The Cserhát hills and its area
the living village
Real and honest, so true. This is the best description of the little unique World Heritage village of 380 souls in the Cserhát, which is best known for its more than hundred years old houses, but is nothing like a skansen or museum, it is livelier as many a small town. It protects its customs and dignity so that it is not “like that” but “is”.
Castle of Hollókő
Driving near Hollókő you can see the 13th century castle from afar looming over the village and watching over the peace of the land. Its history is so turbulent and legendary at the same time, it could be the place of a fairy tale.
The name of Ipolytarnóc was made famous first by the giant fossilized tree, 8 meters at its base and almost 10 meters long. We can only see three bigger pieces from the trunk of the late giant fir tree in its original position, the most of it has been scattered away. The thicker trunk parts are conserved in the vault of the cellar, the thinner part pertaining to the upper parts of the tree are in the great hall.
Such an ancient relic keeps many secrets in itself, it only has to be discovered. What we can certainly say, based on the several fossilized tree remains: a fossilized forest is hidden under the volcanic formations.
Footprints of prehistoric beasts
In the middle section of the geologic educational path pops up the sandstone patterned with footprints, on which unique snapshots remained, the footprints of prehistoric animals. Until 2014 three thousand footprints of eleven vertebrate species could be identified on almost two thousand square meters, and there are other prints in the mud next to the footprints of prehistoric rhinoceros, deer roes, different kinds of deer, carnivorous animals and birds.
Place of pilgrimage
Szentkút National Shrine lies hardly 30 minutes from Hollókő. Many things to be discovered awaits visitors at the National Shrine.
Mátraverebély-Szentkút is located on a multinational area next to the Slovakian-Hungarian border like many other shrines managed by Hungarian Franciscans, which has always been places of meeting and monasteries for different nationalities, and places of preaching on the language of the commons.
According to tradition in 1091–92 Holy King Ladislaus escaped from his enemies and got to the edge of a ravine. Going any further was hopeless, but he made his horse jump, and this made a spring gush forth.
The first miraculous healing could have happened in the 13th century, when the Holy Mother, with the Child on her arm, appeared to a mute shepherd from Verebély, and ordered him to dig in the ground and drink from the water gushing forth from the hole. The boy did as he was told, and got back his ability to speak.
CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION
In 1210 a church was built in Mátraverebély because of the multitude of the pilgrims in the village, from where they went in procession to the spring in the valley of Szentkút.
In 1258 this church already had the privilege of kermis.
The place had the kermis privileges given only to the most important shrines from the 1400 years. In 1700 pope Clemens XI has made some miraculous healings investigated and accepted them as real and proven.
In the caves of Szentkút, over in the side of the hill above the church of today hermits have lived from the 13th century.
SÁNDOR KŐRÖSI CSOMA MEMORIAL PARK
The main attraction of the Memorial Park is a traditional Buddhist funerary memorial, the Sándor Kőrösi Csoma Peace Stupa, which commemorates worthily our great scholar.
It was built in 1992 for the 150th anniversary of his death and His Holiness the Dalai Lama consecrated it in the same year. The Stupa is a holy building, in which relics and holy objects are placed. Near it all pilgrims and visitors find peace and serenity.
Sándor Kőrösi Csoma (1784-1842) searched for the Asian roots of the Hungarians. In 1933 he was made a Bodhisattva in Tibet. He created the first English-Tibetan dictionary.
RAVINE OF THE PARIS STREAM
The ravine of the Paris stream is a nature protection area (Nógrádszakáli Palóc Grand Canyon). The ravine is totally dry for the most part of the year. But in wet periods and after the snow melts beautiful waterfalls appear in the 15-20 m deep, almost vertical walls of the ravine.