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The Cathedral park & The statue of Ignác Szepessy with the Bishop's Palace in the background, Pécs

We may discover a peaceful and pleasant park before the cathedral of Pécs, sculptures and fountains decorate it. The old horse chestnut and sycamore trees of the public park under local protection create a unique atmosphere. The area became a real "sétatér" or promenade with the trees planted at the end of the 1800s and with the reconstruction of the square completed in 1988 - it is an excellent venue to rest for a while here after site seeing and museum visits. There are many quality events entertaining the locals and the tourists here from the Spring until the Autumn. Artisan fairs, concerts, puppet theatres are waiting for their audience here, while the Weeks of Art and Gastronomy create a fantastic street of fine foods and excellent wines on the promenade.

The statue of Ignác Szepessy

Ignác Szepessy was born in Eger in 1780, he studied philosophy in Pest, later theology in Vienna. He was the Bishop of Pécs from 1828. He made efforts for the scientific development of the town. He created a printing press, he established the Pécs Legal Academy, and he added some four thousand volumes to the first public library founded by Bishop Klimó. He was elected to be an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1831. He died in Pécs in 1838. The erection of the statue was initiated by the citizens of Pécs. The town council released a decree concerning the collection of public contributions, and the necessary funds were gathered soon. György Kiss was commissioned to create the memorial. The bronze statue standing on a grey granite base was unveiled in 1893. The main figure is the high priest stepping of the stairs of the pulpit holding the Bible. His figure is tall, the portrayal is very realistic according to the accounts. The two reliefs by the main figure of the composition are also characteristic, they depict the most important deed of the bishop, the establishment of the academy. The relief on the right shows the moment when the architect introduces the bishop the plans of the building for the legal academy. The relief on the left shows the delegation of the city of Pécs handing a document of gratitude over to the founder. According to many this is the most beautiful statue of Pécs.

The Bishop’s Palace

The building dates back to the Middle Ages, but today there is only a fragment of a Gothic window or balcony in the attic which can prove its medieval origins. Chronicles and charters refer to its construction in the 11th century. The palace survived the Turkish invasion, though it suffered serious damages during the period. Outbuildings were added to it in the 18th century. Bishop Klimó had a second floor built on the northern and the eastern sides in 1751-70, and the southern wing was extended to the 15th-century tower. Meanwhile the façade was refurbished in baroque style. Bishop Scitovszky had the eastern façade rebuilt in renaissance style between 1838-1852. The present staircase was constructed at that time. Another period of rebuilding was in process between 1807-1827, by the plans of Mihály Pollack; the front looking to the square got a baroque appearance then. In 1845 the parts of the building from different periods and the rebuilt parts were unified in neo-renaissance style. The extension to the northern wall of the eastern wing is a recent development.(Source: vendégváró)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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