Pécs (German: Fünfkirchen, Croatian: Pečuh, Serbian: Печуј/Pečuj,
medieval Latin: Quinque Ecclesiae, ancient Latin: Sopianae) is a county
town in the southwestern part of Hungary, the fifth largest settlement
in the country after Budapest, Debrecen, Szeged and Miskolc. It is the
largest settlement in Transdanubia. The seat of Baranya county and Pécs
district, the center of Southern Transdanubia.
At the beginning of the 2nd century, the Romans founded a city called Sopianae in the region inhabited by Celtic and Pannonian tribes. By the 4th century, the settlement had become a provincial seat and an important center of early Christianity. The early Christian cemetery complex from this period was added to the World Heritage List by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in December 2000.
The bishopric was founded in 1009 by King Szent István, and the country's first university was founded in the city by King Lajos the Great in 1367. (Today, the largest university in the country still operates here, with nearly 34,000 students.) Bishop Janus Pannonius, the great poet of Hungarian humanism and the most prominent representative of Latin-language Hungarian poetry, made medieval Pécs one of the centers of the country's cultural and artistic life.
After 150 years of Turkish subjugation - such rich architectural monuments as the Kászim Gázi Pasha mosque in the town's main square remain - in 1780, Pécs received the status of a free royal city from Queen Mária Theresia. After that, strong urbanization and economic development began. Industrialization accelerated significantly in the first half of the 19th century, Zsolnay ceramics, Littke champagne, and the Angster organ became world famous.
Pécs has always been a multi-ethnic settlement, cultural layers were stacked on top of each other, traditions and values of nationalities were combined during its two thousand year history. Hungarians, Croats and Swabians still live in peace with each other in a rich cultural polarity, so it is not surprising that the city became one of the cultural capitals of Europe in 2010, together with Essen and Istanbul. The majority of the application accepted and announced as the winner in 2005 was written by civilians, so the Pécs2010 Capital of Culture project was truly a program of Pécs. The program was based on 4 cultural investments: Pécs Conference and Concert Center, South Transdanubia Regional Library and Knowledge Center, Múzeumok Street and the Zsolnay Cultural District. These were supplemented by the revitalization of public spaces and parks, all of which were co-financed by the European Union. The honorary title initiated huge developments in the city. New, modern hotels, shopping centers and office buildings were built.
In 1998, Pécs won the UNESCO Cities for Peace Award for its nurturing of minority cultures and its welcoming and tolerant attitude towards the refugees of the South Slavic war. The city came third in 2007 and second in 2008 in the category of settlements between 75,000 and 200,000 inhabitants of the international competition "Livable Settlements" (The LivCom Awards).
The ancient name of Pécs is Sopianæ. The root word of this
Latin-formed name of disputed origin (Celtic sop: "swamp") is certainly
related to the fact that the southern side of the Roman-era city that
stood on the site of Pécs at that time extended down to the watery,
marshy meadow. This previous assumption was confirmed when, around 1980,
during construction, archaeologists excavated the ruins of the southern
part of Sopianae.
The Hungarian name Pécs first appears in a document from 1235 in this form: Pechuth (ie "Pécs road"), then around 1290 as an independent name: Ponch villicus de Peech (read Pécs). The origin of the name Pécs is uncertain. According to several arguments, the word Pécs is etymologically identical to the words Vienna and Bény and means a fortified fortress. The common word peć, as well as the local name derived from it, preserves the meaning "furnace, stove, lonely rock" (see also: The origin of the name Pest). Some think of Turkish aspects, in which case the word beş comes to mind, which means five in Turkish. If we take the word beş as a basis, it is assumed that the Avars who lived there in the times before the conquest may have entered Hungarian via Volga Bulgarian peoples, who also spoke Turkic languages. According to other opinions, it may go back to an Indo-European number meaning "five", but its linguistic affiliation cannot be determined more closely. There is a town in Kosovo whose Serbian name is also Peć,
The city's medieval Latin name was Quinque Ecclesiae (meaning "five churches"). Its earlier antecedent was the version Quinque Basilicae ("five basilicas"), which already appears in a Frankish document from 871. The name referred to the ruins of the town's five early Christian chapels.
The German Fünfkirchen and the Slovak Päťkostolie (both meaning "five churches") follow the Latin pattern.
In Croatia, the official name of the city is Pečuh. In several villages, it was used in other forms Pečuj (Nagyhajmás), Pečuv (Hercegszántói), Peču (Kokényi), Petocrikva (St. Peter's) The name of the town is German: Fünfkirchen, Serbian: Печуј/Pečuj.
Pécs is located in Central Europe, in the Carpathian Basin. It is located in the center of Hungary's southernmost county, Baranya County, from the north the Mecsek rises above the city, and in the south lies the Pécs Plain belonging to the Baranya Hills. Pécs has a significant history of coal mining. Mecseki Karsztvíz is deservedly famous for its balanced mineral content.
The city of Pécs is located on the southwestern edge of the country,
near the Croatian border, 45–50 km west of the Danube. The triple border
of Hungary, Croatia and Serbia is relatively close to the city. It is
located 200 km south of Budapest, the nearest larger city is Kaposvár,
66 km away, while the nearest other county seat is Szekszárd, 60 km
away. The nearest settlement not in Baranya County is Dávod in the
southwestern part of Bács-Kiskun County. The southern half is flat,
while the northern part climbs up the southern slopes of the Mecsek
Mountains and extends into its valleys. The geographical location of
Pécs is extremely favorable from a climatic point of view, on the border
of the area that is still significantly forested. In the evenings on
sultry summer days, the air flow starting from Mecsek cools and cleans
the city's air.
The city is open from the south and protected from the north by the Mecsek range, which suddenly rises from the average height of 120-130 meters on the Pécs Plain to 400-600 meters from the south. Mount Jakab in Western Mecs is 593 m high, directly above Pécs in Central Mecs, Tubes is 612 m, Misina is 534 m. The settlement parts climb up the slopes of the mountain to an average height of 200-250 m, this also applies to Pécsbánya, Mecsekszabolcs, Vasas and Somogy. The vineyard area retreated to a relatively narrow strip. The forested parts usually start at 300 meters. Mecsek is divided by several valleys, which play a major role in improving the atmosphere of a city with no water surfaces in a warm climate. The waters coming from Mecsek are collected by the Pécsi-víz running in the NE-SW direction and lead to the Fekete-víz, which flows into the Dráva.
Pécs is located at the 46th latitude and the 18th longitude, at an average height of 201 meters above sea level. The city is affected by three climatic influences: continental, Mediterranean and oceanic. The oceanic climate from the west, the dry continental climate from the northeast, and the Mediterranean climate from the south exert their influence, thanks to which Pécs is located in the collision zone of three climate types. The average annual mean temperature is 8.9 degrees Celsius, the average annual precipitation is 624 mm, and the number of annual hours of sunshine is 2,081.