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Tokaj – the Trail of Medieval Churches: a past still present

ChurchTákosTokaj and Nyíregyháza

Explore the hidden treasures of the Upper Tisza region: see the churches in Csaroda, Tákos, Csengersima or Szamosújlak, and listen to the whisper of the ancient walls. 

Szabolcs–Szatmár–Bereg County is the land of medieval churches, and at the same time the guardian of a significant portion of our ecclesiastical heritage. While the majority of the architectural treasures have been destroyed by our stormy history, the unbridled curves of rivers, backwaters and channels in the Upper Tisza region formed a line of defence for the hamlets and their cultural heritage hidden in the area.

Important parts of this heritage are the churches built in the Middle Ages, representing Gothic style and Reformation. These are connected by the Northern Hungarian section of the Trail of Medieval Churches: if you follow the trail, you can visit 37 places of worship. No matter if you travel along this winding road by car or by bike, the picturesque scenery will keep you company all the way. 

Lasting beauty

Carved pulpits, medieval frescos, painted galleries and ornamented boarded ceilings – there is a lot in common in these hidden treasures, while each is unique in its own way. Take, for example, Csengersima, where the church at the lake with the semi-circled sanctuary, wooden shingles and Romanesque style is one of the oldest, showing the footprints of several different eras. Or the church of Szamosújlak, which stands guard at the edge of the village, and has been awarded the “Europa Nostra” prize: it feels unusually cosy due to the dazzling white walls, wooden fence and the timber roof.

In Tákos, meet the “barefoot” Notre Dame, which was built in the 18th century with donations from locals. But before seeing the wooden structured building richly ornamented with folk motives for yourself, or identifying the Bereg cross-stitch pattern among them, stop at the neat village of Csaroda. The church standing above the floodplains of the peacefully trickling creek is indeed among the greatest examples of late Romanesque village architecture. This is due to its slim tower with a needle-sharp cap on top, the smiling saints and the unmistakeable flower motifs. 


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