18 January 2018
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Hiking

#ARTICLE_DATE_LETREHOZVA#: 23 March 2013  |  Created: 18 June 2015

TOURIST ROUTES: THE SURROUNDINGS OF EGER AND THE BÜKK MOUNTAINS


Eger vár - Felnémet - Almár - Szarvaskő

 

From the railroad station of Eger you pass Tihamér, Egervár and Felnémet by train or car to reach Szarvaskő. The glades around Margit-forrás and the beautiful forests of Szarvaskő deserve full-day trips. The spring, the benches and barbecue facilities nearby make your stay unforgettable. Szarvaskő is located in a valley surrounded by forests. The ancient fortress of Szarvaskő, flanked by rocks on three sides, stands on the top of a cliff called Keselyű-orom ('vultures cliff'). The fortress, which was an advance guard of the Castle of Eger, has totally fallen into ruins by now. It was called 'satchel fortress' from 1564 on, because it was the responsibility of the commander of Eger Castle at that time to guard the fortress, and the soldiers who were sent there carried satchels containing the food they needed for their one week stay. The former castle yard, which is now a plateau, offers a magnificent view of the forest-covered mountain range. The stairs that lead up to the fortress follow the Blue route sign. The name of the fortress and the village (Szarvaskő means 'deer stone' or 'deer rock'), as János Szegedi, a historian and linguist, explained, alludes to an event when a stag chased by hunters ran up to the peak of the cliff and fell down the precipice.

 

Eger - Egersza1ók - Verpelét - Tarnaszentmária - Sirok - Eger


Outside Egerszalók, enclosed by pine woods, in natural surroundings, there is a hot spring the medicinal water of which is recommended to cure locomotor diseases. The spring itself is a marvellous sight: steaming water running down the hillside, natural steps formed by the thick deposition of salt, and the landscape behind the ascending steam. The village of Verpelét, famous for its tobacco and wine, lies in the valley of Tarna creek. The village had a reputation of a wealthy one as early as in the 18th century. Local people call tourists' attention to the famous blacksmith's workshop where relics of an ancient and dying profession have been preserved. The first blacksmiths worked here during King Matthias' rule. It is told that the king himself visited the village and had his horse shoed. Another village reminiscent of historical times is Tarnaszentmária to the north of Verpelét. It was slowly that light was shed on the early history of the Romanesque building of the village: it was discovered that the building had been erected in the first half of the 11th century, probably at the time when Saint Steven and the heads of the pagan Hungarian clans were fighting each other for the crown and passions clashed. The ornamental carvings on the bearing piles of the nave show the sunny East had left its mark here. The influence of the goldsmiths' craft of steppe people may be felt, and there are elements of Caucasian stone architecture, which shows that the craftsmen of Árpád's era had a respect for traditions. The renovated church, with an atmosphere of ancient times, is said to be the country's oldest church in use.

 

Eger-vár - Vécsey-völgy - Bajusz-hegy - Nagy-Eged - Bikk-bérc - Várkút - Felsőtárkány


At the foot of Kis-Eged (low Eged) you will see an artificial lake and a wine-growing area, the one lying highest in Hungary. The steep path passes by the side of the vineyards and leads to the top of Nagy-Eged. Being so steep the rise is a great challenge to tourists, but the panorama will make you forget fatigue. Eged could well be the symbol of the town of Eger: it is of a unique shape, with thousand shades of green in summer, dressed in bronze red in fall, and wearing a glaring white snow cap in winter. This famous silent sight of Eger tells tales of long-forgotten mysteries. According to a legend, the hill was named after a hermit called Saint Egedius, who lived here at the time of St. Stephen I (the first Christian king of Hungary) and spent most of his time with religious meditation. On the crest of the hill, there is an easy path from Nagy-Eged to Bikk-bérc, where there is a forester's lodge. Our destination is the shelter-hut of Várkút. The village of Felsőtárkány, lying to the north of Várkút, in a valley enclosed by mountains, may be accessed from Várkút. A protected flower called cypripedium (lady's slipper) grows in the close vicinity of the village. Cypripedium grew in large numbers there in the past, but today, there are less and less of this slim, slipper-shaped flower, which is the symbol of Felsőtárkány and can be seen in the coat of arms of the village.

 

Szarvaskő - Ruins of Gilitka House - Orosz-vár - Forester's Lodge of Rozsnak - Pap-kő - Siroki Vár (Fortress of Sirok) - Bükkszék


You leave the village of Szarvaskő on a short and steep rise by the church. Soon, you will pass by a farm with a pole well, then, you are in the forest. (By walking down the forest path you may get to the Bakta lakes from here.) The hard rhyolitic tuff mass of Pap-kő rises 10-12 metres high. Legends say its two separate rock masses are a monk and a nun turned to stone. The beetling cliff at the beginning of the ridge is called Török-asztal ('Turks' table), reminiscent in its name of Turkish rule in Hungary (16th and 17th centuries). The fortress of Sirok, which is only fifteen minutes from there, stands on the top of a rhyolitic tuff hill; although it is in ruins, the fortress is still an awe-inspiring sight. The weather-beaten walls face floating clouds and bright sunlight. Ilona Zrínyi, daughter of Miklós Zrínyi, the hero of Szigetvár, lived here with her husband Kristóf Országh. The fortress, which had a stormy life, was part of the system of fortifications guarding Upper Northern Hungary. The casemates of the fortress were cut into rhyolitic tuff, easy to carve. In Sirok, don't miss the cave-dwellings that served as dwelling places in old times. 6 km from Sirok to the north, you will reach Bükkszék, famous for its health-giving acidic mineral water 'Salvus'. Salvus Water may ease stomach and bowel complaints. Many families visit the village to have fun in the beautiful holiday resort that has a swimming pool with a water slide and a terrace for sun-bathing.

 



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