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History & Politics of Slovakia
Slovakia, officially the Slovak Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe with population of more than five million. It is a member of the European Union (since May 1, 2004) and borders the Czech Republic and Austria in the west, Poland in the north, Ukraine in the east and Hungary in the south. Its capital and largest city is Bratislava.
Slovakia is a parliamentary democratic republic with a multi-party system. The last parliamentary elections were held on June 17, 2006 and two rounds of presidential elections took place on April 3, 2004 and April 17, 2004.
Historical & Tourist Attractions in Slovakia
Bratislava, the capital of the Slovak Republic, is the country’s political, economic and cultural center. Matthias Corvinus established the first Hungarian university, the Academia Istropolitana, in 1465; however it constantly lost ground to those in Kraków, Prague and Vienna and closed in 1490. The center of the Old Town (Stavé Mesto) is compact with much that is worth seeing near the Old Town Square; Trinity Church is noted for its magnificent trompe l’oeil frescos and the nearby Corpus Christi Church (kaplnka Bozieho tela) is now a museum packed with icons, jewelry and other aspects of ecclesiastical wealth.
The Slovak Republic’s greatest tourist sites are its mountains: the High Tatras receive the most publicity, but the Low Tatras and Malá Fatra, although less monumental, are also less developed. Mining and coin minting have played an important part in many of the Central Slovakian towns, with skilled German miners ‘imported’ in the 13th century. Banská Bystrica flourished as the capital of the seven ‘Hungarian’ (actually German) mining towns and was the center for the failed 1944 uprising. The Town Museum in the Renaissance Thurso Palace and the 13th-century Panna Márie church with its Gothic altar by Master Pavol of Levoca are the most important tourist sites.