Diósjenő - Nógrád - Berkenye
If there is any place in the world which it worth to see, Berkenye is the one. The first impression of the visitor arriving to the settlement leaning along the railway is that the inhabitants must love their village very much. The flowerbeds along the streets are in full bloom from spring to autumn, and the houses are clean and in good order. It is like a small bead, where the visitor can take a pleasant walk.
On his way the visitor can often hear German words, since the Eastern-Frank natives of the village were settled here by the Vác archbishopric to cultivate the lands and forests. The diligent people soon set up their surrounding, which is continuously tidied and prettified until our days. They have sustained several difficulties during the centuries. Even the today inhabitants of the village are proud of the culture brought from their faraway land of origin. Their songs and habits are maintained by the tradition preservation group, while the circumstances of their life can be seen in the richly furnished village museum. The inhabitants of Berkenye are practising Catholics. This is verified by their nice church, the station of the renovated calvary, and the series of crosses, which can be found at al times and in all places. Resulting from this later feature it is often mentioned also as the "village of crosses."
The region is the home of growing berries. In order to serve this a cold storage house was also built here. Thus, the one visiting to the settlement can feel free to ask for fruits besides the local special dishes provided by the excellent gastronomic range of the Szent Anna Fogadó (Inn to St. Ann).
The sight enchants the visitor already at the moment of arriving to Diósjenő. The village is leaning against the grandiose range of Börzsöny. The most intact mountain of the country offers wonderful routes for the lovers of rambling. In consideration of the fatigue of the tour the romantic landscape provides abundant compensation and durable experience. Already from the names of the mountains - Csehvár (~Bohemian Castle), Pogányvár (~Pagan Castle), Cigányvár (~Gipsy Castle) and Kámor - one can suppose that during the different centuries also our ancestors were endeavoured by the environment to settle here. Since it has forests providing food, and building material and firewood against cold, its lake offered its fish, and there are areas suitable for agricultural cultivation, too. Several excavated findings prove the presence of the cavemen, while its earth fort is a remembrance of the Bronze Age and the Medieval Ages. Also Hussites settled here and also the Philosopher Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius fought for it, whilst it maintains the arrival of our settling ancestors in its name.
What the present-day village can provide to its guests is also not negligible. Diósjenő is the gate of Börzsöny. The most wonderful paths start out from here into the depth of the mountain. Either fishermen or hunters can find possibilities to entertain their hobby, while the guesthouses and the plage provide pleasant recreation. As regards the built heritage the two churches of the village from the 18th century and the continuously enriching country house presenting the Palóc heritage must be mentioned, but the series of wine cellars reminding us to the once gorgeous viticulture running along the village also offers us a pleasant walk.
Our guests can also find the dusky mood of the legend, since memories kept several stories of robbing knights, fairies, witches and, of course, an immeasurable amount of treasures, which are still awaiting to be discovered.
The sight of the castle being very imposing either in its ruins catches the eye of the visitor already from a distance. Since the fort giving the name of Nógrád County and the settlement is standing on the hill rising above the village. The broken remainder of the ancient gunpowder tower defines the clear silhouette of the castle, what is well recognisable also from afar. Like a huge warning forefinger, it warns us to the obligation of humankind living in our days, namely, to maintain the memory of past.
The visitor can take a pleasant walk among the walls of the castle. The renovated bastion and the ambience of the country flag offers resting place and possibility to visualise the nearby and the faraway sights. It is not only the historical past what makes worth to take the effort and visit the castle. Watching from the top, we can enjoy a wonderful panorama. In the far distance t is the mighty range of the Börzsöny that catches our sight. The first mountain peak above the neighbouring country town, Diósjenõ, is Csehvár, against the Hussite inhabitants of which were the walls of Nógrád enforced once. If our honoured guest arrives herein autumn, he might be enchanted by the mountain range being resplendent with the characteristic auburn "berzseny" colour of what the mountain itself was also named. This is a sight one cannot see enough of.
Walking along the wall of the castle one can see that the village - where Slovak words can often be heard even nowadays - is embracing the castle. If we have luck, we can even have a glance at the red train, which seems to be a toy beneath the castle. If one desires to receive a real experience lasting for a whole life, he cannot miss visiting the game preserve.
There are several items worth to visit in the village. One must not miss to visit one of the most beautiful renovated baroque church of the county and the rich collection of the country house. Once the visitor gets tired during his the walk, he has better get a drink from the Csurgó Spring found at the foot of the castle; the spring is supplied with fresh water by means of a ceramic pipe from faraway lands already from the Turkish ages.