Landlocked in Central Europe, Slovakia is a mountainous country spanning nearly 50,000 square kilometers. The largest city is the capital, Bratislava and the country has a current population of around five million residents.
Slovakia’s official language is Slovak. However, residents also commonly speak Hungarian. Many people in the country know one or more foreign languages, as they are commonly taught in school and used in the workplace.
- Slovak Štefan Baniè, was the inventor of the first useable parachute. He patented his design in 1913.
- In 1999, Ivan Bella became the first Slovak to go to space when he joined a Russian-French-Slovak mission to the space station Mir.
- As it is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and the 3rd fastest in the Eurozone, Slovakia was dubbed the “Tatra Tiger.”
- The women of Slovakia, along with those of Lithuania and Poland, are the youngest to marry in the European Union, marrying when they are around 24 years old.
- Former World No. 1 tennis champ Martina Hingis is Slovakian-born, and her father is Slovakian. She has won nine Grand Slam women’s doubles and five Grand Slam singles awards, as well.
- Classic music had many influences from Slovakia. Some of the best known include Eugen Suchon, Jan Cikker, and Mikuláš_Schneider-Trnavský. Today, jazz and pop music are commonly produced in the country as well.
- Pork is the most important protein in Slovakian cuisine. However, chicken and rabbit are standard too. Many dishes feature potatoes and cabbage.
- Ice hockey is the most popular sport in Slovakia. The national team has made appearances in the Winter Olympic games on five separate occasions.