12 June 2015

#909 Ajka, Hungary

Pécs is the fifth largest city of Hungary, located on the slopes of the Mecsek mountains in the south-west of the country, close to its border with Croatia. It is the administrative and economical centre of Baranya county. Pécs is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pécs.

The city Sopianae was founded by Romans at the beginning of the 2nd century, in an area peopled by Celts and Pannoni tribes. By the 4th century it became the capital of Valeria province and a significant early Christian center. The early Christian necropolis is from this era which became an UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 2000.

 The area has been inhabited since ancient times, with the oldest archaeological findings being 6000 years old. Before the Roman era the place was inhabited by Celts. When Western Hungary was a province of the Roman Empire (named Pannonia), the Romans founded several wine-producing colonies under the collective name of Sopianae where Pécs now stands, in the early 2nd century.

The centre of Sopianae was where the Postal Palace now stands. Some parts of the Roman aqueduct are still visible. When Pannonia province was divided into four administrative divisions, Sopianae was the capital of the division named Valeria.

In the first half of the 4th century Sopianae became an important Christian city. The first Christian cemeteries, dating back to this age, are inscribed on the World Heritage List. By the end of the century Roman rule weakened in the area, mostly due to attacks by Barbarians and Huns.

Date of Inscription on the List of UNESCO WHS: 2000

Date of Issue: February 19, 2015 | Year of the Goat

Thank you, Betty!

Sent on: June 9, 2015
Received on: June 12, 2015

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