One of the most interesting attractions of Fertőrákos is the open-air museum of a former stone quarry. It is part of the Fertő Region World Heritage and gives us a chance to discover the wonders of both the natural and the man-made environment. This area was once covered by sea (the Pannonian Sea) the existence of which is witnessed by the fossils on the walls of the quarry. The Romans exploited the 10-12 million-year-old Lajta limestone to build the walls of Sopron, which they called Scarbantia. This stone was a popular building material in the past few centuries because it was easy to carve. Quarrying the stone created vast empty spaces. The remaining unusable layers cover the halls like enormous ceilings. The interior of the halls remind us of ancient Egyptian rock temples. Their excellent acoustics create an ideal venue and a unique atmosphere for the concerts held in the Cave Theatre every summer. The lookout point of the quarry offers an unforgettable view of the huge area of Lake Fertő.
The Rock Buckthorn Educational Path presents the values of fauna and flora and leads us to the so called Pan-European Monument. The metal sculpture, representing a piece of the 'iron curtain', recalls the memory of the border opening on 19 August, 1989. The open-air museum invites us to an exciting time travel.
The Mithras Sanctuary near the Austrian–Hungarian border was discovered in 1866, but it perished almost completely after World War I. However, the verifying excavation and the careful reconstruction work carried out in the1990s brought this strange mystery religion closer to us. In the Provinces of the vast Roman Empire, the only career for men was to join the Legion. After 20-25 years of military service they obtained Roman citizenship and land. Naturally, they also brought their culture and religion with them from their distant homeland. The Persian soldiers stationed in the nearby Carnuntum erected a chapel in the 3rd century for Mithras, the invincible God of Sun, the symbol of light and life. Mithras killed the bull, the symbol of darkness and evil in the cave. The main cultic picture opposite the entrance of the cave-like sanctuary shows this moment. The raised benches along the longer sides of the chapel were built for esoteric participants, while the ritual itself was held in the middle.
Fertőrákos Quarry and Cave Theatre (Fertőrákosi Kőfejtő és Barlangszínház)
9421 Fertőrákos, Fő u. 1.
Phone: (+36 99) 355 026
Information on guided tours: www.ferto-hansag.hu
Mithras sanctuary (Mithrász szentély)
Fertőrákos, Austrian-Hungarian border
Phone: (+36 20) 355 99 99
Open: upon appointment
Web: www.fertorakos.hu; www.fertorakosikirandulas.hu
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