Miskolc (Miškovec in Slovakian and Czech, Mischkolz in German) is a
county town in the northeastern part of Hungary, on the eastern slopes
of the Bükk region. It is the center and largest settlement of the
Northern Hungary region. Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county and seat of the
Miskolc district. A quarter of the county's population lives in Miskolc.
It is the fourth most populous city in the country after Budapest,
Debrecen and Szeged, together with the agglomeration it is the third
largest after Budapest and Debrecen, and the second largest city in
Hungary with a built-up area after Budapest.
The area is one of the oldest inhabited areas in Europe, as evidenced by Paleolithic finds. The settlement, built at the junction of various geographical units, along important trade routes, was already a trading town in the Middle Ages, and in 1365 it received city status from King Louis the Great. After the Turkish subjugation, its industry also began to develop.
Miskolc is one of the most important industrial centers in Hungary. In addition to the traditional heavy industry and food industry sectors, modern electronics, vehicle industry and chemical companies also play a significant role in the city's economy. There are also several innovation clusters operating in the city.
Miskolc's ambition is to become the research and development center of the region, partly based on the scientific foundations of the long-established local university and partly on the technical background of already established large companies.
Since the regime change, it has been trying to strengthen its role in culture and tourism; from this point of view, its main attractions include the Miskolctapolca Cave Spa, the Diósgyőr Castle, the Palace Hotel in Lillafüred and the Miskolc National Theater, as well as the Miskolc Zoo and Cultural Park. As the leading city of the region, it fulfills the corresponding functions; university town, the economic, educational and cultural center of the county and its surroundings. Miskolc City Day: May 11.
The city was built in the eastern part of the Beech region,
"embedded" in it, in the valleys of the Szinva, Hejő and Sajó rivers, at
the junction of various natural and economic features. The city owes its
exceptional beauty to its wonderful location. The valley plain where the
Sajó, Bódva and Hernád merge, the Miskolci Gate has been the scene of
significant goods and passenger traffic since ancient times.
The area of Miskolc is 236.66 km², of which 54.21 km² is the indoor area, 29.34 km² is the closed garden and 153.11 km² is the outdoor area. The width of the inland part is 19 km in the east-west direction, 10 km in the north-south direction. Today's surface - as a result of crustal structure movements - has a stepped structure. It stretches 30 km from east to west, within which four "stairs" can be observed; the height difference reaches 800 meters.
Its highest area is the Borovnyák roof (945 m). The lowest area is the side of the Sajó (110–120 m), this part of the lowland landscape. It is built up by young, Pleistocene-Holocene sediments (gravel, sand, clay, silt).
The plain landscape from the Avas–Tetemvár line to Diósgyőr is replaced by a 250–300 meter high hilly landscape, the Alacsony Bükk. Its geological structure consists of Tertiary sea sediments - sand, sandstone, marl, clay, intercalated coal layers - and Miocene volcanic materials, mainly tuffs. Its surface is divided by streams and watercourses.
From Diósgyőr to approximately Lillafüred, the 400-600 meter long series of boulders of the Közésső Bükk is made up predominantly of Triassic limestone, slate, subordinate dolomite and other rocks. The geographical characteristics of the landscape zone are given by the karst forms of destruction.
The highest step in the Miskolc landscape begins at Lillafüred, the Magas Bükk, or Bükk Plateau, rising to 600-900 meters. Its structure includes ancient and medieval marine sediments (limestone, shale, dolomite) and eruptive rocks (such as diabase and porphyrite). It rises gradually from east to west, and smaller and larger caves have formed inside.
Looking at the average monthly average temperatures of the city over
many years, it can be said that the coldest month is January, while the
warmest is July. The average annual temperature fluctuation is 22.1 °C.
The annual average cloud cover is around 60%.
The average annual rainfall in Miskolc is 533 mm, which shows a typical annual trend, the summer half is wetter, while the winter half is drier. The least amount of precipitation falls in January-February, and the wettest month - almost four times as much - is June.
