Behind baroque facades of houses at Esze Tamas (the small street between Cathedral and Barbican) the city of Pecs gives a small yet important shelter to Croatian culture; being named upon writer Avgust Senoa, this is the place to visit if you are interested in learning of the southern neighbours; it is educational centre which mainly serve Croatian minority, but as they say... everyone can visit, if it is only opened. We weren't that lucky during winter holidays.
Nevertheless, the buildings itself are worth having a look as they represent fine city architecture and the lane is yet another charming, historic one that will connect two important sites of built heritage.
The mausoleum of Vilmos Zsolnay was built on a small hill above his factories in 1900, by his son Miklos (a grandson of a founder, who is also Miklos). A magnificient building reminds to a great man of Pecs, who allegedly frequently watched his 'industrial empire' from the site where he is buried. A mausoleum has not always been in the good state like seen today; it has been only recently opened to visitors after thorough restoration - a necessary process followed after years of devastation and negligence.
Today only coffin of Vilmos, his wife and their son Miklos lay in crypt, while other members of family remains were vandalized.
There was a good atricle about history of a Mausoleum written on the below web site, if you bother to know more about it.
I can only recommend a visit this lone, beautiful and dignified building of a visionary, though it's little off the main paths. But does that matter?
Well worth to explore are Pecs side streets, especially those on rising terrain of the Mecsek hill above city where topographic quality of the area yet once again suggests interesting development of a neighbourhoods. It is here where you'll feel Hungarian atmosphere best - the houses low and traditionally small, windows facing streets, buildings built tightly together, touching eachother by the sides, street shaded with tall trees... views rising and extending towards Panonnian plain well towards Danube direction and beyond, people visiting small shops along the pavement, some chat, other stroll, dogs bark, birds fly above hair... in a pleasant setting, among pleasant gardens and scarce motor traffic - especially scarce by late night.
These photos were taken on our way back and forth to city centre from our 'panzio' at Marx street. Some by day, some by night adorned by yellow light.
The pocket size park dedicated to Esperanto movement, now children playground; the memorial plaques by the side wall come with bilingual, Hungarian - Esperanto notes of Hungarian men whom were considered as notable Esperantists, and were somehow promotors of an artificial language following most noble, pacificst ideals. Esperanto was created by Polish Jew Ludwig Zamenhof whose family members were killed during bloody pogroms that targeted Jewish society. It is now language spoken by millions of people worldwide, though it never gained wider popularity for broader public, despite its ideas of a language being 'neutral', easy to learn and pronounce, the language that promotes 'hope' - which word is a root of the name Esperanto (hope - espero). A relief of his head in copper stays on the stone in park.
Location: north of Szechenyi square, at intersection of Hunyadi and Papnovelde.
This small park next to Augustine church has few interesting features - like the memorial site to the former creek running though Pecs (which is now gone) and come with a star shaped limestone-granite combination pavement on the ground. It is further connected with thin black sculpture, somewhat taking central position of the park - the memory to the miners of Pecs. Some time in recent history Uranium was discovered in the area which made many men from other regions moving to Pecs in hope to improve living standard. Meanwhile, Uranium era ended. People stayed as well as block buildings, having been built for the purposes of growing population of that time.
Quite an interesting design of this small public area, with inconventional forms of paths and paved areas upon green layer, suggesting it has been built recently.
Location: north east of centre by Augustine church.
The actual Calvary with 14 stations and rounded chapel at the top was built between 1812 and 1817, replacing older, modest one, which was taken care by Jesuit order; the site had been used for religious celebrations already for long time, especially for the worship of the Lord's day - by some information since 13th century. Only after WWII and untill 1989 the site has been left to natural conditions, which resulted in damages to the buildings, but then again when Pecs Calvary Foundation began reconstruction work on the site, its spirit revitalised.
Given its quiet location on a grassy slope behind Northen fortification in shade of few trees, the place feels quite lonely, and when we visited its doors were shut. Few youngsters in a tiny park (which is otherwise above the tunnel) between walls enclosing calvary and the fortification to city had something to smoke and wine to drink, and it seemed like this quitness here suited them fine.
