Slovakia is one of the youngest countries in Europe, emerging from its Soviet period in 1989 and separated from the Czech Republic since 1993. Today Slovakia is a country in full transition, which navigates between modernity and tradition.While the Soviet past is gradually erasing itself from the mentalities that confidently enter the market economy, the legacy of this period is still visible in the presence of colossal buildings. Society has adapted to a new social and economic model and there are few nostalgic for the communist period. However, having been integrated for 1,000 years into the Kingdom of Hungary and attached to Czechoslovakia for most of the 20th century, Slovaks have always succeeded in transmitting their cultural heritage and defending their national identity.Since their entry into the European Union in 2004, everything has been evolving very quickly in Slovakia, the Western development model is on the move, and if growth was the watchword, the 2008 crisis has also affected the country, which is slowly recovering.However, despite its assets, the country remains strangely neglected by tourists. A small paradise of unknown nature, Slovakia will undoubtedly delight you. One piece of advice, hurry up and discover this country before we spread the word...
A mosaic population :
With a population of around 5,445,000 inhabitants and a density of 111 inhabitants/km², Slovakia ranks among the smallest European nations, 22nd in the EU. The two most populous urban centres are Bratislava and Koice, the capital with more than 420,000 inhabitants, and Koice, 238,000. The other cities in the country are medium-sized or small. Among the 5 most important are Preov, Nitra, ilina, Banska Bystrica and Trnava with similar populations around 80 000 inhabitants. A country where the movement and erasure of borders has always been the rule, there are many minorities who make up an ethnic mosaic that carries wealth but also tensions: Hungarians, Roma, Czechs, Ruthenians and Ukrainians complete the landscape that many think is very homogeneous.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette