History of Kosice
The medieval town of Kosice (Košice) emerged on the half way from the Abbey to the Castle. The first written mention of its existence is from 1230. Early historical documents referred to is as Villa Cassa, later Latin Cassovia, German Kaschau, Hungarian Kassa, and the Slovak Kosice. The town acquired important privileges of the royal borough in 1342. The date of 7 May 1369 is especially important for the town because it received as the first town in Europe the document for a coat of arms signed by the king. Today this is celebrated as the “Day of Kosice”.
In the 15th century Kosice with its 7,000 inhabitants became the second biggest town of the Kingdom of Hungary following Buda and Bratislava. The 20th century has dramatically changed the town of Kosice although the motifs were mostly political. The town was included in the new state formations. On the last day of 1918 it became part of the newly formed Czechoslovak Republic. In 1938 Horthys Hungary annexed it for more than six years.
In April 1945 the Czechoslovak Government met for the first time on homeland ground and issued the document known as the Treaty on the after-war arrangement of the free Republic". However, some other attributes of Kosice also changed, particularly its size, ethnic structure and its general appearance. Its population more than doubled after the Second World War. New housing estates were constructed for immigrants from the rural area. Today most of its inhabitants are Slovaks coexisting here with Hungarian, Czech and Roma minorities. The Východoslovenské železiarne (East Slovakian Iron Works, now U. S. Steel) became the biggest company not only of Kosice but also of the country in general.
Cathedral of St. Elisabeth Kosice
The dominant of the square and the town of Kosice is the monumental Gothic St Elisabeth Minster. This building, rather isolated from the rest of the square, is the largest church of Slovakia and the easternmost situated Gothic cathedral of western type in Europe. Its longitudinal axis is 60.5 m and its transversal axis is 39.5 meters long. The northern tower of the dome is 58.5 meters tall. Construction of the church proceeded under the royal supervision in several stages from 1380 while some assert that it is still not finished. Originally, the church was designed as a five-nave basilica.
Under the pressure of natural disasters and wars the end-result was different. It became the five-nave dome with crossed nave. In spite of adjustments in new styles after fires and earthquakes in the 19th century the Cathedral of Kosice preserved many original Gothic elements and valuable artistic features.
They include the wonderful northern portal with the tympanum representing the Last Judgement. The medieval gargoyle in the south-western corner of the church is also interesting. It's supposed that it has the form of woman, in particular the wife of the famous royal constructor Stephan. This is how he allegedly punished his wife for drinking too much wine. The altar of St Elisabeth, built in the years 1474-1477, deserves special attention. It has the largest European set of 48 Gothic table paintings. Dutch and German influence on the sculptures and paintings is obvious. Liturgical objects include the most valuable works of important goldsmith J. Szilassy from the 18th century, which are classified as a national cultural monument.
|Address||Hlavná, Kosice, Slovakija|
|Telephone||+421 55/622 00 79|
St. Michael’s Chapel Kosice
St. Michael’s Chapel (Kaplnka sv. Michala) was most likely built in the first half of the 14th century and was a part of the parish church. It was built as a cemetery chapel in the middle of the cemetery in the center of the city, which stretched from the dome on the south to the current park on the Main Street. The chapel was sacred to St. Michael, the valet of the souls to the other world. The lower part of the chapel served as a charnel house of bone remains, excavated in digging through the cemetery for new graves. The upper part was used for requiems. To its north side a side boat was built in 1508, which was demolished during the reconstruction in 1902-1904. On this occasion, 17 old tomb stones of the former cemetery between the 14th - 17th century were walled up to keep them against the destruction.
The external decoration is in Gothic style. On the altar in the chapel is an image of the as he is fighting Satan the Dragon. On its sides are archangels Raphael and Gabriel. Stone tabernaculum, sculpture “Ecce Homo” and remains of the medieval wall paintings can be found in the interior of the chapel. The oldest coat of arms of Kosice is above the door to sacristy. The chapel was used as a Slovak church in the 17th century, while the cathedral was a German and Hungarian church. Since 1771 it was forbidden to use the cemetery so the cemetery’s surroundings changed to a park.
The first fundamental reconstruction in the spirit of Gothic purism was held in 1903-1904, during which the Szatmári boat was dismantled. The second fundamental reconstruction took place in 1998-2006 during which the affections of the first one were dismantled and it received the Felix for the best building reconstruction in 2006. In 2007, the building was reclassified from chapel to church.
|Address||Hlavná, Kosice, Slovakija|