the thousand year old village
Shangrila in Hungary

The oldest locality in this area had several names in the Middle Ages: 
1179: Grabensia
in 1181: Gravia
in 1265: Grab
from 1281: the currently used Garáb.

After the ages of the settlement of the Magyars in Hungary the vicinity belonged to the property of the Kökényes-Radnót clan who founded a monastery of the Premonstratensians before 1179 at this area. According to the charters in 1265 the village was owned by the local Premonstratensian monastery named after Saint Hubertus.

In 1436 the local monastic quarters were abandoned and became the property of the Premonstratensian monastery of Ipolyság. In 1446 it was owned by a certain Sámuel Palásti Radó and later in 1447 by the Hungarian governor János Hunyadi who donated it to János Vingárti Geréb. In 1478 the village was part of the lordship of Zagyvafő.

It remains unknown, how the Turkish period and the history of the siege wars taking place in the county played out in Garáb. It is a fact that after the expulsion of the Turks in 1688 the village became the propriety of the Jesuits from Besztercebánya; the Roman Catholic Church in the village built in baroque style was also constructed by them.

Because of the attractive location, natural beauty, clear air and huge forests of the small village situated in the territory of the Natural Protection Area of the Eastern Cserhát, it became a popular holiday resort from the end of the 20th century.


It is one of the most beautiful, highest-situated villages of the Cserhát, which is located in the Natural Protection Area of the Eastern Cserhát, approximately halfway between Pásztó and Szécsény, approximately 75 km from Budapest. The setting loved by tourists lies between forests, streams and old volcanic mountains 375 meters above sea level.

The serene environment paired with clear air attracts many who wish for rest. The route of the National Blue Trail also runs between the neighboring mountains

(Hármashatár hegy 516 m, Nagykő-tető 551 m, Macska-hegy 574 m, Purga-hegy 575 m, and the one with the platform, Tepke 567 m). In 2014 the number of constant inhabitants is 49, more than half of the buildings in the village function as weekend houses.


In 1171 a Premonstratensian monastery was founded in the village. The monastery of Garáb was abandoned in 1436, but some walls were still standing in 1797. The lands of the monastery were later received by the Jesuits, who built the predecessor of the church of today. This was renovated in 1788, then, according to the Historia Domus, was rebuilt in 1804. It was destroyed by fire in1920, then the tower had to be renovated also.

In the past holy places were built in sites with unique energies. Under Garáb, there are the ruins of a thousand year old monastery built of white stones.

During earlier excavations the bases of the walls were found, but they were buried again. There was a church and a monastery in the village as well. It is really difficult to find the ancient ruins, because the local populace knocked down the deserted monastery and built their own houses from the stones.

When drilling down in the earth, at 1-1.5 meters you find charred remains, so the village probably was burnt many times. In the upper part of the villages old graves and bones are often found. During excavations many ceramic parts were found from the Árpád era.

The place has been inhabited since time immemorial. This is proven by the stone ramparts of Kerek-bükk and Macska-hill (“Cat hill”), which were built by the people of the late bronze and early iron age.

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