Slovakia, officially the Slovak republic, is a country that is landlocked in central Europe covering an area of 19,000 square miles. The country is mainly mountainous and has a population of approximately five million people who are mostly of Slovak origin. The largest city and the capital of the country is Bratislava and the official language is Slovak. Slovakia is bordered by Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria
Poland and Slovakia share a common border that stretches for about 335 miles. The two countries had some minor border adjustment in 2002. There are three major crossings between the two countries: the Dukla Pass and the Lupkov. The Dukla Pass, which is a mountain pass located in the Laborec highlands, is close to the western border of Ukraine. The Dukla Pass is known to be a region where the west and eastern Slovak culture meet.
The Łupków or Lupkov is also a significant mountain pass between the two countries and is also close to the west border with Ukraine. Beneath the pass is a railway tunnel of 2,100 feet, which connects the two countries. The railway line and the tunnel were completed in 1874 to connect Galicia to the rest of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The pass was a vital communication link and played a significant role at the time. The railway tunnel in was destroyed several times and was rebuilt again during the world wars. It was rebuilt in 1946 and was never used commercially thereafter. It was in 1999 when a regular rail service was introduced again in the pass.
Another entry point is the village of Zwardoń in the administrative region of Gmina. It lies at about 6 miles to the west of Rajcza and approximately 16 miles to the south west of Żywiec, about 51 miles south of Katowice.
The border between Slovakia and Ukraine stretches for 60 miles. The two countries inherited the border from their respective previous state organizations: Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. The border was demarcated after WWII and when Slovakia joined the European Union the border security also became the responsibility of the union. There are two road check points and two railway checkpoints. There are also two pedestrian or bicycle checkpoints on the border.
In 2008 there were approximately 2.8 million people who cross the border between the two countries and more than 1.5 million items that were transported across the border. The two countries maintain a diplomatic relation which was established in 1993. It is estimated that there are approximately between 40,000 and 100,000 people of Ukrainian origin living in Slovakia.
The border between Slovakia and the Czech Republic stretches for 156 miles. This border is one of the newest boundaries in Europe and it starts at the tripoint of the Czech, Polish, and Slovak borders which is close to the city of Hrcava in the Czech Republic. This boundary is relatively straight and stretches in the south-west direction to the meeting point of the Slovakia, Austria, and Czech Republic border. The border was first demarcated on January 1, 1993 at the time when the Slovak and the Czech federal republics were dissolved and the two independent federal states were created. Initially the border was in existence within Czechoslovakia beginning from January 1st, 1969 when the country became a federal state composed of the Slovak republic and the Czech Republic. In 1918 before Czechoslovakia was created this boundary was in existence between the Hungarians and the Austrians which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which was in existence between 1867 and 1918. Similarly, the same border was shared between the kingdom of Hungary and Bohemia during the middle ages. The two countries have a shared history and currently maintain and promote a cordial relationship. The two countries are members of the Schengen area as from 2007.
The Hungarian-Slovakian border runs to the west beginning at the tripoint created by the Hungarian, Austrian, and Slovak borders to cover a distance of 421 miles. The Danube River forms part of the boundary between the two countries, covering a distance of 93 miles. Between 1938 and 1939 Hungary modified the border because it was allied with Germany. In the 1920s the board was re-established and Czechoslovakia imposed a huge demographic change. Currently, the two countries maintain a close relationship and have developed a cross-border integration project which aims to increase social and economic integration to both countries. Hungary and Slovakia are currently members of the Schengen area and they also participate in the Visegrád Group with Poland and the Czech Republic
Austria and Slovakia share a common border that runs for 65.9 miles long, which is the second shortest national border in Europe. The border starts at the tripoint of the Slovak, Czech, and Austrian border and stretches southward before turning eastward to follow the Maraba River to the point between the Slovak, Austrian, and Hungarian border. The border was drawn in 1993 when the state of Slovakia was created. The border was in existence as early as 1919 when state of Czechoslovakia became an independent state. Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939 and created several protectorates and therefore modifying the borders to favor Austria. However, after the war the border was re-established again.
During the period of the Cold War the border between the two countries was part of the iron curtain wall which was big obstacle between Czechoslovakia and Austria. When Czechoslovakia was partitioned this boundary was not modified. Until 2004, the border crossing was the only link between the European Union and Slovakia and therefore played an important political and economic roles. This changed in 2007 when the borders were opened and Slovakia joined the Schengen Zone. Currently, there are two railway lines that link the two countries, two motorways, a ferry crossing, and a number of roads.