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" Ha nem teheted azt, hogy külföldi országokat, szép helységeket és városokat láss és ismerj, legalább igyekezz hazádnak azon keskeny körét, melyben születtél, vagy ahol lakol - bármilyen is az - megismerni és ismertetni."
(Jánosfalvi Sándor István)
News / Newness
The web-site of Rika microregion was created, where everybody who's interested can take a look at the beautys of the region.




This is the settlement situated at the eastern part of the micro-region, the second most populated communality of the former Udvarhelyszek (Odorhei zone). The village is situated in the valley of Homorodu Mic flowing southwards from the Harghita Mountain, surrounded at east and west by pine-grove covered mountains. Count Teleki József in year 1799 wrote about Meresti: „very beautiful and big Unitarian village, situated between the rivers of Varghis and Homorod”.
Meresti is on the boundary zone of the high hills and mountains, from the South-Harghita Mountain high plateau to the Transylvanian basin’s typical hilly country, at 22 km length and 5-8 km width, in northeast-southwest direction. The surface is 11250 hectares, contains 3600 ha forests, 3250 ha pasture, 2800 ha reaping land and only 800 ha plough-land.

Homoródalmási Dávid Ferenc Általános iskola

The earliest written memorials about the village survived in the pope’s note from 1333-1334. About the village having even today an important forest-wealth Jánosfalvi Sándor István has noticed: „This village earlier was hidden in deep forests, it would be better to name it as Acorn village or Wild-apple village than the gentle Almás (Meresti, meaning Apple village).”
The settlement formed by the union of seven small villages – Almás, Kakod, Benesfalva, Varjas, Benczőfalva, Czikefalva, Ipacs - named as Homorodalmás was mentioned first in year 1609 in a privilege-letter, The beauty of the landscape, the traditional architectural and folk-art of the village, the hospitable population, the quotidian life of the local farmers, the sight of farm-wagons, the lifestyle of the wanderer-shepards, the usage of old, now rediscovered tools offers lasting pleasures for the urban and foreigner tourists. The rural tourism has traditions in Meresti. In 1941 was published the book titled "The book of traveler" which recommends between the villages suitable for summer holidays the communality situated at 780 km distance from Budapest, with 2900 inhabitants. Here are possibilities for pension-like accommodation (quarter and meal) at private persons, in form of paid hosting for 4-6 pengo per day. The price for a room is 1-1,5 pengo per day. If necessary, it is possible to eat in restaurant or to have collective meal."

Almási barlang és környéke

As celebrities we can mention also the still existing traditional Szekler national costume, the amateur calcinateur kettles, the ruins of churches built in the old times or recently, and the beautiful sites suitable for trips which attract the tourist, especially coming from Hungary. In the economic life of the village had an important role beside the agriculture and animal husbandry, the calcinations of limestone. The most famous lime-burners of Odorhei zone were always from Meresti, they took the burned lime to other regions, near Niraj, Mures, Tarnava, where they changed it with cereals. The calcinations of limestone and the sale of burned lime was an important source of income for almost every people from the village, beginning from the 17th century to the middle of the last century when collectivization began. The sale of burned lime in distant regions beside its economic benefit had an important social role: made possible relations with economic, ethnical, cultural exchange. Once in the village functioned ten calcinateurs – kettles. Today in the limestone quarry established in 1952, then closed after the revolution from 1989, but reopened a few years ago, there are functioning periodically two calcinateurs. Besides this had in important role the timber felling, the preparation of cheese and cottage cheese. The cottage cheese from Meresti once was in demand on the markets of the near cities - Odorhei, Miercurea Ciuc, Brasov.

Homoródalmási látkép

The animal husbandry established a very special lifestyle on the forest meadow, far from the village. Because the preparation of hay and straw was a long seasonal work, people had to make their own camp. The long distances and the hard roads induced some of them to build on their meadow considerable buildings suitable for stocking the forage and winter-feed. These were the places with barn on the area of the village called Vargyas. After the revolution from 1989 a part of the former places with barn were rebuilt, even if not totally, but anyway the little houses which in the future can be a base for the farm tourism. The visitors of Meresti are compensated for the bad roads with the beauties of the surrounding nature, with excellent possibilities for organizing field trips, pleasant in every season.

For those who love winter sports there is a 300 m long ski-run at their disposal. In summer the visitors can go in trips to the Varghis Stream Valley which has a large number of natural rarities. The area of 800 hectares of the Varghis Stream Valley and the Meresti Caves is declared a landscape-protection area.

From the caves situated at different height the most famous is the one named after Balázs Orbán with a surface of 1527 meters. Opposite to the entrance of the cave on the escarpment side of Er?s there is a lonely rock called the Tower of Csala. According to the legend when Tartars invaded in Csala, the leader was watching the movements of the Tartars from this place. One of the sites of the stream valley is the 1 km long flow of Varghis rivlet underground. „Almost all the water is disappearing in the swallow holes and in the cracks of the runway (Víznyugat) inside of the yet undiscovered caves of the cavern limestone. Below comes to the surface in form of a subterranean stream, an abundant spring.” (Kisgyörgy, 1973). Near the Varghis Stream Valley there is the Tatársánc, a place which was part of the eastern border which protected the Hungarian Kingdom in the time of Saint Laszlo from the invasion of the enemy (kun and uz ethnical groups). To this borderline belong also the ruins of Almas-castle on the top of Varhegy above the village. Near the ruins of Tatársánc there are the ruins of a church from the time of Árpád, named Tartar-chapel.

People of Meresti were craftsmen of popular occupations. They were excellent in popular ornamental art, in wood processing, furniture painting, weaving, needlework, preparation of cloth and farm-wagons. Since 1998 the Unitarian Church from Meresti and the local David Ferenc Youth Union and since 2002 with the financial help of Rika Micro-Regional Association organized tradition and value-keeping camps for school children, to recall and learn furniture painting, core-maker, blacksmith, lime-burner, wood-sculpturer, basket-weaver, weaver, shepherd and miller occupations, and woman works like baking bread and cake.

Contact person:

Rigó Mihály mayor
tel.: 0040-266-220820, 0040-726-436914
e-mail: rimisi@freemail.hu

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