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Szilvásvárad is part of the Bükk National Park. Anyone who loves nature must spend some time here. The number of healing springs and places to visit is almost endless.
Szilvásvárad is located in the northern part of the Bükk, which is one of the most famous resorts in the area beside Lillafüred.
The beautiful countryside is part of the Szalajka Valley and the Bükk National Park, and it is even a nature reserve. It is a must for nature lovers, but everyone is welcome to spend some time in Szilvásvárad if they really want to relax.
Szilvásvárad is a settlement inhabited since the Stone Age
The settlement is certainly at least 35 thousand years old, and we inherited the first finds from the Stone Age, which proves that the area has been inhabited ever since.
In Szilvásvárad, many peoples turned around; besides Slavic peoples, Avars also lived here. Fortunately, many finds have survived from these times.
Later, during the conquest period, the area changed hands between several generations, and in the 1300s, the area was mentioned in writing in Wárad form.
In the 1600s, Szilvásvárad became the property of the Keglevichs, and around this time, for example, the neoclassical church, the new count castle or the school was built.
Sights in Szilvásvárad
Whether it is wellness, relaxing in a thermal bath or just an active outing, here people will find the perfect way to relax in all needs.
Let’s start the list with the less athletic, rather pamper the body and soul wellness options. Many beaches and spas are waiting for visitors, and there are many more to choose from in the area, such as a spa or a water park.
For those who want to move their body a little while enjoying the benefits of nature, take a hike into the Szalajka Valley. Here, we can board the 4 km section of the 30 km long railway which was built in 1908 that takes us to the Gloriett Glade.
During the tour of the Szalajka Valley, the (Sziklaforrás) Rock Spring, which is one of the largest caste springs in the Bükk Mountains is definitely worth a trip. The crystal clear water flowing out of the cave is an amazing sight.
The cave can be walked up to 2-3 meters, only with caution in such attempts though. Not far from here, there is another monument in the area, the (Fátyol vízesés) Veil Falls. The 17-meter high waterfall has outstanding natural value, which is worth a visit.
For those who love monumental things, don’t miss the Millennium Lookout. The 36-meter-high wooden based lookout tower rises nicely from the surroundings and offers unmatched views from the top.
It can be reached on foot through the Millennium Study Trail, but if we don’t feel like walking, we can reach it by car on the road to the Bükk Plateau.
The Istállós-kő cave opens at 609 meters on the second-highest point of the Bükk Mountains. If we want to approach it by walking, we can do it through the Gloriette glade. However, we have to be prepared to fight ourselves through on a slightly steep, serpentine way, but it’s worth it.
The cave is 45 meters deep and 9-10 meters wide. From an archeological point of view, the place has a very prominent role and is therefore highly protected. Its triangular entrance is due to a geological fracture.
The interior of the cave had served as a stable for a long time, and before that, it probably functioned as a sacrificial place.
Open-Air Forest Museum
Who said that in the middle of a forest, there could be no museum: in the Open-Air Forest Museum, you can learn about the old forest crafts and the harsh conditions that those who worked there struggled with. Be it winter or summer, the work was continuous in the area.
Those jobs in the forest environment, such as shingles, have been perfectly reconstructed. The high-quality forest school which is located here offers an opportunity for children to get to know nature, ecological phenomena and a strong emphasis on nature protection.
In addition, visitors too can get a taste of the operation and utility of renewable energy sources.
Lipica Stud and Horse History Exhibition
We can find out more about Europe’s oldest stud and horse breed in the Lipica stud and horse history exhibition. The history of the 427-year-old Lipica breed unfolds through pictures, sculptures, while we can see the equipment needed for horse-keeping at that time.
The town’s system of institutions related to this stud and equestrian sport is a great attraction of the city. Nowadays, in Szilvásvárad, 70 female mare and breeding horses provide for the development of this unique species and nearly 250 equine herds.
Drive Trolley Museum
And for those who want to get more into the equestrian sports, they shouldn’t miss the Drive Trolley Museum. Throughout the exhibition, we can follow the evolution of the classic Hungarian wagons initially used in carriage racing. Certainly, these cars have undergone changes in the automotive industry, thanks to advances in technology.
The Orbán House is one of the finest examples of Palóc architecture which we can find in the center. The place is currently hosting an ethnographic, prehistoric and local history exhibition, so if we want to get to know Szilvásvárad better, we should definitely come here.
The building was built in 1880 and it has been a museum since 1983. It often gives a venue for fine art, photography or even sculpture exhibitions.
Reformed Round Church
One of the symbols of Szilvásvárad is the Reformed Round Church, to which it is true that it is simple but great. Its beautifully whitewashed walls illuminate from afar.
According to some assumptions, the church is associated with the name of a famous architect like József Hild, but this is still controversial.
But it is sure that the builder was the landlord of the village, Count Miklós Keglevich. There are several rumors and assumptions circulating around the church, one of which claims that the Catholic Count donated the building to the Reformed Church after a dispute with the Archbishop of Eger.
Gerenna Castle and Éleskő Castle
Wandering in nature still holds many attractions. For example, there is the Gerenna Castle, which is located on the outskirts of Szilvásvárad, while we get close to Tótfalu.
Climbing up the slightly steep escarpment, we will soon be able to see the ruins of the castle and from here we can see the other castle which is in the area, or the remains of it, the Éleskő Castle.
Bükk National Park
In addition, you are going to see the almost incredibly clear water of the Felső Lake in the Szalajka Valley, which can be taken during a hike.
The Bükk Plateau is also worth a visit, which is the central part of the Bükk Region; a wavy plateau that is the largest and highest plateau of its kind in the country.
Of course, the area is part of the Bükk National Park. At the edge of the plateau are the famous Bükk stones: Istállós stone, Tar stone, and Pes stone.
If we want to see cute or less cute but beautiful native animals in their own environment, we should visit the zoo. The main attractions here are deer and moufflons.
Although the animals are quite shy, they have become accustomed to being so close to humans that they can sometimes be stroked.
The highest point of the Bükk region is the place recommended for hikers, which is indicated by the Szilvási-kő. With its 961 meters, it is the fourth-highest point in Hungary.
For a long time, people erroneously believed that Istállós stone was the highest part of the country, but thanks to modern technology, this information has been refuted over the last few years.
Why do I recommend Szilvásvárad?
There are few fortunate places in the country like Szilvásvárad, which is located in amazing natural proximity and environment.
The area is full of medicinal springs, and the number of excursions seems almost endless, be it on a flat or higher point. Like this, there is no age group that wouldn’t find the right place for rest and relaxation.
Szilvásvárad should be recommended for people, as it is said, it has a truly healing effect on the soul and body of the often tired city man.