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Slovak Republic Information - Page 1
Geography
The Slovak Republic is in Central Europe bordered by Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary.

Bratislava is the capital city. Other cities include Banska Bystrica, Kosice, Levice, Levoca, Nitra, Piestany, Presov, Trencin and Zilina.

Much of the Slovak Republic is mountainous: the High Tatras, the Low Tatras, Mala Fatra and Velka Fatra. The highest peak is Gerlachovsky in the Tatra Mountains.

The River Danube forms a natural border with Hungary. Other rivers include the Vah, Hron and Nitra.

The climate is temperate with warm summers and cold winters.

Environment
The Slovak Republic is part of an important karst area with twelve caves designated National Natural Monuments (four are on the UNESCO list of the world's natural heritage sites).

There are a number of lakes, rivers and wetlands and about twelve thousand springs of thermal and mineral waters. A significant percentage of the Slovak Republic is forested. Trees are coniferous firs and spruce with some deciduous trees, such as ash, beech and oak. The Primeval Beech Forest of the Carpathians, shared with Ukraine, is a World Heritage site.

National parks have been established since 1949. The Tatras National Park, which was Slovakia's first national park, is the largest. Other National Parks are The National Park Pieniny, The National Park Slovak Paradise and The National Park Velka Fatra.

Wildlife in Slovakia includes chamois, wolves, boars, wildcats and many species of birds.

Architecture
The Slovak Republic has a number of castles and buildings of architectural interest. The oldest castle is the picturesque Bojnice Castle.

There are around two hundred towns and villages with medieval castles and fortifications including the World Heritage sites of Bardejov and Banska Stiavnica.

An interesting example of architecture can be seen in the preserved wooden churches of the Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant religions. Because of their construction and interiors of historic value these wooden churches are a mid-European rarity. Their architecture is in harmony with the surrounding nature and the geographic relief of the country (most of them are concentrated in Eastern Slovakia). An interesting feature of these churches is that they were usually built without using nails or metal.

In 2008 the Wooden Churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area were inscribed on the World Heritage List. The property consists of three Greek Orthodox churches, two Roman Catholic churches and three Protestant churches.

Population
The population of the Slovak Republic was estimated at 5,455,407 in 2008.

Languages
Slovak is the official language.

Religion
The majority of the people are Christian; many are Roman Catholic.

Food
Over the centuries Slovakian food has been influenced by its neighbours, especially Hungary and Austria. Soup and stews are popular. Soups include bean soup, pea soup, sheep-cheese soup and mushroom and lentil soups. Feta cheese dumplings (bryndzove halusky), potato dumplings and spicy stuffed potato pancakes are traditional dishes. Mushrooms, potatoes and sauerkraut are eaten with poultry, pork, lamb, game and fish (trout, carp and pike).

The cuisine of the Slovak Republic includes many types of pastries and cakes, for example, cakes with curd cheese filling, fruitcake, honey cakes and gingerbread. Kolache is a traditional pastry.

Beer, wine and plum brandy are produced in the Republic.

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