To the north from the town of Sátoraljaújhely, the Hegyköz lays in the Eastern part of the Zemplén Mountains with its charming little towns by the Bózsva creek. The silence and tranquility of the region and warm hospitality of the locals both make it a lovely land, demonstrating harmony between the land and the people.
No need to be an experienced hiker to get carried away by the fresh air, the amazing views, the magic of the scenery and the historical sights. The pottery museum of Hollóháza shall be known by many, Füzér, Telkibánya, Kéked or Gönc a little less though, but these place all offer interesting attractions. Memories from the past, that we need to see, feel, experience while hiking around.
The golden age of Sárospatak, Athens of the Bodrog, coincided whit that of the Rákóczi family. The caste, which is more a palace than a fortress, is one of the most important Gothic and Reanissance building in Hungary.
In 1616, the Rákóczi family acquired the palace as part of Zsuzsanna Lorántffy’s will. Subsequently floors were added to the eastern and southern wings of the palace followed by the construction of the Lorántffy loggia in 1647, the most attractive architectural feature int he countyard.
Zsuzsanna Lórátnffy’s will of 1659 states: „ I leave Sárospatak to the whole of the Hungarian nobility”. It is therefore apt that one should now find the Rákóczi Museum (Szent Erzsébet u. 19.) whithin its walls. The Museum occupies the first floor of the Perényi Wing and the northen wing of the palace, which is dedicated to Rákóczi and the War for Freedom.
It was in 1694 tha Ferenc Rákóczi gave a monastery lying within the outer castle to the Trinitarians. The church now functions as a conert hall, music school and exhibition venue known as Muses’ Church.
Ont he main axis og the street stands one of the largest hall- churches in Northetn Hungary (14th-16th century). The Baroque altar and the most beautiful pieces of liturgical furniture all came from the Carmelite Church in Buda Castle. In front of the church you can see the outlines of a round Romanesque church marked in the pavement. Outside the entrance to the church is a statue of Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia who, according to legend, was born here. The Calvinist Collage, established during the 16th century, has played an important role int he cultural history of the town. The Collage was closed down in 1952 only to re-appear as Sárospatak’ s Calvinist Grammar School in 1990. The Calvinist Theologicl Academy resumed its activities in 1991.
The Great Library dates from the foundation of the Calvinist Collage in 1531. By 1980s the library had a collection numbering 300 thousand volumes. The Library can be found in the southern wing of the collage.
Crossing the bridgek over the Bodrog we come to Kispatak, whose outdoor swimming complex, camping site, restaurants, and quay make it popular place to relax.
The only thermal bath int he vicinity are those at the Végardó Outdoor Swimming Complex ont he road going out towards Sátoraljaújhely. .
The best places for walking are amongst the region’s vineyard and by the lake on Megyer Hill.
Sarospatak is the starting point for the Rákóczi Tourist Walk, which heads out towards the southern nad western slopes of the Zemplén Hills going as far as Füzér Castle.
Sátoraljaújhely and Beyond
It is the statue of Louis Kossuth that has become the symbol of Zemplén Counry’s largest town. It is surrounded by the buildings, public statues, squares and cellars which shot up all over the town and the surrounding, hillsides during the course of the last few centuires. It was from the balcony of the town hall, then the country hall, that the young Louis Kossuth gave his first public address in 1831.
The so-called Barátszer got its name from the „white friars” of the Pauline Order. The monastery, which later became the student residences for the Piarist Order, still has the remains of some early Baroque wall paintings ont he southern facade. The refectory ceiling is covered in richly painted succo and the Baroque furniture is also worthy of note.
The nearby 14th century church with its beatiful wooden tower is now the municipal museum, which contains the first mechanical clock in Hungary. The clock- face itself was made in 1501.
The Kazincy Museum, which has an exhibition outlining the history of the town and the coutry of Zemplén, can be found in one of the town’s most beautiul buildings (Dózsa György út 11) During the Age of Reform it was here that the Zemplén Casino Society met, an institution attended by many of the period’s great figures, István Széchenyi, Louis Kossuth and Sándor Petőfi to name but a few.