The annual sum of sunshine hours is 1,800 hours on average, but shows great variability from year to year. The typical annual trend of the duration of sunlight can be observed, with the maximum in the summer months (230–250 hours per month), while the minimum in the November-January period (40–60 hours per month).
The annual number of summer days (Tmax ≥ 25 °C) is 70 days. The annual number of hot days (Tmax ≥ 30 °C) is 15 days. Hot day (Tmax ≥ 35 °C) on average 1 day every two years. The annual number of frosty days (Tmin ≤ 0 °C) is 105 days. The annual number of winter days (Tmax ≤ 0 °C) is 30 days. The annual number of harsh days (Tmin ≤ –10 °C) is 10 days.
According to archaeological findings, the area has been inhabited
since ancient times, and it is also the oldest inhabited area in
Hungary. The more than 70,000-year-old Paleolithic finds prove that it
is one of the oldest inhabited areas in Europe. Its first known
inhabitants were the Celtic Goths, perhaps the construction of Leányvár,
located south of Miskolctapolca, can also be linked to them. The
conquering Hungarians already found a mixed ethnic population in this
region, who lived around the Sötétkapu, on the side of the Papszer and
around Tetemvár. On the site of today's Diósgyőr castle, there was an
earthen castle before the conquest.
The place was named after the Miskóc family, first mentioned by Anonymus in the Gesta Hungarorum around 1173 ("que nunc uocatur miscoucy"). The Miskóc clan, which was a branch of the Bors clan that also gave the county its name, lost the territory in 1312 because they sided with Máté Csák against Róbert Károly. The king donated the estate to the Széchy family in Rimaszéc. They were the first to obtain the rights to judge and hold fairs for Miskolc.
King Lajos the Great raised Miskolc to the status of a city - he declared it an oppidum, i.e. a market town, with the provision of rights to elect judges and testaments - in 1365, roughly at the same time as the nearby Diósgyőr castle was renovated. The king also annexed the town to the crown domain of Diósgyőr, which remained royal property until 1848. King Sigismund granted Miskolc the right of pallos in his certificate of October 2, 1435. The settlement began to develop rapidly, at the end of the 15th century it already had 2,000 inhabitants, but during the Turkish subjugation, the development slowed down. In 1544, the Turks burned the city and forced it to surrender. Miskolc was taxed by the Turks until its liberation in 1687, although the Diósgyőr castle was recaptured as early as 1674. The town became an important wine-producing center during this period, and by the end of the 17th century there were already 13 guilds operating here. By the end of the Turkish era, the population reached that of Kassá at that time.
During the War of Independence, Prince Rákóczi set up his headquarters in Miskolc for a short time (from January 18 to March 15, 1704). On September 25, 1706, the Austrians robbed and burned the city, and in 1711, a cholera epidemic devastated it, killing half of the population. After that, Miskolc began to flourish again. In 1724, the County of Borsod chose Miskolc, a centrally located market town with a large population, as the location for the construction of the county hall. The first census in 1786 recorded 2,414 houses and 14,179 inhabitants in the town.
Several important buildings were built during the 18th and 19th centuries, including the town hall, the new county hall (around 1820), the theater (the first stone theater in the country today; the first built in Cluj), the synagogue, numerous schools and churches . In 1867, the introduction of gas lighting began, on January 9, 1870, the Hatvan-Miskolc railway line was handed over, connecting the city with Pest, and in 1874, the first telephone was installed in Miskolc. However, these years did not only bring development to the city: several plagues hit Miskolc, in 1873 a cholera epidemic broke out again, and in 1878 a huge flood claimed hundreds of lives. The flood also destroyed a lot of buildings, but in their place, nicer, bigger buildings were built. The first tram service in Miskolc started in July 1897, the third in the country (after Budapest and Bratislava), between the Tisza railway station and Szent Anna tér, and between Szeles utca and Népkert. The First World War did not directly affect the city, but it indirectly caused the death of many people, many people from Miskolc died both on the front and in the cholera epidemic.
