A map of Slovakia Much of the Slovakia’s land is mountainous. The Tatra Mountains, part of the great Carpathian range, form a border with Poland in the north. Further south are forested highlands cut through by deep river valleys. Wooded lowlands cover the far east. The lowlands in the west are part of the valley of the River Danube, on the banks of which Slovakia’s largest city, Bratislava, is situated. Slovakia has a cool continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters. The western lowlands are slightly warmer, while the highest peaks of the Tatras are snow-covered all year round.
Most of the country’s people are ethnic Slovaks, descended from a Slav people who arrived in the 5th and 6th centuries. They speak Slovak, a West Slavic language similar to Czech. Slovakia’s population is scattered across its many mountain valleys, where people live in small towns or villages and towns. Some rural families still live in traditional wooden houses and raise cattle or pigs. Since the early 2000s, a boom in industry has seen more and more people move from the countryside to live in larger towns.
A Slovak, Štefan Banic (1870–1941), invented the parachute in 1913.
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