Theme Week Hungary – Miskolc

Wednesday, 22 September 2021 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  6 minutes

City Centre © Rodrigo/cc-by-sa-4.0

City Centre © Rodrigo/cc-by-sa-4.0

Miskol is a city in northeastern Hungary, known for its heavy industry. With a population of 161,265 (1 Jan 2014) Miskolc is the fourth largest city in Hungary (behind Budapest, Debrecen, and Szeged). It is also the county capital of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and the regional centre of Northern Hungary.

Early in World War II Hungary became an ally of Nazi Germany. Unhappy with the Hungarian government, German troops occupied Hungary on March 19, 1944 and put the anti-semitic Arrow Cross Party in charge of the government. Jews in Miskolc and elsewhere were ordered to wear yellow stars on their clothing. Under the supervision of Nazi SSObersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, “deportations” from Miskolc began on June 11 or 12th, 1944. Over 14,000 Jewish adults and children were sent by cattle car to Auschwitz, where most were gassed on arrival. After the war Jews who survived the holocaust returned to Miskolc hoping to reclaim their land and possessions. Over 130 were rounded up by members of the local Arrow Cross Party and summarily murdered. The Jewish cemetery on a hill overlooking Miskolc has a memorial for them. It includes the 10 commandments, carved in stone, all written in Hebrew except Thou shall not kill, which is written in Hungarian. 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. On July 30 and August 1, 1946, the Miskolc pogrom led to death of one accused Jewish black marketeer, the wounding of another, and subsequently the death of a Jewish policeman. Economic hardship and anti-Semitism motivated the riots.

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.

City Hall Square © Alensha Diosgyor Castle ruins © Alensha Erzsebet Square © Alensha Hungary-Miskolc-Palace_of_Music-Szalax-cc-by-sa-3.0 University of Miskolc © Serinde/cc-by-2.5 City Centre © Rodrigo/cc-by-sa-4.0
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University of Miskolc © Serinde/cc-by-2.5
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, did not survive, but the second one, built in 1813, can still be visited. Several new settlements were formed in the Bükk mountains to provide dwellings for 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), ⅔ of the working people worked in heavy industry.

The economic 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 economic 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 had reached the city.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Miskolc, Wikitravel Miskolc, Wikivoyage Miskolc and Wikipedia Miskolc. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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