After the administrative settlement of 1886, Miskolc was the only city in Hungary before Trianon, which, thanks to its extremely dynamic growth, was able to transform itself from a city with an organized council into a city with legislative authority in 1909.
Its Penitentiary Institute (today: Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Penitentiary Institute) was founded in 1902.
After the Trianon Peace Treaty, Miskolc became the administrative seat of the counties of Borsod, Gömör and Kishont, which were united for the time being. At this time, the economy briefly declined. A whole army of refugees from the parts of the country annexed after Trianon arrived in Miskolc. The city had to take over the role of the previous regional center, Kassa. This and the preparation for the approaching Second World War - which made Miskolc the most important center of heavy industry in the country - brought further development, although the city suffered a lot in the last year of the war. During the German occupation of the country, the local Jewish population was ghettoized with the help of the county mayor and the town mayor, then in mid-June 1944 they were transported to death camps together with those collected from the surrounding small towns and districts; all told, 78 percent of the Israelites in Miskolc, about 8,900 people, perished there. The first air raid hit the city on June 2, 1944. The Red Army occupied Miskolc on December 4. During the war, 350 buildings were destroyed and 7,150 were seriously damaged.
In 1945, Diósgyőr and Hejőcsaba, and in 1950 Görömböly, Szirma and Hámor were annexed to the city. In 1949, the Academy of Mining, which was moved from Selmecbánya to Sopron, was moved from the city deemed too close to the western border further east, to Miskolc, then already under the name Heavy Industry Technical University. In the coming decades, the city became the country's second most populous and fifth largest city for six years, with more than 210,000 inhabitants in the 1980s. Since 1983, the city's population has dwindled to a level of 157,000 in 2017. It reached its current extent in 1981, when Bükkszentlászló was added to it.
The 1990s brought the decline of Miskolc's heavy industry. The city's population began to decrease, and Debrecen took its place as the country's second most populous city. Since the 2000s, continuous development has been observed in the city, which would transform Miskolc from the myth of the steel city into a city of culture and tourism.
In 2005, Miskolc took second place after Pécs in the European Capital of Culture competition, beating Eger, Debrecen, Győr, Budapest and Sopron.
In 2008, the city was awarded the Hungarian City of Culture award, and in 2010 it received the title of Value-Rich City.
The population of Miskolc on January 1, 2011 was 167,754, which was
24.4% of the total population of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county. Miskolc is
the second most densely populated settlement in the county, this year
the average number of inhabitants per km² was 708.8 people. The age
composition of the population of Miskolc is very unfavorable. At the
beginning of 2011, people under the age of 19 made up 20% of the
population, and over 60 made up 24%. The gender ratio in Miskolc is
unfavorable, as there are 1,146 women for every thousand men. In 2017,
the average life expectancy at birth was 70 years for men and 77.6 years
for women. Based on the census data, 5.6% of the city's population,
about 9,465 people, declared themselves to belong to a minority. Among
the minorities, the majority declared themselves to be of Gypsy, German
and Slovak nationality.
From the last third of the 19th century, the population of Miskolc gradually increased until 1980. The II. World War I halted development for a short time, and after the war, the population of Miskolc began to grow explosively, mainly due to the strong development of industry. The population of Miskolc has been continuously decreasing since the mid-1980s. The historical peak of its population was in 1985, when 211,645 people lived in the county seat of Borsod. Taking into account the rate of decline in recent decades, according to demographers' calculations, the population of Miskolc may decrease to 145,000 by 2025. Fewer people live in Miskolc today than in 1970.
In the 2011 census, 49% of the population did not answer the question about religious affiliation. The vast majority of people from Miskolc who claim to belong to a religious community consider themselves Roman Catholic. In addition, there are significant churches in the city, including the Reformed and the Greek Catholic.