Miskolc

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Miskolc
Image:Flag of Miskolc.gif
Image:Miskolc cimer.JPG
Flag Seal
Nickname: "Steel City"; "City of the Open Gates"
Location of Miskolc in Hungary
Coordinates: 48°06′0″N, 20°46′60″E
Country Hungary
Region Northern Hungary
County Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén
Town since 1365
City since 1909
Urban county since 1970
Mayor Sándor Káli (MSZP)
Area  
 - City 236,68 km²
Population  
 - City (2004) 178,950
 - Density 756/km²
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Post code 3500–3549
Website: www.miskolc.hu

Miskolc listen  (IPA: /miʃkolts/, 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 (behind Budapest and Debrecen; second-largest with agglomeration.) It is also the county capital of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and the regional centre of Northern Hungary.

Contents

[edit] Geography

Image:AvasTVTower.jpg
The TV tower on Avas became the symbol of the city

Miskolc is located at 48°6′0″N, 20°46′60″E.

The city lies at the meeting point of different geographical regions – east from the Bükk mountains, in the valley of the river Sajó and the streams Hejő and Szinva. According to the 2001 Census the city has a total area of 236.68 km². The ground level slopes gradually, with the difference between the highest and lowest area is around 800 meters.

The lowest areas are the banks of the river Sajó, with an altitude of 110-120 m. This belongs to the Great Plain region and is made up of sedimentary rocks. Between the Avas hill and Diósgyőr lays the hilly area of the Lower Bükk (250-300 m) consisting of sandstone, marl, clay, layers of coal, from the tertiary period, and volcanic rocks from the Miocene.

Between Diósgyőr and Lillafüred lays the hilly Central Bükk with an altitude between 400 and 600 meters. This is made up mostly of limestone, slate, dolomite and other rocks from the Triassic period. The surface was formed mostly by karstic erosions.

The highest area, the 600-900 meters high Higher Bükk or Bükk Highlands begin at Lillafüred. This mostly consists of sea sediments (limestone, slate, dolomite) from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic, and volcanic rocks like diabase and porphyry. Several caves can be found in the area.

[edit] Demographics

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/km². There are 73,508 housing units at an average density of 310.56/km².

[edit] History

Image:Miskolc old picture.jpg
Historical picture of the city. View from the Avas hill with the Gothic church in the foreground. The church with two towers is the Minorite Church on today's Heroes' Square.

The area has been inhabited since the ancient times – archaeological findings date back to the Neolithic, proving human presence for over 70.000 years. Its first known dwellers were the Cotinus, one of the Celt tribes. The area has been occupied by Hungarians since 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 lost their power when King Charles I centralized his power by curbing the power of the oligarchs.

Miskolc was elevated to the rank of oppidum (market town) in 1365 by King Louis I. 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 Ottoman occupation of most of Hungary the development of Miskolc was brought to a standstill. The Turks burnt Miskolc in 1544 and the city had to pay heavy taxes until 1687. It was during these years that Miskolc became an important centre of wine-growing. By the end of the 17th century the population of the city was as large as that of Kassa, and 13 guilds had been founded.

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 a cholera epidemic. Miskolc recovered quickly and an age of prosperity began again. In 1724 Miskolc was chosen to be the city where the county hall of Borsod county would be built. Many other significant buildings were built in the 18th and 19th centuries, including the city hall, schools, churches, the synagogue, and the theatre. The theatre is commonly regarded as the first stone-built theatre of Hungary, but the first one was actually built in Kolozsvár (then a part of Hungary, now Cluj-Napoca, Romania). According to the first nationally held census (1786) the city had a population of 14.719, and 2414 houses.

These years brought prosperity, but 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. World War I did not affect the city directly, but many people died, either from warfare or from the cholera epidemic.

After the Treaty of Trianon, Hungary lost Kassa (Kosice, Slovakia) and Miskolc became the sole regional center of Northern Hungary. This was one of the reasons for the enormous growth of the city during the 1930s and 1940s. The preparation for World War II established Miskolc as the national centre of heavy industry, a position the city maintained until 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 second-largest city of Hungary with more than 200.000 inhabitants. In 1949 the University of Miskolc was founded (as a successor of the Academy of Mining, formerly in Selmecbánya, which is now Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia).

Image:BorsodCountyHall-2.jpg
County hall of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén on City Hall square

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 Bath. 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.

[edit] Historical population

178618501870189111930219411950319601965198541996200120045
14,17916,34521,19930,40861,55977,362cca. 100,000144,217163,600211,600191,885180,282178,950

1 population of Diósgyőr: 6537, Görömböly: 1482

2 12th largest city of Hungary before 1920; 6th largest after 1920. Population of Diósgyőr: 20,854

3 united with Diósgyőr in 1945; 2nd largest city of the country since 1949

4 population record

5 continuing decrease of population, likewise in all Hungary

[edit] Economy

Although Miskolc is generally thought of as an industrial city, and the largest boost to its economy was indeed provided by the industrialization during the Socialist era, in fact industry (including metallurgy) has a long history in the city.

Image:Erdeszet.jpg
Forestry Office on Deák square

Miskolc was already an important market town in the Middle Ages, mostly due to its proximity to the main trade routes of the region. In regards of the economy, real development started only after the Ottoman occupation. In the 18th century, the town already had a lumber mill, a paper manufacture, a brewery, a gunpowder factory and fifteen mills on the Szinva stream. The glass works manufactures and iron furnaces appeared in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The first iron furnace, built by Henrik Fazola around 1770, didn't survived, but the second one, built in 1813, can still be visited. Several new settlements were formed in the Bükk mountains to provide dwelling to the workers of glass works manufactures and furnaces. Many of them – including Alsóhámor, Felsőhámor, Ómassa and Bükkszentlászló – are now parts of Miskolc.

