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  Eger-Tokaj Hilly Wine Region | Directions | Map
  A Past Full of Life
  Events in Geological History
  On the Roof of the Country
  Everlasting Heritage
  From Nature to City
  Musical Stalactites
  Castles and Mansions
  The Wine of Kings
 
     

In the Bükk country: those who want to, can disappear from the world for days in the tiny villages of the Bükk which lie at the end of single tracks, or in retreats secluded deep in the forest.
The Bükk National Park came into being in 1976 for the protection of the unique mixture of topography, flora and fauna to be found there. It is home to an extraordinary diversity, including examples of living creatures from every period following the Ice Age, beautiful specimens of exotic species of orchid, and bats that elsewhere are threatened with extinction. The eastern edge of the National Park runs along the town boundary of Miskolc (E3), which is Hungary's third city and the county seat since 1720. Its historical roots go back to the fifteenth century, and today its most attractive part is the restored pedestrianized main street, lined with old houses. In the Avas part of the city rising from the old town centre is a fine Calvinist church built in Gothic style. The Greek Orthodox church contains a rare icon entitled Black Mary of Kazan presented by Tsarina Catherine II. The town has an active cultural life including a vibrant theatre; its university is one of the largest centres of education outside Budapest.
The four-towered Diósgyőr Castle also comes under the jurisdiction of Miskolc. This was originally built in the 1300s and restored in the time of Louis the Great, whose court is evoked in the waxworks exhibition (containing 67 figures, it is the largest in Central Europe) to be found in the casemates.
This modern city is surrounded by natural beauty. Take for example Miskolctapolca (E3); hilly, green, with boating lake, open-air baths and unusual cave baths. This is a favourite place of relaxation for many people travelling from distant parts. Some regard the warm cave waters (typical temperatures 68–82 °F, or 20–28 °C) as one of the wonders of the world, since it is without parallel in any other karstic region. The beautifully renovated, extended and modernized cave baths offer an exceptional experience to those who bathe in the rock pools and hollows approachable only through narrow openings.

Lillafüred (E3): this small place bears a girl's name (Lilla) because it is beautiful, like a woman, and like the wife of the aristocrat with whose support the resort began to be developed. The recently refurbished Palace Hotel was built next to the Hámori Lake in the 1920s and deliberately evokes the style of a hunting castle from the period of King Mathias. Holidaying guests can go boating on the lake, see the 57ft. waterfall, travel by narrow-gauge railway into the Garadna Valley famous for its trout, or explore the caves. Rock climbers find excellent sport on the upper Hámori rock faces.

Szilvásvárad (D3): this is the most popular destination in the Bükk country, and is a storybook land with its castles and churches, Europe's most beautiful stud farm and the Ice Age Istállós-kő Caves on the edge of the village. The famous Lipizzaner horses can be seen grazing in the open fields, and the pools of the Szalajka stream teem with trout. You can roam the Szalajka Valley, one of the most beautiful of upland valleys, on foot, by bicycle, carriage or narrow-gauge railway, stopping along the way at either the Forest Museum or the Fátyol Waterfall.

Bogács (E4): Every luxurious treatment is available in the thermal baths, and the lakes, swollen with dammed-up water, are excellent for fishing. Bogács also has rich cultural programmes, with all kinds of festive activities including swimming, song and wine festivals.

Szomolya (E4): look upwards from the village of Szomolya in the south of the Bükk country, and you see the so-called "beehive stones", a very peculiar rock configuration, part natural and part shaped by man. It is thought holes gouged out of the conical shaped stones (which range in height from 10 to 50 feet, 3 to 15 metres) may have served as beehives from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries. Another theory is that they have sacrificial significance.

Szilvásvárad,
Lipizzaner Stud Farm
 
Diósgyőr Castle
 
Miskolctapolca, Thermal Cave-bath and Spa
 
Garadna Valley, cooking trout
   
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