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The National Blue Trail in Pilis Mountains and Buda Hills
(Last revision and update: 31st March 2018)


Map details about the route of the Blue Trail in this region:


Maps are the property of the Cartographia map company! All right reserved! Don't copy the map details and don't share them! Use it only for private purposes, please!
Maps are uploaded from Blue Trail guide 2002 edition. I update the map details together with the description, but only the route of the Blue Trail! The routes of other hiker trails are not maintained in the maps, so these maps don't contain the hiking trails were painted after 2002! The route of the Blue Trail is marked with red “K” characters.

You can find the detailed explanation of the Hungarian hikers paths' marks is in this chapter.



The route-altitude profile of the National Blue Trail in this region

This diagram was made on basis of my GPS survey between 2010 and 2012. It can deviate a little bit from the official lenght and ascent/descent data of the appropriate section. Its reason could be many things: for example measuring inaccuracy or the change of the route. In spite of this fact these diagrams could give a good summary about the route of the Blue Trail. Click on the picture to open the route-altitude diagram of the whole region!

The places written with bold characters in the text show the marked places in the route-altitude diagram. The small stamp icons show the stamping places.



Twelfth section: from Dorog railway station until Piliscsaba railway station

The City Hall of Dorog town

After stamping we continue our hike among the hills of Pilis from the railway station of Dorog (Dorog, vasútállomás). But first I would like to tell you some sentences about this calm, small town, Dorog. The surroundings of the town is a populated place already since the Roman Age. The Romans built an important road through the small Basin of Dorog from Aquincum (this town was the Roman capital of Territory Pannonia in the area of the present Budapest) towards the limes (the boundary of the Roman Empire) on the coast of the Danube. This calm town was a border settlement in that time.

The inside of the Roman Catholic church of the town

Later, in the Middle Ages Dorog was an important station of the stagecoaches beside the main road towards Vienna. Big coal mines were opened at the boundary of the town in the middle of the 19th century, and the development of the town accelerated. The town has got a railway line at the end of the 19th century, which supported the transport of the coal. After the World War II the coal mining became the biggest industry in the surroundings of the town.

An old, closed mine-tower stands on the top of the Calvary Hill in Dorog

Unfortunately the mining turned into uneconomical in the '80s of the previous century and the coal mining was finished. The remains of the coal mining, the neglected industrial plants and factories are very sad sight at the boundary of the town. An old mining tower cherishes the memory of the former industry of the town in the mountainside of the Nagy-Gete. The size of the railway station is a little bit big in the town, but is was an important marshalling yard for the coal transporting trains.

The old football pitch of the town

We walk down on the stairs into the pedestrian underpass and cross the rails of the station. We reach the new part of the town at the end of the underpass, our promenade goes along the edge of a big park beside the railway station. Block houses stand in the park, among trees, they were built in the socialism for the coal miners. The route of the Blue Trail passes by the old football pitch of Dorog – in the previous regime the town had a team in the Premiere Liege -, and after a junction we reach the area of the family houses. The blue strip marks lead us along narrow streets, passes the statue of Petőfi Sándor, the most well-known poet of Hungary in a small park, later we reach the modern Calvinist church. We cross the busy Köztársaság út (Köztársaság Street) and go along the calm Kesztölci út (Kesztölci Street). The houses stand only on the left side of the road, the embankment of the former Homokvasút (Sand Railway) runs on the other side.

On the embankment of the former Homokvasút. “Homokvasút” means “Sand Railway”

This, already liquidated narrow-gauge railway transported the sand from the bottom of the Basin of Dorog to the coal mines of the town. This good quality sand was used as stuffing material in the mines. The railway had electric drive and the total length of the rail system was more than 22 kilometers. The coal mines were closed in 1987 and the trains stopped in that time, as well. Later, in 1991 the track was demolished and only three bridges, a little tunnel at Csolnok village and the long embankments cherish its memory.

We reach the last houses of Dorog at the end of the Kesztölci út, the blue strip marks turn left onto a path at the corner of the fence of the last garden. We cross the Kenyér-mezői-patak Creek on a pedestrian bridge, walk through a meadow between the fenced yard of a shooting-range and a dog trainig area, finally reach the fields. Our sandy dirt road leads at the edge of the meadow, later we turn left onto a footpath leading among the trees. After a ten minutes long walk our path joins into a well trodden dirt road, we reach the main road number 117 on it (117-es elkerülő út). We can see the first hills of the Pilis on the other side of the road above the roofs of the houses of Kesztölc village.

We take about 100 steps beside the road towards north, turn right and cross the busy asphalt strip, step over a metal barrier and reach the first houses of the village on a small asphalt road. The route of the Blue Trail runs along the Akácos út (Akácos Street) and turns right in the next junction. After some steps the painted marks turn left at the following crossing and go along the Malom utca (Malom Street). We continue the walk in the next junction towards right, cross a small brook and reach the Hársfa pub (Kesztölc, Hársfa söröző)at the next crossing. We can rest a few minutes at the wooden tables and benches in front of the building, or continue our hike towards the hills of Pilis.

Resting day trippers at the Hársfa pub

We walk along the Esztergomi utca (Esztergomi Street) until the next junction and turn left, onto the narrow asphalt strip of the Cseresznyéshát utca (Cseresznyéshát Street). The street turn left at the last houses of the settlement, but we walk straight on the here beginning dirt road towards the hills. Our route crosses the cultivated fields, climbs a small ridge, later descends in a valley, bends right and joins into a narrow asphalt road. We walk a few steps on it, and turn left towards the hills again. The green strip marks join to us on this short section. The ascent of the footpath became a little bit steeper, the trail crosses a forest patch, and finally reaches the fields at the rocky feet of the Kétágú-hegy Hill (Kétágú-hegy, kék-zöld jelzés elágazás).

View towards Kesztölc village from the mountainside

Our path joins into the wheel tracks leading southeast parallel with the rocky mountainside, we turn right here and follow the rarely used tracks. The green strip marks go farther straight towards the hills. If we turn back here, in the junction of wheel tracks, we can see the wide plain of the Dorogi-medence with the town. The forest-covered side of the Nagy-Gete stands in the background.

Camp area at Klastrompuszta village

We walk along the narrow, weedy field, on the right side lie the vineyards of Kesztölc, the houses of the village appear below them in the valley, on the other side towers the rocky wall of the Kétágú-hegy. We reach the forest after a half an hour long hike on the meandering wheel tracks. The path ascends a little bit among the trees until a small ridge, later it descends to the asphalt road leading towards Klastrompuszta village (Aszfaltút Klastrompusztára). We get to the small settlement on the winding and very worn aphalt road in a quarter an hour. The houses stand mainly on the left side of the road among the trees of the forest, we can find a grassy meadow with wooden resting benches and desks on the right. The road passes a small restaurant, later we reach the junction at the end of the asphalt road. The Blue Trail turns right here and we glance the ruins of the old monastery on the right side (Klastrompuszta, pecsételőhely).

