1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pécs

PÉCS (Ger. Fünfkirchen), a town of Hungary, capital of the country of Baranya, 160 m. S.S.W. of Budapest by rail. Pop. (1900), 42,2S2. It lies on the outskirts of the Mecsek Hills, and is composed of the inner old town, which is laid out in an almost regular square, and four suburbs. Pécs is the see of a Roman Catholic bishop, and its cathedral, reputed one of the oldest churches in Hungary, is also one of the finest medieval buildings in the country. It was built in the 11th century in the Romanesque style with four towers, and completely restored in 1881-1891. In the Cathedral Square is situated the Sacellum, a subterranean brick structure, probably a burial-chapel, dating from the end of the 4th or the beginning of the 5th century. Other noteworthy buildings are the parish church, formerly a mosque of the Turkish period; the hospital church, also a former mosque, with a minaret 88 ft. high, and another mosque, the bishop's palace, and the town and county hall. Pécs has manufactories of woollens, porcelain, leather and paper, and carries on a considerable trade in tobacco, gall-nuts and wine. The hills around the town are covered with vineyards, which produce one of the best wines in Hungary. In the vicinity are valuable coal-mines, which since 1858 are worked by the Danube Steamship Company.

According to tradition Pécs existed in the time of the Romans under the name of Sompiana, and several remains of the Roman and early Christian period have been found here. In the Frankish-German period it was known under the name of Quinque ecclesiae; its bishopric was founded in 1009. King Ludwig I. founded here in 1367 a university, which existed until the battle of Mohács. In 1543 it was taken by the Turks, who retained possession of it till 1686.