Tokaj Things to Do

  • Inside The Heart of Jesus Church
    Inside The Heart of Jesus Church
    by balhannah
  • Vineyards around Tokaj
    Vineyards around Tokaj
    by balhannah
  • Cellar door in Tokaj town square
    Cellar door in Tokaj town square
    by balhannah

Most Recent Things to Do in Tokaj

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    THE CENTRAL FIGURE IN THE PARK

    by balhannah Written Feb 11, 2014

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    The Lithuanian statue park, I wondered what was behind it!
    It was established by the Hungarian-Lithuanian Friendship Association, who wanted to introduce visitors to the ancient crafts of Tokaj. Great idea, for here I could see traditional wood-carvings.
    As I entered, I wondered who the central figure was? I was told - King Matthias?
    Is it him, who knows as it depicts a mythical being playing a musical instrument, a reference to the magical world of Tokaj.
    Tokaj is well known for its tales and legends.

    King Matthias?
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    LITHUANIAN MEMORIAL PARK

    by balhannah Updated Feb 11, 2014

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    I came across this park at the end of my walk. It was a small park with wooden statues.

    The first statue on the left symbolizes fishing.
    There is a local tale that tells of fairies living on Nagykopasz Hill. These Fairies often gazed in awe of the beauty of their surroundings. Sometimes, they would cry, their tears flowing down there faces to become the River Bodrog

    There is another story about mermaids who lived in the River Bodrog. These Mermaids would put fish in the net of any fisherman who failed to catch a fish. Fishing was an important livelihood for the local population over the centuries and today anglers love coming here to fish.

    Another statue symbolizes the coopers trade. There are two types of barrels typical of the Tokaj-Hegyalja region. One is the “gönci” (made in Göncz), a 136 litre oak barrel that was the best for transporting wine because of its small size. The “szerednyei” (made in Szerednye) barrel holds 220 litres and was made from oak. Both barrels used to have wooden hoops, then in the early 19th century, iron hoops were used.
    The wine was exported in barrels to Poland and Russia--the largest markets for the wines--by Greek and Jewish merchants living in the region.

    An interesting display of wooden carvings.

    Lithuanian Memorial Park Wooden carvings Wooden carvings Wooden carvings
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    THE BACCHUS FOUNTAIN

    by balhannah Updated Feb 11, 2014

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    I came across this unusual fountain in the town square. It is the Bacchus fountain that was placed in the square in 1990.

    I wasn't surprised to see it was Bacchus, the Roman god of agriculture and wine, after all, it was in a famous wine town and district. Bacchus plants were vines and twirling ivy, and his followers were goat-footed Satyrs and Maenads, wild women who danced during his festivals.
    It was the way he was portrayed on the statue, rollicking around like he had drunk too much good wine! For sure, quite a different statue of Bacchus!

    Bacchus statue
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    STATUE OF ST. STEPHEN

    by balhannah Written Feb 11, 2014

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    In the town square is a statue of Saint Stephen standing atop quite a high column.
    On the pedestal is a quotation from the national anthem of Hungary.
    As you may guess, the citizens of Tokaj are really proud that their town is mentioned in the nation’s national anthem!
    You may be like me and wonder what on earth is on St. Stephen's head. Well, you will know now, as the statue depicts the moment when an angel places the crown on his head.

    Saint Stephen
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    THE HISTORIC TOWN SQUARE

    by balhannah Updated Feb 11, 2014

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    I actually began my walk through Tokaj from the town square. There are a few things to see here.
    I will start with the two Churches, a Roman Catholic and Protestant church. The Catholic Church I went into and it's described in the next review.
    There were cellar doors built into the stone walls, these looked like they would be quite cool, very inviting on a warm day! In one of the walls is a cannon ball, left there to remind every Hungarian of the happenings here.
    I found a very nice bronze plaque on the town of Tokaj located on one of the buildings. These buildinga are old and looked gorgeous complimented with trees covered in pink blossoms.
    If you think you may get lost, and you probably won't, there is a notice board with a map of the town and other information.

    Tokaj cellar doors Map of Tokaj Tokaj
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    FERENC RAKOCZI II

    by balhannah Written Feb 11, 2014

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    Walking along the long main street of Tokaj, I came across a nice statue of
    Ferenc Rakoczi II sitting astride his horse. Whether this is good or bad, Ferenc is remember for having the Castle torn down that protected Tokaj for centuries. Its history finally came to a close in 1704, when Ferenc laid siege to the castle. He then had it torn down in the same year. His reasons for doing this remain unexplained.