The name of the settlement means “Monastery Homestead” and it refers to that cloister, which was built here in the Middle Ages. Canon Özséb collected the hermits of the surroundings into the caves of the Klastrom-szirtek (Monastery Rocks) and founded the “Pálos” religious order after the invasion of the Tartars in the middle of the 13th century. The canon had the building of the monastery and the church built in the second half of the century. After the defeat of the Hungarian army at Mohács the Turkey troops set in fire and demolished the monastery in 1526. Nobody renovated the buildings after the Turk times.

The ruins of the monastery at the foot of the rocky mountainside

You can find the ruins of the monastery at the junction of the roads on a small fenced area. Now the settlement is a holiday resort, a lot of people have weekend houses in the village. If you have enough time, it is worth taking a short detour from the village to the top of the Klastrom Rocks, which tower above the houses in the mountainside of the Pilis. You can enjoy the beautiful panorama of the countryside from the top of the rocks, which are accessible on the steep ascending footpaths of the green cross trail-marking from the centre of the village.

Across the fields towards Piliscsév village

The box of the Blue Trail’s stamp is equipped on a lamp post at the junction of the roads, don’t forget to stamp into the booklet of the Blue Trail! After stamping we can continue the hike. First we climb a shallow ridge, pass an old oak standing on the left side of the dirt road and after a little while leave the forest and get to the weedy fields. Our dirt road descends among these fields, clear-cuts and forest patches, later it sinks into a small valley, finally gets to Piliscsév village after a half an hour. We reach the main street of the settlement at the Roman Catholic church (Piliscsév, római katolikus templom), we turn left here and walk along the Béke utca (Béke Street).

Sandy dirt road in the forest towards Piliscsaba village

The marked trail turns left at the next junction of the roads at the old russian military cemetery, pass the small park and the next climb begins along the straight Temető utca (Temető Street). After a few steps we turn left onto the Szilvás utca (Szilvás Street) and at the end of the street get to the edge of the forest. We continue the hike along a sandy dirt road ascending towards the low ridge of the hill.

We get to old, already bushy, big clear cuts on the wide plateau of the hill, cross them and the road begins to descend mildly on the southern hillside. This road reaches the first houses of Piliscsaba after a quarter an hour. We walk on the long Csévi út (Csévi Street) for a while, later we turn right onto the horse chestnut alley of the Wesselényi utca (Wesselényi Street). The rails appear at the end of this street, we can find the Blue Trail's stamp here, at the end of the Wesselényi sreet, on a wooden lamp post. The trail turns left here onto the Kálmán király út (Kálmán király Road), which runs parallel with the railway line. After a few hundred steps we get to the pedestrian bridge over the rails and platforms of the railway station (Piliscsaba, vasútállomás). But we don't cross the rails here, continue the walk on the narrow and worn asphalt strip until the next crossing. The blue strip marks turn right here onto the crossing road and lead us through an underpass beneath the rails. Here we leave the hills of Pilis Mountains behind us and continue the hike among the Buda Hills, but after visiting Budapest we will come back in this mountains!


Thirteenth section: from Piliscsaba railway station until Hűvösvölgy

The railway station of Piliscsaba.

We continue the hike on the sidewalk of the Bajcsy-Zsilinszky utca (Bajcsy-Zsilinszky street) beside the fenced area of the football pitch and turn left at the corner of the fence onto the Csévi utca. The Blue Trail leaves this narrow asphalt strip at its left bend, turns onto a dirt road, and passes the cemetery of the town. The continuation of this dusty dirt road is the Kinzsi utca among the family houses, the blue strip marks leave it after it right band. We walk across a small park on a paved footpath and finally reach the main road number 10. We cross the always busy main road on a pedestrian crossing, pass the old Roman Catholic church and turn left behind it at the next junction onto the Kálvária utca (Kálvária Street). We glance the blue triangle signs leading towards the Calvary of the settlement after a few minutes. It is worth visiting it, because a nice view opens from the winding path of the Calvary onto the settlement. This blue triangle trailmarkings give an opportunity for us: if we follow them, we can visit after some minutes long walk the Csabai Gomba (Mushroom Rock) on the ridge of the hill. Later this path joins back into the route of the Blue Trail.

The Calvary of Piliscsaba

If we choose the blue strip signs, we leave Piliscsaba beside premises and small factories on a narrow asphalt strip leading towards the hills. After the last houses the Blue Trail turns right onto a wide dirt road (the blue triangle marks join back here), crosses a metal barrier and goes on. We turn right at the next junction and reach a closed gate after some hundred steps. We can cross the fence on a ladder and continue the hike along the well trodden forest cultivating gravel road. The road passes meadows, gets around the forest-covered side of the Csaba-hegy (Csaba Hill) and turns into southeastern direction.

After older and newer clear-cuts the road enters the forest finally. Our dirt road runs on the bottom of the wide Kőris-völgy (Kőris Valley) but we don’t see the hillsides in the forest yet. The road rises only very mildly, pass the closed Erzsébet-kút Well (its water isn't potable!), but later the valley become narrower, after a few minutes we walk already between steeply rising hillsides. The strong climb begins suddenly, when we reach the continuation of the Kőris-völgy, the steeply rising Bükkös-árok (Bükkös Trench).

Promenade in the side of Nagy-szénás Mountain

The strong ascent of the path finishes after about ten minutes, when we take a sharp right turn and go on in the same elevation in the side of the Nagy-szénás Mountain. This part of the route is a comfortable promenade, but after 6-8 minutes the short rest finishes, when after a left turn the hard climb continues. We get to the grassy meadow in the col between the Kutya-hegy (Kutya Mountain) and Nagy-szénás (Nagy-szénás Mountain) after a quarter an hour long exhausting mountaineering. The climb finishes here, we continue the hike on winding wheel tracks among meadows and forest patches. After about ten minutes we get to the stony side of the top of the Nagy-szénás, we turn left from the tracks and climb the summit on a hardly visible path (Nagy-szénás). The marks of the Blue Trail are painted on the stones beside the path.

Panorama towards the ridge of Pilis from the top of Nagy-szénás Mountain

A wonderful round panorama opens from the top of the mountain, it is worth stopping here and glance around! We can see the long ridge of the Pilis Mountains in eastern direction and if we turn towards northwest, the hills of the Gerecse appear in that direction. We can see the houses of Nagykovácsi village, if we turn in southwestern direction. This 550 meter tall summit is really one of the best lookout points in the surroundings of the capital! It is an interesting thing, that the small “crater” on the summit is the remain of an anti-aircraft defending point, which was built in the World War II. to protect the airspace of Budapest against the bombing of English and American aircrafts.

The memorial stone of the former tourist hostel

The Blue Trail leaves the top of the Nagy-szénás on a small path in eastern direction and descends into a small col. The stony path leaves the ridge, it runs in the left hillside, meets with the path of the red strip signs, we turn left onto it and descend very steeply from the stony mountainside back in the forest. This path reaches after a few minutes a crossing promenade. Here was standing the former tourist hostel of Nagy-szénás, but now we can see only its remains, a memorial wall.

