Košice and Surroundings
The region of Košice and its surroundings is situated in the east of Slovakia. Its core is the L-shaped basin Košická kotlina. This fertile and densely populated basin is surrounded by mountain ranges, which offer excellent possibilities of hiking and recreation.
Three mountain groups occupy its western end, part of the Slovenské rudohorie Mountains. The river Hornád incised deeply into the massive of the mountain Čierna hora in the north-part of the region. The bulky and forested ridge of the Volovec Mountains (Volovské vrchy) culminates in its dominant and majestic Kojšovská hoľa Mountain with excellent skiing and hiking conditions. The center of the holiday resort is the water reservoir Ružín, while the climatic spa Štós provides relaxation in natural setting.
Photo: View from Turňa Castle © Jozef Gonda
Basic information about Košice
In terms of its size and importance in Slovakia, the city of Košice ranks right after the capital Bratislava. It lies in the eastern part of Slovakia, not far from the borders with Hungary (20 km/12.5 miles), Ukraine (80 km/50 miles) and Poland (90 km/56 miles). The advantages of this location, near the borders of three countries and lying on important domestic and international transport routes, translate into the preconditions for good commercial connectivity. This is significantly enhanced by the existing railway junction and airport with international status.
Enter Košice and discover a place full of passion, culture, hidden treasures, creativity and sport
Every step you take in Košice is a step in a city abundant in history. Looking at the buildings in the city center, you will be taken back to a time cloaked in the cobwes of the past. Entering the buildings you will step into the 21st century and experience an atmosphere of life as it is today - bustling cafes and stylish shops. If you venture out of the city center, you will find so much more than you would expect. Summer relax at the lakeside, skating on ice rinks, shopping fever in the many shopping centers, works of art in the Andy Warhol Gallery or tranquil strolls or cycling in the parks or forest park of the city. You will experience the charm, excitement and vibrancy that the city of Košice has to offer as an ideal destination not only for a long weekend.
In the city you can visit places showing traces by Roman emperors, kings, presidents, the Pope, artists and writers. Sample the flavor of Košice on a culinary journey, step into the world of museums ang galleries, or join the throngs of fans at some sporting event. After a nice dinner, you can spoil yourself at a spa or get sucked in by the busy nightlife. Take in a concert, an enchanting play at the theater, dance the night away at a bar, go see a good film or simply enjoy a relaxing glass of fine wine.
The city of Košice is more than only a main street full of fantastic monuments and attractions, which include the most eastern gothic cathedral in Europe and the largest in Slovakia, St. Elisabeth's Cathedral (Dóm svätej Alžbety). The special atmosphere is enhanced by the little streets, alleyways and courtyards of the historical buildings in the centre which conceal many exciting treasures.
Photo: St. Elisabeth's Cathedral © Matúš Braxatoris (www.matusdesign.sk)
The many amazing buildings include those of the Jewish Congregation - what is now called the House of Art or the synagogue on Puškinova Street, with its walls bearing the words of the large Jewish congregation that used to be here. You should not miss out also the remnants of the medieval city fortifications - Executioner's Bastion, the Lower Gate (Dolná brána), the Bastion on Krmanova Street and the reconstructed bulwark on Hradbová Street. Other interesting sites include the Jakab's Palace, Hrnčiarska Street - Crafts Lane, Mikluš Prison, the treasures of Komenského Street or a visit to the Monastery and Church of the Dominican Order, where under the carpets in the presbytery we can find the ancient Indian swastika religious symbols (cult symbol in the shape of an equilateral cross).
You can get to know the city also by its details - tak a look at som of the beautiful balconies of the city mansions, for instance. They all have unique facades or their own special story to tell. Artistic works are complemented by sculptures, for example the sitting Sándor Márai on Zbrojničná Street or the Marathoner statue on Peace Marathon Square (Námestie Maratónu mieru), plaques and commemorative notices on houses recalling renowned former locals and residents of the city, or simply praising their beauty. The Košice period of the Argentinean Recoleta - Rozália cemetery offers a walk among the other treasures of the 'dead town' - amazing headstones of some of the city's admired personalities.
Photo: Košice Peace Marathon - the oldest marathon in Europe. Credit: www.kosicemarathon.com
The city is well-known for its universities as well - Technical University of Košice, University of Pavol Jozef Šafárik in Košice, University of Veterinary Medicine in Košice, University of Economics in Bratislava - Faculty of Business Economy with seat in Košice.
If you exhaust the possibilities of the city, the region of Košice and its surroundings has so much more to offer, making extending your stay by a few days well worth while.