• Bulgaria!

    Bulgaria: An old Turkish bridge. Go Now!

    Bulgaria
    The isolated mountains of Bulgaria hide cultural gems around every corner, including this old Turkish bridge in the Rhodopi Mountains. Explore Bulgaria!

  • Italy!

    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Portugal!

    Portugal: Palace of Pena. Go Now!

    Portugal
    Although next to the seas and made famous by trade, Portugal boasts dynamic landscapes and architecture, including the Palace of Pena (pictured) near the town of Sintra. Go to Portugal!

  • Denmark!

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    Denmark
    From cities like Copenhagen to islands, beaches, and vast fields (pictured), Denmark offers incredible history, architecture, scenery, and more. Begin Your Journey!

  • Czech Republic!

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    Czech Republic
    The Astronomical Clock in Prague (pictured) makes every tourist list, but the towns, including Cesky Krumlov, and the mountains offer a change of pace. Go Now!

  • Armenia!

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SlovakiaThe name Slovakia is simply the historic word used to describe the Slavic people. In Slovak this word is slověn and the country name, in Slovak, is "Slovensko."

Slovensko

Introduction:

The people and culture of Slovakia are rooted in the mountains. For much of history the Slavs who made these lands home were somewhat isolated in the mountains and therefore had fewer outside influences than other regions. Despite this, many cultural similarities were shared throughout the Carpathian Mountains and many foods can be found as far away as Ukraine. However, today the culture has numerous modern introductions, including technology and Christianity among many others.

Due to the mountains, the culture and many sub-cultures of Slovakia are distinct and there are slight variations from village to village regarding dress, foods, lifestyle, and other cultural aspects. However, when something is introduced to these mountains, it tends to stay and this was the case with Christianity. The people converted to Christianity early and have since remained loyal to Catholicism. Even today Catholicism makes a significant impact on the culture and people as nearly every town can be spotted with a rising church chapel in front of the mountainous backdrop.

Although many villages are somewhat isolated in Slovakia, the country is also accessible in many areas and in these areas the people have had profound cultural and historical influences introduced by the Austrians, Hungarians, Czechs, and others. In fact, the Slovaks and Czechs were united for much of history and the similarities between these people and their cultures are still obvious, although differences abound.

In more recent times the culture has again changed due to political changes. Falling under communist rule for much of the 1900s, the country sadly boasts Soviet-inspired architecture. This rule also urbanized the people to a great degree and shifted the focus of the economy from farming to industry. These changes meant a shift from the mountains to the cities and lowlands, while drastically altering the lifestyle. The lifestyle has continued to change since the fall of communism as Slovakia has joined the European Union and has a growing economy. Despite the many changes though, the Slovak culture is still rooted in the mountains as traditional foods, clothing, architecture, and attitudes persevere.

Slovakia's flag is based off the Pan-Slavic flag, which is also red, white, and blue. In the foreground is Slovakia's coat of arms, which includes the double cross of St. Cyril and St. Methodius and three hills.

Name: Slovak Republic
Independence: January 1, 1993
Capital: Bratislava
Currency: Euro
Population: 5,488,339 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Slovak & Hungarian
Language: Slovak
Religion: Roman Catholic

Information for Slovakia was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks