The village surrounded by the Szársomlyó is a true gem, considering its location, history, cultural life and natural values as well.
The International Statue Park, located in an abandoned quarry, is also in the municipality, with several hundred statues made by Hungarian and foreign artists exhibited in the open. The village and the statue park are both central venues of the popular Ördögkatlan (Devil's Cauldron) Festival.
In case visitors are interested in folk architecture, the street of cellars has numerous press houses and cellars under local protection.
The Szársomlyó Nature Protection Area is the only territory in Hungary where the Hungarian Colchicum, a specially protected plant can be found.
The battle in 1687 that effectively ended the Ottoman Turk occupation took place in the vicinity of the village. On 12 August the imperial army lead by Charles V of Lorraine (with 60,000 troops) achieved a major victory over the Ottoman Turk army led by Sarı Süleyman Pasha (with 80,000 troops). This battle ended the 150-year Ottoman Turk rule in Hungary. Some sources state that the village is named after the joyous fanfares of the victory (because of the similar words used in Hungarian), but another explanation is more likely which states that it is named after the linden trees ("hársfa" in Hungarian) formerly covering the mountain range.
Bicycle tours around Nagyharsány:
The Calvinist church of the village is a protected monument which originates in the 13th century, and the Romanesque style church was extended in the eastern direction with a Gothic sanctuary in the 15th century. The nave of the building was reconstructed in Baroque style in 1782 and the tower was erected in 1900. Its original Romanesque gate and the three porthole windows on the southern side were found during the reconstruction in 1978.
The sanctuary vault is covered by multiple layers of a fresco, with the first layer from the second half of the 16th century and the second layer from the 17th century.
Bust of Mihály Sztárai
The statue of Calvinist missionary Mihály Sztárai (sculptor: Gyula Nyírő) is located in front of the church. The preacher spread the teachings of the Calvinist Reformation in the region around 1560.
Erected in the memory of the victory over the Turks on 12 August 1687.
The quarry pit, full of non-figurative statues, is quite a spectacle. In 1967, in the derelict quarry of Szársomlyó Hill, work was begun by sculptors whose experimentalism did not suit the style accepted at that time for sculptures displayed in public places.
The initiative of the young artists gained the support of the then local and county leaders; Gyimóthy Villa, situated close to the quarry, was renovated and made available to the artists, and in 1968, following western patterns, the Baranya Artists' Communities was officially established.
The greater part of the sculptures is made of the local grey limestone extracted in Nagyharsány and Beremend. The Szársomlyó quarry is a unique cultural place of interest on the tourism map of Baranya and the whole of Hungary.
Ördögkatlan (Devil's Cauldron) Festival
The Ördögkatlan Festival is a major event in the municipality, co-organised with Kisharsány, Palkonya and Beremend. Since its start in 2008 it has become one of the most popular such events in the country.
The plaque of Mihály Táncsics
In 1848 the village intended to elect Mihály Táncsics as its representative. However, the penniless Táncsics had no chance of achieving this. Then Dániel Tarnóczy, the chief judge of Nagyharsány presented half of his estates to Táncsics for free, thus making it possible to elect Táncsics.
Nagyharsány Local History Collection
The exhibition is located at the elementary school and offers several interesting artefacts from the history of Nagyharsány. The exhibition is open upon prior registration.
The press house and cellar located at 222 Kolónia Street are nice examples of folk architecture.
Szársomlyó Nature Protection Area
With its height of 442 metres, the Szársomlyó is the highest block of the Villány Mountains. Its name is derived from an ancient Hungarian word ("szár") which meant "bald". Due to its rocky surface, locals also called it the "Devil-ploughed mountain". The southern frontal area of the mountain has been inhabited for 3000 years, the Romans built a town here, and from the 1200's a castle was constructed on the peak, which was destroyed during the Ottoman Turk occupation period, only remains of the castle walls can be seen today. Intensive limestone mining was performed on the mountain from 1910, and the older, eastern quarry was transferred to sculptors from 1967, their artist colony is still operating there. From 1936 to 1944 bauxite was also mined here, nowadays only the quarry on the western side functions. The micro-climatic conditions are very different on the southern and the northern sides of the area. Around noon, a difference of 10-20 ºC is also possible between the two sides. Zoological and botanical rarities occur on the southern area which has a sub-Mediterranean climate. On the mountain, 75 protected plant species were found and 4 of those are present exclusively here in Hungary. The gemstone of the nature protection area, the Hungarian Colchicum only exists here in the territory of Hungary and it is a specially protected plant. The size of the nature protection area is 224.3 hectares. The mountain is an area of special natural protection, and it can only visited during tours organised and guided by the staff of the Duna-Dráva National Park.
