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Michalovce is the capital city of the Michalovce district and the second-largest city in the Košice Region. The city covers an area of 5,280.8 ha and is a part of the East Slovakian lowland. The location of Michalovce poses as a crucial traffic communication point, of international importance, in the east-west direction. The city lies on the most important traffic artery towards Ukraine and is also the last big city before the Slovak-Ukrainian border. This border lies in the distance of 30 km from Michalovce. The border with the Republic of Hungary is in the distance of 54 km to the south. [1]
Michalovce city, the biggest agglomeration in Michalovce district, has a population of approximately 38,776 people. The Michalovce district has an area of 1,019 km², with  109,121 people, thus the population density of population is 110 inhabitants per 1 km². 

What Košice is known for

The Michalovce city is presumably named after St. Michal, to whom the rotunda has been consecrated. The rotunda, which was built in the eleventh century, is the oldest documented stone building in Michalovce.[11] Another legend is tied to the name of the river flowing through the city. Laborec was the name of the count who ruled during the Great Moravian Empire. When escaping the attacks of Hungarian tribes from behind the Carpathian mountains, he was hunted down and killed near the river that bears his name till this day.
The city of Michalovce is located on the shore of the Zemplínska Šírava Dam, which constitutes not only an important geographical landmark, but also is one of the main touristic destinations of the Michalovce area. The Zemplínska Šírava Dam was built in 1961–1965 and covers an area of 33 km². The dam is nowadays used mainly for recreation. The Šírava area offers various water attractions, such as cruises, paddle-boarding, or sailing. In the short proximity to the Šírava dam can also be found numerous aqua parks or thermal parks, those presumably are the main source of high interest shown by tourists visiting this area. Besides all that, music festivals and concerts are organized annually in the Šírava area, attracting not only youth from all over Slovakia but also lovers of the Slovak production of music. [3] 

Another popular holiday destination is Vinianske Lake, which lies near the Šírava Dam. The lake is surrounded by deciduous forests of the Vihorlat mountains but falls under the administration of Vinné village. By following numerous hiking trails, people can easily visit Viniansky castle, which presumably is another one among the many other reasons for the high touristic popularity of this area.[8]

Regarding Slovak industry and business, the water from the Zemplínska Šírava Dam is generally used for cooling the Vojany Power Plant. The Vojany Power Plant is the biggest thermal power station in Slovakia, it covers approximately 5.1% of Slovakia's electricity needs.[7] One of the biggest businesses and employers in the district is the Chemko Company, which was originally founded to produce explosives and intermediates intended for military and civilian purposes. Nowadays, the production goals have shifted towards chemical products of anorganic and organic chemistry, such as light stabilizers.


The most significant river that flows throughout Michalovce district is Laborec. Into Laborec is also pouring the water from the Zemplínska Šírava Dam. The biggest bodies of water in this area are Zemplínska Šírava Dam, Senianske ponds, or Vinianske Lake. The territory of the Michalovce district is rich in geothermal and thermal waters (these discoveries are related to oil and gas exploration work). Geological research revealed the occurrence of geothermal waters in practically the entire wider area of the Zemplínska Šírava Dam. There is a presumption to obtain weakly mineralised thermal waters with a temperature of about 70°C. 

The territory of Michalovce belongs to the perimeter of a sub-region of the East Slovakian lowlands. Remains of the original forest phytocenoses along the Laborec watercourses (lowland floodplain forests) and places on aggregation embankments have been preserved from the original vegetation cover in the town of Michalovce and its wider surroundings. Aquatic and swamp phytocenoses are important in the whole wider area. The original phytocenoses were transformed as a result of anthropogenic influences, mostly occurring nowadays are meadows, pastures, vineyards and built-up areas. In the area of the Zemplínska Šírava, along its northern shores, meadows and pastures with shrubs and forest islands form a place, where endangered plant species have been preserved. The dam is also a resting area for migrating birds.

Climate in Michalovce is warm, with an average annual temperature of 9 - 10ºC, the average length of sunshine light in the Michalovce area is 2,200 hours per year with 50 summer days.[1] On average, June gets 98.0 mm of precipitation (3.86 inch), thus is the wettest month in Michalovce district, whereas March is the driest month with 31.0 mm (1.22 inch) of precipitation.[6]


First findings of the Homo Sapiens skeletons in the area of Michalovce district can be dated back to the Paleolithic era, 3.3 million years ago. The surrounding Vihorlat mountains area was an essential cultural and trading center. An important role in populating the Michalovce area has been played by Gallic Celtic tribes in the fourth century BC. Later, this area has been colonized by Romans. The fifth century was the time when the first Slavic tribes arrived in this area and founded the empire of Avars, which later became part of the Great Moravian Empire.[10]

The first written mention of Michalovce dates back to 1244, it was considered a settlement - feudal property of the count of the Sztáray family. In the 15th century, the town of Michalovce gained its' importance as it became the main market center among the other 12 urban settlements distributed in the East Slovakian lowlands. Until the end of the 14th century, the Michalovce district was part of the Kingdom of Hungary, which later transformed into Austria-Hungary. [1]

The period of the 19th century brought significant development of the city. In 1828, 49 craftsmen worked here in their workshops, which represented all types (22) of craft production under license in Zemplín. As goes for the rest of Slovakia, after World War I, Czechoslovakia came into being and new borders have been established, incorporating Michalovce district into Czechoslovakia. Only after the Second World War, Slovakia as an independent state has been established and Michalovce became the capital city of the Michalovce district.