History talks

Learn about Slovak history through stories of interesting people and places. 

What happened to the wooden churches in Slovakia

Of more than 300 wooden churches, only 60 remain, mostly in eastern Slovakia. Check the complete list and an interactive map.23. Jul 2020, at 7:34

Wooden churches have made it to the UNESCO World Heritage List. This one, from the village of Mikulášová, is now located in the Bardejovské Kúpele open-air museum.
SME Plus

Jewish history still being made

Where exactly are Slovakia's Jewish cemeteries, synagogues and other related sights located? What is the story of Slovak Jews?Carmen Virágová9. Jul 2020, at 16:11

Bratislava: Chatam Sófer Memorial
SME Plus

Freedom can be lost democratically, from the inside

Has the country survived the abductions of the state, the inoculation of Mečiar, Fico governments and the Kočner underworld without harm to democracy?Beata Balogová, 17. Nov 2019, at 18:46


Prague was supposed to be a quiet posting when I arrived in 1987

A Canadian diplomat thinks back to his time in Czechoslovakia during the Velvet Revolution.Anna Fay, 11. Nov 2019, at 19:19

Guimond regularly attended demonstrations in Prague. This one took place in January 1989.

M. R. Štefánik: an uncompromising politician and royalist with debts

The story of Milan Rastislav Štefánik, both a French general and Minister of War for Czechoslovakia at the same time, has been hidden, twisted, and romanticised at turns. What is the real story?Zuzana Kepplová3. May 2019, at 12:09

Michal Kšiňan got his doctorate degree at the University of Sorbonne in Paris and a the Institute of History of the Academy of Slovak Sciences in Bratislava, where he works today. He studies the life of general Milan Rastislav Štefánik.

Sport, torture and guns; Palach was a fighter

The death of Ján Palach inspired protests that led to the overthrow of the communist regime.Roman Cuprik, 16. Jan 2019, at 18:26

Jan Palach

Do you see a white elephant? Welcome to Beckov!

An exotic animal as a symbol of a Slovak village might simply be – a mistake.Peter Dlhopolec, 29. Nov 2018, at 15:24

Beckov Castle.

Czechoslovakia was saving grace for Slovaks

The one-off holiday is pathetic, it betrays the ever-present Slovak separatism, says political scientist.Michaela Terenzani, 25. Oct 2018, at 17:45

Czech and Slovak presidents laid wreaths July 29 at T.G. Masaryk’s monument in Hodonín.

Slovak and Czech presidents mark centenary with a vintage train ride

The presidents also visited sights connected to the first president of Czechoslovakia,Tomáš Garrique Masaryk, to commemorate the centenary.Compiled by Spectator staff, 30. Jul 2018, at 13:19

The Czech and Slovak presidents rode on a vintage train to mark the centenary of Czechoslovakia on July 29.

Historical “presidential train” rides across Slovakia

The special project to mark the centenary of the founding of Czechoslovakia arrived in Bratislava on July 3rd.Compiled by Spectator staff, 3. Jul 2018, at 22:46

Presidential train arrives in Bratislava, July 3

Youngest Slovak village is like New York

Dedina Mládeže (The Youth Village) was a mere experiment during the communist era. Now, the still inhabited village has morphed into an open-air museum.Mário Šmýkal16. Jun 2018, at 17:39

Dedina Mládeže

What are the key events in modern Slovak (and Czech) history?

Czechs and Slovaks have rated the key events in domestic modern history, picking a wartime uprising, an anti-communist revolt and the rise of independent Slovakia. They also ranked top important personalities.Compiled by Spectator staff, 12. Jun 2018, at 13:51

The Museum of the Slovak National Uprising in Banská Bystrica.

Candle Manifestation 1988: We went into it like innocent children

Thirty years ago, thousands of people stood on the square, holding candles and praying. But the police brutally beat them and used water cannons against them.Ela Rybárová, Boris Vanya25. Mar 2018, at 9:28

Candle Manifestation, Bratislava, March 1988

Historian: After 1948, Czechoslovakia was paralysed with fear

On February 25, Czechs and Slovaks mark 70 years since the rise of Communism in their common state. Historian Jan Pešek talks about the coup and its aftermath.Michaela Terenzani, 23. Feb 2018, at 16:45

Demonstration in Prague, Wenceslas' Square, on February 28, 1948.

How did Communism happen in Czechoslovakia?

For the 40 years, Czechs and Slovaks would celebrate February 25 as Victorious February, even though the enthusiasm of most of those who supported Communists in 1948 would very quickly evaporate.Michaela Terenzani, 23. Feb 2018, at 16:45

Prime Minister Klement Gottwald (right) swears an oath into the hands of President Edvard Benes on February 27, 1948 at the Prague Castle.

The Danube Limes proposed for UNESCO heritage list

Among almost a hundred monuments dating back to the northern borders of the Roman Empire – including those from Slovakia – those in Rusovce have a good chance entering the UNESCO heritage group.Compiled by Spectator staff, 13. Feb 2018, at 13:50

Ancient Roman monuments in Gerultata, Rusovce (Bratislava)

New ways and new path of Slovak architect Weinwurm

The irregular guided tour in English this time offers an insight into the innovative thinking and concept of Slovak architect Friedrich Weinwurm, known also outside the then-Czechoslovakia, a pioneer of…Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská, 3. Feb 2018, at 12:47

Friedrich Weinwurm – Ignác Vécsei: Family villa Graber, Bratislava, Maróthyho 4; 1933.

Oversized statues of eight Hungarian kings attract visitors to Čečejovce

One of the tourist attractions of the eastern-Slovak village is an alley lined with larger-than-life Hungarian emperors.Compiled by Spectator staff, 30. Jan 2018, at 23:08

The Alley of Kings in Čečejovce

Who to blame for bryndzové halušky as the national meal

The ancestors of the Slovaks' wiped their mouths with the tablecloth, pigeons flying out of the pâtés served on tables. It was a famous Czech writer who romanticised “the meal of the poor”.By Ela Rybárová26. Oct 2017, at 15:28

Food of ancestors was by no means dull; llustrative photo of Pieter Claesz's painting from 1635.

Visitors’s centre opened near Andrássy Mausoleum

Historical former watchman’s cabin has been reconstructed to house the new centre for visitors near a tourist attraction.Compiled by Spectator staff, 23. Oct 2017, at 14:43

The Andrássy Mausoleum in Krásnohorské Podhradie