I must admit that I am not too much of a museum goer.
Especially when the weather is lovely I prefer to walk outside than to go to a museum.
Nevertheless, Kosice seems to have some interesting museums which might keep you happy on a rainy day.
The East Slovak Museum presents many objects from the history and culture of Eastern Slovakia.
The museum was established in 1872 and is located at Hviezdoslavova ul. 3 just north of the city centre.
For the more technical orientated people, the Slovak Technical Museum might be of interest. The collection includes mining, astronomy, engineering and several other topics. It can be found at Kosice's main street Hlavna ulica 88.
The Wax Museum which is located in the St. Urban Tower exhibits more than 20 famous people of the Slovak history.
Slovak Technical Museum:
East Slovak Museum:
Kosice has a very special and unique attraction at night. It is the singing fountain which simultaneously reacts to music as well as being illuminated by dynamic light scenes to the sounds. The fountain is located in the little park in between the State Theatre and the St. Urban Tower.
Also some of the buildings around the Main Square (Hlavne Namestie) are well worth seeing at night. Among them are the St. Elisabeth Cathedral, the St. Michael Chapel and the St. Urban Tower.
Kosice's historic city centre along the Main Street (Hlavna ulica) is full of architectural gems.
It is not only the St. Elisabeth Cathedral as Europe's easternmost Gothic cathedral, but also several palaces like the late Rococo Archbishop Palace (Hlavna 28) or the Emprie style Palace of Count Forgac (Hlavna 10).
The most beautiful Art Nouveau building in Kosice is home to the Hotel Slavia (Hlavna 63).
KOSICE DOM, considered by some as the greatest Gothic edifice in Slovakia.
Kosice Dom is a beautiful Cathedral and has for over six centuries, been the most impressive and dominating artistic feature of Kosice. "The Saint Stephan's of Slovakia," they all told me. (Of course, I knew what that meant only because I had just been in Vienna where the impressive Saint Stephan's can be found.)
Settlements in the valley of the River Hornád are considered the oldest in Slovakian territory and archaeological findings date them as far back as 100 000 B.C. The earliest written document that has been found, dated 1230 which makes it apparent that Kosice, then known as Villa Cassa had been settled much ealier. The historical lines drawn throughout this time has made Kosice a city in three different countries that I know of, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and now The Republic of Slovakia. Makes history interesting and exciting, but makes genealogical research difficult.
This was one of the first places my family took me to and I recommend that you spend some time here. Of course, if you go looking for Leninova Street, you'll not find it on your tour of Kosice. It is now named Hlavna. Not all street names have changed, but I think all that were a reminder of Soviet Occupation have been given new names.
Fondest memory: One of my fondest memories came while walking along the street. In one of the regular shops I saw a man's suit. The style was out of date and the suit looked homemade. The price of the suit was a full months wages! The impact of this fact gave me an insight of life lived here and more respect for the people.
A close-up view of a typical Habitation in Kosice from the third floor flat I stayed in.
The look of the massive buildings, everyone refered to as "habitations," which dotted the landscape throughout Kosice were not charming, especially compared to the lovely old town center. Stepping inside those buildings, it seemed as if I had gone back forty years in time, mainly because the appliances were similar to those we had in USA around 1950.
However, what impressed me most was the love and kindness shown by everyone. In that cold looking enviornment, beat the warmest hearts I've ever known and it felt like home!
There were interesting things to see on the side streets and one was a shop selling Slovak crystal.
The glass industry has its roots in the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, formerly Czechoslovakia, from the early 15th century. Local production throughout the country was characterized by a large number of small workshops.The art of glass blowing in Slovakia today has not significantly changed in 600 years which I knew little about at the time of my visit to Kosice.
The day we passed the shop, with it's beautiful crystal glass ware, it was unfortunately closed. What a shame. An item from this shop would have been a prefect gift for my parents who had encouraged and helped finance this visit to Czechoslovakia.
Fondest memory: Later we arrived in Vlachovo to meet more relatives and the story of my disappointment at not being able to buy any of the gorgeous crystal was told. The night of my departure from Vlachovo during the family gathering, I was presented with gifts of beautiful crystal from each family group. I was awed by their generosity. Even more so because the money I had brought to buy them presents couldn't be spent because the Tuzex stores had been closed also.
Even though I had brought gifts with me and had sent gifts for each member the next Christmas it still couldn't compare with what I had received.
Keep an eye out as you stroll through the city for the various monuments, statues and other markers to the city's past, to Slovakia as a nation and to it's heroes.
Little monuments were all over Kosice, markers on buildings indicating this or that event or national hero. Remember, Kosice is where the first government of Czechoslovakia was formed as the Second World War came to an end, so it's bound to be a proud city.
I would have loved to have known what some of these things marked, but again, my non-existent Slovak put a stop to any in-depth cultural exchange!
Fondest memory: These types of statues for me are actually a style I really like, although for some they represent a communist past that may less savoury.
This particular statue was in the park on the way from Hlavna Ulici to the train station.
You can easily find cheap internet access on the main street, Hlavni Ulici.
The tourist info is also on this street. I'd advise that you pop into the tourist information to ask about pensions rather than just picking the first from the guidebook like we did!
In fairness to us though, we'd tried emailing about half a dozen places before we arrived but had no luck in getting any responses... Tourist services perhaps have a little way to come in Kosice...
Fondest memory: Kosice was just an all round surprise. We didn't stray far from the main area around the cathedral as we had such little time there. We spent two nights there but were actually not there much during daylight hours. Make sure you spend at least one full day actually in the city itself.
My best memory of Kosice is the Rosto Steak House. It was just fantastic.
Another favourite area for me in Kosice. I think it was the park & the fountain behind me was just spurting water.
I did look like a tourist, didn't I ? Well, I was.
I wish I was living there. That's what I meant.