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Gábor Czoch

The Transformation of Urban Space in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century in Hungary and in the City of Kassa


The two most important changes in the urban spaces of the walled cities of Hungary in the period between the end of the eighteenth century and the middle of the nineteenth were the growth of the outer cities and the demolition of the city walls. This essay examines the consequences of these changes from the perspective of the social and political consequences of the shifts that took place in the concept of the city and the borders of the urban space, considering a specific case on the one hand, the city of Kassa (or Košice), and national tendencies on the other. The physical growth of the city and the gradual urbanization of the outer cities not only led to changes in the prevailing understanding of the “city” (which earlier had been identified as the area within the city walls), but made increasingly inevitable the creation, in a space that had been fragmented by the various privileges enjoyed by some of its inhabitants, of a legally unified city, as well as the incorporation of the outer cities, which had varying statuses, into the jurisdiction of the municipality. This, however, conflicted with the prevailing system of noble privileges, and the situation went unresolved until 1848, when the revolution made possible the transformation of the political structure of the entire country.