Pécs, Hungary

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Pécs, Hungary

Region: Baranya


Geographic Coordinates: 46.070800, 18.233100
Temperature Range: -20.0°C to 40.0°C (-4°F to 104°F)
Climate: Seasonal.
Population: 140237
Language: Hungarian

Pécs is a beautiful city situated in the southwestern part of Hungary, Renowned for its rich cultural heritage and history. The city has a population of around 150, 000 people and is the fifth-largest city in Hungary. Pécs has been inhabited since ancient times and was an important center during the Roman Empire. One of Pécs’ most significant features is its stunning architecture, Which reflects its diverse history. The historic center of the city boasts buildings from various periods such as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau styles.

Some notable landmarks include the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul that dates back to the 11th century; Mosque Church (formerly Pasha Qasim Mosque) built during Ottoman rule in Hungary; and Zsolnay Cultural Quarter – a complex consisting of several Art Nouveau buildings designed by Hungarian architect Miklós Ybl. Pécs also offers a vibrant cultural scene with numerous festivals held throughout the year such as Pécsi Tavasz (Spring Festival), Mediawave International Film Festival, And Szigetvár-Pécs Battle Reenactment that commemorates one of Hungary’s most significant battles against Ottoman forces in 1566.

Several museums showcase Pécs’ rich history and art scene like Museum of Fine Arts housing an extensive collection ranging from medieval art to contemporary works while Janus Pannonius Museum focuses on local archaeology, Ethnography, Natural sciences along with modern art exhibitions. Food enthusiasts can relish traditional Hungarian cuisine served at many restaurants throughout town along with international dishes at trendy cafes like Café Frei or Kávéház Mecsek. Nature lovers can explore nearby Mecsek Mountains where they can hike or bike through scenic trails offering breathtaking views of the city and surrounding countryside.

The area also houses several thermal baths like Harkány Thermal Spa known for its healing properties. Overall, Pécs is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, Architecture, Culture, Or simply looking for a charming European city to explore. Its unique blend of ancient and modern elements makes it an unforgettable experience that will leave visitors wanting more.



Important Landmarks

  1. Pécs Cathedral is the largest church in Pécs and a stunning example of Romanesque architecture.
  2. Zsolnay Cultural Quarter is a complex of buildings that houses museums, galleries, and cultural events.
  3. The Early Christian Necropolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with ancient tombs and frescoes.
  4. The Mosque of Pasha Qasim is an Ottoman-era mosque that has been repurposed as a concert hall.
  5. The National Theatre of Pécs is a modern theatre with an array of performances.
  6. The Bishop’s Palace is an ornate Baroque palace that now serves as the Bishop’s residence.
  7. Csontváry Museum showcases the works of Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka, one of Hungary’s most renowned painters.
  8. Janus Pannonius Museum features exhibits on the history and culture of the region.
  9. Pécs Zoo houses over 500 animals from around the world.
  10. Tettye Ruins are remains of an ancient castle built into a hillside overlooking the city.

Primary Industries

  1. Automotive industry: Pécs is home to several automotive manufacturing companies such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Suzuki.
  2. Information technology: The city has a thriving IT sector with companies like Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks operating in the area.
  3. Tourism: Pécs is known for its historical landmarks and cultural attractions which attract tourists from all over the world.
  4. Healthcare: The city has several hospitals, clinics, and medical centers that provide quality healthcare services to its residents.
  5. Education: Pécs is home to several universities including the University of Pécs which attracts students from all over Hungary and abroad.
  6. Food processing industry: The region around Pécs is known for its agriculture production which includes wine-making, fruit-growing, vegetable farming etc., resulting in a strong food processing industry in the city.
  7. Construction Industry- There are many construction companies present in Pecs that deal with both residential as well as commercial projects
  8. Retail Industry- Pecs has many shopping malls like Arkad Shopping Mall where people can buy various products ranging from clothes to electronics.

Noteable History

  1. Roman Empire: Pécs was founded by the Romans in the 2nd century AD as Sopianae, a military base on the border of Pannonia.
  2. Early Christianity: Saint Martin of Tours, who later became a bishop and patron saint of France, was born in Savaria (present-day Szombathely) but spent his early years in Pécs.
  3. Ottoman Empire: Pécs was occupied by the Ottoman Turks for over 150 years (1543-1686), during which time it became an important cultural center and developed its unique Turkish-style architecture.
  4. Zsolnay Porcelain Factory: The world-renowned Zsolnay Porcelain Factory was established in Pécs in 1853 by Vilmos Zsolnay, who developed new techniques for producing high-quality ceramics and glazes.
  5. Hungarian Revolution of 1956: During the Hungarian Revolution against Soviet domination, Pécs played an important role as one of the centers of resistance against Soviet forces.
  6. Ferenc Móra Museum: The Ferenc Móra Museum is located in Pécs and is dedicated to preserving and promoting Hungarian culture and history through its extensive collections of art, artifacts, manuscripts, books, and other materials.
  7. Cardinal József Mindszenty: Cardinal József Mindszenty was born near Pécs in Csehimindszent and served as Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest during World War II until he fell out with communist authorities after refusing to cooperate with their policies; he spent many years under house arrest before being granted asylum at the US embassy until he left Hungary following a deal between Washington DC & Budapest governments over his release from embassy custody on November 4th 1956 during Hungary’s uprising against Soviet occupation.
  8. Lajos Kossuth: Lajos Kossuth, a Hungarian lawyer, journalist, and politician who played a key role in the country’s struggle for independence in 1848-49, was also born near Pécs in Monok.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Zsolnay Cultural Quarter is a collection of museums, galleries, and cultural institutions located in the historic buildings of the Zsolnay porcelain factory.
  2. Pécs Cathedral is an impressive example of Romanesque architecture that dates back to the 11th century. The cathedral features stunning frescoes and has a rich history.
  3. The Early Christian Necropolis is an underground burial site that dates back to the 4th century AD. It boasts beautifully preserved frescoes and intricate carvings.
  4. Janus Pannonius Museum is a comprehensive museum that showcases the art, history, and culture of Pécs and its surrounding region.
  5. Csontváry Museum is dedicated to Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka’s works, one of Hungary’s most famous painters.
  6. Originally built as a mosque during Ottoman rule in Hungary, Mosque Church (Pasha Qasim) now serves as a church with an interesting blend of Islamic and Christian architectural elements.
  7. National Theatre Pécs is one of Hungary’s premier theaters for drama, opera, ballet and contemporary dance performances.
  8. Vasarely Museum features works by Victor Vasarely – one of Hungary’s most renowned modern artists known for his optical illusions and geometric abstracts.
  9. Bishop’s Palace (Pécsi Püspöki Palota) – A beautiful Baroque palace housing both religious offices & art exhibitions throughout the year
  10. Szechenyi Square (Szechenyi tér) – The central square in Pécs surrounded by historic buildings such as City Hall (Városház), National Theatre Pécs (Nemzeti Színház), Mosque Church (Pasha Qasim) etc., it also has numerous cafes & restaurants where visitors can enjoy local cuisine while people-watching or simply taking in views around them


