Kosice Things to Do

  • St. Elisabeth Cathedral
    St. Elisabeth Cathedral
    by balhannah
  • St. Elisabeth Cathedral
    St. Elisabeth Cathedral
    by balhannah
  • Kosice
    Kosice
    by balhannah

Most Recent Things to Do in Kosice

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    THE STATE THEATRE

    by balhannah Updated Feb 6, 2014

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    State Theatre
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    The State Theatre isn't as old as many of the other buildings in Kosice. A former town hall building once stood here, then between 1879-1899, this wonderful Baroque Theatre was built.

    I couldn't go inside as it was closed, but I imagine the interior would be opulent. I read it is richly decorated with stucco and paintings. The ceiling of the building is decorated with scenes from William Shakespeare's tragedies Othello, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear and A Midsummer Night's Dream. I would love to see this, but haven't read anything about tours of the Theatre.
    On the main facade of the building, is a memorial plaque dedicated to the first director of the theatre after WW2 - the national artist Janko Borodac.

    Drama, Opera and Ballet can be enjoyed at the Theatre. The website gives up to date information on performances.

    Day ticket office:
    Monday - Friday: 9:00 to 12:30 and 1 - 5.30pm
    Saturday: 9 - 1pm

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    ST. ELISABETH CATHEDRAL

    by balhannah Updated Feb 6, 2014

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    St. Elisabeth Cathedral
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    The Cathedral was built in memory of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary. She was a princess of the Kingdom of Hungary, was married at 14, and widowed at 20.
    After her husband's death, she used her dowry money to build a hospital where she herself served the sick. She became a symbol of Christian charity after her death at only 24 years of age, and was quickly canonized.

    Wow! This Gothic Cathedral (Dóm sv. Alžbety) has an amazing sculptured facade! I was too early for the Cathedral to be open, so I haven't seen the inside, only the outside and I can say that is worth seeing! The Cathedral is old, dating to 1380 when work began on it. It was 1906, when the southern Tower was completed, so I guess you can say this is the finishing date!

    If you can go inside, there is an Altar of St. Elisabeth built between 1474-1477. It contains the largest European set of 48 Gothic table paintings.
    Other important pieces inside and a rare gothic double spiral staircase, only one of 5 of its kind in Europe, the crypt of the leader of the biggest anti-Habsburg uprising in the former Kingdom of Hungary, Francis II Rákóczi, and also a sundial from 1477. Evidently, plenty of frescoes and sculpting from the 15th century. Many of the interior decorations show the influence of German and Dutch artists.

    Fact or fiction ...True or False?
    The Cathedral was supposedly built so that if its circumference was measured with a measuring tape, then stretched, its length should match the perimeter of the fortification wall surrounding the entire city.

    When the Cathedral was built, the medieval masters laid one particular stone, so if removed, the whole Cathedral would collapse. Only the medieval masters knew where this stone was, thus insuring themselves to be paid.
    Some churches in the Middle Ages really did collapse - was this why?

    One of the legends....
    Do you love gargoyles, I do! The one located on the south-western corner of the church is supposed to be a 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!

    Also have a look a the roof, because this is a lovely patterned roof like I have seen in other parts of Europe.

    St. Elisabeth Cathedral is the eastern most cathedral in Europe and the largest church in Slovakia
    THIS CATHEDRAL IS A MUST SEE.

    OPENING HOURS
    Open to the public daily 9am-5pm
    closed during services.
    Guided tours are available in Slovak and Hungarian.

    ADMISSION
    Costs €1.16 adults, €0.50 retired/students/children.

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    THE OLD TOWN HALL

    by balhannah Written Feb 6, 2014

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    The Old Town Hall is where the Visitor Information centre is located on the ground floor. This historic building was built between 1779 to 1780 and has the Kosice coat-of-arms over the balcony. It was used by the Mayor and his workers until 1928, then they moved to the modern new City Hall. The visitor Centre is where you will find help with accommodation, restaurants, maps, guides etc.

    OPEN.
    MON - FRI 10 - 6PM
    SAT - SUN 10 - 3PM

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    THE BEGGAR'S HOUSE

    by balhannah Written Feb 6, 2014

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    The Beggar's house
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    Let me tell you a legend about this house I saw in the main street of Kosice.

