A three-member CHF delegation was on hand for the opening of the Croatian House in the medieval palace in the historical core of Pécs

A three-member delegation of the CHF headquarters in Zagreb visited the historical core of the Hungarian city of Pécs on the 5th of March to take part in the opening of the Croatian House premises in one of the city’s medieval palaces. The renovation of the palace was funded by the Hungarian human capacities ministry.

A reception at the Croatian general consulate was held ahead of the gala opening of the premises. The palace is yet to be furnished and equipped, but there are hopes and ambitions to make this the political, cultural and research centre of the Croatian community in Hungary.

Some fifty thousand ethnic Croatians live in Hungary, most in the southern part of the country. The Croatian national self-government is responsible for nurturing their rights and representation in policy-making. The Croatian House will be its new seat of operations and there are plans to house other institutions here, including the Hungarian Croatian Institute of Sciences.

The opening of this Croatian House is important to the activity and survival of the Croatian community in Hungary and is the fruit of the work of the intergovernmental committee on national minorities, which continued its work last year in Zagreb after a four-year hiatus.

On hand to speak at the opening were state secretary Zvonko Milas of the Croatian State Office for Croats Abroad, the president of the Croatian national self-government in Hungary Ivan Gugan, the director of the Hungarian Croatian Institute of Sciences Stjepan Blažetin, and representatives of the City of Pécs.

Also ongoing in Pécs is the renovation of the building of the Croatian Theatre, which the delegation also visited after the gala opening at of the Croatian House.
Further evidence of the growing ties between Zagreb and Budapest is the opening of a teaching/sports hall at the Sandor Petöfi Elementary School in Lug, a town in Croatia with a predominantly ethnic Hungarian population. Just under five million kuna (about 667 thousand euro) was provided by Osijek-Baranja County to finance the construction of the hall.

By: Ljerka Galic

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3 – The delegation with Hungarian Croatian Institute of Sciences director Stjepan Blažetin and the chief editor of Hrvatski Glasnik magazine Branka Pavić Blažetin
4 – Croatian Heritage Foundation secretary Diana Mašala Perković records her thoughts in the book of impressions
5 – The CHF delegation with Croatian consul Vesna Haluga at the general consulate in Pécs
6 – The delegation met with the director of the Croatian Theatre in Pécs Slaven Vidaković and with Mr Mišo Hepp