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Fertőrákos Stone Quarry and Cave Theatre

Stone Quarry and Cave TheatreFertőrákosSopron / Bük & Sárvár region

You need to go back 10 million years in time to discover how the story of Fertőrákos started: this is when the rock that made the quarry located at the joint Hungarian and Austrian World Heritage site by Lake Fertő famously came into being. 

At the time, the waves of the Pannonian sea washed the shores of the land here, and this was where the so-called leitha limestone came into being as a result of the combination of the animal and plant remains deposited into the sludge created by the calcareous red algae. If you examine the walls of the quarry up close, you might even find some shark teeth.

What is hidden in the quarry cave of Fertőrákos?

The inhabitants of Fertőrákos started to mine limestone in the 1500s, and the stone mined here was used to build the town wall, the church, the archbishop’s palace and even houses. In 1951, it was registered as a listed protected site. The Stone Quarry and the Cave Theatre offer three events that help you learn about local natural and cultural treasures. The tour starts on the surface, on the educational trail named after the shrub called rock buckthorn, and takes you through themed exhibition points where you can see the different protected plant and animal species of the Fertőmellék Hill Row and the Fertő–Hanság National Park, and if you climb up on the spiral staircase to the top of the cave, the view of Lake Fertő will be just amazing. The Theme Park exhibition takes you right into the cave, where information boards and videos help you learn about the natural, petrological and paleontological treasures of the place. You will see how the leitha limestone was formed, while walking among life-size prehistoric sharks, whales and dolphins. You can easily imagine that you are diving into the waters of prehistoric seas, where strange sea creatures were swimming everywhere. In the Hall of the Strip Pit and Stonework, you can learn about the tools and methods used by our ancestors for mining limestone. The highlight of the tour is the wonderful hall of the Cave Theatre, whose potential was discovered by composer, conductor and pianist Ernő Dohnányi in 1937: he recognised that the astonishing acoustics of the cave hall made it a perfect venue for open-air performances. In the end, the Cave Theatre was founded by György Várady, the former director of the National Theatre of Győr, and the first performance was staged in the summer of 1970. Today, the stone quarry serves as a theatre that can seat up to 760 people, with modern theatrical lighting and audio technology, and even heated seats.

Cross-border Lake Fertő

While in Fertőrákos, you should also visit the Mithrász sanctuary near the Stone Quarry and Cave Theatre. This is one of the most important Roman-age relics of the area, plus there is a pedestrian, bicycle and horse border-crossing right next to it, with Fertőmeggyes in Austria on the other side.

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