CITY OF PECS
Pecs is a south-western city of Hungary that is situated at the foot of the Mascekmountains. MedyeBaranya is the administrative center. The city of Pecs is the fifth largest city of the country having the population of 156576 people. Pecs spread its lands at the distance of 200km from the capital. The city has highway and railway connections with Budapest.
First records of the city origin date back to approximately 2 thousand years ago; however, archeological excavations prove that first settlements on this place belong to the IV century of our decade. The first name of the city which was a part of Pannonia (a Roman province) was Sopianae. A strong Christian community was founded in the city in the IV century. Christian cemeteries of those times belong to UNESCO World Heritage sites as they survived till nowadays. After the empirecollapsed, thispart of the city fell under the influence of Barbarians, Avars and Huns, and after the AvarKaganatus was liquidated under Slavic control. As a result it was emerged by Roman Empire. The first written record of the city dates back to the year 871 and it is mentioned under the name of Quinque Ecclesiae(Five churches), of Salzburg diocese. Modern name is nothing else but aborrowing from Slavic(from GreatMoravian) – Five (churches). Starting from the year 1000 it is one of the regional centers of the country.
In the XI century a cathedral church was built in Pecs, and opening the first university dates back to the year 1367. This church existed for about 100 years.
In 1526 Turkish troops plundered the city, and in 1543 it was totally under the reign of the Ottoman Empire. Turkish turned all the Christian churches into mosques. Pecs became free from the Turkish reign in October, 1686 and was included in the Habsburg Empire. Due to the fact that city populationdecreased several times during the Ottoman reign, authorities encouraged immigration of south-Slavic and German colonists into the city. At the beginning of the XVIII century Slavs formed about a half of the city population, while Hungarians – only a fourth, and a fourth – Germans.
In 1777 the power belonged to the episcopate, but soon Pecs got the status of a free city. During the period of 1848-1849 (Hungarian revolution) the city was occupied by the Croats. In 1867a railway was built in the city that is the main connection artery with Budapest.
Pecsbelongs to the largest educational and cultural centers. In 2010 the city got its status of the cultural capital of Europe.
Duringthe 150-year-long Turkish occupation, the city of Pecswas prosperous and it was an economic center.The first university in the country was erected here in 1367. A lot of buildings of those times survived till nowadays.The Gazi Kasim Mosque belongs to their number. It is considered to be the best sample of Turkish architecture in Hungary.
The city has well-developed industry which is represented by mechanical engineering, food, wood processing, leather- and footwear- and many other industries. However, the most famous industrial part of the city is ceramics manufacturing – well-known Zsolnay porcelain.
St. Istvan square is the historical center of Pecs. Even in times of Sopianae this place was the city center. There is the cathedral church near it that was erected in the IX century in Roman style. This cathedral has been numerously rebuilt which gave unique features to its appearance. All construction works were finished only in the XVI century. The same as other churches of the city, this cathedral was turned into a mosque but two centuries later it regained its appearance.
Wonderful green-golden fountain took its honorable place near the Dzami mosque. Water in this fountain springs from four figures and it is sparkling with all colors of the rainbow. Only standing close to it you can see that this wonderful fountain is made of painted faience produced by the famous factory called “Zsolnay”.
In after-war period, a coal field was found in the suburb and brought into operation. It is the only one in the country. That is the industry which enabled the city to revive after all the hard times it experienced. Though many centuries Pecs brought its status to be the “ultramodern” city of any century and take leading positions.
Unique neighborhood of monuments saved from various epochs gives the city a special character and elegance. Due to this fact the city deserved its status of the most interesting city in Hungary. In the heart of “old Pecs”, namely on theSzéchenyi square, walls of the green-domed building are proudly towering. This construction has some flavor of resembling a mosque, however above the dome you will see a Catholic cross.
Local climate pleases with sunny days; colds are rather rare here, as well as grey days. These wonderful conditions are exactly the thing that attracted Romans who were the founders of the city. A number of factors prove that local climate is almost similar to the Mediterranean one; among those the main factor is a very-very long summer.