If you walk along the path of the Blue Trail in the environs of Budapest, you will meet with the ruins of many former tourist hostels, or with such buildings, which worked as tourist hostel in the past. What is the reason of this big change? A lot of tourist hostels were built between the two world wars, because the hiking was a strong movement among the workers and clerks in that time. Almost every hiker associations had hostels, which were in their management. They collect the money to operate the houses from the membership fee and from the visitor hikers in the houses.

Panorama from the increased protected area of the Nagy-szénás Mountain

After the World War II the nationalisation changed everything. A state-owned company was founded, which collected every tourist hostel into its management and it had got the money from the state budget to the work. Parallel with it the tourist associations were stopped, the hiker movement was connected to the sport associations without money or own. Later, in the '70s and '80s the financial resources decreased and the condition of the houses deteriorated continuously. The neglected houses burnt down, or simply went wrong. The regime change came too late. A big part of the hostels were already ruined in that time, but the new tourist associations tried to protect the rest of them from the further destruction.

Resting day-tripper team at the steel column of the truck way

We continue our hike from the memorial place of the tourist hostel on a wide promenade in the mountainside of the Nagy-szénás. The northern side of the mountain is an increased protected area of the Buda Hills, it has an Europe Diploma. Later our gravel road descends until the weekend houses of Zsíros-hegy (Zsíros Hill). We leave this dirt road beside a mobile phone relay tower, and turn on a path leading towards the forest. After a short section this path joins into the narrow asphalt road leading on the ridge beside the houses and we reach the steel columns of the old miner truck way in the mountainside of the Zsíroshegy after a quarter hour long walk. It cherishes the memory of the former coal mine, which worked here, on the mountain and this truck way transported the coal to the railway in the valley.

The asphalt surface of the road finishes here, we walk farther on a dirt road and reach the forest at a metal barrier. The road crosses the forest patch and gets to the clearing of the former tourist hostel of Zsíros-hegy. The miserable remains of the house stand among bushes, they hide the ruined walls. A short path begins behind the ruins marked with blue triangle trail marks, it is worth walking until its end, because a beautiful panorama opens from that place onto the wide valley of Pilisvörösvár and the Pilis Mountains!

Muflon Itató - Pub, restaurant and stamping place in the forest

We cross the grassy meadow and enter the forest again. The building of Muflon Itató pub appears in front of us, among the trees (Zsíros-hegy, Muflon Itató). The box of the Blue Trail's stamp is equipped onto a tree beside the gate of the yard, but we find another one in the pub, as well. The trail continues after the pub in the forest, first in the vicinity of the weekend houses, later we leave the built-up area and the silence of the forest surrounds us again. We walk on the wide ridge of Remete-hegy, the gravel promenade meanders always among the trees. After a three quarter hour long walk we reach a wide cut-line of power lines, we cross this bushy area and get to the rocky edge of the Remete-hegy after a few steps (Remete-hegy pereme). The winding Remete-szurdok (Remete Gorge) lies beneath our feet, later we will descend into it. But first we must admire the beautiful panorama opening to the Buda Hill from the rocks!

Panorama from the edge of the Remete Gorge

The descending, rocky path is very steep, the walk on the rocks needs increased attention! We reach the bottom of the valley in ten minutes, cross the small Ördog-árok Brook, and walk along the deep valley on the promenade. After a quarter an hour long walk we get to the end of the gorge, the border of the built-up area of Budapest. The first houses are built already in the gorge, we walk among them until the junction of streets. The Blue Trail turns left onto the Ördögárok utca (Ördögárok Street), climbs a small hill and the tower of the pilgrimage church appears in front of us. We turn left onto the Kerekhegyi utca and right at its end onto the Himes utca. We get to the park of the church on it. The blue strip marks turn onto a small paved promenade, we reach the door of the church on it (Máriaremete, kegytemplom).

The pilgrimage church of Máriaremete

The history of the pilgrimage place began in the 18th century, when this county was an inhabitant place after the Ottoman times and German migrants arrived from the environs of the German Black Forest. A young girl, Katalin Thalweiser brought a picture of a Mary's statue from Germany and she put this picture on a tree at the present place of the church. The settlers came to the picture to pray and later the picture was said to have a wonder-working power. Ignác Tersztyánszki, who was the owner of the area, had the first chapel built here in 1809.

Thankgiving plaques on the wall of the church

Later a bigger church was needed because of the increasing number of the pilgrims. The church, what you can see, was built from the donation of the pilgrims and it was consecrated in 1899. The picture of the Mary's statue stands on the altar of the church. The church got the name ”Basilica Minor“ from Pope John Paul II in 1991. An altar of Lourdes stands in front of the church on a little rock. It was donated by the Bishop of Lourdes to the church in year 1958. It is worth visiting the more hundred small marble plaques, which covers the outer walls of the church! They are either the requests or the thanksgiving of the pilgrims!

We continue our walk among family houses on calm streets. The blue strip marks lead us meanderingly on the small streets, after a few minutes we reach the long Zsíroshegyi út (Zsíroshegyi Street). We walk on this road until its end. We pass the Náncsi néni Vendéglője (Aunt Náncsi's Restaurant) at the end of the street and turn onto the busy Nagyrét utca (Nagyrét Street). A paved promenade starts on the left side after a few hundred steps towards the trees of a park, we turn onto it, cross a forest patch and enter the Nagyrét (it means Big Meadow). We walk farther on the promenade on the left edge of the grassy field and at the junction of promenades turn left.

On the platform of the terminal of the narrow gauge railway

This wide promenade crosses the forest and reaches the rails of the Children’s Railway in a quarter hour. We cross them through a pedestrian tunnel and get to the park of the railway terminal (Hűvösvölgy, Gyermekvasút végállomás). The route of the Blue Trail goes on straight, but we have to visit the platforms of the station for stamping into our booklet. The metal box of the Blue Trail's stamp is equipped on a column where the southern staircase reaches the level of the platforms. The Children’s Railway is one of the most popular sights of Budapest, it is worth taking a travel on this eleven kilometer long, winding, narrow gauge railway among the Buda Hills!

The train leaves the terminal

Finally I would like to put a quotation from an article here, which was written by an American man, Richard L. Ruddell, the General Manager of Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority about the Children's Railway of Budapest:

The wonderful little train - one aspect of Communism that was not consigned to the dustbin of history - departs approximately every 45 minutes. A one-way adult ticket costs approximately $1. The train entered operation in 1948, and full control was handed over to Hungarian Railways in 1990.

Railway line in the forest

Boys and girls between ages 10 and 14 continue to run the children's railway, but their numbers are down from more than 450 who ran the railway when it was part of the “Pioneer” movement under Communist rule. Adult engineers drive the little diesel engine, but the child volunteers hold various positions: they are train guards, stationmasters, ticket sellers, signal operators, and they also run the museum. Volunteers working on the railway during the school term have permission to miss classes.