Development quickened from the second half of the 19th century, partly because of the political situation (after the Ausgleich) and partly because of the newly constructed railway line. A large furnace (second largest in the country) was built in Diósgyőr, and several other factories were built. The mining industry became more and more important, too. Within forty years the population doubled. The industrialization led to the forming of Greater Miskolc with the unification of Miskolc and Diósgyőr (1945) and several nearby towns and villages (between 1950 and 1981). The unification was only the first step in Miskolc being developed into an industrial centre. Development reached its highest point in the 1980s, when the metal factory had more than 18.000 workers and production was over one million tons per year. The population hit all-time record (over 200.000 inhabitants), 2/3 of the working people worked in heavy industry.

The economical recession after the end of the Socialist era hit the industrial cities of Northern Hungary the hardest. The unemployment rate rose until it became one of the highest in the country, the population of Miskolc dramatically decreased (not only because of unemployment though, but also due to suburbanization which became prevalent nationwide). The economical situation of the city went through a change, smaller enterprises appeared in place of the large state-owned companies.

By the early 2000s the decade of changes was over, and the city went through the recession successfully. International companies and supermarkets appeared in the area. The local government is trying to strengthen the city's role in culture and tourism. By the end of 2004, the highway M3 reached the city.

[edit] Sports

Miskolc has two famous soccer teams: The DVTK plays in the first division, it has a big soccer arena in Diósgyőr. It has 17,000 seats. The other team, the MVSC plays in the county division.

Miskolc has a famous women basketball team called DKSK Miskolc Oldies Rádió. It won The National Cup twice.

The Miskolc Ice-bears Hockey Team plays also in the first division. The Ice arena is in the People's Garden Downtown. It has 1,500 seats and was opened in 2006.

[edit] City parts of Miskolc

[edit] Avas

The Avas is a hill (234 m / 780 ft) in the heart of Miskolc. On the hilltop stands the Avas lookout 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.

[edit] Belváros (Downtown)

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.

[edit] Diósgyőr

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 Új(diós)győr (Újgyőr); its main square is an important traffic hub. Also in Új(diós)győr (Diósgyőr-Vasgyár) stands the steel factory that made Miskolc the most important heavy industrial city of Hungary (and earned her the nickname "Steel City".)

[edit] Egyetemváros (University Town)

Image:Egyetemvaros E6.jpg
A student hostel

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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] Lillafüred

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).

[edit] Martintelep

Martintelep (or Martin-Kertváros, in Slovak: Martinská osada) is a garden town area.

[edit] Miskolctapolca

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.

[edit] Alsóhámor, Bükkszentlászló, Felsőhámor, Ómassa, Szirma

These former villages were annexed to the city in 1950 (Bükkszentlászló in 1981) and are still separated villages, connected to the city by only its public transport system.

[edit] Tourist sights

[edit] Downtown

[edit] Diósgyőr

[edit] Lillafüred

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.

[edit] Miskolctapolca

[edit] Near to the city

[edit] Public transport

Main article: MVK Rt.

Image:MiskolcV1V2.jpg
Trams 1 & 2 on Széchenyi street

Public transport in Miskolc is provided by the company MVK Rt., owned by the local government. There are 45 bus lines and 2 tram lines. The first tram entered service on July 10, 1897 (making Miskolc the third city in Hungary to have a tram line), the first scheduled bus line started on June 8, 1903 (first in the country as well.) Today the public transport of Miskolc is one of the best ones in Hungary. There are several taxi companies too.

The Lillafüred Forest State Railway connects Diósgyőr to Lillafüred. It is mainly a tourist attraction.

The city has two railway stations (Tiszai and Gömöri) and a small unpaved airport, which is not open to the public, used mainly as a sports facility and has no role in public transport since 1963. Miskolc is fortunately now connected to Budapest by a bullet train which obtains a maximum speed of 175 kilometers per hour and gets a passenger from Budapest to Miskolc in an hour and forty minutes non-stop.

[edit] Famous people

[edit] Born in Miskolc

(Also includes people born in Diósgyőr and other city parts that were independent towns at the time of their birth.)

[edit] Lived in Miskolc

[edit] Twin towns of Miskolc

Twin towns of Miskolc are:

[edit] External links

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Miskolc travel guide from Wikitravel

Counties of Hungary Image:Flag of Hungary.svg
Counties: Bács-Kiskun | Baranya | Békés | Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén | Csongrád | Fejér | Győr-Moson-Sopron | Hajdú-Bihar | Heves | Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok | Komárom-Esztergom | Nógrád | Pest | Somogy | Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg | Tolna | Vas | Veszprém | Zala
Urban counties: Békéscsaba | Debrecen | Dunaújváros | Eger | Érd | Győr | Hódmezővásárhely | Kaposvár | Kecskemét | Miskolc | Nagykanizsa | Nyíregyháza | Pécs | Salgótarján | Sopron | Szeged | Szekszárd | Székesfehérvár | Szolnok | Szombathely | Tatabánya | Veszprém | Zalaegerszeg
Capital: Budapest
See also: Administrative divisions of the Kingdom of Hungary; Geography of Hungary

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Miskolc

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