Members of the UNESCO Global Geoparks regional network, the European Geoparks Network (EGN) commemorate the geological heritage of our old continent every year from the end of May to the beginning of June, to which the transnational Slovak-Hungarian Novohrad-Nógrád Geopark also joins.
The EGN Week program cavalcade of the Novohrad-Nógrád Geopark between May 23 and June 4 promises many interesting experiences. The Bükk National Park Directorate has already published its programs, including the Volcano Day on June 1 held at the Ipolytarnoc Fossils, the link is available here.
As a coincidental prelude, the brave Visegrad Group Geoparks met in the middle of May inside a formidable, former stratovolcano, the Banská Štiavnica Geopark. An online meeting of the transnational UNESCO Global Geoparks will take place on May 24. There are currently 4 such cross-border geoparks on our planet, all of them located on our old continent battered by the storms of history. The forum of these geoparks is very active, even issued a statement against the ongoing war in Ukraine. Their discussion related to the European Geoparks Week is an important element of their cooperation, in which our Geopark has been participating since the beginning.
Our National Shrine is one of the key spiritual partners of the Geopark. In Mátraverebély-Szentkút, on May 26, 2023, starting at 11 a.m., Franciscan monks will give an introduction to the shrine and its surroundings, including the geological past, which some ways also contributed to the spiritual radiance of the area.
Hermitages carved into 15 Million-year-old shallow sea sediments (kalkarenite), special geological formations and fresh water springs, the educational trail that explains the natural assets in a chain, connected with the Franciscan values, can give a special experience to get to know the unique environment of the shrine.
On May 28, 2023, starting at 11 a.m., a special children's day guided tour will start from the Headquarters of the Geopark, from the Eresztvény Visitor Center on the Eresztvény Quarries Educational Trail.
The Ancient Village of Hollókő is part of the World Heritage, no wonder, it lies in the heart of the Geopark. As a partner of our Geopark, the Site is a true caretaker of our Palóc heritage, It is preparing several programs for the Geopark Week's Pentecost whirlwind. On May 28, Pentecost Sunday, it will be worthwhile to walk the streets of the village, in connection with a colorful folk costume program, not just any sight can make women's and men's hearts beat faster, just look at the picture below.
And on May 29, Castle Games will be held to capture the Hollókő Castle towering over the Ancient Village. It is worth taking part in it, the Hungarians have had little experience of success recently. But caution is important, and not just because of the gunpowder air. The Castle Hill is an andesite dike, a root zone of an extinct volcano! (Its nature trail was created by the Bükk National Park Directorate.)
On the Slovak side, a large-scale study competition on the values of the geopark will be launched on May 29 for upper elementary school students followed by on May 31 with the participation of lower elementary school students.
On June 1, the Volcano Day is celebrated in connection with the supervolcanic eruption that conserved Ipolytarnóc 17 million years ago. Various volcanic activity shaped the area of the geopark in the last 20 million years, it is no wonder that the geopark joined the European Geoparks Network's volcano day commemoration.
And on June 3, one can take part on guided tours visiting several geosites. One of the field trips will be exceptional with the professional guidance of Péter Prakfalvi, the chief geologist on the Hungarian side of the geopark. This comprehensive geological tour of the area will be organized by GeoluTours on the route Kishartyán (Kőlyuk side) - Sámsonháza (Castle-hill quarry, viewing point) and Mátraverebély-Szentkút .
But the celebration of the EGN Week is not limited only to the territory of the Geopark. By special request of the organizers, on Pentecost Sunday, May 28 our Geopark with the Ipolytarnoc Fossils will appear as part of the Margaret Island (Budapest) Dino festival's family program before the Jurrasic Park movie-music-concert. See, our geopark really knows no boundaries!