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Košice on the Map

GPS N48.720867°,E21.257172°
Kosice is the second largest city in Slovakia and it is also a kind of capital of the east. It lies in Kosice Basin, in the valley of Hornad river. In the north of Kosice, there are Cierna Hora mountains, in the west Volovske vrchy.

The first written reference about the city dates back to 1230, although the first signs of inhabitance are from Stone Age. Thanks of its strategic position and advantageous business the city grew quickly. In 1307 the oldest guild regulations were registered and in 1369 Kosice received its coat-of-arms from the king Louis I of Hungary. It was the first municipal coat-of-arms in Europe. Since 14th century Kosice has been the second most important city in Slovakia after Bratislava. In the 17th century in was basically the capital of Upper Hungary. The city became the official part of Hungary once more – during World War II, after the First Vienna Award (Vienna Arbitration in 1938) until 1944.

Kosice is divided into five administrative districts, each of which is further subdivided into city parts with its own names. The best known residential area is probably Lunik IX, where inhabitants of Roman minority live.

Kosice is the seat of a Region (kraj), of universities, of the Slovak Constitutional Court, of a Roman Catholic archbishopric (since 1995), Evangelical Lutheran bishopric and a Greek Catholic bishopric.

Kosice has the population of 240 000. 91% are Slovaks, around 4% are Hungarians and something less than 3 % are Romans.

Kosice has quite big historical centre. The most important building of the town is Slovakia's biggest church, the 15th-century Gothic St. Elisabeth Cathedral, the easternmost gothic cathedral in Central Europe. Besides the cathedral, one can find here also the 14th-century St. Michael Chapel, the St. Urban Tower and the Neo-baroque State Theatre in the centre of the town, as well as many other historical buildings, such as the old Town Hall, the Old University, the Captain's Palace, Liberation Square, etc. The Executioner’s Bastion and the Mill Bastion are witnesses to the ancient system of fortifications for protecting the city against its enemies. Around the city center, a quiet Municipal Park is located.

As far as the events connected with Kosice are concerned, the oldest marathon in Europe (founded in 1924) takes place here every year. The Kosice Peace Marathon is run on the first Sunday of October every year. There is one more noticeable event, the Golden Beggar – the first and the oldest international festival of local TV broadcasters, which has taken place every year in June since 1995.

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