What you must see
Somló is full of special architectural and natural attractions. Here are some of them. In our Somló tour map (available free of charge in the winery), you will also find how to get to these and what routes you should follow.
A wooden structure modeled on treadmills. In the huge wheel, 3 m in diameter, with a treading motion, like in the squirrel wheel, it was possible to bring water from the 100 m deep well to the surface. Special architectural and technical monument.
St. Margaret's Chapel
The largest chapel on the hill, built by the nuns of Vásárhely during the reign of King Matthias. It was destroyed during the Turkish occupation, then rebuilt and became a famous pilgrimage site. Behind it stands a smaller chapel erected in honor of St. John the Baptist, and next to it is a statue of Donatus, the saint of the vine-growers who keeps away hail and thunder. Next to the chapel is a 300-year-old protected linden tree that was hit by lightning, but lives on in its shoots.
It is a special natural formation, a grassy area surrounded by huge, converging basalt columns that is only open to the sky. It really is as if we are in a good-sized room, and the smoke from the fire lit here escapes in the same way as in an old kitchen. And even a window opens onto the southern slope of the hill, with the obligatory panorama of Somló.
St. Martin's Chapel
It was built in the 13th century by the nuns of Vásárhely, originally it was probably the chapel of the castle. The simple wooden tower, from which which gives it a fairytale-like atmosphere, was added later. It is located among vineyards in an idyllic location where it is good to relax a bit. Next to it is the building of St. Martin's Spring, where water could be taken in the old days, now you can do it from a small pool surrounded by stone.
Erdődy Castle (Doba)
As we enter the gate of the park, we find ourselves right in the middle of a painting. Huge plane trees, glittering lake, with Somló in the background, a dazzling white castle on the hilltop. It was built in 1839 by Count Károly Erdődy, Archbishop of Várad. Today it functions as a rehabilitation institute, but the huge castle park (a rarity throughout Europe), is planted with special trees. A magical experience.
Zichy Castle (Somlószőlős)
Already in the 15th century a manor house stood here, the romantic style castle was built in its place in 1850. It is reminiscent of a Gothic English knight's castle, not by chance: its builder, Count Zichy-Ferraris Manó, loved his Scottish wife, who left him, all his life, and after her death he built the castle in her memory. After the 2nd World War the building had many functions: it was a council office, kindergarten and granary. It is privately owned today, but its renovation has been interrupted. Construction site, only visible from the street, but still a fantastic sight.
A marble plaque proudly indicates: Séd spring, decorated in 1887. Then the less demanding posterity announces with an inscription scratched in the concrete: 1981. VIII. 1. What could have been their intention with this? But we don’t even care about it because the place is beautiful and cozy, and sitting on a small bench we can also enjoy the view to the west. The three springs of Somló (the other two are the Márton spring on the eastern side and the Vásárhelyi well in the south) have been the most important water supply for wine growers for centuries, and fortunately they are also highly valued by the people of today. At that time, the head of the spring was built with the cooperation of the locals, as was the new outlet a few years ago.
Chapel of St. Ilona
The predecessor of the chapel, the Church of the Holy Cross, is already mentioned in a 1399 charter. It could have been built by the Pauline Order of Tüskevár (at that time Nagyjenő) and presumably perished during the Turkish occupation. But its memory remained and was rebuilt in the 19th century out of public donation. Recently it has been beautifully renovated. Here, stunning simplicity and gold dominate, next to the chapel with a brilliant golden roof stands a stone cross with a crucified Jesus painted in gold. If we look downwards, a wide-screen panorama unfolds, and if we look up, behind the chapel, we can admire the beautiful vineyard terraces.
If you want to admire the wonderful landscape of Somló, click for the photo galleries: spring, summer, autumn and winter on Somló hill.