Village Šiatorská Bukovinka

Village Šiatorská Bukovinka

Village Šiatorská Bukovinka and the nearby area offer many unique natural features and historical monuments. Hikers and cycling tourists will also find many opportunities for trips. The rolling hills in the area are ideal for hiking trails and cycling paths, discovering beautiful sights of this region. A popular destination for many visitors is the nearby castle Šomoška.

History of the Šomoška Castle

At the Slovak-Hungarian border, on the top of a volcanic peak stand the Šomoška castle ruins. The castle was established by the Kacsics΄s at the end of the 13th century or at the beginning of the 14th century. In 1310 the Castle became the property of Matúš Čák, but after disintegration of his domains, Tomáš Széchenyi obtained Šomoška. In 1461 the Castle was transferred by the King΄s donation to the Országh΄s and Losonczy΄s, later on became the property of the Losonczy΄s. In 1573 Turks occupied Šomoška under the leadership of dignitary Ali of Fiľakovo until the year 1596. At the beginning of the 16th century the castle was fortified. After defeat of the Rákóczi fight for freedom – the army of which captured it in 1703 – the imperial armies demolished the castle. The original shape of the castle is not clear, perhaps it was created like small disposition without towers approximately of the triangel΄s ground. Later on, in the Middle Ages, the castle was spread. There was a gothic palace in the east and an entry tower. Cardinal rebuilding was carried out in 16th century. The castle was extended in two cannon bastion, barbakan and two buildings in the north and south side. The interiors were equipped with chiselled morphological items. The youngest complement is perhaps the hexagonal bastion. Its restoration began in the middle of the last century; presently it stands out mainly with the rebuilt tower.

National Nature Reserve Šomoška

The National Nature Reserve Šomoška extending over an area of 36,62 ha. It is a part of the Cerová vrchovina Protected Landscape Area and the Novohrad-Nógrád UNESCO Global Geopark.

The two most visited educational path start from the car park near Šiatorská Bukovinka. One leads to the Šomoška castle and the other to the Mačacia quarry. The later has lookout as well from which the ʺcoupleʺ of Šomoška and Salgó castles can be seen. The educational path leading to Šomoška passes by the Krúdy spring, the lakes of the Bukovinka brook, the block sea and basalt-fall of Šomoška. 1,6 km long tourist and educational trail enables to visualise the peculiarities of this area, such hydrophytic plants and fauna of the Bukovinka creek, the old beech forest on the castle hill and geologic, as well as historic attractions. The educational trail has 8 stops with a height difference of 106 m and is designed for hiking only.

The pentagular and hexagonal basalt coloumns evolved in the crater of a 4 million years old volcano as a consequence of slow lava solidification under the surface. Çoloumnar structure is typical of basalt, but the bent form is rare in Europe. Its exploration happened due to the quarrying for the construction of the castle. The Mačacia study trail represents the characteristics of the extensive basalt sheet of the Medves plateau and the operation of the former biggest quarry in the country.

The stone sea is a result of natural basalt weathering and deposition of its detritus on the slope. The origin of the prevailing part of the material goes as far back as the glacial period, however it also contains fragments of the castle building material. It provides a proper biotope for reptiles. The common snake (Elaphe longissima) lives on the stone sea edge.

The castle as well as the educational path is visitable all year round. The educational path is accessible from the village of Šiatorská Bukovinka, but also from Somoskő, neighbourhood of Salgótarján in Hungary. The admission fee, which must be paid only during the summer tourist season, is EUR 0.50 for children and pensioners, EUR 1.50 for adults. Parking fee in the entrance area is € 1.20 for cars and € 2.30 for buses.

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