We asked you five questions about Slovakia. Here come the answers!
- Which Kingdom did Slovakia form part of from 1000 to 1918?
Hungary. Some of you may have thought it was Austria, as it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. But in fact it was Hungarian for over 500 years even before the Habsburgs took over the Hungarian throne, and remained part of the Hungarian lands up to the end of the First World War, when the Habsburgs were overthrown.
- Leaving aside the special case of Rome and the Vatican City State, Slovakia’s capital Bratislava and Austria’s capital Vienna are closer together than any other European capitals. How far apart are they?
Just 60 kilometres (37 miles). The cities are so close together that a tram route ran between them between the World Wars. Uniquely for a capital city, parts of the city limits of Bratislava are also international frontiers with two countries: Austria to the west, and Hungary to the south.
- Slovakia’s dominant geographical feature is the Carpathian mountain chain. Which famous range in the Carpathians shares its name with a vehicle manufacturer? And for a bonus point, which country does Slovakia share that particular range with?
The Tatra mountains, which straddle the border with Poland. The Tatra was founded as early as 1850 as Ignasz Schustala & Comp., but changed name (and, apparently, focus) in 1890 when it became the Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabrikgesellschaft (carriage-making factory company). It made passenger cars from 1897 to 1999, but now focuses on goods vehicles.
- Bryndzové halušky is Slovakia’s national dish. Halušky are similar to gnocchi, but what is bryndza?
Cheese. More specifically, in Slovakia it’s a type of cottage cheese made from sheep’s milk. Similar cheeses (with similar names) are made across eastern Central Europe, including in Romania (where the word originated – brânză in Romanian is the generic word for all cheeses), Poland, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova and Hungary.
- Which US pop artist, famous for his silk screen prints, had Slovak parents?
Andy Warhol, born Andrew Warhola to parents Ondrej and Julia. His family were both of the Lemko people, an ethnic Rusyn group straddling the borders of Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine. Ondrej emigrated from the family home in Mikó in what was then Austria-Hungary (now Miková in Slovakia) to Pittsburgh in 1914; Julia followed seven years later; Andy was born in 1928.
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