The second-largest city in Slovakia, Košice, has been on my must-see list for quite a while, yet this blog-post is not going to be as comprehensive as the other articles about Slovakia on this website.
The city of Košice
Though just about half the size of the capital Bratislava, Košice is the undisputed nucleus of Eastern Slovakia. The city is very close to the Hungarian border (twenty kilometers in the south), Poland and the Ukraine are also not far off.
The history of Košice can be traced back to the late Middle Ages. The city was for centuries an important strategic, religious and economic center in the Kingdom of Hungary, and in the 2nd World War unfortunately one pivot point in Central Europe for deporting Hungarian Jews to concentration camps in Poland.
Since 1945 the city belongs to Czechoslovakia (respectively Slovakia from 1993 on) after it had been a part already of the pre-war Czechoslovakia for about two decades.
Today, the city possesses major industry, tourism seems not very significant however (at least in my perception) and Košice might be an insiders’ tip in this regard.
Similar to Spišská Nová Ves (see part 5) is a lens-shaped main square, enclosed by the Hlavná street (main street). Here most of the sights and noteworthy buildings are situated.
So there is with the Cathedral of St Elisabeth (Dóm svätej Alžbety) even the largest ecclesiastical edifice in whole Slovakia. Next to the cathedral one can find the considerably smaller Saint Michael Chapel (Kaplnka svätého Michala or Kostol svätého Michala), which served mainly as a mausoleum since its erection in the 14th century.
And a little further southwards on the square one can also take a look at some underground medieval walling of Košice (for a small entrance fee).
The night between 26th and 27th of February, heavy snowfall occurred, so I had eventually two completely different-looking sets of photos after barely two days in the city.
On the northern part of the main square behind an encircling iron fence my new DSLR camera took aim at the Plague Column (Morový stĺp), a reminiscence of a devastating plague epidemic in the 18th century.
Further noteworthy sights (among others) are the State Theatre and the “singing fountain”, also to be found on the main square.
I tried some nightlife and restaurants in Košice, and worth a visit is (for example) the Pivovar Hostinec in Hlavna street with many different sorts of beer and dishes.
Nice is strolling from the Mestský park to the Hlavna street across the Lásky bridge (Most Lásky):
And, if you want to visit the Slovak Paradise (Slovenský raj), the High Tatras (Vysoké Tatry) or the other major cities in Slovakia, that is barely an issue when you take the train.
Prešov, the third-largest city is half an hour away, the capital Bratislava around five (fast connection) or six hours. In either case, you have a direct connection, and to Bratislava the ticket price is around 20 Euros: Link to the Slovak railway.
Featured image: Dóm svätej Alžbety