Kosice is a fascinating crossroads of modern and historical Europe. It was recognized in 2013 as the European Capital of Culture. Below are 10 things you probably didn't now about this beautiful city.
- The Kosice Peace Marathon is Europe's oldest marathon, and the second oldest in the world. It happens the first weekend in October.
- The first European coat of arms was granted to Kosice in 1369.
- The city center features Slovakia's longest promenade as well as it's best preserved historical district.
- Kosice was a gateway between east and west in the past, and today it still serves as a gateway to six nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sites, four national parks, the Tatra mountains, and the world-famous Tokaj wine region featuring cellars built 400-600 years ago.
- In the 13th century after the Mongol invasion, Hungarian King Bela IV invited Germans to settle in depopulated areas around Kosice. It was the start of the region becoming a melting pot of Eastern Europe with Germans, Slavik tribes, and Hungarians living side-by-side.
- Located in the heart of the city, St. Elisabeth Cathedral is Slovakia's largest church.
- In the past 100 years, Kosice has been part of the Austria-Hungary empire, then became part of Czechoslovakia after World War One, then became part of Hungary from 1938-1945, then became part of Czechoslovakia again until the Czech Republic and Slovakia peacefully split in 1993.
- Kosice has 20,000 registered businesses with only 250,000 citizens. Its history as a business and creative center continues through today.
- The oldest continually operating hotel in Slovakia is in Kosice, with a rich history dating back to 1869.
- Kosice has the biggest zoo in Central Europe.