Half of the area of the Villány Mountains is covered by plants in their natural state. Visitor can primarily see the original plants on steeper slopes. Due to the moderate climate of the mountains, it elevates from the surrounding landscape as a protected island. Many plant species survived the latests Ice Age glaciation. Such species include the Hungarian Colchicum, the most popular plant of the Szársomlyó, which has the northern end of its spread location here and is not found anywhere else in the country. The Hungarian Colchicum is one of the earliest blooming flowers in the country, often blooming in January already, since limestone warms up quickly. It is up to 20 cm high, has six petals and flowers in the colour of white or pale pink. It is the emblematic plant of the Villány Wine Region. It is the first officially protected plant in Hungary, with protection adopted in 1944. Its theoretical value is 100 thousand forints.
Ördögszántás (Devil's Plough)
The limestone surface of the Szársomlyó that lacks covering plants (the limestone pavement) is called "Devil's Plough" by the locals. According to the legend of its origins, a widow lived in Nagyharsány once who had a daughter named Harka (Harkány). The Devil wanted the girl for himself and asked the widow's blessing to marry the girl. However the widow was not willing to give her daughter to the Devil and she wanted to stipulate a condition that could not be met. The Devil had to plough the whole mountain in one night, before the rooster crows. So the Devil started ploughing when the bells tolled in the evening with the help of six pairs of black cats. During the night, the widow saw that the Devil was almost ready ploughing the area and she was very frightened to lose her daughter, so she started crowing like a rooster herself. This woke the rooster who also started to crow. The Devil became angry, threw away the plough (thus creating the Beremend Mountain), shook the dirt from his boots (thus creating the Göntér and Siklós Mountains) and hid under the ground. Where he hid under the ground, there is currently a sulphur spring which is named Harkány, after the girl. The ploughed mountain remained there, with marks of the cats' claws in the rocks.
The Villány Mountains are covered by a thin layer of soil or they lack any sediment at all. The water and the carbonic acid leaking through the soil cause the limestone to easily dissolve, thus the area is rich in karst landforms, primarily limestone pavements. Limestone pavements are sharp indentations, ribs, grooves small than 10 m, created during the dissolution typical for limestone. Several limestone pavement types are found in the area of the Villány Mountains, especially on the southern slopes of the Szársomlyó.
Nagyharsány Crystal Cave
The cave under special protection since 2001 is 600 metres long and it was "discovered" at the area of the Nagyharsány quarry, during mining activities. The interior of the cave was shaped by the hot water springs welling up from the deep. Due to the geological, mineralogical values it is protected. In order to protect the unique, special formations (stalactites, pea stones, aragonite pins) it may only be visited with a permit, accompanied by a professional guide.
Schmieder – Saád vendégház Address: 7822 Nagyharsány, Petőfi u. 50. Tel.: +36 30 2889 821 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Weisz Pincészet és Vendégház Address: Villány, Remete dűlő Tel.: +36 72 492 275 Tel.: +36 30 4151 480 E-mail: email@example.com
Ősi Vendégház Address: 7822 Nagyharsány, Ságvári u. 34.
Jakab Norbertné Address: 7822 Nagyharsány, Kossuth L. u. 33.
Kovács István Address: 7822 Nagyharsány, Kossuth L. u. 80.
Gyöngy Söröző Address: 7822 Nagyharsány, Kossuth utca 70.
The village has long been a highly populated area: human settlements in the area were identified from the Copper Age and the Iron Age as well. Several artefacts have been found from Roman times: clay jars, stamped bricks, bricks from burial sites and roof tiles.
A Roman villa and a bath from the 2nd-4th centuries were discovered by archaeologists east of the village, near the highway to Villány. An Avar burial size of 86 graves was discovered in the area, from the Migration Period.
As a donation from king Béla IV of Hungary in 1249, a castle was built on the nearby Szársomlyó Hill, by Count Miklós of Dubicha, some wall ruins of which can still be found. In this period official records referred to the village as "Harsan". Its name - in a manner similar to Kisharsány - is from the diminutive form of the Hungarian word for linden (tree) ("hársfa").
Its church was consecrated in honour of St. Barbara in the 13th century, and it is also mentioned in the papal tithe records in 1333. It was not entirely abandoned during the Ottoman Turk period, but its population converted to the Reformed faith and they used the church as well.
The battle of the Holy League and the Ottoman Turk forces took place near Nagyharsány in 1687, which ended with the liberation of Hungary and ended the 150-year long Turk occupation. After the expulsion of the Turks, it was the most populated village in the area.
From the mid-19th century, German and Slavic populations settled in, albeit Hungarians still form a majority.