Two steam-engines pull the long train on the hard upward slope

But this is no easy ride; boys and girls who apply to join the railway must be able to provide a good school reference, and only children with the highest school marks are accepted. Successful applicants attend a four-month training course learning the railway rules and regulations. The average working day for volunteers starts at 7 a.m., when they have a meeting to allocate the day's duties.

The 11-km line serves eight little forest stations, and the journey through the enchanting forest takes about 50 minutes. At the northern terminus is a museum featuring details of the railway's history, as well as a snack bar selling coffee, snacks, ice cream, and beer. The train terminates at the terminus of a regular tram headed to the city center.

One of the stops is at Janos Hill, which overlooks Budapest and the Danube River as well as the broad sweep of the Buda Hills to the north and west from a height of 500 meters, with an observation tower on its summit. The observation tower has a restaurant, and a snack bar is nearby. It's an experience that visitors to Budapest shouldn't miss.


Fourteenth section: from Hűvösvölgy until the Rozália Brickyard

The building of the railway station of Hűvösvölgy

Hűvösvölgy is a well-known tourist centre among the mountains in a narrow valley. Marked footpaths cross each other here and this place has a good accessibility by trams and busses from the centre of the capital. Here is the lower terminal of the Children's Railway, which meanders more than eleven kilometer long among the mountains and connects the well-known places of the Buda Hills to each other. This narrow-gauge railway line is seventy years old and it was born together with the National Blue Trail movement in the early 50's. You can find a very simple marble memorial plaque about this fact at the main gate of the railway station. By the way, the Children's Railway is famous for that fact, that the staffs are children from different elementary schools with the exception of engine drivers.

After stamping we continue our hike among the Buda Hill. We will take the whole next hike on the area of Budapest, but mainly in the forest. First we descend to the bottom of the valley through the park of the terminal, cross the tramline in a pedestrian tunnel, the busy Hűvösvölgyi út (Hűvösvölgyi Street) on a crosswalk and the small Ördög-árok Brook on a pedestrian bridge. After that we climb steeply onto a wide promenade leading in the forest. This promenade leaves slowly the built-up area of the town and we continue our walk in the silence of the forest.

On the field of the gliders

The promenade climbs mildly in the side of the Vadaskerti-hegy (Vadaskerti Hill) and after a big right-turn we reach the field of gliders. The promenade leads among the outermost trees of the forest, and we can see the gliders on the wide, grassy field. The more than hundred years old border stones of Budapest stand beside our route, they signed the border of the town till the middle of the 20th century. Later the area of Budapest became larger with other neighbour settlements. This section of the walking path bears the name of Frigyes Glück. He was a well-known hotel and restaurant owner about hundred years ago in the former Budapest. He did a lot of things for the development of the tourist industry in the surroundings of the capital, among others he had this walking path built among the mountains. You will meet with his name many times on this walking tour!

The memorial column of the wildlife park

We reach the memorial column of King Matthias’ Wildlife Park (Mátyás király vadasparkjának emlékoszlopa)beside the wooden benches and desks of a resting place in half an hour after our departure from Hűvösvölgy. I think, King Matthias was the most popular and well-known monarch in the history of Hungary. He lived in the second half of the 15th century. During his long reign people lived in peace because his strong “Black Army” defended the whole country against the Turks. His nickname was Matthias, the Fair and we have a lot of tales about him. He had this wildlife park built among the hills and mountains of Buda. A map shows the boundary of this park on the memorial stone and you can find the ruins of the former fence at the other edge of the fields of the gilders.

The grave of an unknown Hungarian soldier

We descend from the memorial column to a wide col meanwhile pass the tomb of an unknown Hungarian soldier. There was a serious battle among the Hungarian, German and Russian troops in Budapest at the end of the World War II, at Christmas of 1944. The Russian Red Army surrounded the German and Hungarian troops in Budapest and the battle lasted through long weeks. If you walk mindful among the Buda Hills, you will notice many similar tombs of soldiers.

The headless Lion Rock stands beside the gravel promenade

We cross the wide Határ-nyereg (Határ Col) and after a big clear-cut the blue strip marks reach the most beautiful section of the Glück Frigyes Promenade. It leads in the same elevation on the rocky side of the Kecske-hegy (Kecske Hill) and reaches the Oroszlán-szikla (Oroszlán Rock) soon. The shape of the rock standing beside the promenade was similar to a sitting lion, and at the construction of the walking route the workers took it with a small further work more similar to a lion (Oroszlán-szikla means Lion Rock). Unfortunately the head of the rock broke down, but even now its shape is similar to a sitting lion!

The promenade begins to rise mildly after the rock and we get to a clearing after a quarter hour long walk. If we glance right on this section of the walk, we can see the highest point of Budapest among the trees: the 527 metres tall János-hegy (János Hill) with the Erzsébet (Elisabeth) Queen Lookout Tower on its top. Our Elisabeth was a Hungarian queen and the wife of Franz Josef I, Austrian emperor in the second half of the 19th century. Of course Frigyes Glück had that lookout tower built about eighty years ago... The stones and rocks of the Kecske-hegy tower on the other side of the promenade.

The Árpád Lookout Terrace

We turn right on the mentioned clearing in the junction of promenades, and the building of the Árpád Lookout Terrace (Árpád kilátó) appears in front of us after a few minutes. The terrace stands on the edge of the flat plateau of the Látó-hegy (Látó Hill), where the steep slope begins towards the town. Unfortunately the trees have grown in the neighbourhood of the lookout terrace, nevertheless the view is beautiful from this point! I don't like to repeat my words, but Frigyes Glück had this lookout terrace built, as well. But the name of this terrace cherishes the memory of Árpád, the biggest Hungarian conqueror leader.

Panorama towards the centre of Budapest from the terrace

The lookout terrace stands at the top of a big omega-shape bend of the promenade, and the neck of this omega is very narrow, the distance between the two sections of the promenade only a few meter, paths connects them together here, don't miss the lookout terrace by the cutting of the big curve! You can see the the wide panorama of the capital from that place. The Danube flows in the middle and you can see many bridges over the river. Pest lies on the left side of the river (on the opposite riverside) and the numberless hills and mountains of Buda appear on the other side.

The blue strip marks take a big omega bend at the lookout terrace and go back into the forest. Now we walk a little while beside the gardens of the outermost houses, and after a clear-cut the promenade descends into the Szép-völgy (Szép Valley). We cross the asphalt road (Szépvölgyi út) and a small car park on the bottom of the valley beside the terminus of the bus number 65, finally we begin to climb in the side of the Hármashatár-hegy (Hármashatár-hegy Mountain).

Footpath in the side of Hármashatár-hegy Mountain

The Glück Frigyes Promenade finishes here, we walk again on a well trodden footpath. This trail escorts the narrow asphalt road leading towards the top of the mountain, it rises steeply in the first fwe minutes, but later it reaches the ridge and the ascent becomes easier. The path crosses three times the asphalt road, and after the third crossing it rises suddenly on a strong upward slope to the top of the mountain. We pass the building of the Udvarház Restaurant and reach the corner of a fenced, former military area (Hármashatár-hegy, pecsételőpont). The box of the Blue Trail's stamp is equipped onto a wooden column at the corner of the fence.

