Last Friday, we celebrated Marseille becoming European Capital of Culture. This weekend, it’s the turn of this year’s other winner – Košice, Slovakia. Celebrations are again happening all through the weekend, so if you’re in the region, go along and join in!
Košice is Slovakia’s second city, after the capital Bratislava, and has a population of 240,000. It is situated on the river Hornád at the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, near the border with Hungary.
The city has a well preserved historical centre, which is the largest of all Slovak towns. There are many heritage-protected buildings in Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Art Nouveau styles. The city is also home to Slovakia’s largest church: the St. Elisabeth Cathedral. The city is well-known as the first settlement in Europe to be granted its own coat-of-arms.
The city’s website says that the Capital of Culture venture is already having benefits: ‘The Košice – European Capital of Culture 2013 project has already started to create an environment in Košice which supports talented people, their creativity and the development of new ideas and puts them into practice, which is [its] key project task. The city of Košice therefore has a new vision and perspective. Thanks to the Košice – European Capital of Culture 2013 project, the city is on its greatest journey to becoming a major city of creativity and prosperity.’
Postcards from Košice
Europeana holds a lovely set of postcards from Košice depicting scenes from the city, with handwritten messages on the reverse – or in one case, on the front (see below!)