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Pécs (pāch), Ger. Fünfkirchen, city (1991 est. pop. 170,000), SW Hungary, near the Croatian border. A county administrative seat and a railroad hub, Pécs is the industrial center of Hungary's chief coking coal–mining region. Uranium was also produced nearby during the Communist era. Both minerals were mined under very difficult conditions and by the mid-1990s all the mines were being closed. Leather goods, textiles, apparel, furniture, and industrial ceramics are produced in the city, and there are extensive vineyards in the surrounding area. One of Hungary's oldest cities, Pécs was the site of a Celtic settlement and became the capital of the Roman province of Lower Pannonia under Emperor Hadrian. It was first known as Sopianae and later as Quinque Ecclesiae [Lat.,=five churches], from which the German name Fünfkirchen derived. In 1009 the city was made an episcopal see by St. Stephen, and in 1367 Louis I established the first Hungarian university there. Pécs was under Turkish rule from 1543 to 1686. Many German miners and colonists settled there during the 18th cent., and in 1780 it became a free city. The 11th-century cathedral (rebuilt in the late 19th cent.) is the most notable historic building in Pécs; the city also has an episcopal palace, a Turkish minaret, and several churches that were formerly mosques. The crises in the coal industry adversely affected the economy of the city and its region in the early 1990s.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in Hungary, in the southern foothills of the Mecsek Mountains. Administrative center of the megye (county) of Baranya; population, 145,300 (1970). Pécs is a major transportation and industrial center. Coal is mined nearby, and there is a thermal power plant outside Pécs. The city has machine-building enterprises, food-processing industry (breweries, wineries), tanneries, tobacco factories, and a cokery. Pécs is well known for its ceramics, especially the porcelain and faience produced at the former Zsolnay factory. The university in the city was first founded in 1367; it was newly founded in 1922.

Pécs’s history goes back about 2,000 years. Its Roman name was Sopinae; later the city was named Quinque Ecclesiae (Five Churches).

Preserved in the center of the city, marked by chaotic medieval planning, are ancient Christian catacombs (fourth century), a Romanesque cathedral (11th century; reconstructed, 1882–91, architect F. Schmidt; the 11th-century reliefs have been preserved), a Romanesque lower church (11th century), the Belváros Parish Church (the former Mosque of Gazi Kassim, 16th century), and the Mosque of Jakovali Hassan (16th century). Major contemporary architectural projects have been carried out. These include the construction of the city’s western section (1950’s, architects E. Dénes and others), the Olimpia Restaurant (1960, architect L. Gádoros), and a school (early 1960’s, architect M. Nánási). There is an equestrian monument in Pécs to János Hunyadi (bronze, 1956, by P. Pátzay). The Janus Pan-nonius Museum, which was founded in 1898, houses archaeological remains, folk art, and 20th-century Hungarian art.


Dercsényi, D., F. Pogány, and Z. Szentkirályi. Pécs. Budapest, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.