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Košice (German: Kaschau, Hungarian: Kassa) is Slovakia's second largest town lies in eastern Slovakia, in the valley of the river Hornád in the Košice basin, encircled by the spurs of the Čierna Hora mountains to the north and the Volovské vrchy hills to the west. Seat of a region (kraj) or Higher Territorial Unit (VÚC), and of a district (okres). Seat of universities and of the Slovak Constitutional Court. Seat of a Roman Catholic archbishopric (since 1995), Evangelic Lutheran bishopric and a Greek Catholic bishopric. The town has a historic center.


Area 24 382 ha

Density of population 991,8/km2

Population 2001: 242,066

Location: 48 43' of northern latitude, 21 25' if eastern longitude

Elevation in m above sea level: 208 Medium (851 Maximum, 184 Minimum)

Administrative division: 4 District / 22 City Parts:

Košice I: Džungľa, Kavečany, Sever, Sídlisko Ťahanovce, Staré mesto, Ťahanovce
Košice II: Lorinčík, Luník IX, Myslava, Pereš, Poľov, Sídlisko KVP, Šaca, Západ
Košice III: Dargovských Hrdinov, Košická Nová Ves
Košice IV: Barca, Juh, Krásna, Nad jazerom, Šebastovce, Vyšné Opátske


The first signs of inhabitance can be traced back to the end of the older stone age. The first written reference to the suburb can be dated back to the year 1230. Due to it's advantageous business and strategic location, the town of Kosice grew quickly. The given privileges were helpful in developing crafts, business, increasing importance and for the development of this city. The oldest guild regulations were registered in 1307 and the city received it's own coat-of-arms in 1369; Kosice has the oldest coat-of-arms of all towns in Europe. Since the beginning of the 15th century, the city had been playing a leading role in the Pentapolitana – an alliance of five eastern Slovak towns. Since the 14th century, it has been the second most important town in Slovakia (which was part of Hungary from the 11th century to 1918) after Bratislava.

In the 15th century, the town was temporarily controlled by John Giskra (Jan Jiskra), in the 17th and 18th centuries a center of anti-Habsburg uprisings in Slovakia (Hungary) and seat of Ferenc II Rakoczy. In the 17th it was the de-facto capital of Upper Hungary, which was the official designation of eastern Slovakia,i.e. of the easternmost part of the then Hungary (1563-1686 seat of the "Captaincy Upper Hungary", 1567-1848 seat of the Spiš Chamber (Zipser Kammer),which was a subsidiary of the supreme financial agency in Vienna responsible for eastern Slovakia). Between 1657 and 1921 seat of the historic Kosice University (1777 turned into a Royal Academy, in the 19th century turned to a Law Academy). In the summer of 1919, it was the seat of the Slovak Soviet Republic for a short time. Between 1938 and 1945 Kosice was occupied by Hungary.

The most important building of the town is the St. Elisabeth Cathedral, a huge Gothic church from the 15th century and the biggest church of Slovakia.