Mediterranean type of city in Southern Transdanubia
Pécs is the fifth largest town in Hungary with a population of about 158,000. It lies in the South-East of Transdanubia at the south side of Mecek Hills. Pécs is the seat of Baranya County, which covers an area of 4500 km2 and has a population of 400,000.
Besides its outstanding regional role, the town is also the gateway of Hungary to Croatia, the Balkans and the North-Italian region. The vicinity of the Adriatic Sea, the town’s Mediterranean-type climate, the picturesque streets of its historical centre and the teeming summer evenings all evoke the atmosphere of the Mediterranean countries.
A town known for its’ wine and culture
Pécs is also the town of vineyards and good wines: one of the first champagne producing companies was established here. Vine growing, and wine making have long traditions in the area. The museums in the town like the Csontváry, Vasarely and the Zsolnay collections are well known all over Europe. The artistic life of Pécs, its exhibitions and festivals attract a lot of visitors.
A town of education
Pécs has been an educational front for centuries. It is also a centre for higher education and scientific research. In addition to the university departments, there are three independent research institutes in the town: the Regional Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Research Institute of Viticulture and the Experimental Institute of Dairy Farming.
The research institutes, the scientific events, and international conferences held here also contribute to the reputation of the town. The development of R&D capacities and the industrial application of research findings may open up new opportunities for international co-operation.
The town may be 2000 years old, but the 25,000 students who live here, find it a pleasant place to live in. The high level of education that characterises the population is an important asset for economic development: 40% of the population over the age of 18 has at least secondary school education and 15% of the population over 25 years of age has college or university degrees. The number of people speaking foreign languages in Pécs is double the national average.
A multicultural city
The settlement of Germans, Croatians, Serbs and other communities here during the centuries has lead to a continuous mixture of the population. The peaceful coexistence of these minority groups has greatly contributed to the rich cultural traditions of the area. This is well illustrated by the fact that the country’s only Croatian theatre is found here, in addition to the National Theatre of Pécs, the Third Theatre and the Bóbita Puppet Theatre. In 1998 the town was awarded the UNESCO Peace Prize in recognition, among others, of its minority policy and the activities of its civil organisations.
The town is deeply committed to developing its international relations, as proved by the number of its twin cities (Fellbach, Graz, Osiek, Cluj, Kutahya, Lahti, Seattle, Terracina, Tuscon, Tuzla, and Lyon). These relationships enhance participation in international projects, and help in the co-ordination of economic development projects. With the honorary consulates of Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain and Italy located here, the town is considered to be a sub-centre for diplomacy.
Pécs – the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2010
The Hungarian Government announced its decision on 19th October that Hungary appoints Pécs to be the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2010.
The Government considered the ranking of the international council including 14 acknowledged professionals who had visited all the 7 applicant cities (Budapest, Debrecen, Eger, Győr, Miskolc, Pécs, and Sopron) and examined their projects carefully: 10 votes supported overwhelmingly our city. Evaluating our application, they emphasized the substantial structure of plans and ideas, the wide-range partnerships on national and international scale, and the devoted vocation of the people of Pécs. Pécs is going to bear this honouring title together with a city in Germany.
For more information, please, visit: pecs2010.hu
Pécs is a city of cultural heritage as well as cultural innovation. It is a city of artistic innovation with a 2000-year history.