The town of Michalovce has been an economical and cultural center of the region of Zemplin since the remote past. It has more than 40000 inhabitants and it is situated in the eastern part of Slovakia – in the northern part of the East Slovakian Lowlands.
Many important archeological finds are a witness to the fact that this area was populated already in the primeval periods. These archeological finds were discovered especially on the hill called Hradok and near catholic church.
In 1244 Michalovce is mentioned for the first time in a feudal written documents as a part of the feudal estates of the Sztaray family. The fact that the early village of Michalovce was situated on the bank of the Laborec river and at the crossing of merchant routes soon caused the development of village into a town. It was at the beginning of the 14th century.
The feudal Sztaray family fulfilled very important economic role in Michalovce. This famous family gave the town new elements especially in development of agriculture, trade and industry. The life of the population in the 18th century was marked by religious struggles and peasant riots. In the 19th century a plague epidemic didn`t spare the town. A few new factories built at the beginning of the 20th century weren`t enough to finish with poverty of the majority of inhabitants. Therefore many people left Michalovce at that time in expectation of a better life abroad (especially in the USA).
An important date in the history of the town was November 26, 1944, the day of the liberation of the town by the Soviet Army. Since November 26, 1944 the small provincial town that Michalovce once was has developed into a true center of Zemplin region. New housing estates and industrial factories were built.
Our town has a lot of nice sights. The oldest building is a Roman Catholic Church. The late – Gothic mansion erected on the foundations of a medieval stronghold is also very beautiful. The mansion was formerly the seat of Sztaray family, at present it houses the Zemplin Museum. Here the exposition of plants and animals of our region can be found and also the exposition of the life of our people.
We mustn`t forget to mention the Hradok Hill with the pseudo – Gothic chapel which is the Sztaray family mausoleum. It is the town`s dominant feature and also an important archeological locality.
In the center of the town there is the square (Liberators` square) with the dominant sculpture composition named Zemplin Spring.
There are also some fountains on the square. Near the square the Town Hall is situated. Along the central street a lot of shops can be seen, e.g. a butcher`s, a greengrocer`s, an iron – monger`s, a bookseller`s, a florist`s, toy – shops, boutiques or department stores. These days the center of the town is being under reconstruction.
Our town doesn’t seem to be too old. There were built a lot of new buildings. Most people live in blocksof flats and some in their own houses.
In the town there is a whole rangs of institutes and specialized organizations connected with agriculture as well as industrial concerns in the fields of engineering, electronics, textiles, ceramics and building construction, with several manufacturing cooperatives.
There are 9 basic school in Michalovce, secondary education functions with 2 grammar schools, 4 specialist vocational schools, one art school and 5 apprentice schools, in addition to 2 university fieldwork center.
Public health services are provided by a wide network of clinics in addition to the hospital with its outpatients department. Among the most important organizations in the field of culture belong the civic and regional cultal centers, the Zemplin Museum, the youth leisure and entertainment center called Lúč, the county observatory, county library, and the building of the national culture agency Matica Slovenska. Several sports clubs and range of sports centers cater for people’s sporting needs. For recreation in the area of the town there is the forest park of Biela Hora, the lake at Vinne, and another called Morske Oko (Sea’s Eye), but above all the extensive inland sea Zemplinska Sirava with its five recreation and leisure resorts. Zemplinska Sirava is 11 km long and 3,5 km wide, with a maximum depth of 14 meters and a total area of 33 square km. The average annual temperature is 9-10 °C, but the summertimes average is 20 °C, and on the hottest, “tropical” days it goes well over 30 °C. There are thus extremely good conditions here for swimming, water sports and angling, as well as hiking in the nearby Vihorlat forests. The holiday centers – Biela Hora , Hôrka, Medvedia Hora, Kamenec and Palkov – can be reached from the roat which skirts the lake on the north side.
Every resort offers a wide range of catering services, camping and caravan sites, and accommodation in chalets, bungalows, guest houses, recreation centers and luxury hotels.
The folklor ansamble Zemplin created in 1957 maintains and spreads the folk traditions of the region both at home and abroad .
Pozisovce has been well known for ceramics manufacture since the 15th century. The most outstanding personality in the production of ceramics with typical Zemplin decoration was Michal Parikrupa.
The tradition of annual town fairs in Michalovce dates back to the midal ages. Nowadays the town center lives up with fair’s special atmosphere at the end of the august.