The first Geopark of Hungary and Slovakia -which is the first geopark that spread over borders- means a major international success for the region, while this title is very difficult to get.
The idea of a common geopark which is able to introduce and manage geological exhibition places, other natural and built heritages those lay near to the boundry, first popped up in the professionals of the Bükk National Park and the Slovakian Cerova Vrchovina in the late ‘90s. In 2001, experts of both countries compiled a thematic geological path with help of the resources of the European Union, then in 2005 the Hungarian preparations for planning the Geopark of Nógrád started. As a continuation of this, in the beginnig of 2008 the Hungarian Geological Society checking up with Slovakian partner organizations completed the detailed inventory of values of the future geopark.
Due to several years’ organized and co-ordinated professional work, the Novohrad- Nógrád Geopark -with one of its central scenes in Ipolytarnóc- became a member of the European Geopark Network on 27. March 2010. Then during the 4th Global Geopark Conference on 14. April 2010 in Malaysia, Hungarian and Slovakian experts received a document stating the membership of the Global Geopark Network as a sign of international acknowledgement.
The first Geopark of Hungary and Slovakia -which is the first geopark that spread over borders- means a major international success for the region, while this title is very difficult to get. It is connected to fulfilling of requirements in the fields of value-protection, preservation of traditions and regional development and almost one hundred candidates are still waiting for admission into the world-wide network of geoparks.
The frontier regional co-operation affects 5 microregions and 65 settlements on the Hungarian side, moreover 3 micro- regions and 30 settlements on the Slovakian side of the border. In the logo of the Novohrad- Nógrád Geopark you can see the castle of Somoskô. The country border of Trianon runs at the foot of the castle, which sometimes divides these two nations even today. In the picture it is symbolized by the brake of the semicircular labelling at the tip of the castle-tower. But the castle is a common strength being feed on the past, standing on a basalt cliff. Under it the stylized picture of the bent basalt columns can be seen, which are internationally famous and can be found at more sites in the neigbourhood.
Values of the Geopark
Wandering in the Geopark you can study the events of 200 million years: beginning from the clods of the Triassic through the 24 million-year-old neritic settlements you can get to the youngest formations of stone. Simultaneously, this is the land of extinct volcanos. In a comperatively small territory wide-raging proofs of the volcanic activity are hidden in the silent rocks which is one of the internationally noted speciality of this area.
Traces of destroying floods of riolitic pumice stone and underwater or overland andesitic composite volcanos can be found. You can discover a several kilometres long dike- network, but you can visit here one of the biggest basalt plateaus in Europe and a scenic sight which is the bent, regular bundles of rock columns that got formed during cooling of andesite and basalt rocks. All of them took form in the last 20 million years and they hide the memories of the creation of the Pannonian basin and the spectacular and various volcanic activity of the following ages.
Since the appearance of the human species geological shapes powerfully influenced the civilization that was being born in their surroundings. These got more and more entwined with each other in the course of time, since men more and more used and shaped their environment. The various geological construction resulted in an accentuated surface. Due to this inhabitants of small villages, nestling in hidden valleys, isolatedly created their unique, highwrought wear and they have been respectful for traditions for centuries. So it is not surprising that Hollókô which lays within the borders of Nógrád –Novoghrad Geopark was the first place in Hungary which was recognized as a part of the World Heritage in 1987. The border fortress system which was built onto the volcanic conduits in the middle-age is the main characteristic of the landscape, but cave-dwellings and churches hollowed out in the sedimental rock or the memories of mining are interesting examples of the coexistence of humans with environment.
Thus, beside Ipolytarnóc several significant geological objects, nature conservation areas and built heritages can be found within the geopark on both sides of the country borders. The area can be proud of its rich and valuable livingworld, which is proved by the fact that a part of river Ipoly, which is the borderline between the two country, is a NATURA 2000 area which means a European protection.