Tradition has it that an old beech-tree was planted in the 15th century in the time of the great Hungarian king, King Matthias. The mighty beech attracted artists of later times, several writers, poets and painters have immortalised the beauty of the spot. In 1840, actors of the National Theatre made a visit to the tree, and Rozália Schodelné Klein performed the great aria of Bellini's Norma. Later, the tree was named Normafa as a memento of this performance. In 1927, the old tree fell. Today, visitors see a beech that was planted in 1962.
Nowadays the name Normafa does not only refer to this single tree, rather it relates to a beautiful scenery with a splendid view of Budapest, which has been a popular place of excursion since the 19th century.
Not far away from the famous beech-tree, the Erzsébet observation tower offers an excellent panorama of Budapest and its surroundings in clear weather. Built in 1910, the observation tower stands proudly on the top of János-hegy (János Hill), the highest peak of Budapest (527 metres). The neo-Romanesque building was designed by Frigyes Schulek, who also designed the Halászbástya (Fishermen's Bastion) in the Buda Castle. The structure has a round base; it stands 23.5 metres tall with 4 round terraces. As it is illuminated most of the year, the Erzsébet observation tower can be easily spotted out from most parts of Budapest.
Other well known and frequented sites in the area include the followings: