Early Christian Necropolis

Pécs, Hungary

In the 4th century, a remarkable series of decorated tombs were constructed in the cemetery of the Roman provincial town of Sopianae (modern Pécs). These are important both structurally and architecturally, since they were built as underground burial chambers with memorial chapels above the ground. The tombs are important also in artistic terms, since they are richly decorated with murals of outstanding quality depicting Christian themes. The necropolis is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The burial chambers and memorial chapels of the Sopianae cemetery bear outstanding testimony to the strength and faith of the Christian communities of late Roman Europe, and well illustrate the unique early Christian sepulchral art and architecture of the northern and western Roman provinces.

The Roman cemetery was found by archaeological excavations, which began two centuries ago, in the area now immediately in front of the cathedral, which had been terraced in antiquity. The UNESCO World Heritage site consists of 16 funerary monuments.

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