gradually a part of the Hungarian state. A period of the foreign sovereign descents governments had happened here and following invasions of Turks from the Osman’s Empire lasted almost 150 years.

Nowadays, memories of the ancient times and sovereigns thereof can be discovered through the visits of the Middle Ages castles and mansion houses, or the unique wooden churches, such as churches in Hervartov in Šariš, or in Tvrdošín in Orava. Orava castle, Spiš castle listed in the List of Monuments UNESCO, Zvolen castle, and castle in Topoľčianky known by its National Stud-farm breeding the thoroughbred horses called as Lipicán, and Bratislava castle towering above the capital – it is only a fragment of the historical monuments you can discover in Slovakia.

The modern history on the territory of Slovakia commenced to be written under the reign of Maria Theresa and her son Joseph II. In this period a foundation of possibility to establish the future Slovakia was laid here – the Slovak language was legalized and the Slovak National Council was established in Vienna in the year 1848.

Establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic in the year 1918, in which one of the most important persons of Slovakia M. R. Štefánik participated in it, can be commemorated at his monument placed in the hill called as Bradlo. This monument is an interesting work, from the view of architecture, not only of that time, but also of the present time, and it provides with a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside.

Completion of many-years lasting efforts of Slovaks to reach the independence, finally, it was the establishment of the independent Slovak Republic on the 1st January 1993.  

If you want to discover Slovakia, and its ancient history in details, to find a romantic nature hidden in walls of the ancient castles, to see where the history went, then visit Slovakia. Visit the country hiding the treasures of the past, and they are worth discovering.  

Historical art and culture

There are many museums in Slovakia; all you need to do is to decide what type of museums you are interested in. However, we guarantee that each one of them is able to take your breath away with its exhibits. There are various museums such as the museum of mining, natural sciences, homeland studies, museums with collections of valuable coins or archaeological collections with ancient excavations and artefacts from antique age. You can find them in almost every city or town as you can breathe the history in all the regions of Slovakia.

Also there are various types of fine art galleries in each part of the country. The most precious treasures of both old and modern painters are exhibited in the Slovak National Gallery where you can see works of art created by famous Slovak and foreign artists. Other galleries are in all the district towns – State Gallery in Banská Bystrica and Nitra, Gallery of Ľudovít Fulla - one of the most famous Slovakia’s artists - in Ružomberok, Orava Gallery in Dolný Kubín which exhibits the works of art of Mária Medvecká, an important woman painter.   

Slovak dramatic art is well known even abroad and not only because our actors perform abroad but also thanks to organised visits of theatre performances in our theatres. There is drama, ballet and opera in the new-built modern Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava. Opera singers such as Peter Dvorský, Ján Galla or Edita Grúberová and Ľubica Rybárska have brought fame for Slovakia’s opera virtuosity all over the world and they have performed on the most famous opera stages abroad.  

The country under the Tatra can also boast with other musicians. The Slovak Philharmonic, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and Slovak Chamber Orchestra belong to the top world chamber music. Modern music is also a part of the Slovakia’s music scene.

Slovakia is though world famous due to its unique and unrepeatable folklore. Folklore groups such as Lúčnica or SĽUK have become famous abroad as well. Slovakia takes much pride in its folklore traditions. Each and every city, town, region or village has its own distinct character and folklore – music, distinguished folk costumes and architecture, traditions and dialect. It has its own cuisine, local ceramics and tools.

Slovakia is simply a vast treasure of traditions which you will not find anywhere else. Convince yourself at one of the famous folklore festivals such the Východná Festival in the Eastern Slovakia, Pod Poľanou Festival in the Zamagurie Region or Detva Festival in the town of Detva.

Slovak gastronomic specialties such as “bryndza”, “oštiepok” and “korbáčiky” cannot be found anywhere else in the world and they are very popular with tourists.

A special type of shepherd’s pipe called “fujara” which is a unique folk music instrument not only for its typical sound but also for its distinctive shape of pipe with the length up to 180 centimetres. It is a real piece of art to be able to play it. It is not a matter of coincidence that the “fujara” was inscribed into the UNESCO List of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

And what else is TOP in Slovakia? It is generally claimed that the Slovak girls. Nevertheless, the best thing is to find out for yourself and see with your own eyes.

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