Vypracovala: Mgr. Katarína Šovčíková

Brief history of Slovakia

The area of Slovakia was settled by Slavonic tribes in the 5th century. At that time Samo´s empire appeared. Samo defeated Avars who attacked Slavonic tribes.

By the end of 8th century there were two princedoms: Pribina´s Princedom in Nitra and Mojmír´s Princedom in western Slovakia and in southern Moravia. Later these Princedomes united and laid the foudation of the Great Moravian Empire that became powerful barrier against Frankish (germánsky) expansion.

In 863 Cyril and Methodis arrived from Byzantium. They were the founders of the Slavic (slovanský) script and they brought Christian religion.

At the beginning of the 10th century Great Moravia came to an end and Slovakia became part of the early feudal Hungarian state. Bratislava castle was an important frontier stronghold of the Hungarian Empire. In the 16th century, for the first time in history, a Hungarian king was elected in Bratislava. Bratislava was Hungarian Coronation Town.

In 19th century Slovaks joined the struggle against feudal system but without any success. They were led by Ľ. Štúr and J. M. Hurban.

In 1918 Slovaks and Czechs formed the Czechoslovak Republic. After World War II, the country was liberated by Soviet soldiers and started to develop as a socialist country. The first attempts to change communism appeared in 1968 when Alexander Dubček started reforms. It was called the Prague Spring. Real change came after 1989 when communism started to fall over Central and Eastern Europe. In Czechoslovakia, it was called the Velvet Revolution.

On July 17th 1992 the Slovak National Council declared Slovakia a sovereign state and on September 1st 1992 approved the Constitution of the Slovak Republic. Since January 1st 1993 Slovakia has been and independent state.

The country joined the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone on 1st January 2009. It is also a part of NATO and Schengen Area

Slovak personalities

Ľudovít Štúr - the most notable figure of the second half of the 19th century, codifier of the Slovak language in 1843, politician, linguist, teacher, writer, and a journalist.

Milan Rastislav Štefánik - a politician, General of the French army, the first Czechoslovak Minister of War. Štefánik died when his plane crashed on the way from France to Slovakia.

Alexander Dubček - a politician and a leading figure of the Prague Spring (1968), an active participant of the Slovak National Uprising.

Juraj Jánošík - a Slovak national hero who robbed the rich to give to the poor. The Robin Hood of Slovakia, Juraj Janosik was born to a poor family of peasants, he became a leader of a band of outlaws.

Anton Bernolák - he codified the Slovak language for the first time.

Ján Amos Komenský - educator, theologian, priest, his work, ideas and teaching are among the most important personalities of the world of pedagogy.

Pavol Dobšinský - educator, writer, publisher and collector of folk tales, Dobšinský translated from several languages, especially French and English.

P. O. Hviezdoslav - poet, dramatist, translator of his poetry, his poetry has been translated into several foreign languages.