Before I show you pictures from my daily life in Hungarian capital, let’s have a look at one more tiny village in the countryside. We never got any real guidebook, but I am sure that there is an article about Hollókő in all of them, probably somewhere under “top 10 places to visit in Hungary”. A “raven stone”, because that’s how the name translates, is a tiny village near the northern border of Hungary, the only Hungarian village listed as Unesco World Heritage Site.
On the top of the nearby hill, there are ruins of a castle. It is not only a place where you can get beautiful views over the whole area, it also explains the mysterious name of the village. According to a legend, long long time ago, a lord from another nearby castle kidnapped a beautiful girl. Unfortunately for him, she had a nurse who was a witch. She made a pact with the devil to free the girl, and so the devil sent his helpers, disguised as ravens, to destroy the castle. The ravens took all the stones from the castle, freeing the girl, and used the stones to build a new castle, the one on the Hollókő hills.
The village is best known for its Easter celebrations, when everyone dresses in traditional, embroidered clothes, various performances are held on Easter Sunday and Monday, visitors can have a look into the handcraft workshops and learn more about the local customs. One of the traditions is also throwing buckets of cold water on young girls (on Easter Monday), so watch out! We decided to visit Hollókő in June, when there are not that many tourists, and the village is rather quiet. We got a nice companion though, a tiny cute dog that followed us around the whole village.
In the old part of the village, there are several museums located in the old houses built in the traditional ‘Paloc’ style. You can visit e.g. Museum of Folk Crafts (Miveshaz), Doll Museum(Babamuzeum), Village Museum (Falumuzeum), printer’s and weaver’s workshops, czy Post Museum. Not all of them have information in English, but they were still all very interesting. The most fun was probably the printer’s house, where we could learn about different printing techniques and even make our own prints. The owner tried to explain as much as possible, although our basic Hungarian was not really helpful there. We also visited the post office twice, where as you can see we got some nice stamps and special postmark.
Maybe if you visit the village during the holidays, it seems a bit too crowded and touristy, but we had a lovely time there. It was so peaceful and quiet, we wished we stayed there for at least one night. Even though the village is so tiny you can visit all the museums in only a couple of hours, the surroundings are so beautiful, I wish I stayed longer and wandered around the nearby hills.