The territory of Slovakia has been settled from the oldest times. Several cultures inhabited its territory until they were dominated by the expanding Celts in the 4th century BC followed by the German-Roman rivalry at the turn of the Eras.
In time of Migration of Nations the first Slavs arrived here. The Samo`s Domain existing in the mid-7th century with the territory of Slovakia as its central part was followed by establishment of the Nitra Principality at the beginning of the 9th century and finally the Great Moravian Empire was established in 833 AD – the first common state of the Slovak and Czechs ancestors.
After the fall of Great Moravia the Old Hungarian tribes invaded the territory of Slovakia, and the territory of Slovakia with its inhabitants became part of the Kingdom of Hungary for the long thousand years.
The Hungarian state was consolidated after centuries of internal struggle between the nobility and the ruler and economic growth occurred also in the territory of today`s Slovakia, which was also the result of the thriving mining towns or the trade centres. In what is now the city of Bratislava, the first university of Slovakia, Academia Istropolitana was established in 1467. The royal house, which ruled the country after the invasion the Turks undertook in Europe, was that of Habsburgs which withheld the throne until 1918.
From the perspective of the Slovak nation, the crucial period in their history was the 19th century when the Slovaks formulated their own political programme for the first time. The promising development of the national movement though, was mutilated by the Austrian-Hungarian Compromise signed in 1867 and the following period of Magyarisation which lasted full 50 years. Only the First World War activated the anti-Austrian-Hungarian resistance, which culminated in 1918 by the declaration on the joining of the Slovak nation with the Czech nation into a whole – the Czecho-Slovak Republic.
The independent Slovak State was established in Slovakia in 1939 as an outcome of international events, however, the end of the Second World War brought about restoration of Czecho-Slovakia. The communist party gradually seized power in the country and the communist dictatorship was overthrown only through the Velvet Revolution in 1989. The democratic process exposed several problems, which resulted in the break-up of the common state of the Czechs and Slovaks and the establishment of the independent Slovak Republic (1 January 1993).
Slovakia is a member of the European Union from May 2004. In December 2007, it became part of the Schengen Area and from 1/1/2009, upon the adoption of the single European currency Euro, Slovakia also became one of the countries of the European Monetary Union.
Review of important historical events and dates
approx. 5 000 BC
The first farmers arrived at the territory of Slovakia and built their settlements.
The first Slavs crossed the mountain passes of the Carpathians and appeared in the territory of today`s Slovakia.
The Frankish merchant Samo assumed leadership of the Slave tribe union. He founded and headed Samo`s Dominion – the first state of the Western Slavs.
The Moravian Prince Mojmír I expelled Prince Pribina of Nitra and founded the Great Moravian Empire by joining the Moravian Principality and the Nitra Principality.
Hungarian state ruled by King Stephen I was founded. The territory of what is today Slovakia was included.
Trnava and Krupina acquired the privileges of a free royal borough as the first towns in Slovakia.
The Hussites invaded the Kingdom of Hungary.
The first university in the territory of Slovakia Academia Istropolitana existed in Pressburg (today Bratislava).
The Parliament of the Kingdom of Hungary promoted Pressburg (now Bratislava) to Capital of the Kingdom.
The Kingdom of Hungary was swept by a series of six anti-Habsburg rebellions of the Hungarian nobility.
Anton Bernolák codified the first literary form of the Slovak language. However, it did not catch on.
The second codification of the Slovak literary language authored by Ľudovít Štúr was more successful and it became the basis of the current Slovak literary language.
Matica slovenská, the first national institution involved in promotion of education and culture of Slovaks was founded in Martin.
Slovakia became part of the newly established Czecho-Slovak Republic declared on 28 October in Prague. Bratislava became the Capital of Slovakia.
The independent Slovak State was declared on 14 March 1939 in Bratislava. Priest Jozef Tiso became the President of this new state practically established by the Nazi Germany.
Slovak National Uprising broke out in central Slovakia (29. 8.).
The Red Army entered Slovakia through the Dukla pass on 6 October 1944 and started to liberate Slovakia from the Nazi occupation.
After the communist coup in February 1948 Slovakia also fell under the control of the communists and the Soviet Union.
In November the Velvet Revolution brought about essential political changes, deprived the communists of power and opened the way to democracy and pluralism.
Slovakia became the independent and sovereign state on 1 January and entered the UNO on 19 January.
On 1 May Slovakia became a member of the European Union.
In December, Slovakia became a part of the Schengen Area – the system of free movement of persons within 25 European countries.
On 1 January, the Slovak Republic adopted the single European currency Euro and thus became one of the countries of the European Monetary Union.