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Bedepuszta reloaded: the second life of a dead-end village in Nógrád County

  • Hype&Hyper
It happened that a Dutch businessman fell in love with a dead-end village in Nógrád County – that is how the story of Bedepuszta, the settlement that attracts tourists in a unique way, began. Over the years, Elroy Thümmler has built an idyllic festival centre with a special atmosphere from the dying settlement, where calm reigns in every season.
It happened that a Dutch businessman fell in love with a dead-end village in Nógrád County – that is how the story of Bedepuszta, the settlement that attracts tourists in a unique way, began. Over the years, Elroy Thümmler has built an idyllic festival centre with a special atmosphere from the dying settlement, where calm reigns in every season.

Elroy Thümmler visited Hungary for the first time in 1980, and as it is said, unlike many international visitors, Budapest did not attract him so much, rather Kecskemét - that is how he first came into contact with the Hungarian countryside. He bought his first Hungarian property here, which was visited by a large number of guests from time to time, and here he also cooked goulash soup here for the first time. Later, in 2003, he visited Bedepuszta for the first time, which at that time still mostly resembled a ghost village. Elroy Thümmler got properties here by buying houses to Bedepuszta families in other, more liveable villages. He renovated the buildings in the dead-end village and created a unique authentic environment for rent to tourists, now known as the Village Retreat. Apart from Thümmler, currently two Hungarians live in Bedepuszta: a bee-keeper and a hunter. In the landscape rich in forests and valleys, not a day goes by without a visit by one or two wild animals: roe-deer, deer, fox, but also badgers love to wander around. In addition to the natural features, cultural life is also becoming more and more vibrant in the life of the village.Located just 10 kilometres from Hollókő and an hour's drive from Budapest, the dead-end village transports visitors to a completely different world, whether they are families, team-builders, or just tired Sziget festival goers

A depopulated school building became an event space, a local pub became Yonderbar

The summer kitchen in the complex is suitable for outdoor barbecues, but a pavilion accommodating 140 people can also be rented for larger events. The village environment offers both relaxation and entertainment opportunities: an orchard, clubhouse, swimming pool, wine-cellar and yoga house with a wellness section are also part of the complex. The old school of Bedepuszta has now been reborn as a multifunctional space that provides a venue for yoga classes, film screenings and a restaurant.

 

 

 

One of the village’s most important events is The Great Yonder. We could even call it alternative village days, but this event lasting a couple of days is a consciously structured music festival, the charm of which lies in the family atmosphere, which blends with the environment suitable for a fairy tale. In the case of The Great Yonder, the goal is not to attract huge crowds, but to provide visitors with personal space, in addition to which nature plays an important role – this is the reason for the maximum capacity of 200 people. Here the musicians are not present in their quality in the classical sense, the focus is much more on relaxation for them: they stay in the village for four days with carte blanche, that is, they play music as they want and what they want. As regards genres, the palette ranges between folk and world music, and in addition to Dutch and Italian performers, you can meet Hungarian entertainers such as Palya Bea, Deva or Harcsa Veronika.During these few days, we can also meet various programmes accompanied by melodies, as all morning Tibetan sound bowls and yoga programmes await those who want to relax in the Wellness Garden all morning, while the younger ones can while spend the time in the Fun Folk Fair.

Although Bedepuszta is often famous for its calmness, this does not mean that there is no vibration. Rural romance and nature provide opportunities for programmes such as the Bedepuszta Hiking Days in early autumn, where you can visit the hiking trails in the area as part of an organized tour, or the Well of Senses in May, which includes excursions, musical experiences and various tastings. Although nature sleeps in winter, but the village remains awake: within the framework of the Winter Yonderland programme, you can get to know the winter side of the village with a Finnish sauna, an ice bath or even a New Year's Eve party in the Yonderbar. 

Bedepuszta, with its extravagance and rethinking, sets an example to be followed within the segment of village tourism. Nature, experiences and a bit atmosphere – the small village of Nógrád has great experiences at any time of the year.
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