Map of Slovakia in 2002

Map of Central Europe showing major topographic features. The political boundaries date from 2002. In 2006, Serbia and Montenegro became separate countries. Modified from Paul Robert Magocsi, Historical Atlas of Central Europe, Revised and Expanded Edition, University of Washington Press, Seattle, 2002.

Situated in the heart of Central Europe, Slovakia is surrounded by Austria and the Czech Republic on the west, Poland on the north, Ukraine on the east, and Hungary on the south. Much of Slovakia is mountainous, lying along the western part of the Carpathian chain that stretches in a great arc all the way to Romania. The rugged High Tatra Mountains form the border with Poland. Southward the mountains gradually give way to the great Danubian plain; the Danube River forms part of the border with Hungary, before it turns abruptly to head due south across the Hungarian plains. Great rivers flow southerly from the Tatras, ultimately joining the Danube. Slovakia is a land of great natural beauty, ranging from the dramatic High Tatras; to bucolic, rolling agricultural areas; to romantic old villages. Its cities, towns, and villages preserve much traditional architecture. Look here for photographs depicting this beauty.