Sátoraljaújhely is famous for its wine cellars, and it is only town which has a church actually built in wine’s honour. The wine church, which bears the town’s coat of arms, stands next to the raliway station on top of one of the town’s most substantial cellars.
The old Jawish cemetery, standing opposite the railway station, is one of the most important Jewish pilgrimaga places in Hungary. It was here that Rabbi Mózes Teitelbaum, the worker of miracles, was buried. Legend has it that the wonderworking rabbi also cured the younk Louis Kossuth.
Leaving the main square along the Zólyom you come to the 14 Stations of the Cross ascending Szár Hill (Kopaszka), which was laid out in 1936. A road leads out to Magas Hill (514 m), very popular place amongst winter sports enthusiasts. From the lookout point there is an excellent view of the Hegyköz.
If calculated int he time it takes to get up, the cair- lift (1332 m) up Magas Hill is the longest int he country. Int he winter it’s used by skiers and int he summer by those simply wanting to enjoy the view form the top.
Széphalom is a pilgrimage place for those wishing to pay their respects to Ferenc Kazincy (1759-1831) the reformer of the Hunarian language. The writer leved here for many decades, during which time the place became something of a spiritual centre. Visitors usually head for the Memorial Hall (1862, Miklós Ybl), which stand sin the gardens of Széphalom Hall.
Füzérradvány is alredy considered part of the Hegyköz. Having driven through the Scotch and Austrian pisen you come to Károlyi Palace (1857-1859, Miklós Ybl). The hundred hectares of parkland, which has some enormous plane trees, and the ground floor of the southern wing of tha palace, which contains tha palace museum, are open to general public.
It was in Füzér in 1526, following coronation of John Szapolyai, that the Hungarian crown was kept in safekeeping. The castle has been given a new lease of life by the national castle reconstruction programme.
Hollóháza is Hungary’s northernmost settlement. Although picturesque, it is more famous for its porcelain, something you can find out more about at the Porcelain Museum (Károlyi u. 11). Those who want a stamp to mark either the copletion, of the National Blue Walk, which end (or begins!) at the monument int he middle of the willage, or an ascent of Nagy- Milic, sholud knock at the dorr of the official rubber stamper at the entrance to the factory.
Telkibánya was once famous for its gold and silver mines. Nowdays it is the courtryside which attracts visitors. There is however a Mining Museum ( Museum u 34) dedicated to the village’s illustrions mining past. The village was once known as „gold-buttoned Telkibánya” and, according to local legend, in its heyday the onion – shaped dome of the tower was covered ing gold. During excavations at the 14th century church and the medieval hospital on church hill, enough of the orginnal chancel and the Chapelof St Catherine have been uncovered to give us at least an idea of the buildings’ original appearence.
Moving southwards along the western side of the hills you come to the village of Gönc Here in the Hussite House (Kossuth u. 103), whic now serves as a peasant cottage open to the general public, you can see, amongst many other things, the measuring units which were once known throughout Europe, as well as the 136.7- litre Gönc barrel, wich was used both for storng wines and making aszú.
One of the only survining copies of the original publication of the Hungarian Bible can be found at the Calvinist Church in Vizsoly, the village were it was printed.
The writter of the Hungarian translation of the Bible (1586-1590)Gáspár Károli, was the Calvinist minister at what is now the church in Szent István tér.
Regéc castle is lies on top of 624 metre- heigh rocky outrop. It is here also that you can join up with National Blue Walk and red markings of the Rákóczi Walk.
Thecnically Regéc Castle is considered to be a hill fortress whit an irregular groundplan and an inner tower. Regéc’s golden age coincided with that of the Rákóczi era.
Boldogkőváralja situated at the foot of the picturesque Boldogkő Castle, marks th last stop on our tous of the Zemplén. The village has a restored peasant cottage containing an exhibition devoted to the history of the village and the natural history of the Zemplén.