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Thursday 18th April
Slovak Republic Facts
The Slovak Republic was formed in 1993 when Czechoslovakia divided into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

A fossil of a human skull, around one hundred thousand years old, was discovered in Ganovce in northern Slovakia.

A small ivory sculpture of a woman known as Venus of Moravany was found at Moravany nad Vahom. The statuette is estimated to be around twenty-three thousand years old.

A network of over one hundred and fifty temples, built between 4800 BC and 4600 BC, has been discovered beneath the countryside and cities of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany and Hungary.

The Celts had a settlement on the site of Bratislava, today's capital city.

The Romans founded a settlement in Trencin. An inscription on the castle rock commemorates a victory of the Roman Emperor Markus Aurelius.

In the seventh century the western Slavic tribes belonged to the Empire of Samo (628-658) which was formed to protect the Slavs from the Avars.

During the Hungarian and Slovak union, Hungarian kings were crowned in Bratislava.

The World Heritage site of Spissky Hrad has a number of Romanesque and Gothic military, political, and religious buildings dating from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

The village of Vlkolinec, a World Heritage site, has a large grouping of traditional log houses that are usually found in mountainous areas.

The Academia Istropolitana, Slovakia's first university, was founded in 1465.

The University in Trnava was founded in 1635.

Europe's first mining college was established in 1735 in Banska Stiavnica.

The Comenius University in Bratislava was opened in 1919. The university is named after Jean Comenius, who lived in the seventeenth century and said to be the founder of modern teaching.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century one percent of the Slovak population migrated to North America.

Tom Selleck, the actor and producer, was in born 1945 in Detroit, USA. His father had migrated to the US from Slovakia.

The American artist and filmmaker Andy Warhol (Warhola) was the son of a migrant from Czechoslovakia.

Peter Breiner, the world famous musician and composer, was born in Slovakia. He was educated at the Conservatory in Kosice. In 1992 Breiner moved to Toronto in Canada.

Czechoslovakia was a member of COMECON, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (1949-91) and the Warsaw Treaty Organization.

The Warsaw Pact (1955-1991) allowed Red Army bases in member states. (Warsaw Treaty Organization member countries were Albania (until 1968), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic), East Germany (DDR), Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union).

In 1968 Alexander Dubcek's government tried to introduce a more liberal form of communism, known as the Prague Spring. In August the USSR occupied Czechoslovakia and removed Dubcek and government leaders from office.

Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania intervened on behalf of Czechoslovakia during the Soviet invasion in 1968. Josip Broz "Tito" of Yugoslavia (not a Warsaw Pact country) was also against the Soviet action. Following the invasion, Albania left the Warsaw Pact although it had not been an active member since the early 1960s.

John Lennon was a pacifist hero to young Czechs. After Lennon's death (1980) the John Lennon Peace Wall, at the back of a fourteenth century churchyard in Prague, became somewhere for the youth of Czechoslovakia to write their views. After the "Velvet Revolution" (1989) the Lennon Wall became a tourist attraction.

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