Panorama from the top of Hármashatár-hegy Mountain

The name of the mountain (Hármashatár-hegy means Tree Borders Mountain) refers to the junction of three former boundaries. Here met the boundarie of Buda, Óbuda and Hidegkút towns before the union of the settlements. It happened in 1873, so that was the birthday of the modern Budapest. The capital was born by the union of about dozen bigger or smaller villages and towns, but it inherited only the names of the two biggest parts: the names of Buda and Pest. A part of the flat top is fenced and old military antenna towers stand there. It was an important relay station of the Hungarian Army before the regime change. You can find a lot of other ruins there, they are the remains of old bunkers from the World War II.

A new lookout tower was built in 2016 on the real top of the mountain, we can reach it on a short path, when we continue our walk on the route of the Blue Trail. The marked trail gets around the lookout point, but it is worth visiting it, because a nice panorama opens from the top level towards Budapest. The position of this point is exraordinary: we can look exactly along the Danube, Pest is located on its left side and Buda is on the another side of the wide river. Don't miss this panorama!

The new lookout point on the top of Hármashatárhegy

The path descends from the summit into the former military area, pass the Hangár Bistro pub (generally it is open only weekends) and after a few dozen steps gets to the new tourist house. Here we turn left, leave to former closed area and after the fence the trail descends suddenly onto a small, but steep valley. We climb out on the other side to the forest-covered top of Vihar-hegy (Vihar Mountain) and descend to the wide, grassy field of Virágos-nyereg (Virágos Col). The hardly visible path crosses the meadow and reaches the first houses of the weekend area at a well trodden dirt road. The stamp of the Blue Trail is equipped on a wooden lamp post beside the first houses at the edge of the forest (Virágos-nyereg, pecsételőhely).

View from the cut-line of a power line towards the valley. You can see the building of the brickyard in the middle of the picture.

After stamping we turn onto the Guckler Károly Promenade, which runs in the mountainside, among the outermost trees. Guckler Károly was the director of the forestry office in Budapest at the end of the 19th century, he led the big forest plantation works among the Buda Hills and had this promenade built in the first years of the 20th century. We walk along this promenade, pass by another tombs of soldiers and after the crossing of a power line the blue strip marks turn off from the promenade and sink steeply into the valley. The slope is long and meandering, at the foot of the mountains we get to a small asphalt road and reach the gate of the Rozália Brickyard on it. The box of the Blue Trail’s stamp is equipped on a wooden lamp post beside the gate of the factory (Rozália téglagyár, pecsételőhely).


Fifteenth section: from Rozália Brickyard until Dobogókő

The Aranyhegyi-patak Creek

After the brickyard we continue the hike on the asphalt road, but before we could reach the railway line, turn left onto a path beside the rails. This well trodden footpath leads us parallel with the rails, we walk about a kilometer on it and get to a dirt road. We turn onto it, cross the railway line, and after about two hundred steps the Aranyhegyi-patak Creek, which flows on the middle of the wide valley. This valley is the border between the Buda Hills and Pilis Mountains. Now we leave the Buda Hills behind us together with the area of Budapest and go back into the Pilis Mountains. The road gets to the main street number 10 leading from Budapest to Dorog after a little while (Bécsi út).

A glance towards the brickyard and the side of the Csúcs Hill

We cross the always busy main road, and a strong climb begins on its other side towards the top of Köves-bérc (Köves Hill). First we walk on the steeply rising Kövesbérci utca (Kövesbérci Street) beside the outermost houses of the town, later we reach the forest. The street finishes here and we continue the hike on a path. This path follows the fence of a former, recultivated big rubbish dump – it was earlier the clay mine of the brickyard -, but now this area is covered with soil and grass grew on its surface in the mountainside. Later we leave the fence and enter the forest. Our rocky, stony path climbs very steeply until the flat top of the Köves-bérc. We reach the plateau of the hill after a twenty minutes long hard climb.

On a windind path on the top of the Köves-bérc Hill

The upward slope disappears suddenly, as we continue the walk on the plateau, the path meanders among old, abandoned quarries. We have to watch the blue strip marks at the junctions of the different paths and tracks, because we can loose the marked path of the Blue Trail very easy here! After a quarter an hour long walk we reach the first houses of Pilisborosjenő village (Pilisborosjenő széle) We walk along the slope of the Erdő utca (Erdő Street) and after about 200 steps turn left onto the Kőfaragó utca (Kőfaragó Street).

The Nagy-Kevély Mountain towers behind the houses of Pilisborosjenő. We will climb the col between the peaks.

We get to the edge of the built up area after a few minutes, the dirt road leads us beside the gardens of the outermost houses at the edge of cultivated fields. A beautiful view opens above the roofs of the houses towards the long ridge of the Nagy-Kevély Mountain. Later we will climb the col between the two peaks. After the last houses we cross a forest patch, pass the Calvary of Pilisborosjenő village and our dirt road joins into another one. A narrow footpath begins on the other side of the road, we have to follow this winding trail, which climbs later a small hillock covered by pine trees. On the other side of the small hill we cross another dirt road and reach the edge of the plateau. If we glimpse down, we can see the strange rocks formation of the Teve-szikla (Camel Rock). If we turn right on the edge of the plateau and look across the wide fields of the valley, we will notice far ruins. These are the remains of the scenery of Castle of Eger.

The scenary of Castle of Eger at the foot of the Nagy-Kevély Mountain

A famous episode of the Hungarian history is the siege of Castle of Eger by the Turks in 1552. Of course we won in that time (unfortunately the Turkey troops occupied it more than fifty years later) and about hundred years ago Géza Gárdonyi wrote a novel about the history of the siege. The title of the book is “Egri csillagok” i.e. “Stars of Eger”. When Zoltán Várkonyi, a well-known Hungarian movie director decided to take this story on film, he had this castle built at the foot of the Kevély. The reason was very simple: in the past 500 years the houses of the modern Eger town have built up in the surroundings of the old fortress! The Ottoman army besieged and demolished the walls in the movie, later people left the ruins to its fate, now the walls are overgrown with grass and weed, but hiker maps show its position exactly and it is a well-known target of hikers and day-tripper families. We can reach the ruined walls in a quarter an hour on the dirt road leading at the foot of Teve-szikla (we crossed it already after the pine covered hillock).

In fact Eger is a nice Hungarian town with the ruins of the big fortress between the Mátra and Bükk Mountains. Unfortunately the Blue Trail avoids it, although it has a lot of beautiful sights beside the ruins. Eger is the centre of a big Hungarian wine-growing area, its world famous wine is the “Egri bikavér” i.e. the “Bulls' blood of Eger”.

