Ádám Balogh was a commoner, an imperial soldier and brave officer during the Rákóczi War of Independence in the early 1700s. He lends his name to a rock formation within easy reach of Pasaréti tér in District II, surrounded by greenery and with a view worth trekking out for.
There’s not always time to dedicate a whole day to a big hike – more than enough hidden hiking treasures are dotted around Budapest, easily reached by public transport. One such are the Ádám Balogh rocks, a protected area of great natural beauty, little-known to even those who live nearby.
Surrounded by residential buildings, a green triangle sign at the intersection of Endrődi Sándor utca and Balogh Ádám utca marks the roads leading to the rocks, whose landscape probably prevented them from urban development.
Thankfully so, for here you find such protected plants as bright red cotoneaster, Hungarian erysimum, Pannonian knapweed, white helleborine and karpatiosorbus, all currently waiting to flower. Some flowers have budded, however, the violets are opening and nothing can stop the spring from advancing.
This was once the case across all of Rózsadomb, where oaks loved the limestone, sour cherries flourished amid the karst woods and dolomite rock grass grew. Some still remain, although the area’s popularity with hikers has led to it being festooned with blue-and-white cordons as if for a crime scene, discouraging walkers from trampling on precious greenery.
The rocks can be approached by two sets of steps, each a climb of some 30 metres, or there’s a hidden path behind the third information board of only three steps up.
Two or three people can stand at the panoramic vantage point at any one time, with János Hill, the Elizabeth Lookout Tower and Hárs Hill spread out below. Benches dot the surroundings, ideal for secret conversations and romantic rendezvous.
A barbecue site is currently being used by a man who has made the foot of the rock his home, accepted by locals and left to his own devices by passers-by.
To reach here, take bus 149 from Széll Kálmán tér to Fenyves utca (10 mins), then walk up Bimbó út for 500 metres to the junction of Endrődi Sándor utca and Balogh Ádám utca.
Serious hikers can also continue on to Ferenc Hill, the József Hill Lookout and Apáthy Rock.