The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension. The European Capital of Culture programme was conceived in 1983 and launched in the summer of 1985 with Athens being the first title-holder for promoting European cultures within the member states.
“Thanks to its rich cultural past the city of Pécs had the honour of bearing the European Capital of Culture-title besides Essen and Istanbul in 2010. This year marks a dramatic moment in the life of the city. New cultural spaces and forums have been created, new perspectives have opened up for the exponents of various forms of art, new programmes and all-art festivals have been organised and can create a new tradition. Pécs has become a popular tourist destination, a mecca for young people and students. A new era and a new chapter have begun in the history of Pécs.” (Pécs, Captured by culture, Balogh et al. 2010.)