Košice (kôˈshĭtsĕ) [key], Ger. Kaschau, Hung. Kassa, city (1991 pop. 235,160), E Slovakia. It is a major industrial center and transportation hub and a market for the surrounding agricultural area. The city's industries include food processing, brewing and distilling, and the manufacture of machinery, cement, and ceramics. A petroleum refinery and a modern iron and steel center are in nearby Huko.
Originally a fortress town, Košice was chartered in 1241 and became an important trade center during the Middle Ages. It was frequently occupied by Austrian, Hungarian, and Turkish forces. By the Treaty of Trianon (1920) the city passed from Hungary to Czechoslovakia. Košice's most notable historic buildings are the Gothic Cathedral of St. Elizabeth (14th–15th cent.), the 14th-century Franciscan monastery and church, and an 18th-century town hall. The city also has a university and several cultural institutions.