    After viewing the Immaculata statue, I noticed this rather nice Secession building, with a statue on top of the building and a painting on the facade. Painted in lemon and white and with the year 1898 painted on the facade, I wanted to know more about this building, and why it had this name!

    The story goes a beggar managed to scrounge a fortune, then had this house built. The figure on the top of the building, is the beggar waving his hat and begging.

    So, how did he go about this? He was no ordinary beggar, but a "career beggar" who had no other income. Over many years, the generous rich people of Kosice gave him money, so much that he had enough to build this house in the "rich" area of Kosice. How-ever, it wasn't that easy, as these wealthy Kosice citizens did not want "him" living next to them, so he had to bribe them. This is why the statue on the roof was placed.

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    PLAGUE COLUMN / IMMACULATA STATUE

    by balhannah Written Feb 6, 2014

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    Immaculata Statue
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    The Immaculata Statue is another really beautiful sculpture in Kosice. This baroque column was built to commemorate the plague from the years 1710 -1711 and is dated from 1720 - 1723.

    The column stands on a stone pedestal on which the statues of St. Joseph, St. Ladislaus and St. Sebastian are standing. At the very top, is the figure of Mother Mary and at her feet are a globe and snake. The stone columns of the railings are decorated with statues as well, two of them are of the same age as the monument itself. It is believed, the bodily remains of St. Valentine are hidden under one of the columns

    Interesting is the location of this Statue, for it was this area the City Gallows stood, where condemned men were be-headed. The last execution took place in 1837, when a man and a woman were condemned to be beheaded because of a murder they committed together. As Kosice didn't have an executioner, they brought in one from Budapest.

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    ST. URBANS TOWER

    by balhannah Written Feb 6, 2014

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    Another interesting building close to St. Elisabeth Cathedral, is Saint Urban's tower.

    This was originally a Bell Tower dedicated to St. Urban, the patron Saint of wine-growers. The Tower has been rebuilt several times over the years. In 1775, the Baroque onion with cross was added and in 1912, the arcade at the tower's base was added after removal of the old shops surrounding the Tower.
    The original St. Urban bell was destroyed by fire in 1966, once again the Tower had to be rebuilt. So did the bell! It was painstakingly put together again, and now this 7 tonne Bell sits on the pavement in -front of the Tower.

    The 45 metre high Tower is now home to the only WAX MUSEUM in Slovakia.

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    CHAPEL OF ST. MICHAEL

    by balhannah Written Feb 5, 2014

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    St. Michaels Chapel
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    Just a short walk from St. Elisabeth Cathedral, is the [do I dare say it] sweet small Gothic Chapel of St. Michael. The chapel served as a Slovak church where-as the St. Elisabeth Cathedral was a German and Hungarian church.

    Saint Michael the Archangel, was the Patron of the dead, so it was no surprise to learn that this 14th century gothic Church was originally built as a cemetery chapel and had a cemetery surrounding it. This is no longer there, it 's surrounded by park instead.
    The lower part of the chapel was initially an Ossuary.

    When I walked around the outside, I saw quite a few tombs attached to the exterior walls. These came to be here, as during restoration between 1902–1904, they pulled down the northern aisle and moved the 17 old gravestones from the 14th - 17th century to the exterior walls.

    Once again, I was too early to see the inside. I read the interior has a nice stone tabernacle, the ornamental sculpture Ecce Homo and lots of wall paintings from the Middle Ages. The first municipal coat of arms in Europe (dated back to 1369) is situated above the door leading to the vestry.
    So,Archangel Michael is ready to escort every soul before God's judgment.

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    THE COAT OF ARMS

    by balhannah Updated Feb 5, 2014

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    Kosice Coat of Arms
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    As I was walking through a park near the St. Elizabeth Cathedral in the historic centre of Kosice, I saw an unusual sculpture. Unusual I say, because this bronze sculpture was of a beautiful Angel with spreading wings holding the Kosice Coat of Arms. The Coat of Arms are usually found on buildings!

    As it happens, the Kosice Coat of Arms is a very important one, as it's the oldest and the first municipal coat of arms in Europe. The arms were granted in 1369. The original "Arms" only showed the eagle and the bars, all the other symbols were added later. The "Arms" in use are the same as the ones in 1502. If you see a coloured Coat of Arms, then the 4 red stripes relate to the medieval coat of arms of the Hungarian Árpád dynasty. The three golden fleurs-de-lis on an azure field refer to the Capetian House of Anjou dynasty, and the silver eagle to the Jagiellon dynasty.

