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Miskolc (IPA: , approximate pronunciaton: "Mishkolts"; in Slovak Miškovec, in Polish Miszkolc) is a city in North-East Hungary, mainly with heavy industrial background. With a population close to 180,000 (2001) Miskolc is the third largest city of Hungary (the first two are Budapest and Debrecen.) It is also the county capital of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén.
Miskolc is located at 48°6' North, 20°46'60" East. According to the 2001 Census the city has a total area of 236.68 km˛.
As of the census of 2001, there are 185,387 people residing in the city; 95.7% Magyars, 2.2% Roma, 0.3% Slovaks, 0.3% Germans, 0.1% Greeks and 4.1% other. The population density is 783.28/km˛. There are 73.508 housing units at an average density of 310.56/km˛.
The area has been inhabited since the ancient times, its first known dwellers were the Cotinus, one of the Celt tribes. The area has been occupied by Hungarians during the "Conquest" in the late 9th century. It was named after the Miskóc clan and was first mentioned by this name around 1210. The Miskóc clan has lost their power when King Charles Robert centralized his power by curbing the power of the oligarchs.
Miskolc was elevated to the rank of city in 1365 by King Louis I (Louis the Great, son of Charles Robert). He also had the castle of the nearby town Diósgyőr (now a district of Miskolc) transformed into a Gothic fortress. The city developed in a dynamic way, but during the Turkish occupation of the most of Hungary Miskolc fell under Turkish rule too and its development was brought to a standstill. The Turks burnt Miskolc in 1544 and the city had to pay heavy taxes until 1687.
During the war of independence against Habsburg rule in the early 18th century Prince Francis II Rákóczi, the leader of the Hungarians put his headquarters in Miskolc. The imperial forces sacked and burnt the city in 1707. Four years later half of the population fell victim of the plague. Miskolc recovered quickly and an age of prosperity began again. Lots of the significant bulidings were built in the 18th and 19th century, including the city hall, the county hall, several schools, churches, the synagogue and the theatre (commonly regarded as the first stone-built theatre of Hungary, but in fact it was the second, although the first one was in Kolozsvár – today Cluj-Napoca, Romania – a city that doesn't belong to Hungary any more.) Sadly these years brought not only prosperity: the cholera epidemic of 1873 and the flood of 1878 took many lives. Several buildings were destroyed by the flood, but bigger and more beautiful buildings were built in their places. The World War I did not affect the city directly, but many people has died, either at the war or in the cholera epidemic.
After the peace treaty of Trianon, Hungary lost Kassa (modern-day Kosice, Slovakia) and Miskolc became the sole regional center of Northern Hungary. This was one of the reasons of the enormous growth of the city during the 1930s and 1940s (the other reason was the preparation for World War II which established Miskolc as the national centre of heavy industry, a position the city could maintain till the 1990s.) Although Miskolc suffered a lot during the last year of the war, it recovered quickly and by absorbing the surrounding villages it became the 2nd largest city of Hungary with more than 200.000 inhabitants.
During its long history Miskolc survived fires, floods, plagues and foreign invasions but maintained its position as centre of North-East Hungary. The 1990s brought a crisis in the iron industry with a decline in the population. Currently Debrecen is leading in the race for being the second largest city, while Nyíregyháza is fast becoming a rival for the role of the most important city of the area.
Miskolc is now trying to become known as a cultural place and festival city instead of an industrial one. Among the various cultural events one of the most important ones is the International Opera Festival, held in every summer.
The most popular tourist destinations of Miskolc are Tapolca, Lillafüred and Felsőhámor. Tapolca has a beautiful park with a boating pond and the famous and unique Cave Spa. Lillafüred and Felsőhámor are pretty villages in a valley surrounded by mountains and forests, their most famous sights are the Hotel Palace on the shore of the Lake Hámori, the "Fátyol-vízesés" (Veil Waterfalls, the highest waterfalls of the country) of the Szalajka valley, the Anna Cave and the István Cave.
