Michalovce town square
|Name origin: St Michael|
|Tourism region||Dolný Zemplín|
|Elevation||115 m (377 ft)|
|Area||52.807 km2 (20 sq mi)|
|Population||40,027 (31 December 2011)|
|Density||758 / km2 (1,963 / sq mi)|
|Mayor||Viliam Záhorčák (Smer-SD)|
|- summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||071 01|
|Wikimedia Commons: Michalovce|
Michalovce ( pronunciation (help·info); Hungarian: Nagymihály, German: Großmichel, Romani: Mihalya, Yiddish: Mikhaylovets or Mykhaylovyts; Ukrainian: Михайлівці) is a town on the Laborec river in eastern Slovakia. Originally named after the Archangel St Michael, it is the second-largest city in the Košice Region and the seat of the Michalovce District.
The city is located on the coast of Lake Sirava, approximately 224 miles (360 kilometres) east of the capital Bratislava and immediately adjacent to the border with Ukraine. Michalovce is mostly recognized for its adjacent lakes and volcanic mountains, which generates tourism, and for agriculture as well as the passing Druzhba pipeline. According to the latest census, the population of the town stood at 40,255, with a metropolitan population of 109,121, which ranks it among the largest population centers in eastern Slovakia.
The city of present day Michalovce along with the adjacent lowlands was settled in from the Palaeolithic era. Archaeologists have found prehistoric Homo sapiens skeletons in the region, as well as numerous objects and vestiges by the foot of the Vihorlat mountains, dating from the Neolithic. During the Late Bronze Age, which meant the period of processing bronze as the main metal, the surrounding area was an important cultural and trading center within the Carpathian Basin and, together with the area of the southern Tisa River Basin, played an important part forging relations with areas outside of the Carpathians. The history of Michalovce was significantly influenced by presence of Celtic tribes, starting from the Gallic expansions in the 4th century BC, and later by the Romans.
The Slavs arrived in the area in the fifth century, first being apart of the empire of the Avars. The area was part of the Great Moravian empire in the ninth century. The town of Michalovce is the place where the legendary Prince Laborec died and was buried according to legends. From the tenth century onwards, the region had been part of Hungary.
After the Ottoman conquest in south central Hungary in the sixteenth century, Hungary was divided, and present-day Michalovce became part of the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom, and later Royal Hungary. The town grew significantly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and since the Austrian-Hungarian Ausgleich of 1867, it achieved a status of a large community and shortly afterward became seat of one of the districts of Zemplén County.
The 19th century brought back a significant development of the town. In 1828 there were 49 craftsman workshops representing all the 22 kinds of crafts production with the crafts licences in the region of Zemplin. Until 1874 there were a few industrial factories of the local importance in the surroundings of Michalovce (starch factory, distilleries, mill-houses, brickworks) with a limited number of work opportunities. The construction of the railway linking Michalovce with Medzilaborce in 1874 as well as the construction of the first railway linking Hungary with Galicia in 1871 had a profound impact on the production, business, and the regional development in and around Michalovce.
Thus, more food-processing factories and industrial factories – a brewery, two brickworks and a steam millhouse – were established. From 1876 doctors are employed in the town as the same year a hospital is established, from 1896 a Hungarian language newspaper called Felso Zemplén is published, in 1805 a common school is founded, later changed into a state school, from 1804 the town possesses a post office and from 1873 a printing office.
In 1885, by a decision of the municipal council, a fire brigade is founded as well as the first public lighting is provided. Unemployment, being a widespread side-effect of the 18th century, resulted in the emigration of mainly farmers, many left to seek work in the Coal mining industry in Pennsylvania, United states, giving rise the a large Rusyn American community there.
After World War I, in 1918 (confirmed by the Treaty of Trianon in 1920), Michalovce, along with some other parts of Zemplén County, became part of the then formed Czechoslovakia. In 1944, 3500 Jewish inhabitants were deported from Michalovce. Since 1993, the breakup of Czechoslovakia, Michalovce is part of Slovakia. In 1996 it was made the seat of the Michalovce District.
