Zsolnay Heritage Management non-profit Ltd.
Winning the Cultural Capital of Europe 2010 title offered a unique opportunity for Pécs. Besides the countless of programs, some unique large investments have been made in the city. They include Zsolnay Cultural Quarter unmatched both in terms of size and its spirituality, and the multifunctional venue, Kodály centre boasting both exquisite appearance and outstanding acoustics. In 2010 the city government decided to appoint Zsolnay Heritage Management non-profit Ltd. (ZsÖK), bearing the name of the world-famous spiritual predecessor Vilmos Zsolnay, as the manager of the new institutions together with further significant venues of Pécs. This is how, besides Zsolnay Cultural Quareter and Kodály Centre, the historically significant World heritage venues of Cella Septichora Visitor Centre and the Early Christian Cemetery, and the House of Arts and Literature of Pécs and Pécs Gallery, both operating in the city centre, came under the control of ZsÖK. The aim of this arrangement was to operate the venues with high potential and cultural significance with the same attitude under the management of a single institution. This way, the cultural events of Pécs can be coordinated and the position of the city on the market of tourism can be strengthened on the long run.
A priority was given to the long-term sustainability of the areas managed by the company, the protection, renovation and promotion of the tangible and spiritual cultural heritage and the coordination of these activities by the parties involved. Furthermore, its aim on the long run is to provide a coordinated research and development of the world-heritage sites and the encompassing protective zone. This includes the protection and renovation of the monuments concerned, and the development of the infrastructure of the areas involved.
Thus, Zsolnay Heritage Management non-profit Ltd. is able to be present in the system of cultural institutions of the city in a rational and profitable way, besides, it is becoming a significant player in presenting high-quality culture.
Zsolnay Quarter is a new cultural centre operating in the once significant, however, by the 21st century mostly abandoned collection of buildings of the Zsolnay factory. The 5-acre area includes the world famous Gyugyi collection, the Zsolnay Mausoleum, the Pink Zsolnay Exhibition, Bóbita Puppet Theatre, the Zsolnay Family and Factory-history exhibition, the 1000-square-metre exhibition venue of Pécs Gallery, the Faculty of Art of the University of Pécs, The theatre hall of JESZ ensemble, and the Planetarium. Besides, the Quarter is home to several cultural events, and festivals.
Kodály Centre, implemented following profound acoustic design even at international standards, boasts state of the art background technology. Due to its multifunctional character, it functions both as a 999-seat concert hall and a conference venue completed with 8 workshop halls. According to Maxim Vengerov, world famous violinist, this concert hall is an architectural Stradivari.
The 4th-century Early Christian Cemetery of the Roman Sopianae – today Pécs – was nominated for the list of Culture-History Treasures by the World Heritage Committee in 2000. The reason for this lies in the fact that the architecture and wall paintings of the collection of buildings excavated in the area offer a highly complex and diverse illustration of the early Christian burial architecture and art of the northern and western provinces of the Roman Empire. The underground burial chambers and memorial chapels witness the perseverance and faith of the European late-Roman Christian communities, and they display the roots of a culture and civilisations having influence and still being alive today.
The building of the Medieval University presents the first university in Hungary founded by Pope Urban V under the edict issued by him on 1st September 1367. The venue largely preserves its historical authenticity, and was designed in a way to be able to house the rich finds unearthed during the excavation, as well as the exhibition displaying the first university of Hungary, and the medieval history of Pécs.