Districts of Miskolc
The Avas is a hill (234 m / 780 ft) in the heart of Miskolc. On the hilltop stands the Avas looking tower, the symbol of the city. On the northern part of the hill, close to downtown Erzsébet Square, is the Gothic Protestant Church of Avas, one of the two oldest buildings of Miskolc (the other is the Castle of Diósgyőr.) The limestone caves of Avas are used as wine cellars; the narrow, winding streets give a Mediterranean atmosphere to this part of Avas Hill. The southern part of Avas, also called Avas-South, is where the largest housing estate of the city stands, with 10-storey Socialist-style concrete buildings providing homes for about one-third of the city's population.
The historical centre of Miskolc isn't as rich in monuments as that of other cities; only the Main Street (Széchenyi St.), Városház tér (City Hall Square) Erzsébet tér (Elizabeth Square) and Kossuth tér preserved the style of the 19th century town. There are not only historical buildings but modern shopping malls in the downtown, too.
The other town forming today's Greater Miskolc is mostly famous for its medieval castle. Miskolc's football team also got its name from Diósgyőr, since their stadium stands here. Historical Diósgyőr is connected to Historical Miskolc by a district called Újdiósgyőr (New Diósgyőr); its main square is an important traffic hub. Also in Újdiósgyőr stands the steel factory that made Miskolc the most important heavy industrial city of the country (and earned her the nickname Steelcity.)
Egyetemváros (University Town)
The University of Miskolc is among the newer ones, it was founded in the 1950s, so its buildings aren't old, historical ones. University Town is one of the newer parts of the city and can be found between Miskolc and the holiday resort Miskolctapolca. The university, the campus and the sport facilities are surrounded by a large park.
One of the most known holiday resorts of the country, Tapolca (officially Miskolctapolca or Miskolc-Tapolca to avoid confusion with the Transdanubian town of the same name) is the home of the unique Cave Bath, a natural cave with thermal water. Tapolca is quite far from the city centre and counts as one of the posh areas of Miskolc. It is a popular tourist attraction.
The other famous holiday resort, Miskolc-Lillafüred is a picturesque village surrounded by the Bükk mountains. Its most famous building is the beautiful Palace Hotel (Palotaszálló).
Hejőcsaba and Görömböly
Two former villages that were annexed to the city in 1945 and 1950. Görömböly still looks like a small town of its own.
Alsóhámor, Bükkszentlászló, Felsőhámor, Ómassa, Szirma
- Main street and City Hall Square with the atmosphere of Hungarian towns of the 19th century
- Gothic Protestant Church of the Avas Hill
- National Theatre of Miskolc
- Wooden Church
- Ottó Herman Museum
- Avas Looking Tower
- Greek Orthodox Church with the largest iconostasion in Central Europe
- Castle of Diósgyőr (built in the 13th century, had its prime during the reign of Louis the Great; medieval castle plays are held in every August)
- Cave Spa of Miskolctapolca
- Hotel Palace
- Anna Cave, István Cave, Szeleta Cave
- Lake Hámori
- Trout Farm
There is a narrow-gauge railway that connects Lillafüred to Miskolc known as the Lillafüredi Állami Erdei Vasút (Lillafüred Forest State Railway). It winds through scenic forests, and takes between a half hour and 45 minutes for the train to go between the two major stops. The Miskolc stop is located in Diósgyőr.
Born in Miskolc
Lived in Miskolc
- Ottó Herman ornithologist, polyhistor
- Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav Slovak poet
- József Lévay poet, politician
- Róza Széppataki Déry actress
Twin towns of Miskolc
Twin towns of Miskolc are:
- Aschaffenburg (Germany)
- Cleveland (USA)
- Katowice (Poland)
- Kosice (Slovakia)
- Ostrava (Czech Republic)
- Tampere (Finland)
- Vologda (Russia)
- Official site (provides information in Hungarian, English and German)
- University of Miskolc
- Miskolc Online (a portal site in Hungarian)
- miskolc.lap.hu - a very extensive link collection
- Webcam view of downtown area (interactive cam)
- Official site of Miskolctapolca (in Hungarian, English and German)
- Official site of Lillafüred (in Hungarian, English and German)
- Webcam view of Hotel Palace, Lillafüred
- Official site of the Castle of Diósgyőr (in Hungarian, English and German)
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