Slovakia (sloÊËvÃ¦kiÉ, -ËvÉËk-/ listen);Slovak: Slovensko listen)), officially the Slovak Republic (Slovak: SlovenskÃ¡ republika, listen (helpÂ·info)), is a landlocked country in Central Europe.It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west, and the Czech Republicto the northwest. Slovakia's territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi) and is mostly mountainous. The population is over 5.4 million and consists mostly of Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, and the second-largest city is KoÅ¡ice. The official language is Slovak.
The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries. In the 7th century they played a significant role in the creation of Samo's Empire and in the 9th century established the Principality of Nitra, which was later conquered by the Principality of Moravia to establish Great Moravia. In the 10th century, after the dissolution of Great Moravia, the territory was integrated into the Principality of Hungary, which would become the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000. In 1241 and 1242, much of the territory was destroyed by the Mongols during their invasion of Central and Eastern Europe. The area was recovered largely thanks to BÃ©la IV of Hungary who also settled Germans who became an important ethnic group in the area, especially in what are today parts of centraland eastern Slovakia. After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czechoslovak National Council established Czechoslovakia (1918â1939). A separate (First) Slovak Republic (1939â1945) existed during World War II as a totalitarian, clero-fascist one-party client state of Nazi Germany. At the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was re-established as an independent country. After a coup in 1948 Czechoslovakia became a totalitarian one-party socialist state under a communist administration, during which the country was part of the Soviet led Eastern Bloc. Attempts to liberalize communism in Czechoslovakia culminated in the Prague Spring, which was crushed by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution ended the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia peacefully. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce.