A visit to ‘The Church of Smiling Saints’
This quaint little holy place can be found in the county of Szabolcs‑Szatmár‑Bereg on a small hill, on a bend of the Csaronda creek. Visitors with good eyes will be able to identify the church from a distance, due to the distinctive, sharp spire of its wood-shingled tower. The tower never had a bell; instead, a wooden belfry was carved next to it in the 18th century. In summer and autumn, the picturesque landscape is more than enough to impress visitors, but the inside of the always-open church gives a truly exceptional impression. It consists of two sections: the rectangular nave and the square-shaped sanctuary. There’s a reason the building is called The Church of Smiling Saints: certain parts of it are decorated with frescoes depicting the Apostles, created in the late 1300s. The building also stands as a testament to the colours and forms of later eras: for example, the slope of the eastern window contains a number of frescoes from King Sigismund’s reign, while other sections still display floral motifs painted in the mid-16th century after the church was consecrated as a Reformed Church. The building’s painted wooden ceiling is from 1777 and the folk Baroque-style wooden pulpit, the galleries and the benches are also from around that period.
The village is in the very heart of the Szatmár‑Bereg Landscape Protection Region, and the church is far from the only thing worth seeing: as long as you’re here, why not take a quick stroll along the shores of Báb Lake, with permission from the Szatmár-Bereg Landscape Protection Region? Who knows, you might even spot an endangered animal or two. This is not at all impossible, as the waters of the Csaroda region are home to the spined loach, the weatherfish and the stone loach. If you’re after a bit of quiet contemplation and looking for a place where you can find your inner peace, look no further.