Development of Pécsvárad – Beremend – Nasice Pilgrims’ Way as part of Central European Pilgrims’ Route’s based on the historical values of medieval pilgrimages and organization into a thematic route
The starting point of our pilgrimage is the historic town of Pécsvárad, Hungary, which is located 17 kms from the seat of County Baranya: Pécs. The buildings, churches and houses on the castle hill, nearby vineyards, chestnut groves and tree-covered mountains characterise the scenery, serving as a source of aesthetic and spiritual fulfilment. This little town is a significant settlement in Hungary with a rich history dating back to the reign of the first Hungarian king.
From there, a scenic, gradually ascending forest path leads us to the 682-metre high peak of Mt. Zengő, which is the highest point of the Mecsek Mountains. On the way to Pécs, we visit Püspökszentlászló, a charming little village of historic ambiance that is hidden in a valley at the eastern side of Mount Zengő.
Pécs is the county seat of Baranya, and also the fifth largest city in Hungary. It is one of the oldest cities of the country; the area where it now stands has been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the 2nd century, the Romans founded the city Sopianae, which was an important centre of trade, and a junction of major roads. Through the dissemination of Christianity in the 3rd and 4th centuries, the city appeared to be a centre for the earlier form of the religion. The Early Christian Burial Sites date back to the 4th century; the underground burial chambers have painted walls decorated with rare Christian themes. Due to the universal cultural and historical significance of the site, it was enlisted on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000. The first university of the Kingdom of Hungary was founded in the city of Pécs in 1367, which is still one of the top universities in the country.
Máriagyűd is one of the most famous pilgrimage and indulgence sites with a Marian Shrine in Hungary. The village was a popular place of retreat for travellers within the Roman Empire, who often made a stop to take a rest and drink some water from springs of Mountain Tenkes. Pope Benedict XVI awarded the title ’Basilica minor’ to the church of the village, where the statue of the Holy Mary is found.
A prevalent period in the history of the region is the Ottoman Rule lasting for almost 150 years in the 16th-17th century. It was the Battle of Nagyharsány in 1687 ending in the defeat of the Turkish troops that helped the liberation of the region. Encompassed by ancient karsts of Mount Szársomlyó, Nagyharsány is a real gem within the region in terms of culture, history and natural beauty. Here we can have a taste of the exquisite wines of the area in a traditional Hungarian wine cellar.
Beremend is located close to the Croatian border and the southernmost point of Hungary. A significant site we can visit here is the Chapel of Reconciliation, which was constructed as a symbol of peace by villagers during the Yugoslav Wars.
The Croatian part of the Pilgrims’ Way, the total length of 70 km, start in Baranja. Although in some ways closed, almost isolated, Baranja is a real jewel of tourism in continental Croatia. With its beauty, gastronomic delights, wine and traditions, each year attracts more tourists .
Our walk through Baranja take us through Baranjsko Petrovo Selo and Novi Bezdan. Each of these villages are special in some way and have their own story to tell.
Our route takes us to Slavonia, the river Drava, Belišće and Valpovo. Although almost coalesced together these two cities are very different in appearance. While Belišće is a relatively young town of industrial origin, Valpovo is more tied to seigneury.
The journey continues to Našice. This section of the route is out of the ordinary because it passes through typical Slavonian plain, fields and forests and gentle Slavonian villages.
A special attention is given to Bocanjevci which got the status of an ethno village in 2015. If any village is so different than the other ones, it is certainly Marjanski Ivanovci. This is a beautiful small village with only a few houses, abandoned and almost forgotten.
Traveling further, the road takes us to villages that belong to the town of Našice: Jelisavac , Breznica Našička and Markovac Našički .
Then, finally, we arrive to Našice. This is a town with a long history and a lot of cultural and historical monuments. Thanks to its location on the slopes of mountain Krndija it is surrounded by beautiful nature.
The end point of the Pilgrims’ Way is the chapel of St. Martin located in the suburb called Matin. It was built in the early 13th century by the Crusaders. Today it’s the only completely preserved Templar church in Croatia and will certainly elicit sighs of many pilgrims.
Detailed information on all the sites and their tourist offers, monuments, religious facilities, long history and other useful information can be found in brochures. Which are available for downloading and reading on this web site.