The Slovak Republic, founded on 1 January 1993 following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, is a landlocked central European country bordered by Austria to the west, the Czech Republic to the northwest, Poland to the north, the Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south. Slovakia covers an area of 49.035 sq km and has a population of 5,5 m people. It has been a member of NATO and the European Union since 2001. The capital city of Slovakia is Bratislava with about 427.000 inhabitants.
The Slovak landscape includes the Western Carpathians, which run through the northern part of the country, the Slovak Ore Mountains in the centre and the Great Hungarian Plain in the south. About one third of the territory, however, is covered by the Western Carpathians; its most important mountain ranges are the Little Carpathians on the Austrian border, the White Carpathians, the Greater and the Lesser Fatra and the Low Tatras and the Tatras (highest peaks are from 2400 m to 2686 m). Most famous rivers are the River Moravia along the Austrian and the Czech border, the River Danube along the Austrian and Hungarian border and the River Ipel along the Hungarian border.