Kővágószőlős - Cserkút - Jakab-hegy (hill)

Pécs - Excursions around Pécs

Kővágószőlős - Cserkút - Jakab-hegy (hill)

Kővágószőlős - Cserkút - Jakab-hegy (hill)

Kővágószőlős - Cserkút - Jakab-hegy (hill)

Taking road no. 6 from Pécs to Szigetvár takes you on a journey rich in historic monuments and natural attractions. Before leaving Pécs, however, it is worth visiting Patacs, a village annexed to Pécs. The baroque church on Patacs' Fő utca (street) was built in the 13th century. It was reconstructed in 1864 and in 1902. The building is frontal towered, with one nave and a square sanctuary. A little west from the village, a new suburb was established in the early 1990s.
In the 17th century the neighbouring village of Rácváros became the home of orthodox Serbs from the Balkans escaping the Turks. The refugees originally settled in the centre of Pécs, but because of religious reasons stressed by the Jesuits the Serbs were displaced to Rácváros, far to the west of Pécs. The region became famous for its viniculture. Nowadays, however, there is no evidence of the original Serb inhabitants, as they had become assimilated with the local population by the end of the 18th century. To the west of the centre of Rácváros, in a side street, you can see the baroque church, built between 1756 and 1780.
Leaving Rácváros by road no. 6 you will see vineyards and orchards on the hills to the right and fish ponds to the south. The Cserkúti wayside inn is a few kilometres from Pécs and is a frequented lay-by with a bus stop. From here the path indicated by a blue square leads to Cserkút and Kővágószőlős.
Leave road no. 6 at the Kővágószőlős crossing to the north. Kővágószőlős, with its 2,000 inhabitants, is situated at the base of Jakab-hegy (hill). The name of the village reflects the quarry and the vineyards around it. In fact, there are many abandoned quarries around the hillside and the surrounding slopes are covered in vineyards.
The area surrouding Kővágószőlős is an important archeological site from the Roman era. In the second part of the 20th century, a painted, arched Roman crypt was found here. The Kővágószőlős church, built in the 12th century, can be found at the eastern side of the village. The church was extended during the 15th century and rebuilt in baroque style in 1773. The building has a frontal tower, with Romanesque windows at the base and counterforts. The nave has three arcades and the sanctuary is semicircular. The furnishings mainly come from Pécs Cathedral. The high altar and the pulpit are baroque. The Kővágószőlős cemetery is next to the church. Parallel to the expansion of uranium mining activity in the Kővágószőlős area, the population increased rapidly between 1950 and 1970. While uranium mining has now lost its importance, many citizens choose to move to Kővágószőlős due to the fresh air and quiet countryside.
Follow the side road to the south of Kővágószőlős to arrive at the village of Cserkút. The name implies a village founded at a well or spring with oaks growing around it. You can see Cserkút's Romanesque church on the main street. Built during the 13rd century and reconstructed in 1729 and 1826, the church has only one tower, situated at the front of the building, and one nave with a semicircular sanctuary. The church's beautiful and precious frescos are well worth a visit.
To the north of Cserkút lies the 592m high Jakab-hegy (hill), a nature conservation area. To reach Jakab-hegy, follow the blue triangle path up from Cserkút. The steep, two-kilometre long path is worth the climb as there are many places of interest. During the 9th century, the people of the Halstatt culture built a huge earthwork with walls six to eight metres high. On the western part of the earthwork you can see the István lookout tower, which was renovated in 1975. The tower is named after its builder, István Szeifritz.
On the northeastern side of Jakab-hegy you can see the ruins of the Paulite monastery, once guarded by a fortified wall. Bertalan, the bishop of Pécs, founded the monastery for hermits in 1225, naming it Szent Jakab, which is how the hill derives its name. The church was rebuilt in the 18th century and the monastery was still inhabited a century ago but has since fallen into decay. Archaeological exploration has started at the area.
According to legend, the owner of Jakab-hegy castle was a rich landlord who hoarded masses of treasure. When a war broke out, he hid his treasure in the large catacombs under the monastery's church. Two cursed kings are said to guard the treasure: a rooster guarding a bowl of gold and a dragon guarding a bowl of silver. Nobody has ever found the treasure, although many have tried!
On the southern side of the Jakab-hegy plateau you can find Zsongorkő, a belvedere protected with a fence. Zsongorkő also has a saga linked to its name. A young man named Zsongor once lived at the base of the hill. Zsongor was about to be married, but the Turkish pasha kidnapped his fiancée just before the wedding. On a stormy night, Zsongor sneaked up to the pasha's castle and rescued his fiancée. Unfortunately, the guards spotted the pair and chased them to the end of the plateau. When Zsongor realized there was no escape, he spurred his horse off the cliff and into the abyss. Ever since then, people have called the cliff Zsongorkő.
From Zsongorkő you have several walking options: you can either return to the starting point by the same route, or follow the green mark towards Magyarürög, or follow the red triangle and the blue square to reach Kővágószőlős, although these latter routes are much longer than the direct path to Cserkút.


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