If you have traveled the length and breadth of Budapest, if all its suburbs are discovered and you want to see the other side of Hungary, you should make your way to the railway station, take a train and … three hours later you are in the south-west of Hungary, in Pecs – one of the most beautiful cities that has a 2000-year history. The city where Roman monuments stand side by side with Medieval erections.
One could call Pecs "the city of awards": in 2010 it will become the European Capital of Culture, its ancient monument – 16 buildings of the Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs, is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another architectural treasure is a two-storied Christian mausoleum, with frescos, x-shaped Christogram and the remains of three sarcophagi found in it. Mosque of Yakovali Hassan Pasha and the former Turkish Mosque of Pasha Gazi Kassim were left from the 150-year Turkish rule. The latter is located at the central square. The mosque is adorned with a cross dominating the crescent – the symbol of the Christian victory. In 1009 Pecs became the residence for the bishop of Pecs – there was the four-tower Cathedral left from those times.
Pecs has another name, too – the Hungarian Italy, or the city with Mediterranean atmosphere. There are several facts that play their part in this: the city's "origin" (Pecs was founded 2000 years ago as an important Christian center, the Roman settlement of Sopianae), and its cozy location by the southern foot of the Mecsek mountain, not far from Croatian boarder and the Adriatic. That is why Pecs is rich in plants that northern Hungarians are not familiar with: fig trees and mountainous flowers, almond-trees … Numerous tourists and students spend their time in the shadow of the trees, drinking coffee and chatting loudly. By the way, Pecs is also an important educational center, the oldest Hungarian university is found in it (founded in 1367).
A magnificent city panorama of red roofs and green domes can be observed from the Municipality tower. From this spot you can also see the Pecs skyscraper – the only one in the city since it was built by the technology that was later declared unsafe. Now this "ghost house" is uninhabited while ancient architectural monuments lead life at its full. The beautiful city landscape and endless mountains are seen from the Television tower on top of a 535-meter mountain. The route to the mountain lies through one of the city's old districts, where Mediterranean diversity is mixed with Hungarian traditions. Streets and colorful houses prove this.
Night can be sent at one of the hotels in the city center: Amstel Cafe Hotel, Hotel Nador, Patria, Szinbad Restaurant Pension two minutes from the pedestrian area. Kikelet hotel is located on the Mecsek mountain and overlooks the city center. You can also spend your time at Czanadomb Guesthouse 4 km from Pecs. The hotel is surrounded with greenery and is a pleasant spot.
The pedestrian area in the city center is all covered with cafés and restaurants. Kiraly and Ferencesk streets or Jokai square are perfect to try Hungarian dishes and do the shopping. One thing you should definitely buy in Pecs is its ceramics – the city is famous for its porcelain factory and Zsolnay Porcelain.