We climb on a stony path in the side of the Nagy-Kevély

The path of the Blue Trail crosses the field of the plateau and leads into a well-trodden dirt road leading at the feet of the Nagy-Kevély Mountain. We turn onto it beside a stone cross and walk about 500 steps towards nothwest. A path starts on the right side of the road, we turn on it and after a few dozen steps we begin the hard climb to the col of the Nagy-Kevély. After a while we reach a crossing dirt road, which goes on level in the mountainside, we walk a few steps on this road and turn again onto a hard ascending path. After a while we leave the forest on the stony, rocky path and continue the climb among bushes. If we turn back here, we can see the far mountains of Buda Hills above the bushes. Finally we reach the grassy meadow of the col in 430 meter elevation. We find the stamp of the Blue Trail on a pine tree beside the wooden shelter and benches on the northern edge of the meadow (Kevély-nyereg, pecsételőpont).

It is worth climbing the higher peak from the col, because a nice panorama opens from its rocky peak

A tourist hostel was standing here until the regime change, now we can find only a weed covered rubble-pile on the clearing, these are the remains of the house. Its destination is similar to the already visited houses on the Nagy-szénás and Zsíros-hegy mountains: it wasn't able to survive the socialistic era of Hungary! There is no panorama from the clearing, only from the summit of the mountain. We can take a short detour from the route of the Blue Trail to the stony top of Nagy-Kevély on the path of the red strip trail marks. We can reach the summit after a quarter hour long climb, but the panorama opening from the rocky top will compensate our effort!

The view of Csobánka village from the Blue Trail

The route of the Blue Trail descends very steeply from the col on the northern side of the Nagy-Kevély and reaches a dirt road leading at the foot of the mountain after a quarter hour. We turn onto it and walk towards the wide Csobánkai-nyereg (Col of Csobánka). We get to the crossing asphalt road on the lowest point of the col in twenty minutes (Csobánkai-nyereg, országút). We cross the asphalt road leading to Csobánka village and continue the walk on the wide, only mildly rising well-trodden dirt road. If we turn right, we can see the wide panorama of Csobánka village and the surrounding hills. Later we leave the fields of the col and enter the forest again.

The chapel of the Szent-kút

After a short walk we get to the junction of dirt roads, we turn right here, cross a metal barrier and go on along a gravel road. A few minutes later we reach the crossing of dirt roads, we turn right with the blue strip signs, but after a few steps we turn onto a footpath. This path descends steeply in the hillside and get to the small chapel of the Sankt Well after a little while (Csobánkai Szent-kút). We can keep a short rest on the wooden benches and visit the well at the bottom of stairs to fill up our water stock. The water doesn't flow by itself, we must pump it with the handle at the right side of the lattice door!

In the Gorge of Pilis

We walk farther on the access dirt road of the chapel, leave the clearing, and after a few minutes reach the edge of the forest at another resting place. The dirt road bends right here, but we have to turn sharply left onto the branching wheel tracks leading towards northwest. We can cast a last glance at the already far Nagy-Kevély Mountain, before the road reaches a bushy area and the view disappears behind us. We walk in northwestern direction on this road, it is a very comfortable section of our hike. The dirt road rises only very mildly in the forest and among clear-cuts of different ages. We reach the next resting place on a big meadow after a one hour long walk, when we cross the Dera-patak at a stony ford (Szurdok alja, erdei pihenő).

In the Gorge of Pilis

After the resting place our path turns into a narrow valley and we get to the lower end of the Szurdok (Gorge). The Szurdok is perhaps the most well-known natural worth of the Pilis Mountains. The Dera-patak forced its way - a deep and narrow valley - through the limestone hills which stood in its way. The marked footpath meanders between the two sides of the gorge through small wooden bridges and the trees bend above the valley keeping it always in shadow. The Szurdok is only hardly one kilometer long, but the beauty of the valley attracts a lot of people! You can find many information boards along the footpath which inform you about the values of the gorge.

On the main road of Pilisszentkereszt village. It lies at the foot of the Dobogókő Mountain.

After the northwestern end of the Szurdok we cross a weedy field and our path leads into a dirt road. We reach the first houses of Pilisszentkereszt on it. This village is a very old settlement. King Béla III founded an abbey at the boundary of the later village in 1184. The name of the settlement cherishes this fact, Pilisszentkereszt means “Sacred Cross of Pilis”. The further history of the village is very interesting, as well. It lost its population during the Turkish times and after the reoccupation German loggers settled down and built new houses. The German-speaking men looked for wives from the neighbour villages, where lived Slovakian migrants. The children learnt the Slovak at home from their mothers and recently the number of the Slovak population is very high in the village, but they have mainly German family names after their fathers. The Slovak name of the settlement is Mlynky and the most of information boards are bilinguals (Slovak and Hungarian) in the village.

We reach the main road of the settlement on the dirt road at a small meadow. We can see the asphalt strip in front of us, but we turn left here, onto a path leading back among the trees. We get to the Malom utca (Malom Street) after a few dozen steps. We walk along this narrow street and later on the Petőfi Sándor utca (Petőfi Sándor Street) until the much wider Fő út (Fő Street). The blue strip marks cross this road a go farther on the other side on the Szabadság utca (Szabadság Street). We find a stamp of the Blue Trail in the window of a small grocery at this crossing (Pilisszentkereszt, letérés a Felső kocsmához), another one is located in the Felső kocsma pub, which stands in the junction of the main roads, in the hillside. It is an about 300 steps detour right from the grocery. After stamping and a short rest we continue the hike through Pilisszentkereszt village. The climb leading to the top of Dobogókő begins on the narrow Szabadság street. If we turn back at the last houses of the settlement, we can glance the Nagy-Kevély Mountain in the far.

The Zsivány Rocks

We step into the forest, a few minutes later cross the busy main road leading towards Esztergom and Dobogókő, and after a little while a narrow, forest cultivating asphalt road. The hard climb continues towards Dobogókő, fortunately we can do this hike in the shady forest. We reach the rock formation of Zsivány-sziklák (Zsivány Rocks) after a twenty minutes long climb. Narrow passages lead among the fifteen - twenty metres high andesite rocks, sometimes the rocks fences small clearings. According to the historians here lived real bandits more hundred years ago – the name of this place refers to this thing (Zsivány-sziklák means Bandit’s Rock).

In a pine forest

The hard climb finishes at the rocks, we walk already in a pine forest. After a few minutes the path of the Blue Trail crosses a shady valley and the hard rise of the path continues. Finally we get to the first weekend houses of Dobogókő. We turn onto a gravel road and reach the car park of the summit on it. The Blue Trail crosses the asphalt road beside a wooden benches and desks of a buffet and after a few steps we stand already in front of the busy tourist house. We can find the stamp of the Blue Trail at its door (Dobogókő, turistaház).

