New cultural facilities in Pécs appeal to locals and tourists alike

The Zsolnay Cultural Quarter in the city of Pécs, southern Hungary, is expected to attract around 180 000 visitors every year. The area has been transformed through a project which renovated and converted old factory buildings.

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Pécs’ new ‘Cultural Quarter’ officially opened to visitors in April 2012 and stands on the site of the Zsolnay porcelain and ceramics factory. As well as increasing income from tourism, this scheme is expected to provide employment and contribute to the region’s creative economy.

The city had no needs-based cultural infrastructure before the site opened; therefore the Zsolnay development provides local institutions and organisations with a much needed venue. It also now provides some existing institutions with high-quality new accommodation, including the Arts Faculty of the University of Pécs.

Wide-ranging development

Along with restoring certain buildings of cultural importance while demolishing others, the project has provided:

  • A multifunctional event space with an 800 person capacity;
  • A 1 000 m2 exhibition hall;
  • A gallery with connected service areas; and
  • A two-level parking area.

The northern and southern sections of the quarter are connected by a pedestrian bridge which spans main road No6. A visitor centre has been installed at the pillar of the footbridge. Other works included the restoration of a 11 000 m2 park, which contains valuable indigenous trees, plus the construction of play areas and the restoration of a cobbled square. A mausoleum and ornate fence which surrounds the development were also restored. In addition, the factory’s active premises were moved to the eastern part of the site as part of the scheme.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Zsolnay Cultural Quarter” is EUR 55 244 927, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 32 969 529 from the Operational Programme “South Transdanubia” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. Work falls under the priority “Integrated Urban Development”.

Draft date

10/06/2015