Lake Balaton

Last updated
Lake Balaton
Balaton Hungary Landscape.jpg
Lake Balaton
Location of Balaton.PNG
Location of Lake Balaton within Hungary
Location Hungary
Coordinates 46°50′N17°44′E / 46.833°N 17.733°E / 46.833; 17.733 Coordinates: 46°50′N17°44′E / 46.833°N 17.733°E / 46.833; 17.733
Type Rift lake
Primary inflows Zala River
Primary outflows Sió
Catchment area 5,174 km2 (1,998 sq mi) [1]
Basin  countries Hungary
Max. length77 km (48 mi)
Max. width14 km (8.7 mi)
Surface area592 km2 (229 sq mi)
Average depth3.2 m (10 ft)
Max. depth12.2 m (40 ft)
Water volume1.9 km3 (0.46 cu mi)
Residence time 2 years
Shore length1236 km (147 mi)
Surface elevation104.8 m (344 ft)
Settlements Keszthely, Siófok, Balatonfüred (see list )
Designated17 March 1989
Reference no.421 [2]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Balaton (German : Plattensee Slovak : Blatenské jazero, Latin : Lacus Pelso, Croatian : Blatno jezero) is a freshwater lake in the Transdanubian region of Hungary. It is the largest lake in Central Europe, [3] and one of the region's foremost tourist destinations. The Zala River provides the largest inflow of water to the lake, and the canalised Sió is the only outflow.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Slovak language language spoken in Slovakia

Slovak or less frequently Slovakian is a West Slavic language. It is called slovenský jazyk or slovenčina in the language itself.

Croatian language South Slavic language

Croatian is the standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian language used by Croats, principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina and other neighboring countries. It is the official and literary standard of Croatia and one of the official languages of the European Union. Croatian is also one of the official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a recognized minority language in Serbia, and neighboring countries.

Contents

The mountainous region of the northern shore is known both for its historic character and as a major wine region, while the flat southern shore is known for its resort towns. Balatonfüred and Hévíz developed early as resorts for the wealthy, but it was not until the late 19th century when landowners, ruined by Phylloxera attacking their grape vines, began building summer homes to rent out to the burgeoning middle classes. [4]

Hungarian wine has a history dating back to the Kingdom of Hungary. Outside Hungary, the best-known wines are the white dessert wine Tokaji aszú and the red wine Bull's Blood of Eger.

Resort town town where tourism or vacationing is a primary component of the local culture and economy

A resort town, often called a resort city or resort destination, is an urban area where tourism or vacationing is the primary component of the local culture and economy. A typical resort town has one or more actual resorts in the surrounding area. Sometimes the term resort town is used simply for a locale popular among tourists. The term can also refer to either an incorporated or unincorporated contiguous area where the ratio of transient rooms, measured in bed units, is greater than 60% of the permanent population.

Balatonfüred Town in Veszprém, Hungary

Balatonfüred is a resort town in Veszprém county, in Hungary, with a population of 13,000, situated on the northern shore of Lake Balaton. It is considered to be the capital of the Northern lake shore and is a yachting destination. It is also a location for fishing, carp being the most common catch, although the introduction of eels and other non-indigenous species has caused ecological damage in recent years.

Name

In Hungarian, the lake is known simply as Balaton. It was called lacus Pelsodis or Pelso by the Romans. [5] The name is Indo-European in origin (cf. Czech pleso ‘sinkhole, deep end of a lake’), later replaced by the Slavic *bolto (Czech bláto, Slovak blato, Polish "błoto") meaning 'mud, swamp' (from earlier Proto-Slavic boltьno, Slovene : Blatno jezero, [6] [7] Slovak : Blatenské jazero [8] ). Slavic prince Pribina began to build in January 846 a fortress as his seat of power and several churches in the region of Lake Balaton, in a territory of modern Zalavár surrounded by forests and swamps along the river Zala. [9] [10] [11] His well fortified castle and capital of Balaton Principality that became known as Blatnohrad or Moosburg ("Swamp Fortress") served as a bulwark both against the Bulgarians and the Moravians. [9] [10] [11]

Hungarian language language spoken in and around Hungary

Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language spoken in Hungary and several neighbouring countries. It is the official language of Hungary and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. Outside Hungary it is also spoken by communities of Hungarians in the countries that today make up Slovakia, western Ukraine (Subcarpathia), central and western Romania (Transylvania), northern Serbia (Vojvodina), northern Croatia, and northern Slovenia. It is also spoken by Hungarian diaspora communities worldwide, especially in North America and in Israel. Like Finnish and Estonian, Hungarian belongs to the Uralic language family. With 13 million speakers, it is its largest member in terms of speakers.

Roman Empire period of Imperial Rome following the Roman Republic (27 BC–395 AD)

The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. It had a government headed by emperors and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, and West Asia. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the crisis of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome. The Roman Empire was then divided between a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and later Ravenna, and an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and later Constantinople, and it was ruled by multiple emperors.

