The history of Balatonfüred:
Baltonfüred is a small town with 13.500 inhabitants, on the north shore of Lake Balaton, sorrounded by gently sloping hillocks. Foreign travellers – may they come here by rail, by road or by boat – start to feel the harmonious blend of past and present at the moment of their arrival. First and foremost the location of the town captures everyone: tender mountains on the north, the beautiful lake on the south embrace the town, which radiates that special Transdanubian serenity for ages. The town was inhabited already when the Romans conquered parts of Hungary. Walking in the town the visitor every now and then faces relics of old times. Ancient living quarters, old buildings, churches, homely vineyards, parks, mighty old trees preserve and whisper their messages to the people living here today.
The name of the town was first mentioned in the estate register of the Tihany abbacy. In the middle age there were several different settlements in the area where Balatonfüred lies today. First and foremost the so-called Füred, which became truly important only during the Reform Era. The name „Füred” does not come from the Hungarian word: „fürödni” (=to bathe) or „fürdő” (=bath), it stems from the word „fürjes” place, that is a place filled with quails. „Papsoka” is the name of the area to the west, it changed into „Siske” from the 14-th century on, and these two areas blended soon afterwards. On the north the so-called „Kéki-völgy” (=Bluish valley) reserved the name of the „Kék” village (=Blue village) till today. This whole valley used to belong to the Tihany Abbacy, and this villlage was mentioned in the estate register of Tihany in 1211 as a church estate. It was demolished and depopulated during the wars with the Turks, only the name survived. The name „blue” may refer to the many blue-coloured plants growing here: blackthorns, violets. Today the name still exists in the following place names: „Kéki-völgy” (=Bluish valley), „Kéki-dűlő” (=Bluish fields), „Kéki patak” (=Bluish brook).
The northern-east part of Füred called Arács used to be an independent village till 1954. And Arács encompassed the settlement called „Magyaré” by the end of the middle ages.
Historic traditions play a crucial role in the life and attitude of the inhabitants of the town and of those who were regular visitors here. The town is a tourist attraction for ages and it became a so-called healing resort in 1971 when the acidulous spring water of the town was officially accepted as healing water. Balatonfüred achieved the title of „International Town of Grapes and Wine” from 1987 on.
Balatonfüred is mainly known by its climate which is very similar to the Mediterranean and its spring waters containing carbonic acid. Even the sun shines somehow more gently here. Balatonfüred and its surrounding settlements lie in the so-called „Balaton Riviera”. This expresssion refers to the special micro-climate prevailing here. This climate is created by the foot-hills of the „Balaton felvidék” (=Balaton Highlands): the so-called „Tamás hegy” (=Thomas Hill), Sándor-, Péter- and Száka-hegy (=Alexander-, Peter- and „Száka” Hill) give protection against the icy winds coming from the direction of „Bakony” mountains. Continuous air movement between the land and Lake Balaton, constant winds provide clean air free of dust for people living here and the air heals diseases of the heart and blood-vessels, too. The water from the springs is used for healing in the National Heart Hospital. But anyone can taste and heal from the famous Füred acidulous spring waters at Kossuth spring, Berzsenyi well, Szekér Ernő spring and Schneider well. Thousands of people suffering from heart disease recovered in this hospital. Rabindranath Tagore, the famous Nobel-prize winning Hindu poet was healed here in 1926 and denominated a beautiful alley close to the shore of the lake.
The town is infinitely rich in historic memorial places. These were mostly renovated and restored. It may happen that some of these have been appointed different roles noawadys than their original one but they are part of our cultural life anyway. There are numerous villas and mansions in the town that contributed to the special beauty of Balatonfüred and made the town famous in faraway places of the earth.
The following buildings of great architectural value were constructed during the 18-th century, and still have definitive role in the atmosphere of our town: the „Nagyvendéglő” (=Great Restaurant), the National Heart Hospital, the spring –house of Kossuth Lajos spring, the bigger house of Pálóczi Horváth Ádám, the castle of Széchenyi Ferenc.
Balatonfüred started to truly develop in the 18-th century, during the so-called Reform Era. It became a favourite meeting place for progressive politicians and artists. In these times Balatonfüred played a really outstanding role in Hungary. There are many national monuments, important buildings, and numerous traditions that date from this era: for instance the first Anna Ball was held here in the Horváth mansion in 1825.