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Touristic Prospectus of Zemplén  back


Bodrogköz

The Bodrogköz lowland region between the rivers Bodrog and Tisza is separated from the area up north by yet another river called Latorca. The southern part belongs to Hungary but the upper Bodrogköz is on the other side of the border in Slovakia.

This particular region is where the conquering Hungarians first settled. Anonymus recorded the event as "In the year of 903 by the mercy of God, Chieftain Árpád sent his troops to conquer the entire land from the Tisza to the Bodrog with all its inhabitants... Spending a few days there himself with his chiefs, they saw the fertility of the land, the abundance of game and all the fish in the rivers and from that experience they grew an affections to the land beyond belief."

A cemetery dating from the time of the conquest containing significant artifacts was unearthed by archeologists in 1986, in a place called Karos within the Bodrogköz. The artifacts were that of conquerors from the historical Etelköz and it was an astounding finding indeed. Nicely decorated hilts and daggers, quivers, bows, fitted belts, splendid harnesses, gold and silver jewelry, ornaments, Italian and arabic coins, pearls, goldplated headpieces and much more were found.

The Bodrogköz has been inhabited mainly by Hungarians since the conquest. The once wet, boggy land became dry, as it is now after the river regulations took affect in the region in the second part of the 19th century. The region was able to preserve its ancient folk culture due to its geographical isolation.

You can reach the Bodrogköz from Sátoraljaújhely by traveling towards Alsóberecki, or from Sárospatak via Vajdácska. There is a border crossing at Pácin to the Slovak Republic, and a bridge on the Tisza at Cigánd will take you to the neighboring county of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg.

The Bodrogköz is a scenic lowland region with a magnificent view of the Zemplén mountains and the Great Hill of Tokaj. In the spring and autumn the willow and poplar trees grow in abundance in the forests. The beautiful meadows and flowering fields along the Tisza and Bodrog are most inviting for hiking. Matgran, Bulrush, Reed, Ladyslippers and Water Caltrop grow on the flood lands, egrets, cranes, swans, Great Blue Herons, coots and black storks nest there.

Along the river banks you can swim or canoe. There are campsites under the huge poplar trees on the Bodrog at Felsoberecki and on the Tisza at Cigánd. Fishing is excellent in the backwaters of the Bodrog at Pácin and Karcsa or at Vajdácska, Alsóberecki and Sárospatak as well.

There is an ancient church in Karcsa from the Árpád era. It is a roman style church which had most likely been built by a local order of knights, according to charters left behind from the 11th century. The knights were the landlords of the region. A new addition to the existing circular church was built from red stone with unique inserts.

Another valuable edifice is the Mágóchy-Alaghy-Sennyei castle in Pácin. It was originally built in Renaissance style during 1581-1591 an addition was built to it in the 17th century and was modified again in the 19th century. There is a beautiful sgrafitto (special type of ancient carving) on the front. Today it serves as a museum under the name Bodrogközi Kastélymúzeum (Castle Museum of the Bodrogköz). Its regular exhibits are the following: 1. Castle interior. The Renaissance interior is complete with tables, chairs, reconstructed stove, cupboard, trousseau chest and praying stool from the 16th century. 2. The people's life in the Bodrogköz. Five rooms on the ground floor are dedicated to this display. Textile art, folk dresses and peasant style room interior are shown. 3. The exhibit of graphic artist Czinke Ferenc.

The park surrounding the castle is a nature preserve and hiking or touring is limited and only if permitted by local authorities.

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