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04 October 2011


Posted in Slovakia

Slovakia, also known as the Slovak Republic, is a charming Central European country with a colorful history. Its northern countryside is marked by the prestigious Carpathian Mountains, which extend across much of the northern territory. Slovakia's northern border with Poland is accented by the imposing Tatra Mountains and serves as a favorite skiing destination. Nearby, the beloved Krivan Mountain watches over the panoramic valley. Slovakia is home to the beloved Danube River, famously immortalized by the composer Johann Strauss through his celebrated Danube Waltz,cheap accommodation,

Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia, is the country's largest city and serves as the cultural heart of the country. The city enjoys its many multi-cultural influences, and is brimming with many notable museums, art galleries, performance halls, and historic districts. In the Old Town district of Bratislava, the Slovak National Theatre hosts many popular operas, enchanting ballets, and dramatic productions. The Slovak National Museum, also in the Old Town, proudly exhibits its expansive numismatic and natural science collections. Bratislava possesses a unique shopping experience where you can find wood fired ceramics, hand carved woodcrafts, folk dolls in traditional clothing, traditional folk instruments like fujaras, and the famous corn husk dolls,getaways, 

Beyond the city you will find a plush landscape rich in history and undiscovered landmarks. Bojnice Castle, the national treasure of Slovakia, is renowned for its historical significance and has been used repeatedly for filming movies. A few miles outside of Bratislava, the ruins of the 9th century Devin Castle are not to be missed. The ancient medieval walls of Trnava served as the seat of the religious administration during 16th century. The city of Nitra, Slovakia's agricultural center, features the St. Emmeram Cathedral, the ruins of Hrad castle, and the ancient Drazovce church. Tour the 12th century Spis Castle, the largest medieval castle in the region,cheap motels

You can bike along Europe's longest cycling route, known as the Danube Cycle Trail. It extends from Passau, Germany, runs along the Danube River, through Bratislava and ends in Sturovo. Slovakia's many rivers and lakes such as Liptovska Mara, Zemplinska Sirava, and Sl'nava, provide abundant water sports including swimming, canoeing, rafting and fishing. For a spa treatment from Mother Nature, the Herl'any Geyser spews healing mineral water 100 feet up in the air every 33 hours. 

Getting around Slovakia is easy, as it has a well-developed transit system. You can hop on the Railways of the Slovak Republic and take an express train to any of the major cities and resort towns. Modern buses and trams run throughout all the major cities and offer an inexpensive way to see the sites. Taxis are cheap and readily available. Communication with the locals is not difficult as English and German are widely spoken.

Slovakia's climate is characterized by its dramatic geography. The mountains are perpetually cool and especially cold in the winter. The lowlands and valleys rarely reach beyond 70 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a perfect year round travel destination. From the majestic Carpathian Mountains, to the lush lowlands and historically vibrant cities, Slovakia is the highlight of any Central European excursion.

26 August 2011


Posted in Accomodation, Slovakia

Bratislava or Pozsony in Hungarian and Pressburg in German, [1] is the capital and largest city in Slovakia. It has a population of almost 450,000 and is the administrative, cultural and economic center of the country. Before 1919, it was known as Prešporok in Slovak.

The same square during the New Year's Eve celebration in 2006
Bratislava has a very pleasant medieval inner city with narrow, winding streets, a hill-top castle next to the river Danube, and many historic churches and buildings to visit. The old town is centered on two squares, Hlavne namestie (main square) and Hviezdoslavovo namestie (Hviezdoslav square, named after a famous Slovak poet). Of a rather different architectural character are some of the communist-era buildings found in the modern parts of the city; a prime example is Petrzalka housing estate, the biggest Communist-era concrete block housing complex in Central Europe, which stretches on endlessly just across the river. Move further east and there are plenty of rural places to explore. Farms, vineyards, agricultural land, and tiny villages are situated less than 50 kilometers to the north and east of Bratislava.

Today, Bratislava and its surroundings form the second-most prosperous region in Central and Eastern Europe, with a per capita GDP of around 129.3% of the EU-25 average (after Prague).

After the fall of the Great Moravian Empire, Slovakia became part of the Kingdom of Hungary from the 10th century until the end of the First World War when the Treaty of Trianon created Czechoslovakia, a country which Slovaks are widely proud of - for example, some Czechoslovakian representatives, such as Alexander Dubcek and Gustáv Husák, were ethnically Slovak.

Between 1939 and 1944, Slovakia was a German-controlled state. Then, it was conquered by the Soviets to recreate a new Czechoslovakia, but one that would be pro-Soviet and Communist this time.

This lasted until the fall of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia, during the Velvet Revolution of 1989. In 1993, peaceful differences between Czechs and Slovaks when rebuilding their nation after the fall of Communism led to the dissolution of Czechoslovakia into two separate and independent nations: the Czech Republic, and of course Slovakia (Slovak Republic). To this day, Slovaks and Czechs have generally friendly relations, and the two nations cooperate together frequently on international issues.

Bratislava was the capital (1536 - 1784), the coronation city (1563 - 1830) and the seat of the diet (1536 - 1848) of the Kingdom of Hungary for many years. Since 1960, it has been the capital of the federal state of Slovakia within Czechoslovakia and, since 1993, it has been the capital of independent Slovakia.

Although today, Bratislava's population are mostly Slovaks, from the 13th to the early 19th century, the majority ethnic group in the city were the Germans, who remained the largest ethnic group until the First World War (in 1910, 42% were German, 41% Hungarian and 15% Slovak out of a total population of 78,000). Hungarians formed another important group in the city in the 19th century, but after the First World War, many Germans and Hungarians left for Austria and Hungary respectively, and the remaining Germans were expelled at the end of World War II.