Slovakia – the heart of Europe in the right placeLEXIKA 16.10.2018 Meet the World with Lexika Reading time: 3 min.
After discovering various countries in our previous articles, it is finally time for the little big country of Slovakia. It’s true that Slovakia is not one of the big players, area- (49,036 km2) or population-wise (roughly 5.5 million), but its greatness lies in something else entirely. Let’s see what it is. Welcome!
Let’s have a look at Slovakia from a different point of view. We’ll start with the heart. The heart is one of the vital organs in the human body. It’s a symbol of love, affection, fighting spirit, life force, and other qualities related to the show of emotions. It has always been a Slovak tradition to welcome guests warmly, and offer them bread with salt and homemade spirits. From the standpoint of geography, Slovakia is indeed considered a “heart of Europe”. We can therefore proudly say that Europe wouldn’t be Europe without Slovakia in it.
Slovakia, women, and cars...
Beautiful women and shiny cars go together like salt and pepper – it’s probably gentlemen who will agree with this statement. Many people might not know this, but Slovakia is a country of cars. If we look at it per capita, Slovakia is the biggest manufacturer of cars, as for every one thousand citizens, Slovakia make 200 of them. And a beautiful car deserves a beautiful woman, right? Beauty is obviously in the eye of the beholder but no conversation about the most beautiful women in the world can do without mentioning the charming Slovak women.
World-class Slovakia and its superlatives
Apart from the beautiful nature, High Tatras, Slovak traditions, folklore, and food Slovakia has many other jewels worth mentioning. For example more than 6,000 caves, 1,300 mineral springs, or 120 castles and palaces – the highest number per capita, even though most of them have declined into ruins. Slovakia surely doesn’t play second fiddle to the world, as you can find out from these superlatives:
- In Kremnica, there is the oldest mint in the world which has been in continuous operation since 1328.
- Banská Štiavnica boasts the oldest technical university – the Academy of Mining – founded by Maria Theresa.
- In Levoča there is the highest Gothic altar in the world, carved by Master Paul of Levoča.
- Čičmany is the first folk architecture reserve in the world.
- Dobšinská Ice Cave was the first cave in the world to have electric lightning (since 1882).
- Bratislava is the only capital in the world to border with two other countries.
- The building of the first horse-drawn railway in Bratislava is one of the oldest station buildings in the world.
- The astronomical clock in Stará Bystrica is the only astronomical clock in the world to show the so-called true solar time.
- The Košice Peace Marathon, held in Košice for the past 95 years, is the oldest marathon in Europe and the third oldest in the world.
- Ochtinská Aragonite Cave is the only one of its kind in Europe.
- The Spiš Castle with its area of more than four ha (partially in ruins) is one of the largest castle compounds in Central Europe.
Slovaks who changed the history
We have also prepared a short list of Slovaks who changed the course of history:
- Štefan Banič – the designer of the first working parachute based on the principle of an umbrella.
- Jozef Murgaš – the first person in the world to radio transmit a human voice, or in other words: the inventor of the radio.
- Aurel Stodola – the developer of the first mechanical prosthetic arm and leg.
- Ján Bahýľ – publicly presented the concept of a modern, human-powered helicopter which actually flew.
- Maximilián Petzval – the designer of photographic lenses who prepared the concepts of binoculars, a projector, and improved the microscope.
- Ányos István Jedlik – the inventor of the electromotor with a one-way rotary motion.
- John Hertz – the inventor of yellow American cabs.
- Michal Bosák – the president of a bank in Olyphant whose signature was used on a ten-dollar bank note.
However, Slovakia can pride itself on important discoveries and inventions even today. These include the flying car, quickly degradable plastic, ceramic material for supersonic planes and many more. Therefore, we can say that the current official Slovak slogan “Good Idea, Slovakia” is very fitting.