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Pécs is the European Capital of Culture in 2010

Nyomtatható verzió www.pecs2010.hu

Pécs, the Multicultural Town

The building blocks of the past are of Latin, Turkish, German, Croatian and Hungarian origin, today the town is the most important Hungarian venues for the German, Croatian and Roma culture. Nine ethnic minority governments operate here (German, Roma, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Polish, Greek, Ukrainian, Ruthenian). Pécs is the most important town for the culture of Hungarian Germans. The only town in Hungary where education is provided in Roma language from the nursery to the University.
Cultures that had no connection at all coexist in Pécs and in its region, this is the meeting point of West European, Balkan, German and Turkish cultures. The old German name of the area (Schwäbische Türkei) stands as a memento to this unusual cultural conjunction. The cultural layers of the town have settled in a curious order: The culture of Pécs was Latin when the university was established (1367), it was Turkish in the 17th century, German and Latin at the end of the 18th century and primarily Hungarian in the 20th century. When you walk through town you walk across a mass of cultural zones. The Turkish mosque standing on the main square is now a Catholic church. The Turkish half moon and the Catholic cross on the top of the mosque symbolise very well the coexistence of cultures in the town.
It is not only the architectural heritage that reflects this unique cultural composition: you will find similar values in the cultural and artistic traditions as well. The mentality of people living here also shows the signs of multicultural values: for them openness, the acceptance of other cultures is natural. This is the spirituality what really makes Pécs multicultural. This is one of the reasons why the University of the city is frequented so much by foreign students, who do not only study here but also actively take part in the life of the town.
The multicultural value of the town is especially visible during festivals, such as the Heritage Festival, the Pécs Spring Festival, the International Folk Dance Festival or the Weeks of Art and Gastronomy. During these festivities you can have a hands-on experience of the colourfulness while tasting the wines of the Mecsek and Villány hills and the national dishes of the peoples of the town.