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History of Pecs



Ancient Roman city

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.

Early medieval city

When Charlemagne arrived in the area, it was ruled by Avars. Charlemagne, after conquering the area, annexed it to the Holy Roman Empire. It belonged to the Diocese of Salzburg.

A document written in Salzburg in 871 is the first document mentioning the early medieval city under the name Quinque Basilicae (see above). During the 9th century the city was inhabited by Slavic and Avar peoples and was part of the Balaton Principality, a Frankish vassal state.

The Hungarian city in the Middle Ages

According to György Györffy's theory from place names, after the Hungarians conquered the Carpathian Basin, they retained a semi-nomadic lifestye changing pastures between winter and summer and Árpád's winter quarters -clearly after his occupation of Pannonia in 900- were perhaps in Pécs. Later, Comitatus of Baranya was established, the capital of the comitatus was not
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