Hungary's spotlight - Tihany, jewel of Balaton

Welcome back Friends, in my new guided's destination is a small medieval town near Lake Balaton (Plattensee in German) which is the largest lake of Middle-Europe and carries not only small boats but sweet summer memories for many Hungarians (including me). However it's named "poor men's sea" for a long time, nowadays Hungarians and tourists begin to discover its harmony and unique natural scenes again - and nightlife of south beach, too. :) Our tour leads to the more calm and peaceful north side of the lake - let's discover the Tihany Peninsula with its shining jewel, Tihany.

Tihany was inhabited in prehistoric times. Impressive evidence of a Bronze Age settlement is provided by the massive earth-fort in the northeast of the peninsula, which was later also used by the Slavs. Archaeological finds have also confirmed the presence of Celts, Romans and Avars.

The ancient Tihany village was founded in the Middle Ages when King Andrew I. founded here a burial-place for the royal family in 1055 and built a monastery, where Benedictine monks were settled. The monastery's deed of foundation is the oldest Hungarian linguistic record. The grave of the founder of the church is covered by a tombstone ornamented with a carved spiral-notched, long stemmed cross.

The monastery had already been fortified against Mongol attacks as early as the 13th century, and with the advance of the Ottoman armies it was converted into a fort, and monks moved elsewhere. After the withdrawal of the Turks, the Habsburgs razed the building to the ground so that it should not fall into the hands of the insurgents. It was rebuilt between 1719 - 1754, and the two-steeple abbey church became a symbol of Tihany and Hungarian Baroque architecture. A few years ago, the Benedictine monks were again put in charge of the monasetry and the Abbey Museum.

Visitors entering the church are welcomed by the characteristic splendour of Baroque. The frescoes and the furnishings were created by outstanding artists. Though the organ chest is nearly 250 years old, the organ itself is new, providing the opportunity for outstanding summer concerts, featuring highly acclaimed artists both from Hungary and abroad.

When you're in Tihany, there's not only the abbey you must see. There are several attractive traditional houses and cellars in the settlement. It is worth looking at the decoration, inscriptions, plaster ornamentation and verandas. Some of the protected houses are still inhabited, though others are open to visitors. There is also an open-air ethnographic museum with fishermen's guild and pottery, and you can visit lavendula fields, monk's caves and Benedictine Abbey Museum, too.

© Vitez
If you're keen on nature - like me :) - , you won't miss the Inner Lake and Geyser Field inside peninsula. Volcanic activities during the Quaternary geological period resulted in the deposition of calciferous and siliceous slurry into the open which gradually hardened into rock. This explains the formation of the around 200 cones of the Geyser Field. The peninsula's surface is both unique and fascinating, and it's becoming the first landscape protection area of Hungary in 1952.

Sites for more information:

hungarystartshere and planetware

Photo credits: Aginger, Andras Csontos, Elemér Sági, Petr Sedivec, Pablo Boris Debat.

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March 11, 2010


Beautiful images and place.

March 10, 2010


Thank you, and I promise, it worths a visit definetly!

March 09, 2010


OH MY GOODNESS, I must add this place to my "MUST VISIT" list, ok, let's do it... Tihany.. Hungary. Oh well, why don't i just write down... "MUST VISIT HUNGARY ".
Aginger, thanks for the info

March 06, 2010


Just lovely. Thank you so much for the tour, and your images are indeed beautiful.

March 06, 2010


Your photos are beautiful!

March 05, 2010


Wow! what a wonderful tour, and what a wonderful guide :)
Thank you very much!
How about dino's? t-rex? No? oh well, I guess the celts are good enough ;)

March 01, 2010


Elegant and calm feeling, very good!

February 26, 2010


Aginger, thats wonderful blog, and as usual nice images, hey we both have a common agenda, you are promoting your country and I'm promoting my adopted country through our photographs. Hope our efforts brings lots of sale.

February 26, 2010


Nice images:)

February 26, 2010


Great shots!

February 26, 2010


Thank you Maen, I've waited for you and your kind words...have a great weekend! :)

February 26, 2010


Woohooo waiting for that since long! Welcome back Aginger :))
..... I just finished reading! Simply Great! Thanks for sharing ;)

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