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Pécs is the European Capital of Culture in 2010

Nyomtatható verzió www.pecs2010.hu

Zsolnay Cultural Quarter


The name Zsolnay is well-know not only in Hungary, but in the whole of Europe as well. A certain part of the old factory serves as the venue for one of the greatest key investment projects of the Pécs2010 European Capital of Culture Programme; namely the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter. The 5 hectare area of the porcelain manufacture was reborn due to an 11 billion HUF urban development programme.

The cultural quarter that is established as one of the greatest industrial monument groups of Central Europe has 4 thematic parts. The most important element of the Craftsman's Quarter is the exhibition introducing the Zsolnay family along with their history, and the famous Gyugyi Collection. The Zsolnay Mausoleum, the Creative and Incubator House and the shops of the Handcrafts Street also belong in this quarter. The Creative Quarter gives home to the cultural institutions, the catering facilities and festivals in which the Pécs Youth Centre will have key role. The different elements of the Family and Children's Quarter will be the Planetarium, the new exhibition space of the Pécs Gallery that is ready to accept serious international guest exhibitions, and the new building of the Bóbita Puppet Theatre. The University Quarter will include several different branches of the University of Pécs like the Faculty of Music and Visual Arts and its brand new department.

Handing over the individual project elements has been taking place continuously since September 2010. The Sikorski Villa was one of the first to be finished; it was opened for the public on 1 September 2010. More than 11.000 guests have seen the uniquely valuable exhibition of the Gyugyi collection here since then even though visitation is only possible following a registration because the villa is situated in the middle of the construction site. Another momentous event was when the 45-meter-long pedestrian bridge was put to its place connecting the new Northern and Southern  parts of the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter on 22 October 2010.

The full renovation of the Zsolnay Mausoleum also used to make part of a greater investment project. The work did not only concentrate on the building itself but on the promenade leading up to it with its fences decorated by the 42 pyrogranite lions - all of which needed to be built back almost from scratch based on the old plans and photos. By today even the columns follow the original pattern and are decorated by ram heads.

The Bóbita Puppet Theatre had moved to the Family and Children's Quarter and held its first programme on 29 January 2011. The visitors had the opportunity to look around the theatre and to view a public rehearsal. 24 hours later on the Day of the Winged Pig hundreds of guests were interested in the drama room that is equipped with gaming machines carved from wood and the 185 seat great hall that was constructed by the most modern stage technique. The theatre waits for the visitors with excellent programmes the whole year round. The puppet theatre will also offer camps during the summertime.

The exhibition space of the Pécs Gallery opened its gates in December 2010 with the retrospective exhibition of Sándor Pinczehelyi.

The planetarium that had been unworthily neglected will also open soon with numerous new functions. Breaking the several-year intermission the Pécs Baranya Scientific Educational Association (TIT) will compensate the public with a 3D movie, an interactive exhibition and other units that, following the requirements of the day, educate in an entertaining fashion.

Another very interesting part of the quarter is the Magic Lab that will give home to a playhouse and an interactive natural sciences and technical exhibition. The aim of this special place is to raise and keep the attention of children and adults also on the magical world of natural sciences offering an entertaining and playful venue. The exhibition will almost unnoticeably spread scientific knowledge as a result of which the visitors might find their places better and more easily in today's modern world that is interwoven with technique.

Consequently, the construction and finishing of the different parts of the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter takes place continuously. The handover of the inside yard of the Creative Quarter will happen before the end of the year and that is when the event hall or the Pécs Youth Centre will open along with the incubator house and the family and factory history exhibition in the Craftsman's Quarter. The last places to be opened will be the buildings of the university and the offices of the Youth House expectedly around September 2011.