The tourist hostel on the top of the Dobogókő

The peak of Dobogókő is exactly seven hundred meter tall and it is one of the central mountains of the Pilis. Dobogókő is perhaps the most well-known tourist centre in the surroundings of the capital, busses go till the peak of the mountain in every hour. This peak was an eye-witness of the birth and the history of the Hungarian tourism and hiker movement. The first tourist hostel - a small wooden shelter - was built in 1898, more than hundred years ago. In that time only hikers could visit it and the peak of the mountain, the asphalt road was built only in 1935. Since that time Dobogókő has become a popular target not only for the hikers, even for the day-tripper people. The old building stands on the left side of the big tourist hostel and there is a small museum among its walls.

Panorama towards the Danube Bend from the lookout terrace of Dobogókő

Nowadays we can find a lot of holiday resorts, guest houses and restaurants on the long ridge of the mountain but the peak is a very important junction of the marked footpaths, as well. Of course the biggest sight is the panorama from the lookout point of the mountain. It is a flat top of a rock and its shape is similar to the school's cathedra. Its name refers to this thing (“dobogó kő” means “platform stone” in the Hungarian). You can see a big part of the Danube Bend from the lookout terrace. If the weather is clean enough, the nine hundred meter high peaks of the Börzsöny Mountains are visible behind the Danube in the background. We will visit them in a few days!


Sixteenth section: from Dobogókő until Visegrád, ferry

Promenade on the ridge of Dobogókő

After stamping we can visit the lookout terrace of Dobogókő, it is exactly behind the tourist hostel. The Blue Trail turns right beside the terrace onto the gravel promenade leading on the ridge of the mountain, passes the big building of Hotel Nimród and after the tents of the Jurta tábor reaches the beginning of the ski slope. The Blue Trail crosses the narrow asphalt road here and turns onto a dirt road lading into the forest. We get to the next junction of dirt roads after twenty minutes, meanwhile we walk on the long and wide ridge of the mountain, our elevation didn't decrease a lot from the lookout terrace!

Descent in the forest

The here beginning red triangle trail markings lead towards northeast, the blue cross marks start in the opposite direction, but we keep our heading and follow the blue strip marks towards east. After a few minutes we reach the end of the long ridge of the Dobogókő, the slope will be steeper. The path crosses a narrow, forestcultivating asphalt road, and reaches the steepest section of the hike. The path sinks with zigzags into the valley, but the strong slope slowly disappears, our path joins to a dirt road. We cross clear-cuts, and get to the next junction of dirt roads after a twenty minutes long walk.

On the Meadow of Sikáros

The red strip trail marks arrive from the front and turn together with the blue strip marks towards right. After a few dozen steps we reach the edge of the (Sikárosi-rét) (Meadow of Sikáros). The good dirt road become grassy wheel track, it leads us at the soutwestern edge of the grassy meadow. The trail of the red strip marks leads into the fores at the southern corner of the meadow, but we turn left here with the blue strip marks and go on. The path crosses a forest patch, passes by a big, fenced clear-cut, and reaches the Szilágyi Bernát-forrás in five minutes. There are resting benches and tables beside the spring, so we can rest some minutes here.

If we continue the hike, leave the forest and get to another part of the big meadow. We cross it on wheel tracks, reach the forest again, and after five hundred steps we get to the small Bükkös-patak (Bükkös Stream). The road crosses it at a stony ford and joins into a dirt road on the other side of the stream. We get to the gravel access road of the forester’s lodge of Sikáros after a little while. The box of the stamp of the Blue Trail is equipped on a tree at the end of the road beside a gate of the yard of the forester's lodge (Sikárosi erdészház, pecsételőhely).

In the valley of the Bükkös Creek

We continue the hike beside the fence of the forester’s lodge at the edge of a grassy meadow and reach the forest after a few dozen steps. We cross the Bükkös-patak (Bükkös Stream) on a wooden pedestrian bridge again and pass by the memorial column of Lenkó Ede. He was a simple hiker and died on that place during a hike on the New Years Eve in 1917. After the monument the path of the Blue Trail turns into the winding valley of the Bükkös-patak.

Shelter on the place of the former pioneers' camp

The footpath escorts the meandering stream in the valley, and it crosses the stony bed in the shady forest many times. It is a very nice section of the hike, we can hear only the gurgle noise of the Bükkös-patak. We get to a big clearing after a quarter an hour. It is the place of a former pioneers’ camp, it was closed after the regime change. A big resting place is located here with wooden desks, benches and a big shelter.

After the clearing we pass the small Kárpát-forrás (Kárpát Spring) and cross the stony bed of the creek on a wooden pedestrian bridge. After that our winding path leads on the left side of the Bükkös-patak and at the end of a five minutes long walk reaches the junction of the marked trails. The path of the blue cross signs goes on straight, but the Blue Trail turns left and crosses a forest cultivating asphalt road. We continue our hike on the bottom of the narrower Öreg-nyílás-völgy (Öreg-nyílás Valley) first in the rocky bed of a seasonal brook, later in the right side of the valley.

We walk beside the creek

After a quarter hour long walk we turn onto the asphalt road of the valley, this road leads already high above the stony bed of the stream. We go about 400 steps on it and turn off from this narrow asphalt strip. The path descends steeply into the bottom of the valley again, cross the bed of the stream and climb out on the other side. Later our path ascends mildly and after a ten minutes long comfortable walk we reach the edge of the forest at the ridge of the hill.

The view of Pilisszentlászló village from the Kis Rigó Restaurant

The building of Kis Rigó vendéglő (Little Blackbird Restaurant) stands in front of us, there is a nice view towards the next valley from the house. We find a Blue Trail stamp in its box at the gate of the restaurant's fence. The path of the Blue Trail goes on beside the fence of the restaurant, turns together with the chain link fence and descends until the junction of asphalt roads. We cut the hairpin bend of the road and reach the first houses of Pilisszentlászló village soon. We descend continuously on the winding road until the centre of the settlement. The Gesztenyés Pub (Pilisszentlászló, Gesztenyés söröző) stands on the main square in the shade of big horse chestnut trees. We can find another stamp of the Blue Trail in the pub. If the pub is closed, we find stamps in the confectionary (it is located on the other side of the road) or in the Jánosikova Pub (a few dozen steps on the Béke utca).

The Gesztenyés Pub is the stamping place

After stamping we walk on, pass the small chapel of the village and turn onto the Honvéd utca (Honvéd Street). A small, stony road starts at the right side of the street, the red strip marks arriving from the front and turn with the blue strip marks onto this climbing way and reach the forest after fifty steps. The road finishes here, only a steep footpath climbs farther in the mountainside. The beginning of the rise is very steep, later it become a little bit more comfortable, and we get to the ridge of the hills after a half an hour long exhausting ascent.

The Pap Meadow lies at the crossing of narrow asphalt roads

We turn onto the narrow forest cultivating asphalt road and go on towards north-east. Later we turn off from the road, because the Blue Trail cuts its big bend and climbs the top of a hill. We meet with the asphalt road at the edge of the meadow of Pap-rét again. The foresters' lodge stands on the left side of the road, the box of the stamp of the Blue Trail is located on a column of the fence (Pap-réti erdészház, pecsételőhely). The benches and desks of the resting place stand on the other side of the meadow. We reach them after the junction of the narrow asphalt roads.

