Terrain shapes and bedrock
COUNTRYAAH, the Slovak landscape is dominated by the Western
Carpathians (see Carpathians). Several parallel chains with
intermediate valleys and streams meet the northern and
middle parts of the country.
At the far north are the mountains made up of flyschberg
rocks as well as clay and sandstones from the Cretaceous
period. Wrinkles and excesses here form a nice relief, which
was sharpened by the inland ice during the Quaternary period
with sharp ridges, niches and various moraine deposits as a
result. Here is noticed, among other things. High Tatra with
the top Gerlachovský Štít, 2,663 m above sea level. (see the
Tatra Mountains) and the West Blacks with the top Babia
whore, 1,725 m above sea level. (see the Messages). To the
south lies Lĺga Tatra, 2,043 m above sea level, with a core
of crystalline bedrock covered by Mesozoic sediments.
In the southern part of the mountainous area volcanic
formations are spreading in the Slovak ore mountains. Along
parts of the southern border, especially in the southwest,
are lowlands connected with the Hungarian plain. Slovakia is
dewatered to the south by tributaries to the Danube such as
Váh, Nitra and Hron.
Slovakia has a warm temperate humid climate with cold
winters and hot summers, slightly more continental than in
the western neighboring Czech Republic. The strong
topography is the main cause of local variations in the
weather, which can change quickly regardless of the season.
The summers are moderately hot and rain showers are common.
Hot days occur relatively rarely. Winters often offer longer
periods of calm and cold weather, and extreme cold occurs in
connection with eastern winds from the European inland.
The annual average temperature varies between 5 °C and
10 °C except in the mountainous regions where it is cooler
(down to –5 °C) and the southwestern lowlands where it is
milder (about 12 °C). The average temperature in January
varies between 1 °C and −5 °C and in July between 16 °C
and 20 °C. The highest measured temperature is 40.3 °C and
the lowest –41.0 °C.
The rainfall is relatively evenly distributed throughout
the year, especially in the western lowlands, with the
greatest amounts during the summer. The annual rainfall
varies from about 500 mm in the lowlands to over 1,000 mm in
Plant-and animal life
Slovakia is dominated by the Carpathian mountain range,
with the highest mountains in the Tatra region on the border
with Poland. Lowlands are found in the western and
southwestern parts of the country in connection with the
rivers Váh and Hron. At the far southeast of the border with
Hungary and Ukraine there is also a smaller lowland area.
Plant and animal life is characterized by fairly intense
forestry and agriculture.
Of the country's nine national parks, Tatra is most
famous along the border with Poland. The highest point is
the mountain Gerlachovský štit (2 655 m), while the mountain
Kriváň (2 495 m) has become something of a national symbol.
In the altitudes you will find alpine marmots, gems and
alpine sparrows. The forested slopes of stone pine, fir,
spruce, pine and larch home to brown bears, wolves, red deer
and chamois with golden eagles, Ring Ouzel and black grouse.
In the cliff you will find both wall crawlersand rock.
Several unique plants can be found here, such as the
scrub herb Cochlearia tatrea and mountain sip.
The park also houses a hundred smaller lakes, which are the
sources of the river Váh. Two valleys - Tichá and Kôprová -
in the western part of the national park have become almost
legendary; since cattle farming in the alpine parts ceased
in the early 1980s and an intensive campaign in the early
2000s stopped the plans for forestry, a truly
wilderness-rich plant has emerged with a trunk of about 40
bears, wolf, lo, gems, red deer and tadpoles..
In the northeastern Slovakia is the Poloniny National
Park. Together with the neighboring national parks
Bieszczadzki in Poland and Uzhansky in Ukraine include
Poloniny in the Eastern Carpathian biosphere reserve with a
total area of over 200,000 ha. The Slovak side houses a
number of valuable forest reserves with beech, silver spruce
and spruce. Here live owl, white-backed woodpecker, wolf,
lox, red deer and deer, and a small group of wise migrates
between Slovakia and Poland. Unfortunately, due to weak
legislation in Slovakia, the existing natural values have
The southeast corner of the country is flat. When the
snow melts in the nearby Carpathians, the floods create
ideal conditions for many humid plants and animals attached
to marshes, gallery forests along the waterways, swamp
forests and meadows. Two areas, Senné and Medzibodrožie,
have been set aside as a reserve for bird life in
particular. Here is the only nesting site for spoon dryers
in the country and other notable species are black-necked
dopping, white-eyed duck, egret, night heron, purple heron
and silk heron. During the autumn and spring, large amounts
of cranes and red poppies accumulate.
In southern Slovakia, on the border with Hungary, lies
the national park Slovenský Kras with central Europe's
largest karst area. The semi-open, pastoral landscape with
meadows, forest groves and individual trees is characterized
by an extensive pasture with cows, horses and sheep where
shepherds still look after the animals. Here a world
heritage site has been set aside, mainly for the protection
of the landscape and more than a thousand caves. However,
the National Park with its surroundings also houses a
valuable bird life with nesting rocky hills, emperor eagles,
tatar falcons, stone eaves, rock sparrows and collar
flycatchers. The flora is of a steppe nature with a
particularly rich spring and early summer bloom.
In the western foothills of the Carpathians, three
national parks - Vel'ká, Malá and Nizky Tatry - are within a
relatively small region. All are characterized by relatively
high mountains, forests and more cultivated valleys. The
fauna is characterized by predators such as wolf, brown
bear, lion, wildcat and otters as well as birds such as king
eagle, mountain owl, masonry creeper, gray woodpecker,
alpine sparrow, ringtrust and stone trout. As with other
national parks in Slovakia, protection is weak, hunting and
forestry are allowed in large parts, and tourism activities
In the border with the Czech Republic and Austria, the
Morava River joins with Dyje and the Danube. As in the
neighboring countries, valuable wetlands with gallery
forests with poplar, oak, lime and elm, swamp forests with
ales and ashes, moisture meadows, marshes and reeds with
beavers and otters, nesting white stork and black stork,
gray goose, roe deer, meadow falcon, meadow hawk,
Just to the east of it and not far from the capital
Bratislava are the southwestern, wooded foothills of the
Carpathians and Malé Karpaty landscape park with one of the
most important occurrences of nesting emperor eagles and
tatar falcons in Slovakia as well as black stork, snake
eagle, pilgrim falcon and mountain goat.
In 2009, 36% of Slovakia's area was protected by nature,
mainly from so-called protected landscapes, national parks,
nature reserves and Natura 2000 areas. Of the nine national
parks, Tatransky (741 km2) and Nizke Tatry (728
km2) are the largest. Tatransky is also the first
national park opened (1948). Some areas within the national
parks are set aside as biosphere reserves within the
framework of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere program.