Kalocsa is located in Bács-Kiskun County, 80 km from Kecskemét. It has been an bishopric center since 1002 which was essential in its cultural life. People have been cultivating paprika here since the 18th century and, along with the folk art of Kalocsa, it has become a symbol of the city and internationally known since the 1930's.
These products of Hungary, the so called „Hungaricums” have an important role in the trade and tourism of Hungary.
The colourful flower motifs of the ornamental painting and embroidery of Kalocsa are known throughout the world and indeed have often been considered an emblematic symbol of Hungarian folk art.
One of the oldest Cathedrals in Hungary. Little is known about the original building: excavations showed that the first church was built before 1050 probably in the time of Saint Astrik. During the centuries, the building was destroyed and rebuilt at least four times due to the Mongol invasion, religious wars and fire. Its present form was finalised in the 20th century. It is one of the most astonishing Baroque churches of the country, its famous Angster Organ was played by Franz Liszt.
The Ceremonial Hall holds the piano of Franz Liszt, an instrument he used during multiple concerts.
The palace is the seat of the Archbishop in Kalocsa. The U-shaped building houses the Archbishops Library and the treasury.
The 13th century castle of the Archbishops of Kalocsa was burned down by the Ottomans in 1686 revenging their explusion from the town. Only the tower remained which was built into the present day building. The construction of the new palace was started by Archbishop József Batthyány in 1775 and the library wing was built by Archbishop Ádám Patachich thus founding the famous Archbishops Library. The west wing and the murals of the building were finished at the end of the 17th century. The paintings were done by Franz Anton Maulbertsch, a famous artist of the time.
Local History Museum
The museum opened in 1936 in a typical Kalocsa folk house which has been decorated by local folk motifs and furnished with authentical furniture. The reconstruction and decoration of the building was done by local folk artists and ornamental painters.
Hungarian Paprika Museum
The museum located near the historical center of Kalocsa was opened in 1977. The exhibition shows the history of Hungarian paprika cultivation starting with the first arrival of the plant, the visitors can learn about the processing and trade of the plant, see its use in gastronomy, medicine and folk art. The museum also holds machines and tools used in processing paprika.
In Hungary, Kalocsa and its vicinity, and Szeged are the well known growing areas of paprika, as here is the highest ratio of sunny hours. In September, „red gold” is harvested on more than 6000 hectares. After harvest, local women hanged the paprika on a string and dried it under their windows. The next step after drying is grinding. The seeds are also ground as their oily content gives a shiny colour to paprika.
Stephen I made Kalocsa the second bishopric center of Hungary which defined its economical and cultural place ever since. During the Ottoman Occupation, the city became deserted. The returning population started growing paprika in the 1700's which since, along with embroidering, have become a Hungaricum. Kalocsa achieved city status in 1921.