Košice (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈkɔʃɪt͡sɛ] , German: Kaschau, Hungarian: Kassa) is a city in eastern Slovakia. It is situated on the river Hornád at the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, near the border with Hungary. With a population of approximately 240,000, Košice is the second largest city in Slovakia after the capital Bratislava.
Being the economic and cultural center of eastern Slovakia, Košice is the seat of the Košice Region and Košice Self-governing Region, the Slovak Constitutional Court, three universities, various dioceses, and many museums, galleries, and theaters. Košice is an important industrial center of Slovakia. The U. S. Steel Košice steel mill is the biggest employer in the region. The town has good railway connections and an international airport.
The city has a well preserved historical center, which is the largest among Slovak towns. There are many heritage protected buildings in Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Secession styles with Slovakia's largest church - St. Elisabeth Cathedral. The long main street, rimmed with aristocratic palaces, Catholic churches, and townsfolk's houses, is a thriving pedestrian zone with many boutiques, cafés, and restaurants. The city is well known as the first settlement in Europe to be granted its own coat-of-arms.
In 2013, it will hold the European Capital of Culture title together with Marseille, France.