Indo-European languages family of several hundred related languages and dialects

The Indo-European languages are a language family of several hundred related languages and dialects.

The German name for the lake is Plattensee. [12] It is unlikely that the Germans named the lake so for being shallow since the adjective platt is a Greek loanword that was borrowed via French and entered the general German vocabulary in the 17th century. [13] [14] It is also noteworthy that the average depth of Balaton (3.2 m [10 ft]) [15] is not extraordinary for the area (cf. the average depth of the neighbouring Neusiedler See, which is roughly 1 m [3.3 ft]). [16]

Climate

Map of Balaton in ancient times Ancient balaton.jpg
Map of Balaton in ancient times

Lake Balaton affects the local area precipitation. The area receives approximately 5–7 cm (2–3 in) more precipitation than most of Hungary, resulting in more cloudy days and less extreme temperatures. The lake's surface freezes during winters. The microclimate around Lake Balaton has also made the region ideal for viticulture. The Mediterranean-like climate, combined with the soil (containing volcanic rock), has made the region notable for its production of wines since the Roman period two thousand years ago. [17]

Hungary Country in Central Europe

Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, and Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken Uralic language in the world. Hungary's capital and its largest city and metropolis is Budapest. Other major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr.

Viticulture science, production and study of grapes

Viticulture is the cultivation and harvesting of grapes. It is a branch of the science of horticulture. While the native territory of Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, ranges from Western Europe to the Persian shores of the Caspian Sea, the vine has demonstrated high levels of adaptability to new environments. For this reason, viticulture can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

History

Spread of Seuso at Lake Balaton PELSO.png
Spread of Seuso at Lake Balaton
Lake Balaton 1939 30-as túrajolle. Fortepan 25768.jpg
Lake Balaton 1939
Lake Balaton 1939 25-ös túrajolle. Fortepan 26079.jpg
Lake Balaton 1939

While a few settlements on Lake Balaton, including Balatonfüred and Hévíz, have long been resort centres for the Hungarian aristocracy, it was only in the late 19th century that the Hungarian middle class began to visit the lake. [18] The construction of railways in 1861 and 1909 increased tourism substantially, but the post-war boom of the 1950s was much larger.

Hévíz Place in Zala, Hungary

Hévíz is a spa town in Zala County, Hungary, about 8 kilometres from Keszthely.

The last major German offensive of World War II, Operation Frühlingserwachen, was conducted in the region of Lake Balaton in March 1945, being referred to as "the Lake Balaton Offensive" in many British histories of the war. The battle was a German attack by Sepp Dietrich's Sixth Panzer Army and the Hungarian Third Army between 6 March and 16 March 1945, and in the end, resulted in a Red Army victory. Several Ilyushin Il-2 wrecks have been pulled out of the lake after having been shot down during the later months of the war.[ citation needed ] [19]

During the 1960s and 1970s, Balaton became a major tourist destination for ordinary working Hungarians and especially for subsidised holiday excursions for union members.[ citation needed ] It also attracted many East Germans and other residents of the Eastern Bloc. West Germans could also visit, making Balaton a common meeting place for families and friends separated by the Berlin Wall until 1989. [20] The collapse of the Soviet Union after 1991 and the dismantling of the unions saw the gradual but steady reduction in numbers of lower-paid Hungarian visitors.[ citation needed ]

Tourism

The major resorts around the lake are Siófok, Keszthely, and Balatonfüred. Zamárdi, another resort town on the southern shore, has been the site of Balaton Sound, a notable electronic music festival since 2007. Balatonkenese has hosted numerous traditional gastronomic events. Siófok is known for attracting young people to it because of its large clubs. Keszthely is the site of the Festetics Palace and Balatonfüred is a historical bathing town which hosts the annual Anna Ball.

The peak tourist season extends from June until the end of August. The average water temperature during the summer is 25 °C (77 °F), which makes bathing and swimming popular on the lake. Most of the beaches consist of either grass, rocks, or the silty sand that also makes up most of the bottom of the lake. Many resorts have artificial sandy beaches and all beaches have step access to the water. Other tourist attractions include sailing, fishing, and other water sports, as well as visiting the countryside and hills, wineries on the north coast, and nightlife on the south shore. The Tihany Peninsula is a historical district. Badacsony is a volcanic mountain and wine-growing region as well as a lakeside resort. The lake is almost completely surrounded by separated bike lanes to facilitate bicycle tourism. Although the peak season at the lake is the summer, Balaton is also frequented during the winter, when visitors go ice-fishing or even skate, sledge, or ice-sail on the lake if it freezes over.

Sármellék International Airport provides air service to Balaton (although most service is only seasonal).

Other resort towns include: Balatonalmádi, Balatonboglár, Balatonlelle, Fonyód and Vonyarcvashegy.

