Pécs is the fifth largest city in Hungary, with a population of about 170,000. Lying on the hilly region of the Mecsek hills it is equidistant from the Danube and the Drava rivers in Southern Transdanubia. Pécs is one of the most interesting cities in Hungary. Blessed with a mild climate, it has an illustrious past, superb museums and some of the finest Turkish monuments in the country. Pécs, founded two thousand years ago, is the capital of Baranya County.
The city is renowned for its music, opera and ballet, and Hungary's first university (Pécs University) founded back in 1367. The remarkable series of decorated tombs from the 4th century Roman provincial town of Sopianae (modern Pécs) were added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2000. Pécs is a city of cultural heritage as well as cultural and artistic innovation.
Pécs is also the town of vineyards and good wines: one of the first champagne producing companies was established here. Vine growing, and wine making have long traditions in the area. The museums in the town like the Csontváry, Vasarely and the Zsolnay collections are well known all over Europe. The artistic life of Pécs, its exhibitions and festivals attract a great nuzmber of visitors.
Pécs being the largest city of the Transdanubian area is the natural agglomeration centre of the southern Transdanubian region (population 1,000,000). This multinational city with a 2000-years history also serves as a scientific, educational and cultural, spiritual and economic centre in Hungary.
Pécs provides one of the best cost-benefit value in dwelling conditions compared to other cities in Hungary. Smaller and larger hotels can accommodate several thousand guests. The town is the biggest trading centre of the region with excellent shopping facilities at a US and European level. Pécs is a sub-centre of diplomacy in Hungary: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Croatia and the United Kingdom have honorary consulates here.
The woods of Pécs and the Mecsek Hills are famous hunting fields while the lakes near Pécs are excellent for fishing. The region has beautiful natural attraction, the Orfu lakes, the Danube at Mohács and several natural reserve areas provide pleasant tourists routes.
The Hungarian Government announced its decision on October, 19 2006 that Hungary appoints Pécs to be the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2010. They considered the ranking of the international council including 14 acknowledged professionals who had visited all the 7 applicant cities (Budapest, Debrecen, Eger, Gyor, Miskolc, Pécs, and Sopron) and examined their projects carefully: 10 votes supported overwhelmingly our city. On evaluating the application of Pécs, they emphasized the substantial structure of plans and ideas, the wide-range partnerships on national and international scale, and the devoted vocation of inhabitants. Pécs is going to bear this honouring title together with a city in Germany.