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    THE HEART OF JESUS CHURCH

    by balhannah Updated Feb 10, 2014

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    The Neo-Romanesque Church, The Heart of Jesus, is located in the town square of Tokaj.
    I must say that I was quite surprised to find a fairly newish 20th century Church in such an old town.
    It turns out there were many older Churches here, the first dating back to the 11th century. These were destroyed during Mongol invasion, then during Turkish invasion.
    It seems fire was the devil that kept on destroying this Church, so in 1909, it was decided to build a completely new Church.
    The interior of this Catholic Church was rather modest in comparison of many others I had seen. It still was lovely though!
    The St. Joseph Family Altar Chapel has paintings and carvings, so does The chapel of the Virgin Mary. The choir and two semi-circular pictures above the sanctuary, were done by arts teachers working in Tokaj.

    The Heart of Jesus Church Inside The Heart of Jesus Church Inside The Heart of Jesus Church
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    VINEYARDS, WINE-TASTING - TOURS

    by balhannah Written Feb 9, 2014

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    The Tokaji Wine Region consists of 28 named villages and 7,000 hectares of classified vineyards. It is the origin of Tokaji aszú wine, the world's oldest botrytized wine. It has been produced for 450 years.
    If your like me and don't know what "botrytized" wine is, here is a link
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botrytis_cinerea

    It's the most famous wine of the Tokaj-Hegyalja region, one that Louis XIV famously called the
    "Wine of Kings, King of Wines." Very famous people including heads of states, Russian tsars, Polish kings and the Pope have enjoyed these wines, you can too!
    Wineries in Tokaj are open for wine tasting and they are in close proximity to each other. I saw wine tasting tours advertised, good as your not the driver!

    No leaves on the vines in April!

    Cellar door in Tokaj town square Cellar Door Vineyards around Tokaj
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    Wine tasting

    by cold_dead_bunny Written Feb 3, 2007

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    Many many many little cozy prtivate wine-cellars wait for you there all the year round. In Tokaj is mainly produced white wine, some very sweet and strong. As for wine cellar where I was, unfortunatly dont remmeber its name (but i guess, they are all quite the same inside), on walls was some special grey mold, looked like mushrooms and quite threateningly hanged down from ceiling. In wine tasting was included 5 glasses of different wine, goulash and tasty cheese rolls. Wine really fine, for sale - one bottle cost (depends on kind) 3-10 euros.

    Wine tasting Wine tasting
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    Oremus Pince

    by Djinn76 Updated May 25, 2004

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    This is one of the most well-known wineries of the area. Since our bookguide highly recommended the visit, we decided to drive from Tokaj to Tolcsva, a charming little village (much smaller and maybe more authentic than Tokaj).

    The first issue there was to find the 'pince', the address below is refering to the Oremus property while the winerie is indeed situated at the top of the village...
    On the way, we met an old women who kept explaining in Hungarian which way we should take while we were not understanding a single word ;-)

    Finally after quite some walk, we found the intrance. Our bookguide was mentionning a warm welcome, even in French!!
    What it probably forgot to mention is that a previous arrangement had to be made. We have been welcomed in hungarian-only, the woman however tried to call someone who was probably busy in the vineyards and had no time for us...

    We were quite deceived but at least we made a nice walk through the village. It was quite surprising to see so many cellar intrances (on the picture) in such a small area...

    a cellar intrance...
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    Rákóczi Pince

    by Djinn76 Updated Aug 7, 2003

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    Since the reason that leads you to Tokaj is probably wine related, you have to visit at least one wine-cellar ("pince" in Hungarian)...

    Unless you can speak hungarian, the best one available would probably be the cellar on the main square of the village.

    You'll be welcomed by several beautiful girls speaking perfectly english (looks like they know how to deal with tourists ;-)...
    Too bad that the girl who made the visit knows so little about wine except for the lesson she learned...

    For the price of the visit, you'll taste 6 different wines from Tokaj (including the famous Aszú 6 puttonyos) and see a cellar from the 15th century. Even more, that's in this particular cellar that in 1526, the king Janos Szapolyai has been elected....

    under ground...
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    Needless to say - visit wine cellars

    by mediamind Updated May 26, 2003

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    There are plenty of wine cellars within Tokaj, the city, but even more in the Tokaj-Hegyalja region. (So do not worry if your tour visit a cellar outside Tokaj city - it will be authentic)
    It is worth to visit some more touristic one (like Rakoczi cellar in the Main Square), which is a bit more expensive, but you can get English, German guidance, so you can learn what you drink. While Aszu is the most famous kind, there are many other, which is exclusive to this region, like Forditas or Maslas. So dare to ask, guides like it - that is my experience.
    Also visit some small ones. It won't be that easy to communicate, but it is more likely that you get wine directly from cask and they bottle the wine of your choice in front of you.
    See http://www.tokaj.hu/english/boraszatok/index.php for list of wineries

    Rakoczi Cellar in city centre
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  • Djinn76's Profile Photo

    Charming village

    by Djinn76 Updated May 25, 2004

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    Simply walk through the village to appreciate its charm... Obviously everything is oriented towards wine...
    As an alternative, you can also do some kayaking on the river nearby.

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Tokaj Things to Do

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