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"Beautiful City in South-West Hungary" Pecs by chewbacca1975

Pecs Travel Guide: 358 reviews and 922 photos


Pécs is the fifth largest city of Hungary, located on the slopes of the Mecsek mountains in the south-west of the country, close to its border with Croatia. In 2010 Pécs has been selected to be the European Capital of Culture sharing the title together with Essen and Istanbul.

Succeeding inhabitants left such monuments as a fourth century Christian chapel and cemetery, a 12th century cathedral, where the first Hungarian university was built in 1387 and a Turkish mosque from the 16th century named "Jekovali Hasan Pasha". Coal mines, vineyards and modern industries have brought prosperity to modern Pécs. The well-known Chinese style Zsolnay porcelain is produced in the town. In the art realm, Pécs has a gallery devoted to Victor Vasarely, the founder of optical art, who was born in the city in 1908.

After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, it seemed natural that Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II was rallying his resources in order to subjugate Hungary. His immediate objective was Nándorfehérvár (today Belgrade).

Nándorfehérvár was a major castle-fortress, and a gate keeper of south Hungary. The fall of this stronghold would have opened a clear way to the heart of Central Europe. Hunyadi arrived at the siege of Nándorfehérvár at the end of 1455, after settling differences with his domestic enemies. At his own expense, he restocked the supplies and arms of the fortress, leaving in it a strong garrison under the command of his brother-in-law Mihály Szilágyi and his own eldest son László Hunyadi. He proceeded to form a relief army, and assembled a fleet of two hundred ships. His main ally was the Franciscan friar, Giovanni da Capistrano (known today as St. John of Capistrano), whose fiery oratory drew a large crusade made up mostly of peasants. Although relatively ill-armed (most were armed with farm equipment, such as scythes and pitchforks) they flocked to Hunyadi and his small corps of seasoned mercenaries and cavalry.

On 14 July 1456 the flotilla assembled by Hunyadi destroyed the Ottoman fleet. On 21 July, Szilágyi's forces in the fortress repulsed a fierce assault by the Rumelian army, and Hunyadi pursued the retreating Ottoman forces into their camp, taking advantage of the Turkish army's confused flight from the city. After fierce but brief fighting, the camp was captured, and Mehmet lifted the siege and returned to Istanbul. A 70 year period of relative peace on Hungary's southeastern border began with his flight. However, plague broke out in Hunyadi's camp three weeks after the lifting of the siege, and he died August 11. On his deathbed Hunyadi said "Defend, my friends, Christendom and Hungary from all enemies... Do not quarrel among yourselves. If you should waste your energies in altercations, you will seal your own fate as well as dig the grave of our country.."

He is buried in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Gyulafehérvár (now: Alba Iulia) next to his younger brother, John. Sultan Mehmet II paid him tribute: "Although he was my enemy I feel grief over his death, because the world has never seen such a man."

  • Last visit to Pecs: Sep 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (2)

Comments (2)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jun 16, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Interesting little page with brilliant photos of Pecs.

  • picek's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2011 at 5:45 AM

    Great introduction to Pecs - and you're quite right, the view from that restaurant is lovely.


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