Szomolya, the northernmost village in the Bükk National Park, is renowned throughout Hungary for its distinctive cherries and the summer festival that celebrates them, there is, however, much more that this small village has to offer.
A view of Szomolya from the graveyard of the Baroque Church
The cherry of Szomolya occupies a special place in Hungarian culture, particularly in its literature. The short-stemmed, heart-shaped cherries are unique, not least because of their high vitamin content and disease resistance. The pharmaceutical and liquor industries are big consumers of Szomolya cherries.
Every year, in July, there is a cherry festival in the village. It lasts for three days and is a celebration of all things cherry.
The conditions that are so advantageous for the growing of cherries also lend themselves to other fruit, the grape being a prime example. Somolya has about 200 hectares of vines under cultivation and it is fast becoming a respected producer of wine in the Eger region.
If you want to try some good, quality wine, then you should try visiting the Daróci Nagy Winery in the village. For more information, contact them through their website (which is in English).
A 15 metres beehive stone, the Királyszéke (King's Chair)
In addition to soft fruit, there are plenty of other attractions awaiting the visitor to Szomolya.
There are the beehive stones which are a feature of this part of Hungary, many theories have been put forward as to their purpose but the most likely is that they were hollowed out of the soft tuff in order to provide homes for wild honey bees. Well worth visting is the so-called Királyszéke (king's Chair), standing at 15 m it is the largest beehive stone in the Bükk
One of Szomolya's cave houses
Another feature common to the Bükk are the cave houses, these were also dug out of the soft stone but rather than housing bees they provided accommodation for the poorest of Szomolya's inhabitants.
is especially interesting about Szomolya's cave houses is the sheer
number. Data shows that between the two wars over 800 people lived in
172 of these constructions. Also in Szomolya, these dwellings reached their apogée boasting terraces, two stories and other aesthetic additions not seen in examples in other villages in the Bükk.
Szomolya's coat of arms - note the cherries and grapes, and, of course, the pillar carved from stone
Perhaps not surprisingly, the village is also noted for its stone masons, and evidence of their work is dotted around the village in the form of crosses and sculptures.
The most famous of these was Marton Száloki who lived and worked in the village all his life, towards the end of which he want blind which earned him the moniker 'The Blind sculptor' You can still visit his house today, it is guarded by two of his carved stone lions.
Other sights include the 19th century neo-Baroque Roman Catholic Church and its museum which is located in one of the cave houses. There is also a village museum, documenting the lives of the inhabitants over the past 300 years.
Szomolya is only 16 kms from Eger, so takes only about 20 minutes by car. For those wishing to go by bus, then there is a regular bus service leaving from Eger's Central Bus Station. Check the bus timetable for the latest information
Rozsakert Guesthouse (Hungarian) is a nice traditional cottage with three appartments. Although the decor is simple, it is comfortable and comes with private bathroom, kitchenette, a seating area and cable TV.
If, as ever, you need any help, please contact us.