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Magyar Stonehenge, Sculptures on Zalahaláp Mountain!

One of the trilithons in the Awakening Volcano Sculpture Park

A new addition to our list of 100 Large Permanent Replicas (which is soon to be removed to a better url)! In the western end of Hungary, not far from Lake Balaton, is a basalt mining area that includes Zalahaláp Mountain (whose correct name may possibly be Haláp Mountain—Hungarian is not one of our languages). So much stone was removed during the 20th century mining years, which included World War I and World War II, that the former volcano which once rose to 358 meters now measures only 291 meters and is flat on top except for a rock cliff on one side. The mountain experienced some basalt mining during Roman times too.

An educational trail highlighting the history and natural features of the place now takes hikers to the flat space and on up to the highest point. A popular feature of the trail is the Awakening Volcano Sculpture Park, a set of sculptures made from the basalt of the mountain and commemorating the mines and the people who worked in them. And of course we wouldn’t be talking about it if there weren’t a trilithon or two involved!

We first started seeing the trilithons on Instagram a while ago when we did our daily Stonehenge searches, as they are often tagged #Stonehenge, but it took a while for us to learn the story behind them. One of the pleasing aspects of what we do is that every Stonehenge has an interesting story and a creative person or people behind it. In this case the sculptors are Rhea Marmentini and Zoltán Balanyi. The sculpture park and educational trail were just finished in 2019.

What prompted the sculptors to include trilithons among their mountain top sculptures? We would love to know. They certainly seem to create an Instagrammable view with the backdrop of the broad green landscape reaching to other mountains in the far distance. These are known as the Witness Mountains and of them we read in translation:

The most beautiful natural values of the Balaton Uplands are the so-called „tanúhegyek” (Witness Mountains) which were given this name because they are witnesses to the pre-historic times. 

Several million years ago, the mountains didn’t create a chain but stood alone out of the Pannon-sea. 20 million years ago, when the majority of the area of the country was covered by salty water, a significant volcanic activity took place here, due to which the shapes and forms of today were created.

So today we learned about Lake Balaton, also known as the Hungarian Sea, which is the largest lake in Central Europe and about the Witness Mountains as well as basalt mining in Hungary. Here at Clonehenge we love that our pursuits take us to new, interesting, and beautiful places and force us to learn new things about the world. We have many more Stonehenges to add to the blog. Who knows what we’ll learn next!

Thank you for stopping in and until next time, friends, happy henging!



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