Gothic town of Košice

Friday 14 to Sunday 16 July

Our hotel in Košice was on the main square which stretches about a kilometer. The journey there was through a labyrinth of streets under renovation, a frustrating journey, but the hotel turned out to be very comfortable and we were spoiled with a lift. Yes, that means we do not have to drag our bags up narrow, dark stairs.

The main attraction of Košice is its Gothic Church, the Saint Elizabeth Cathedral which was constructed at the end of the 14th century and at that time was the biggest cathedral in the Kingdom of Hungary.

The cathedral is amazing, and we were to learn later, at the Spis Castle, the importance of its patron saint Elizabeth. We climbed the tower to view the old town and also the surrounding suburbs.

The city has a preserved medieval fortifications from the 13th century which has recently been unearthed.

The city is also well known as the first settlement in Europe to be granted its own coat-of-arms. Its origin dates back to the medieval period.

In the 17th century Košice was the capital of Transylvania and then part of Ottoman empire.

Košice is the second largest city in Slovakia, and is an important industrial center. It boasts the European Capital of Culture in 2013. The U.S. Steel Košice steel mill is the largest employer in the city. The city is surrounded by high rise apartments supporting the steel mill.

It was weekend when we were there, and wedding season. The main pedestrian mall is also a favourite spot to enjoy ice creams, so we sat and watched as wedding parties came to the pretty square for photo opportunities. Dressing was glamorous with lots of glitter and brocade for the women and fluffy dresses for the little girls, while the men were dressed in smart shirts and suits.