Tokaj and surroundings


"Tokaj: Our Cherished Value in Europe!"

The town is the most famous place in the historical Tokaj wine region. It is located at the confluence of Tisza and Bodrog Rivers, at the foot of a volcanic cone (the Bald Mountain) rising from the plains.

Tokaj is one of the prettiest small towns in North-Eastern Hungary. The town looks back on a rich and colourful history. Its touristic attraction and romantic atmosphere is the result of the old houses, telling about past history, the age-old wine cellars, the rivers meeting at the middle of the town, the slender bridges.

The town itself is long and narrow stripe along Bodrog and Tisza Rivers. In the middle, the town, like a tightly tied knot, narrows to but a few rows of houses between the mountain and the rivers.

The town has two faces. North of the confluence of the Tisza and the Bodrog it is characteristically urban. We find old, romantic streets covered with cobble stones, houses stuck to the mountain sides, whereas south of the confluence we find a more rural environment, with houses surrounded by spacious gardens. Most of the visitors believe that Tokaj has a special, southern atmosphere. One of our philosophers once said: "Tokaj is the northernmost Mediterranean town in Europe". Tokaj's slogan calls for the preservation of all this: "Our cherished value in Europe!"

Tokaj's history is inseparable from the nation's history. The first written record memntioning the town's name is dated from 1067. Tokaj's fortress was probably ereted in the 12th century. It guarded one of the most important ferries in north-eastern Hungary, the Tokaj Ferry, for hundreds of years. The fortress, unfortunately, has not survived the storms of history.

Although the fortress played an important role in the town's history, Tokaj's fame has been the result of its world-famous product, the aszú wine. One of the most famous people appreciating the merits of Tokaj Aszú was Louis XIV of France, to whom the sentence "the wine of kings and the king of wines" is ascribed.

In 1646, the town and its vicinity were donated by the king to the Rákóczi family. When the War of Independence led by Francis Rákóczi II was lost (1711), the king confiscated the domain (1715). After the war the town was the property of the chambers.
The king granted Tokaj various privileges. Hence the proud title: "The Privileged Town of Tisza-Tokaj."

There are many buildings of historic interest found in the town. The museum, originally the house of a Greek merchant, with its rich collection is located in the main square. The collections show the history of Tokaj, the wine region and the history of the local church.

Tokaj, and its whole region, admitted by UNESCO to the World Heritage, offers a wide variety of sights and memorable experiences to the visitors of this historical wine growing region. Tokaj is the International Town of Grape and Wine.