View towards the Danube and the Naszály Mountain from the side of Urak asztala Mountain

The Blue Trail leaves the meadow on a footpath, but it joins to a gravel dirt road after a few hundred steps. We walk on this road, pass the grassy Pálócki-rét (Pálócki Meadow) and get to a junction of dirt roads at the corner of the fenced area of a clear-cut. The red strip signs stay on the dirt road, but the blue strip signs turn left, onto a footpath. The here beginning blue cross choose another path. We walk farther on the other side of the fenced area, and at the end of it enter the forest again. Our path leads in the side of the Urak asztala Mountain about in the same level, but the mountainside will be always steeper and steeper. After a while we get to the steepest part of the mountainside, the path becomes very narrow here and we have to watch our every step! Fortunately this section of the trail isn’t too long and after a while we leave the steep mountainside and our path will be wider again.

On the meadow of Col of Vízverés

We reach the grassy meadow of Vízverés nyerge (Col of Vízverés) in a half an hour long walk. We cross the clearing, pass the resting place and begin to climb in the side of Őr-hegy (Őr Mountain). We don’t climb its forest-covered top, only cross the ridge. After a short descent our path gets to a dirt road. We turn onto it and go on along the northern ridge of the Őr-hegy. After a while this road turns right, only a narrow footpath goes on straight. The Blue Trail follows it and reaches the stone bench of the Moli-pihenő in five minutes (Moli pihenő).

View from the rocks of Borjúfő

We glance the Danube Bend again from that place. Unfortunately this view is limited, we can see only the western part of it. After the resting place the path begins to descend very steeply in the mountainside, on this section begins the short alternative path of the blue triangle signs. This footpath leads until a rock formation, its name is Borjúfő. We can see an already wider panorama from that place, the two villages on the both sides of the river: Visegrád and Nagymaros are visible from the rocks.

The lookout tower of Nagy-villám Mountain

We continue the steep descent and get to a col after a while. We turn onto a well-trodden dirt road there, its name is Király út (King’s Road) and it was used already in the Middle Ages. This road was the shortest route between Buda and Visegrád among the mountains. After a short clim until the grassy meadow of Sóstói-rét, the slope continues on the road, we have a comfortable hike along it until the meadows of Fekete-hegy (Fekete Mountain). The dirt road leaves the forest, passes a resting place and descends in the grassy hillside to the big car park of the Nagy-villám Mountain. We can see already the lookout tower on the top of the Nagy-villám. Summertime this place is very crowded, it is a well known hiking centre, but here are the summer bobsled runs, as well (Nagy-villám, autóparkoló).

The Castle of Visegrád taken from the lookout tower

The path crosses the asphalt road and turns back into the forest, but we have to visit the Vadász csárda restaurant in the hillside to stamp into our Blue Trail booklet. The lookout tower stands above the restaurant, we can reach the restaurant and the tower in ten minutes on the promenade of the blue triangle trail marks. There are a fantastic round panorama from the top floor of the tower towards the Danube Bend, the Fort of Visegrád and the far mountains of Börzsöny. But the biggest attractions of this place are the summer bobsled tracks! They meanders in the hillside of the Nagy-villám, we can approach their starting point across the big car park. Other sight is a canopy cable ride in the mountanside of Nagy-villám.

The panorama of Danube Bend taken from the wall of the castle

The winding path of the Blue Trail goes parallel with the asphalt road in the forest, we reach the car park at the gate of the fort in a quarter hour (Visegrád, Fellegvár). I think it is worth visiting the ruined castle, because it is one of the biggest one in Hungary, it is partly renovated and the panorama is very nice from its walls. The oldest part of the fortress was built similar to a lot of other Hungarian castles and forts after the big attack of the Tartars in the second half of the 13th century.

The Salamon Tower stands on the coast of the Danube

The main goal of the construction of the castle was to make such a strong fort on the peak of the steep hill, which can protect the people of its environs in case of strong attacks. King Béla IV gave this fort as present to his wife in year 1258. In that time was built the “Lower Fort” at the coast of the Danube and the two fortresses formed one big system. The remains of the Lower Fort are the Salamon-torony (Salamon Tower) and the gate of the village. The Hungarian kings lived here till the beginning of the 15th century, in that time they moved to the Castle of Buda (it is now the Castle of Budapest).

The upper yard of the castle

The Turks besieged this castle after the fall of Castle of Buda in year 1544. They couldn't occupy the fortress on the top, only the Lower Fort, so they decided to starve into surrender the defenders of the fortress. This tactic was successful, the Hungarian defenders finally threw in the towel. The reoccupation of the fortress happened in year 1595, but the walls of the castle became very ruined. People tried to repair the walls, but the Ottomans occupied it again in 1605. A long Turk age began in those years, because they stayed the owners of the castle till 1684, when the fort was reoccupied by the army of Prince Carl of Lathering, who prepared with this siege to the attack against Castle of Buda (it was still in the Turks' hand).

Costume procession on the street of Visegrád

But the long row of sieges did not finish with this episode, because the Turkey troops occupy the ruined fortress back. But they couldn't keep it for a long time, one year later the castle was again Hungarian property. The walls of the fortress were so ruined after the long row of the sieges, that nobody renovated them in the later centuries. The path of the Blue Trail continues beside the gate of the fort and descends steeply until the village of Visegrád. We reach the first houses of the settlement beside the stations of the Calvary, turn right onto the main road, pass the Roman Catholic church and reach the ferry station through a pedestrian underpass at the coast of the Danube. We can find the stamp of the Blue Trail beside the ferry station, on a concrete column (Videgrád, komp pénztára). After stamping we cross the river on the ferry and we can say, after a 550 km long hike we have completed the western half of the Blue Trail!

The ruins of the medieval palace in Visegrád

But there are many sights in the village, it is worth visiting them! The king’s palace is located at the foot of the Castle Hill among the houses of the village. The first palace was built at the foot of the Castle Hill in the first half of the 14th century. This was always the residence of the Hungarian kings, but King Matthias had a biggest one built in the second half of the 15th century. Now you can see only the ruins of the palace, because it was destroyed during the many siege of the fortress and people took its stones to other buildings. Its excavation began in year 1934 and finished a few years ago. It is worth visiting its ruined walls to see the remains of the renaissance palace of King Matthias.

On the steep access road of the Salamon Tower

The second sight is the Salamon Tower. It stands at the northern border of the settlement in the side of the Castle Hill. It is a part of the former “Lower Fort” of Visegrád. A wall connected to each other the fortress on the top of the hill, and this tower. The walls went farther, till the gate of the village. The tower and the gate was reconstruct in the first half of the 20th century but smaller renovation work have been flowing continuously on the former area of the Lower Fort. And finally I would like to tell you some words about its name. According to the tales the Hungarian lords arrested and imprisoned the Hungarian King Salamon here in this tower. But it is a mistake, because this tower still wasn't standing in the 11th century, when this affaire happened.










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