Magyar Magyar

Religion, soul, journey: sacral memorials in the Tokaj-Hegyalja Region

ChurchMáriapócsTokaj and Nyíregyháza

In addition to the natural and gastronomical riches of the Zemplén Mountains, there are several religious memorial sites to visit for those looking to find inner peace and silence, when everyday life is so very busy. 

Blessed by Christ

Similar to the iconic statue in Rio de Janeiro, the Blessing Christ statue rises above the Tarcal area with its monumental 50-tom, 8.5-metre-tall structure, set on a hill offering a breathtaking panorama. When you look down from that hill to the undisturbed landscape below, the infinite rows of grapes and the quarry lake next to you with its calm water, you will suddenly feel everything in life becoming simpler and obvious.  

Healing tears

Máriapócs is the greatest pilgrimage site in the Greek Catholic world, a Hungarian national shrine visited even today by hundreds of thousands of people on the feast days of the Virgin Mary to find peace in their soul. Tradition has it that tears appeared on the painting illustrating the Virgin Mary in 1696, that’s where its international significance originates from. The pilgrimage church built in the 18th century is a masterpiece of baroque architecture: it has two 60-metre-tall towers on the western facade, while the nave is decorated with three ridge turrets. 

Where it all began

On 20 July 1590, the first complete Hungarian translation of the Bible was published in Vizsoly. This fact is celebrated by the visitor centre of the settlement, where – in addition to the original Vizsoly Bible – several historic items and valuable frescos are displayed, and there is an exhibition about the history of printing, too. 

Let the journey be the objective

If you’re not just drawn to the memorial sites, but also to the journey to get there, then follow one of the region’s religious trails. The Upper Tisza section of the Trail of Medieval Churches connects hidden sites of prayer, while the Trail of the Wonder Rabbis retraces the footprints of the Hassidic Jews of the region, whose community was once quite extended, and had rich culture. Finally, the Szent Erzsébet (St Elisabeth) pilgrimage route connects those sites from Sárospatak to Košice, which are memorial and pilgrimage sites dedicated to St Elisabeth in Europe. This route includes seven Hungarian settlements. 


Széchenyi 2020 logo