Sports Teams

  1. Pécsi Mecsek FC is the oldest football club in Pécs, having been founded in 1922. Throughout their history, they have participated in various leagues, including the Hungarian National Championship and the Hungarian Cup.
  2. KTE-Duna Aszfalt is a handball team that was established in 1951. Over the years, they have emerged as one of Hungary’s top teams and have won several national championships and cups. They also participate in European competitions.
  3. PVSK-Veolia is a basketball team that has been around since 1945. They are known for their impressive record of multiple national championships and cups victories as well as competing at the European level.
  4. The Pannon Powerlifting Team was formed relatively recently, in 2009 but has already established itself as one of Hungary’s leading powerlifting teams with participation both nationally and internationally.
  5. The Pécs Panthers American Football Club joined Hungary’s top American football league -the Hungarian Football League (HFL)- back in 2006 after being founded that year; they continue to compete at this level today with great success!


Cultural Events

  1. Zsolnay Light Festival: This annual festival takes place in the summer and features light installations, concerts, and performances throughout the city.
  2. Pécs International Dance Festival: This festival brings together dancers from around the world for a week-long celebration of dance.
  3. Pécs National Theatre Festival: Held annually in September, this festival showcases Hungarian theatre productions and features workshops and discussions with actors and directors.
  4. Janus Pannonius Poetry Festival: This event celebrates Hungarian poetry with readings, performances, and workshops by renowned poets from Hungary and abroad.
  5. Pécs Wine Days: Held in October, this festival celebrates local wine culture with tastings, food pairings, live music, and cultural events throughout the city.
  6. Mediterranean Expo: This event showcases Mediterranean culture through food stalls selling traditional dishes from Italy to Greece to Spain.
  7. Pannonian Challenge Extreme Sports Festival: This annual event brings together extreme sports enthusiasts for a weekend of competitions in disciplines such as skateboarding, BMX biking or wakeboarding on Lake Balaton near Pécs.
  8. Jazzpiknik Music Festival : A two-day open-air jazz music festival held at an idyllic vineyard just outside of Pécs every August featuring both local talent as well as international artists.
  9. Pécsi Esti Fesztivál (Pécs Night Fest): A summer evening street fair celebrating arts & crafts vendors offering everything from jewelry to pottery along with live music performances all over town.
  10. Pécsi Tavaszi Fesztivál (Pécs Spring Fest): A springtime cultural celebration that includes exhibitions at museums & galleries along with concerts showcasing classical & contemporary music artists across the city’s venues.

Cuisine

  • Halászcsárda Étterem: This restaurant specializes in traditional Hungarian fish dishes.
  • Kávéház Café & Restaurant: This café and restaurant serves a mix of Hungarian and international cuisine, including vegetarian options.
  • Széchenyi Téri Halpiac: This outdoor market offers fresh seafood caught from the nearby Danube River.
  • Zsolnay Kávéház és Étterem: Located in the historic Zsolnay Cultural Quarter, this restaurant offers a variety of Hungarian dishes with a modern twist.
  • Pata Negra Tapas Bar: This tapas bar serves Spanish-style small plates as well as Hungarian wines and craft beers.
  • Csontváry Restaurant & Wine Bar: Named after the famous Hungarian painter Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka, this restaurant offers traditional Hungarian dishes paired with local wines.
  • Bagolyvár Restaurant: Set in a medieval castle, this restaurant serves hearty meat dishes such as roasted duck or venison stew.
  • Aranykaviár Étterem: Specializing in Russian cuisine, this upscale restaurant serves caviar alongside classic Russian dishes like borscht and beef stroganoff.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Pécs Zoo and Aquarium
    2. Mecsek Mountains
    3. Zsolnay Cultural Quarter
    4. Tettye Ruins Park
    5. Cella Septichora Visitor Centre and Archaeological Park
    6. Pécs Botanic Garden and Arboretum
    7. Havihegy Recreational Area
    8. Orfű Lake
    9. Bükkös Creek Valley Nature Reserve
    10. Janus Pannonius Museum’s Garden

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