The short history of Balatonfüred

 

 

 

 

 

 

The name of Balatonfüred was first mentioned in the land charge register of the Abbey of Tihany in 1211. There were several settlements in the Middle Ages at the present location of the city. First of all Füred which still exists but which has had a major role only since the age of reform. To the west from it you can find Papsoka - it has been called Siske since the 14th century - which soon was united with Füred. To the north from Füred the Kéki valley has preserved the name of the former village of Kék (Blue). This settlement did not survive to see the Ottoman occupation of Hungary. Arács that constitutes the north-eastern part of Füred was an independent village until 1954. The settlement of Magyaré that is situated to the south-east from Arács was 'absorbed' by Arács by the end of the Middle Ages.

The historical traditions of Füred always determine the lifestyle and attitude of its residents and guests. Its touristic history dates back to centuries, and after it had been declared a spa in the first half of the 1700s it immediately found itself in the limelight. It has been the first spa of Hungary since 1971 and the 'International Town of Grape and Wine'.

Balatonfüred started to develop in the 1800s, in the reform era. It became a popular meeting place for progressive politicians and artists; its historical and cultural significance was at its peak at that time. The town has numerous monuments, historical buildings and traditions of that time: in 1825 the first Anna-ball was organized in the Horváth house. In 1831 from donations and with the help of the Abbey and the people of this region Sándor Kisfaludy opened here the first Transdanubian stone theatre, the home of the Hungarian language in a period when the German was the official language in Hungary.

The reformed-age atmosphere of the historical part of the town is enriched by the Lujza Blaha villa which was built in 1816 in classicistic style where the famous Hungarian prima donna of the turn of the century, the so-called 'nightingale of the nation' spent her summers for 23 years. The building is a hotel and a restaurant today. The famous spa-doctor and owner of the famous Huray-houses István Huray also had a summer house here. However, the Dory-villa was said to be the most beautiful of the summer-houses built at this time. It is worth seeing. A round building with a dome and a portico with Ionic columns strikes the eye at the corner of the Jókai and Lujza Blaha streets. The Round Church, which was designed by Antal Fruhman taking the Roman Pantheon as its basis, was built in 1850. The Jókai villa was built in 1870 in early-eclectic style. A permanent exhibition in the building shows the fixtures of the villa and the life of the greatest story-teller of the nation.

The present-day town - the old village and Balatonarács which was annexed to it in 1954 - has a significant number of valuable monuments. On both sides of the Lajos Kossuth street, the street that leads to the old village, you can find single-storey and multi-storey buildings close to one another. In the old village - or as it is called nowadays the Old Town - the following buildings marked with a plaque still preserve the traditional shapes. The Siske street is that part of the Old Town where the end of the street leads into the forest. From here starts an esplanade which is a pleasant beauty spot and walking path of Balatonfüred.