The agricultural character of Michalovce until 1945 was changed by a number of newly established industrial factories after 1945. In the 1950s and 1960s factories processing agricultural products, textile, engineering and construction companies arose, Agricultural Business and Supply Company, East-Slovak Dairy, East-Slovak Bakery and Confectionery, Slovak Malt Plant, East-Slovak Poultry Plant, Clothing Company and Odeta – a production company, being some of them. During the early 1960s construction of the Druzhba pipeline was a major source of employment.
The town lies in the Košice Region, in the Eastern Slovak Lowland on the Laborec river, historically belonging to the Zemplén county. The town is about 48 kilometres (30 miles) east of Košice and 30 kilometres (19 miles) west of Uzhhorod, Ukraine. Geographical features nearby include the Vihorlat Mountains and the Zemplínska šírava lake. Nearby is the biggest lake of Vihorlat Mountains, Morské oko.
In 1910, Michalovce had 6120 residents, which number contains 3792 Hungarian, 1586 Slovak and 542 German inhabitants. The religious make-up was 38.6% Roman Catholic, 32.3% Jewish and 23.2% Greek Catholic. After World War II, due to the Presidential Benes decrees, almost the entire population of the regions ethnic Hungarians and Germans (including the regions native Carpathian Germans) were forcedly expelled, those remaining were assimilated and subjected to Slovakization. However it was part of Hungary again from 1938-44.
According to the 2001 census, the town had 39,948 inhabitants. 94.57% of inhabitants were Slovaks, 2.24% Roma, 0.73% Czechs and 0.47% Ukrainian. The religious makeup was 53.92% Roman Catholics, 19.65% Greek Catholics, 9.73% people with no religious affiliation and 5.19% Orthodox.
According to the 2011 census, the town had 40,027 inhabitants. 79.53% of the inhabitants were Slovaks, 3.09% Roma, 0.39% Czechs and 0.36% Ukrainians. 15.47% did not specify nationality. The religious makeup was 42.07% Roman Catholics, 16.50% Greek Catholics, 3.96% Orthodox, 3.97% Evangelicals, 10.33% with no religious affiliation and 18.30% did not specify affiliation.
The City of Michalovce is home to many Secondary schools and some University colleges, of the seven secondary schools, the most well known and prestigious is the Pavol Horov Gymnasium. The other gymnasium being Gymnazium na ulici Ľudovita Štúra 26.
The largest health care provider in the municipality are the Štefan Kukura Hospital in Michalovce, with 712 beds.
Twin towns - sister cities
Michalovce is twinned with:
- Presian II of Bulgaria (gravestone of certain "Prince Presian" was found in Michalovce)
- Aurél Dessewffy
- Emília Sičáková-Beblavá
- Volodymyr Sichynskyi
- Gorazd Zvonický
- "Michalovce celebrates its namesakes". sme.sk. October 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "Early graves from 'Neolithic period' in Carpathian Basin are in fact 6000 years younger". Journal of Human Genetics 57: 467–469. 7 June 2012. doi:10.1038/jhg.2012.36. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- Rustoiu, Aurel. "The Celts and Indigenous Populations from the Southern Carpathian Basin. Intercommunity Communication Strategies". Iron age rites and Rituals in the Carpathians Basin. www.Academia.edu. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Town history". Municipality of Michalovce. 2007. Retrieved 18 June 2009.
- "Ethnic cleansing in post world war II Czechoslovakia: The presidential decrees of Edward Benes, 1945-1948". Human rights for minorities in Central Europe. Migration citizenship education. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
- "Municipal Statistics". Statistical Office of the Slovak republic. Archived from the original on 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
- "Nationality". Statisticky Urad SR. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
- "Jarosław Official Website - Partner Cities". (in Polish) © 2008 Urząd Miasta Jarosław. Ul. Rynek 1, 37-500 Jarosław. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
- Michalovce - Official city website
- Michalovce - detailed map guide
- Michalovce - ShtetLink
- Michalovce - photographs and information (in Polish)