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Slovakia Geography


Slovakia is a landlocked country located in Eastern Europe. Comparatively, it is about twice the size of the state of New Hampshire with a total area of 48,845 sq km (18,859 sq mi). Slovakia shares boundaries with Poland on the north Ukraine on the east, Hungary on the south, and Austria and the Czech Republic on the west, and has a total boundary length of 1,355 km (842 mi). Slovakia's capital city, Bratislava, is located on the southwestern border of the country.

The Slovak landscape is noted primarily for its mountainous nature, with the Carpathian Mountains extending across most of the northern half of the country. Amongst these mountain ranges are the high peaks of the Tatra mountains. To the north, close to the Polish border, are the High Tatras which are a popular skiing destination and home to many scenic lakes and valleys as well as the highest point in Slovakia, the Gerlachovský štít at 2,655 metres (8,711 ft), and the country's highly symbolic mountain Krivá?.

Major Slovak rivers are the Danube, the Váh and the Hron. Tisa marks Slovak-Hungarian border at only 5 km.

Slovakia's climate is continental, with hot summers and cold winters. In July the mean temperature is 21°C (70°F). January's mean temperature is -1°C (30°F). Rainfall averages roughly 49 cm (19.3 in) a year, and can exceed 200 cm (80 in) annually in the High Tatras.

Like the Czech Republic, Slovakia has had its air contaminated by sulfur dioxide emissions resulting from the use of lignite as an energy source by the former Czechoslovakia, which had the highest levels of sulfur dioxide emissions in Europe. Slovakia instituted a program to reduce pollution in the late 1980s. Air pollution by metallurgical plants endangers human health as well as the environment, and lung cancer is prevalent in areas with the highest pollution levels.

Airborne emissions in the form of acid rain, combined with air pollution from Poland and the former German Democratic Republic, have damaged Slovakia's forests. Land erosion caused by agricultural and mining practices is also a significant problem.

As of 2001, 22.1% of Slovakia's total land area is protected. In 2001, 8 mammal species, 4 types of birds, and 11 plant species were endangered. Threatened species include the Danube salmon, marsh snail and false ringlet butterfly.


Central Europe, south of Poland

Geographic coordinates
48 40 N, 19 30 E

Map references

total: 48,845 sq km
land: 48,800 sq km
water: 45 sq km

Area - comparative
about twice the size of New Hampshire

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