Take a Walk in Miskolc’s Forbidden Forest

There are many stereotypes about Miskolc and some negative prejudice that the city has actually come through long ago. It’s no longer the smoggy industrial city that most people still imagine – incorrectly – when they hear its name. And we would like to change this perception – partly with your help. We could talk about how far Miskolc – the only place in Hungary – has come compared to the European average in using renewable energy or how Miskolc is Hungary’s first model city in the Green City movement.

It’s time to finally make everyone aware of a few well-known and stunning places for excursions: Miskolc-Lillafüred with Lake Hámori, with its unique Cave Baths, the Miskolc-Diósgyőr Castle and Hungary`s largest university campus all belong to Miskolc, though just some of those not living here consider them.

And there is also the historical Avas Hill, a part of the city of Miskolc with great traditions and an atmosphere that can be compared to nowhere else in the world. An organic part of the city center, the former entertainment district of the Avas “Wine City” – which has nearly one thousand cellars – is finally coming back to life after a long period of near death. Its top restaurants and several dozen open private cellars once again make its small winding streets attractive to visitors.

Historical Avas (the word avas originally meant forbidden forest) – deservedly aspiring to the title of UNESCO Cultural Heritage – preserves the traces of its totally unique way of life. After finishing work the townspeople of Miskolc used to walk through the passageway courtyard houses of the main street to the nearby hill, to their cellars and wine houses. (This is something like imagining Gellért Hill – with countless wine cellars – in Budapest moved to the side of the main shopping street Váci utca…)

They put out their tables, sipped wine and chatted away. They conjured up harmony and culture around themselves. The draw of the place and hospitable friends were irresistible to great Hungarian writers like Ferenc Kazinczy, János Arany, Pál Gyulai, Mihály Tompa, József Lévay, Mór Jókai, Ferenc Móra, Zsigmond Móricz, Gyula Krúdy, Lőrinc Szabó and Gyula Illyés.

Nowadays the top event of the Avas Wine City is the Avas Wine Wandering (Avasi BORangolás), a unique Dionysian celebration of wine and music.