After the amicable split in 1993 of the former Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Kosice became the second-largest city of Slovakia, after the capital Bratislava. It’s a very pleasant and liveable city (Pop. 240,000) that has bounced around quite a bit since its 13th-century founding. It has been part of Poland, Hungary, Transylvania, Carpathia, Ukraine and numerous smaller duchies and voivodeships over the years. The Old Town is very well-preserved and a joy to spend time in. Here are a few photos:
KOSICE AROUND TOWN
CESKE BUDEJOVICE – Established by the King of Bohemia in 1265, it became a Catholic stronghold during the long years of religious wars involving the (Catholic) Habsburg monarchy. Click here for more pics.
CESKY KRUMLOV – Probably the most visited town in the Czech Republic, its impossibly beautiful and well-preserved medieval quarter and castle are a joy to spend time in. Click here for more pics.
VAC – A quaint, picturesque village dating from Roman times (4th century AD). Vac is located on the banks of the Danube about 30 miles north of Budapest. In 1241 A.D. the Mongols, as they were wont to do, burned down the town and slaughtered every person they could find. The town was later re-settled by Saxons from northern Germany. In the evenings, the promenade along the river is filled with folks enjoying the unbelievable summer setting. Click here for more pics.
I TRY OUT THE EURO-VELO! The EuroVelo is a network of long-distance bicycle routes in various stages of completion that criss-cross Europe. There’s currently over 27,000 miles in place. When I discovered that the EuroVelo passed RIGHT IN FRONT of my hotel in Vac, right on the bank of the Danube, I couldn’t resist trying it out. The owner of the hotel graciously offered me his bike to use and I left at 6 the next morning for an 18-mile ride. Brilliant idea! The track doesn’t just follow the river’s path, sometimes it angles off to go through dense forest or across the back end of a large farm or through a small village. It was beautiful! I’m definitely thinking about a long-distance bike trip next. Click here for more pics.
Telc is a well-preserved 13th-century town in the former kingdom of Moravia in southern Czech Republic. The setting of the castle, built (in the 1380′s) to protect the trading routes between Bohemia and Austria, is something out of my grand-daughters’ fairy-tale princess books. Click here for more pics.