My favorite museums in Pécs
Though not a large country, as I always say, Hungary is full of amazing things to see. Pécs is the 5th largest city in the country and one of my personal favorites for more reasons, first of all because it is really old, founded by the Romans in the 2nd century AD, its name was Sopianae. Secondly because it was choose as the second and third most livable city in 2007 and 2008 respectively in the category of cities with 75 – 200 000 inhabitants and thirdly because in 2010 it get the prestigious title of the Cultural Capital of Europe.
There is a lot to see in the city, galleries, museums, outdoor activities and more, but I would like to begin with some of my favorite museums that are all must-sees for those who visit the city.
Museum or pharmacy?
The Szerecsen Pharmacy Museum in Pecs is working as a pharmacy since 1764, its furniture was made in 1897 and has beautiful ceramic inlays made in the Zsolnay manufacture as well as the drinking fountain in the middle of the main room. In the back side rooms of the building many documents and artifacts present the history of pharmaceutic history of the region.
Another similar place is the Gránátalma Pharmacy and Museum established in 1796 by the Brothers Hospitallers of S. John of God (Do-Good Brothers) and is furnished with late 18th century, Louis the XVI style furniture. During renovations they have found century-old frescoes depicting medicinal herbs, which I think is really cool. Also, entrance to both establishments is free!
World famous painters
The city has got museums dedicated to two of the most recognized Hungarian/ Hungarian-born painters. One is Victor Vasarely, the father of the op-art (optical art) 20th century trend, who was born in Pecs and donated many of his works to the city. You can admire the paintings of the master as well as works of contemporaries – also given to the city by the master – and some beautiful wool carpets with illusionistic patterns.
Csontváry-Kosztka Tivadar is probably the most peculiar figures of Hungarian fine arts, this modernist painter only created about a hundred works and was ignored in Hungary while he was alive, but now is recognized world-wide. The museum exhibits many of his works, one of the most famous being the Lonely Cedar. Entrance to both museums is 1200 Ft (~ $7).
Baranya, the county Pecs belongs to, gives home to numerous different ethnicities, which makes the culture of the area really colorful. The Ethnographic Museum of Pecs shows this varied culture that came to life from the first millennium AD to the 1950s. From clothing, ceramics, carved wood, embroideries and other items to the descriptions and artifacts of old traditions, you can find many treasures here.
Last but not least, my #1 is the Museum of Zsolnay Porcelain. I have mentioned these amazing, high quality objects made by this family manufacture in Hungary, well their museum is in Pecs, it displays a waste collection of their works since the 1860s. You can see porcelain articles of personal use as well as decorating items, inlays and tiles. If you value beautiful things, this is a must! Also costs about $7 for adults.
Hope this made you want to look around a little in Pecs, there are other museums and sights worthy to be visited, but let’s talk about that later. If you have any question or thought about my favorite Pecs museums – or anything for that matter, please let me know in the comment section. Thank you for your time!