Location: North of the city centre, behind the Northern fortification, upon the tunnel
The site of Jewish cemetery takes place outside city walls that marked centre of Pecs, in quiet suburb of Alkony street, hidden behind high wall - and almost undisturbed there as the graveyards door remain shut for the winter and guarded by grave keeper. Quite large site in shade of trees, established by the community between 1816 and 1827 and since then it becomes resting place for many notable men and commoners; it as well suggests of how large Jewish community once was - and then to remind, how decimated its population during the WWII when many of them were transported in the concentration camps.
Location: Alkony street - by intersection with Sziv lane. It's about 20 min walk from centre, towards south west - see a map.
Dominating small Augustine square close to remains of the city wall is the orange colored Augustine church whose origins would be traced in Medieval era. During Turkish rule it was reconstructed to a mosque, and then again, as invaders left - it become a property of an Augustine order whom rebuilt (in 1702) and reshaped the church, incorporating walls of former mosque into architecture - as you'll walk around, you'll notice the windows with typical Islamic conclusion (see the photo).
Note the park like square by the church with massive stone fountain in front of the main gates and a black sculpture to the miners and a site of a former stream.
By the front church wall, the Croatians of Pecs installed a memorial plaque to Don Šimun Matković whose was reformer of the religious and education life in Pecs, lived during 1575 - 1638.
Location: at Agoston ter
Around Pecs, in Ormánság region you can visit several nice villages and their Calvinist churches. They are famous for itheir painted ceiling of wooden panels, the painted choirs and the pulpits. They are all examples of the folk art, typical of the Ormánság region.
You see them all over Pecs, Signs of the Turkis, Ottoman occupation of 150-years in Hungary. You see baths, churches and these tall towers used for daily pray in the Islamic religion. Now days we see them as part of Hungary's history and the Turkish people actually like Hungarians and the other way around is also true.
Not exactly in Pecs, but still very close and can be seen from almost every corner of the city and from beyond the city places. This is the television tower of Pecs and it is located on top of a hill in the Mecsek mountains, called Misina. This is not the summit of the mecsek, but it is the closest to the city. The tower itself does not look very large, until you are standing right underneath it. It is huge, take it from me. The closest thing I've see to this was the CN tower in Toronto, Canada. This TV tower was built in 1968 and it is 176 meters tall. A restaurant is located on top and an open air look out. The top portion does not turn as some people believe. You can get to the top for about $600- Ft with a hight speed elevator. Make sure you go on a clear day with not too much wind. The view from the top is a lifetime experience. Unfortunately we went on a hazy day, but it was still very nice and unique.
If you get a full ticket at the basilica, that will include a side trip to the Bishop's underground wine making facility. The ticket also includes wine tasting of the famous villanyi wine. Each visitor will receive a glass of quality wine (1-dl / approx 2-cups glass). You can also purchase various bottles of local wines. The sate of Baranya has over 600 years of wine making history in the region. There is no entry into the current wine making facility, but you can see the huge barrels that were used for centuries by the Bishop's wine makers. This place is quiet cool, as it is under-ground and the old barrels and wine making equipment still smell wonderful. Don't miss this!
Villány region is one of Hungary's first-class red-wine producing areas. The local red wines are usually full-bodied to heavy; they can be characterized by high alcohol and tannin content. Their specific, intensive bouquet makes them easily recognizable. The Portugais will age during one year, while the wines of bigger body appear in the market only after a few years of aging.
You can reach Villany by train from Pécs which takes about 50 minutes.
The gate with its entrance, bastion and arcade looks like a small fortress. The edifice was meant to be a symbolic doorway to the Mecsek Hills, it was therefore called Mecsek Gate. This edifice is one of the most beautiful symbols of the Mecsek.
Zsongor-kõ is a beetling cliff of red sandstone on the southern side of mountain Jakab-hegy. We get a beautiful view of Délbaranyai-plain from the cliff. Its stairs were curved in 1892, and bars were paced at the same time. This natural look-out tower lies 540 m high. It is the most beautiful site of Mecsek, we can observe the plain below us from above. On the edge of the horizon ridges of mountain Villány are rising.