Get to know Kosice while you are our guest!
Kosice (Kosice in Slovakian and Kaschau in German) is the second biggest city of Slovakia that used to be the capital of former Hungary’s county called “Abauj-Torna”. In those bygone historical days it has also served as Hungary’s Highland’s hub of cultural life as well as for centuries the home of the Catholic bishops and archbishops.
According to a census in 2006 its population is 234 969 people out of which 8940 are of Hungarian ancestry which is a little less than 4 per cent of the total.
Main sights to be seen
- The greatest monument of Kosice is the dome erected and consacrated for Saint Elisabeth of the House of Arpad. Also, the dome has since 19O6 been the final resting place for Prince Ferenc Rakoczi the second.
- The previously called National Theater of Kosice can also be found on the Main Square that was built in 1897-98 and now functions as the Slovakian National Theater. Before it was redesigned for a theater the building used to be Kosice’s City Hall in wich the most famous Hungarian opera „Ban Bánk” was premiered in 1833. Take delight in our fountain with music and bells.
- The city’s Dominican Church harks back to the mid 13th century but received its today’s appearance in 1894.
- The Franciscan Church was originally built at the end of the 14th century and was subsequently made over in baroque style.
- The Evangelical Church was built in 1816.
- The original of the House of Rodosto can be found in Rodosto, Turkey, which used to be the final dwelling place of Hungary’s banished Prince Ferenc Rakoczi the second. It offers an insight into the best of Turkish architecture of the era. To make it look even more genuine some of the Prince’s original furniture were brought here all the way from Turkey.
- One of the city’s most frequented holiday resorts is the so-called „Kassafürdő” (The baths of Kosice).
- The Orban-tower used to house a 7200 kilogram heavy bell, the so-called St. Orban’s Bell. Saint Orban was (and still is) the patron saint of all the wine-growers but unfortunately when the tower burned down in 1967 the bell has plunged into its eternal silence due to irreparable damage. However, it is now displayed in front of the tower.
- The world-renowned author-playwright, Kosice’s own Sandor Marai, has in 1991 received a plaque on the wall of the house in Meszaros street where he had spent his childhood. Also, his statue has been unveiled in 2005 at the end of the street on a small square.
- The Eastern Slovakian Museum’s building (formerly called Rakoczi Museum) from the late 1900s can be viewed nearby.
Travelling tips, programs
Kosice’s lovely Botanical Garden was created on a 30 acre large piece of land at the northern part of town. It ranks one of the highest in Europe due to the approximately 4000 species found here.
The garden’s cactus collection of over 1200 different species is especially highly esteemed and is the largest of its kind in the former Czechoslovakia’s territory. Magnificient orchids, insect-eating plants, subtropical trees and other beauties are displayed in the 1742 square meter large greenhouse.
Kosice’s Botanical Garden has since 2002 been declared a state-protected territory. The workers of the garden pay special attention to the 14 indigenously Slovakian plant species out of which 8 are critically endangered.
The zoo of Kosice is one of the largest in Europe considering its size at the Kassa-Kavecsan part of town and it sprawls over 288 acres.
Presently, 142 different species can be observed here. Europe’s largest enclosed flying area is here. As a matter of fact a number of abandoned golden eagles learned to fly here. In addition, the larges walking ramp of Europe was created in this zoo for brown bears. In 2002 quintuple bear cub twins were born in our zoo that actually made it into the Guiness book of records.
The caves of Jaszo
A barlang bejárata a Jászói-szikla lejtőin, 257 m tengerszint feletti magasságban helyezkedik el. Folyosói ötszintűek és elérik az összesen 2 811 m hosszúságot. A jelenleg megtekinthető útvonal 720 m hosszú és abszolválása megközelítőleg 45 percig tart.
The entrance of the caves can be found on the slopes of Jaszo’s rocky hills, 257 meter over sea-level. Its passages criss-cross along five levels and reach the length of 2811 meters out of which at present tourists can cover 720 meters in about 45 minutes.
The colors and forms of the dripstones found here are impressively rich. Also, there are numerous species of bats live in the caverns.
In the 1870s there was an artesian drill taking place in this region in the quest for more thermal water for the local baths. As a result of the 404 meter deep drill a gigantic reservoir rich in minerals started to form itself.
After the initially more frequent eruptions today there is one in every 32-34 hours. The water gushes forth reaching the height of 20 meters lasting about 20-30 minutes. Approximately 60 000 liters of water is collected per eruption.
Since there is one of these fantastically spectacular “theatrical” displays taking place every other day, tourists can inquire at the post office of Herlany about the next "show".
Zádielska tiesňava dolomites
The remarkable attraction of these dolomites is the 105 meter high rock formation that got its name because of its unique hat-shaped looks (Cukrová homol in Slovakian).
The extremely hollow valley is ideal ground for a great diversity of vegetation. At the bottom of the valley there is the so-called Carpathian vegetation preferring the colder and more wet climate whereas toward the more elevated rocky sections one finds vegetation liking milder temperatures and less humidity that is incidentally the predominant condition in the area by large.
The Zádielská dolina valley is a protected area as a nature’s reservation. There is a trail cutting through it for the tourists. The route of the trail is layed out in a way so tourists can get the most of what the sights and the views have to offer both at the top and the bottom parts of the valley.
Summer bobsled course
The first summer bobsled course was built in the Kosice-Kavecany (Kassa-Kovecsán) part near the zoo. It serves as a recreational activity center for both children and adults. The length of the tracks is 800 meters with 9 sharp bends, 3 tunnels, a playground, a picnic spot, and barbecue facilities.
The Kosice Peace Marathon is officially the oldest mass running event in Europe, second only to the Boston Marathon in the US. It was first held in 1924. It has been held on the first Sunday of October in Kosice ever since.
The official website of the event is: http://www.kosicemarathon.com/en/index.php
Kosice has long been a staple in ice hockey in Slovakia. Its club, HC Kosice, is in the Premier League and has been champions of it many times. The first ice hockey clubs have been founded in Kosice in the 1920s (1. ČsČK, KAC, KSC, Törekvés, Slávia).