    The city holds a yearly festival known as the "Kosice City day" in recognition of this award. You can see this from the 30th April till 8th May.

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    They Still Prayed!

    by lmkluque Updated Apr 29, 2012

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    Ready For Daily Mass.

    One of the things I had been told about life in Communist countries was that they believed religion to be the "opiate of the masses" and that all churches were systematically closed down. I came to see for myself and you can imagine my surprise when the first stop of our tour of the city center I was the Kosice Dom. (St. Elisabeth's Cathedral.) I asked if we could go inside. We could and we did.

    It wasn't the fact that Kosice Dom was such a beautiful, gothic, fourteenth century structure that caught my imagination, it was the fact that once Inside Kosice Dom, I saw that this was an active Church. There were people kneeling in prayer. Granted, most of the people were pretty old, but the evidence at the alter proved typical daily activity. This wasn't just a glorious architectural museum, it was a functioning church.

    ....And it was not the only one in town.

    Good thing I don't always believe what I am told.

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    Honoring Good Workers!

    by lmkluque Updated Apr 29, 2012

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    Honoring The Best

    There were many nice things to see and do in Kosice and even more these days. There were many things I thought interesting, such as a store window with a few, less than top quality, clothes for sale, priced at "a months wages," which seemed to me outrageous. I would have taken a picture if I had been on my own, but wasn't sure how my relatives would interpret it, so I didn't. (Also, I didn't belong to VT then.)

    Walking along the street, we came to a wall filled with pictures of people. I took the photo when told what it was for and was sure my relatives wouldn't mind. I don't know if this Worker's Wall, located in a prominent space in the center of town, can still be seen or not, it celebrated those people who have made their nation proud by doing their best.

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    See if there still are TUZEX stores

    by lmkluque Updated Apr 29, 2012

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    Capitalism was Alive Even Then!

    This TUZEX store was on a side street in the town center. It was closed the day I was there but, I could see from the window display, that the type of items sold were typical in most non-communist countries. What I found most intriguing was the fact that shopping in a Tuzex store could be done only with foreign currency--which, by the way, we were not supposed to bring into the country with us.

    Better quality items were sold in Tuzex stores and the locals were not able to shop in them unless a visitor came with foreign currency. Seems like a pretty Capitalistic System to me.

    I wanted to go back later, when the store was open, to buy gifts for my Slovak family, but with all our travels we never made it.

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    Celebrating the Russian Revolution!

    by lmkluque Updated Apr 29, 2012

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    Soviet Banners And Flags Everywhere

    Walk through the old town section and see the preserved buildings of which many were built long before the Soviet influence arrived.

    During my visit, in November, there were red flags / banners hanging from the buildings everywhere. I couldn't read the writing on the banners and finally asked what they were about. My cousin said they were put up to celebrate the Russian Revolution. I asked her if this was a big holiday in Czechoslovakia and she told me that only the Soviets cared about it and no one liked the Soviets.

    If you visit now, you may see signs of the "Velvet Revolution!" Especially the washed and newly painted buildings and changed street names.

    The fall of Communism in CzechoSlovakia was called the "Velvet Revolution" because it occured without violence of any kind. Truely a gentle people, and very smart.

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    Another Photo...

    by coceng Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Another photo of Cathedral in Kosice

    Took another photo. Loved the view so much I had to make sure that I took it correctly. Although this photo & the one above looks the same, almost.
    This Cathedral is in Hlavná ulica.
    In fact, you wouldn't miss it once you are in the Old Town of Kosice.
    It's a commanding sight nonetheless.

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    The Cathedral of St. Elizabeth

    by coceng Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The church outside view

    ...dom sv Alzbety. This is a magnificent, late-Gothic style Cathedral.
    It is the biggest and most important gothic monuments ever built in Slovakia and the only one of this kind in Eastern Europe.
    The construction of the present cathedral was started by the end of the 14th century, completed in 1508.

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    More on the Cathedral

    by coceng Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The other side of the church

    In a crypt on the left side of the nave is the tomb of Ferenc Rakoczi, an early 18th century rebel leader.
    On the cathedral's south side is the 14th century Chapel of St. Michael.
    Wander around this church for 15 minutes or so & see the designs adorning the church.

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