Cycling tour to Hercegszántó

Hercegszántó is located about 20 kilometres from Nagybaracska and about 13 kilometres from Dávod, ideal for a day bike ride. The 2 main attractions of the village are the shrine of Máriakert and the neo-baroque Karapancsai Hunting House and Major.

Bicycles can be rented at both the Ponty-Poronty Guesthouse and the Ponty-Lak Guesthouse for a fee.

Shrine of Hercegszántó Máriakert

The history of the Hercegszántó-Máriakert shrine is less well-known among Hungarian believers, but for more than a century and a half, many Sokác Catholics living in the area have been praying regularly. According to the narrative of the Sokác Hercegszántó, there used to be a large meadow on the site of the Chapel of Mary, where sheep and cows were grazed and cattle, and were watered from the water of the Vodice well. The story says that the man grazing the sheep, while the meadow was mowed, went to the well to take some water. As he leaned over the well to lower his pitcher, the water began to wave unexpectedly, then suddenly became bright, and he saw in the well a picture resembling the Virgin Mary and little Jesus. Then the picture suddenly changed and she saw a woman holding a little girl on her lap.


He immediately went back to the others and told them what he had seen. They all hurried to the well, but they saw nothing. The man was ashamed of himself that the others could not see what he was. When things were told at home, some believed, others did not. However, the man did not have a receipt, nor could he sleep at night. The next day he grabbed himself and went to the well once more. Again, he received the picture as the day before. He remembered that the next day would be Assumption Day, and then it occurred to him that he had actually seen St. Anne with little Mary. He saw the same picture a total of three times, as a sign of this, a willow tree was planted in that place.


The well was fenced and a chapel was also built. Pilgrims came here from different places in horse-drawn carriages, praying, singing, and spending the night here, celebrating the Virgin Mary.


There have been several miraculous healings. After an ecclesiastical investigation, in 1838 the then Archbishop of Kalocsa, Péter Klobusiczky (former chief pastor between 1823 and 1843), officially recognized Máriakert as a shrine and personally consecrated the chapel built on the site of the apparition. Next to the chapel, in 1933, thanks to a citizen of Baja, as his blind little son was healed, he had a statue of Mary built.

Hercegszanto kerekpartura

Karapancsa Castle and Major

Not far from Hercegszántó is the Karapancsa Majority, surrounded by the Karapancsa Forest. In the park surrounding the majority can you find the hunting castle built by Archduke Frederick and the small castle of Karapancsa built by Archduke Albert of Habsburg.


The small castle is currently owned by Gemenc Zrt. An exhibition aimed at introducing local history, forestry history and hunting culture was set up in 2005.


The presentation of the Archduke’s family, the formation of the Archduke’s estate, the presentation of forestry, fishing and agricultural activities in the area, the presentation of the nationalities of the area, the exhibitions of game management and hunting memorabilia took place in the eight halls and other related rooms of the established forestry and hunting exhibition.


Highlights of the exhibition include replicas of three world-record antlers killed in the area over the past two centuries, as well as contemporary photographs and trophies of princely hunts. The restored Little Castle of Karapancsai thus provides a worthy environment for the presentation of the archduke’s estate, as well as for the acquaintance with the hunting culture and historical traditions related to big game hunting.

Karapancsai kastely