Slovakia, officially named the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe with a population of over five million and an area
of about 49,000 square
kilometres. The largest
city is Bratislava,
Slovakia is divided into 8 regions, each of which is named after its regional capital. The regions are subdivided into many districts. In the past, Slovakia had 79 districts, which are no longer part of the official administrative system, but the country has maintained them for different purposes.
In terms of economy and unemployment rate, the western regions are more prosperous than the east. Slovakia is best known for its pistine nature in the countryside: mountains make up two-thirds of its land, 40 percent of which is covered by forests.
The region of Bratislava is the country's smallest in terms of area, but its most densely settled and urbanised, with 296 inhabitants per square kilometre, about three times the Slovak average. Bratislava, the capital, had a population of 426,091, or 70 percent of the total inhabitants of the region. The Bratislava region is bordered by the Danube to the south and the Morava to the west. It consists of the Záhorie lowlands in the far west of the country and the Podunajská nížina (Danube lowlands) towards the Hungarian south, divided by the heavily forested Malé Karpaty (Small Carpathian mountains) range.
The south-west Trnava region is a strangely shaped body of land that encloses Bratislava region and borders on the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary. It is the second smallest region after Bratislava, and the smallest in terms of area.
The south-central Nitra region is Slovakia's agricultural heartland. Flatter and warmer than the rest of the country, its soil and terrain are best suited to farming.
The north-west Žilina region is a rugged area that borders on the Czech Republic and Poland. It includes no fewer than seven mountain ranges: the Tatry and Nízke tatry (Tatras and the Low Tatras), the Veľká and Malá Fatra (Greater and Lesser Fatras), the Chočské vrchy (Choč Mountains), the Javorníky and the Strážovské vrchy (Strážov Mountains). The region is also dominated by national parks
Banská Bystrica region, the country's largest in terms of area, lies in the southern part of Central Slovakia. With its extensive forests and hilly terrain, it is the least densely settled region.
The north-east Prešov region is Slovakia's most physically spectacular, but poor and sparsely settled as well. It borders on Poland and Ukraine, and contains five national parks. Less than half of the inhabitants of the region live in urban settings.
Košice region is a largely flat and poor area in the southeast of Slovakia bordering on Ukraine and Hungary. With a population of 773,000, it is the second largest region while with about one third of the total inhabitants of the region, the capital Košice is Slovakia's second largest city and is the industrial anchor of the east of the country.
The north-west Trenčín region is a relatively wealthy and developed part of Slovakia, bordering on the Czech Republic. It is hilly but not rugged, and has an unusually high (55 percent) proportion of inhabitants employed in industry, making it the second most heavily industrialised region after Bratislava.
The iconic building of the British retail chain Tesco department store in the centre of Bratislava has changed hands. The new owner of the building is the Mirage Shopping Center company of Žilina-based businessman George Trabelssie. Since 2016 the retail chain Tesco has sold five department stores across Slovakia. Trabelssie, who is close to former chair of the Slovak National Party (SNS) Ján Slota, acquired Tesco department stores also in Nitra and Žilina, the Hospodárske Noviny business daily reported. Tesco will continue to operate in the building on Kamenné Square as it will rent the premises.
The reconstruction of the Park Inn by Radisson Danube hotel in Bratislava has become the ugliest new building constructed between the years 2011 and 2018. As much as almost one third of 1002 participants in a survey organised by the website Trend Reality of the economic weekly Trend voted for it. The weekly launched the survey in early December. Its goal was to start a discussion and hold up a kind of mirror to developers.
Prices of apartments grew at a two-digit pace in Slovakia in 2018. The average price of an apartment increased from €1,479 per square metre to €1,655 per square metre during the first 11 months of 2018. This means an increase of €176 per square metre or 11.9 percent, Vladimír Kubrický, analyst with the Real Estate Union, told the TASR newswire.
Bratislava’s Old Town has gotten a new square. It is part of a new office-residential complex called Blumental, built by the development company Corwin. It is flanked by streets Mýtna and Radlinského and interconnects with them. It was named after mediaeval King Matthias Corvinus, Matej Korvín Square.
Bratislava is scheduled to get a new landmark within a few years. The developer J&T Real Estate (JLRE) has obtained a development permit for the project of extending Eurovea on the Danube embankment. Included is the 168-metre high Eurovea Tower, the first building in Bratislava that meets the latest criteria for being called a skyscraper, i.e. higher than 150 metres. The residence tower will have 47 storeys and have almost more than 380 residential units. The project will add 84,000 square metres of retail premises to the existing ones in the first phase of Eurovea, the Hospodárske Noviny wrote.
At the end of 2018, the offer of housing units in newly finished apartment buildings in Bratislava hit a low since 2002-2005, when this market started developing in Slovakia. This resulted in an increase of average prices of apartments.