Information about the Őrségi National Park

The National Park of Őrség consists of Venvidék, the nearby regions of River Rába (also known as Inner-Őrség), and the areas of Szentgyörgyvölgy.

Trails in the National Park of Őrség

Geological paths of Ság-hegy

These paths run across the 5million years old Ság hills, allowing one to see its natural and geological values. During this trip, one can learn the hirtory of

The Őrség

The region called Őrség is a hill-country of peculiar beauty and interest, divided by several rivers and streams. Its narrow valleys surrounded by ranges of gravel hills are difficult to pass. In this landscape several villages consisting of typically scattered groups of houses still conserve the traditional form of settlements that developed soon after the Hungarian conquest (i.e. probably during the 10-11. century).

The Őrség region has a wet subalpine climate with an annual precipitation of 700-950 mm. Stagnant waters are common here; they are utilized for irrigating as well as for domestic animals.

The characteristic forest associations of this region include pure calciphobous Scotch fir (Pinus silvestris) and beech (Fragus silvatica) woods. Juniper (Juniperus sp.), pubescent birch (Betula pubescens), Lycopodinae, all the species of Pyrolaceae occurring in Hungary, Blackberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and Red Worthleberry (V. vitis-idaea) represent typical elements of the flora. Peat moss (Shpagnum) bogs are the relics of the flora prevailing in the cool climate of the post-glacial period. The most beautiful of the above bogs is referred to as Fekete-tó ("Black Lake"). The insectivorous Drosera rotundifolia is a characteristic plant of the moorland. The Wendic region is of great diversity owing to its landscapes with several species of subalpine and alpestrine flora. Typical plants of beech stands and of woods with horbeam (Carpinus betulus) and oak include Cyclamen and Erythronium, the latter species growing in large numbers at some places. On the swampy meadows there are yellow day lilies, globe-flowers, siberian irises and sneezewort blooming. In autumn several meadows are embellished by Gentian.

The Őrség region is a habitat for a fauna of great diversity. As to characteristic mammal species occurring here, beech-martens (Martes foina), pine-martens (M. martes), ermines (Mustela erminea) and otters (lutra lutra) should be mentioned. Several rare bird species breed here: black storks (Ciconia nigra), honey buzzards (Pernis apivorus), corncrakes (Crex crex), stock doves (Columba oenas), coal titmice (Parus ater), firecrests (Regulus ignicapillus). The Őrség region features the richest butterfly fauna of Hungary. The number of big butterfly species (Macrolepidopterae) amounts to approximately 1 500, many of them being rare species. There are also several enternationally protected dragonfly species (Libellula sp.) occuring here.

This landscape abounds in relics of vernacular architecture and cultural history as well. The most common type of living houses characteristic for the Őrség, the so-called "encircled" house can be seen at an original site, in its original environment in the rural museum of Szalafő (Pityerszer). The Wendic region is characterised by settlements with sporadic structure. Wooden belfries built as substitutes for church spires are also characteristic elements of vernacular architecture. The most beautiful one (originating from the year 1755) is to be seen in Pankasz. The peculiar wooden headboards on the tombs of the Calvinist cemeteries likewise deserve mentioning. Throughout history stone castles were not characteristic of the Őrség region. Fortified churches were built instead. Some of these are still to be seen here. As to handicrafts, pottery was the most significant.

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