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