Towns and villages

Towns and villages alongside Lake Balaton. Balaton.gif
Towns and villages alongside Lake Balaton.

North shore

From east to west:

Balatonfőkajár - Balatonakarattya - Balatonkenese - Balatonfűzfő - Balatonalmádi - Alsóörs - Paloznak - Csopak - Balatonarács - Balatonfüred - Tihany - Aszófő - Örvényes - Balatonudvari - Fövenyes - Balatonakali - Zánka - Balatonszepezd - Szepezdfürdő - Révfülöp - Pálköve - Ábrahámhegy - Balatonrendes - Badacsonytomaj - Badacsony - Badacsonytördemic - Szigliget - Balatonederics - Balatongyörök - Vonyarcvashegy - Gyenesdiás - Keszthely

South shore

From east to west:

Balatonakarattya - Balatonaliga - Balatonvilágos - Sóstó - Szabadifürdő - Siófok - Széplak - Zamárdi - Szántód - Balatonföldvár - Balatonszárszó - Balatonszemes - Balatonlelle - Balatonboglár - Fonyód - Fonyód–Alsóbélatelep - Bélatelep - Balatonfenyves - Balatonmáriafürdő - Balatonkeresztúr - Balatonberény - Fenékpuszta

Peter Stehlik 2010.09.09 005 2010.09.09 020-8 A images.jpg
Panorama from Balaton and Keszthely

See also

Related Research Articles

Somogy County Counties of Hungary in Southern Transdanubia

Somogy is an administrative county in present Hungary, and also in the former Kingdom of Hungary.

Veszprém County Counties of Hungary in Central Transdanubia

Veszprém is an administrative county (megye) in Hungary. Veszprém is also the name of the capital city of Veszprém county.

Zala County Counties of Hungary in Western Transdanubia

Zala is an administrative county in south-western Hungary. It is named after the Zala River. It shares borders with Croatia and Slovenia and the Hungarian counties Vas, Veszprém and Somogy. The capital of Zala county is Zalaegerszeg. Its area is 3,784 square kilometres (1,461 sq mi). Lake Balaton lies partly in the county.

Siófok Town in Southern Transdanubia, Hungary

Siófok is a town in Somogy County, Hungary on the southern bank of Lake Balaton. It is the second largest municipality in Somogy County and the seat of Siófok District. It covers an area of about 124.66 km2 between Lake Balaton, the Mezőség and the Outer Somogy-Hills. Lying at the firth of the Sió Channel, it serves as the most important logistic station for goods between Lake Balaton and the River Danube.

Hévíz–Balaton Airport airport in Hungary

Hévíz–Balaton Airport, previously also known as Sármellék International Airport, is an international airport in Hungary located west of Lake Balaton, 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) south-southwest of the village of Sármellék, Zala County and Keszthely. It gains importance due to the proximity of Lake Balaton, Hungary's most important holiday resort and the thermal spas of Hévíz and Zalakaros.

Keszthely Town in Western Transdanubia, Hungary

Keszthely is a Hungarian city of 20,895 inhabitants located on the western shore of Lake Balaton. It is the largest city by the lake and one of the more important cultural, educational and economic hubs in the region. Due to its favorable location and accessibility by both road and rail, Keszthely and the surrounding area is a preferred holiday destination.

Badacsony mount in Hungary

Badacsony is the name of a region on the north shore of Lake Balaton in western Hungary, a mountain top and a town in that region. The entire area is recognized for its wine, with vineyards dating back to Roman times.

Fonyód Town in Southern Transdanubia, Hungary

Fonyód is a town and holiday resort on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, in north-west Somogy, western Hungary, with over 4700 residents. It is the seat of Fonyód District.

M7 motorway (Hungary) road in Hungary

The M7 motorway is a Hungarian motorway which runs from Budapest towards the Croatian border at Letenye, reaching Székesfehérvár, then Siófok, a town on Lake Balaton, and the city of Nagykanizsa in the southwest of the country.

Szigliget Place in Veszprém, Hungary

Szigliget is a village in Veszprém county, Hungary.

Lengyeltóti Town in Southern Transdanubia, Hungary

Lengyeltóti is a town in Somogy county, Hungary.

Wine festival

Annual wine festivals celebrate viticulture and usually occur after the harvest of the grapes which, in the northern hemisphere, generally falls at the end of September and runs until well into October or later. They are common in most wine regions around the world and are to be considered in the tradition of other harvest festivals.

Balaton wine region wine region of Hungary

Balaton wine region is one of the seven larger wine regions of Hungary. It consists of six wine regions: Badacsony, Balatonboglár, Balaton-felvidék, Balatonfüred-Csopak, Nagy-Somló and Zala. Its wine regions are spread around Lake Balaton; with these areas having constituted one single wine region back to the 19th century. Wine production was started at the beginning of the 1st century by the Romans. The region is known for its specific white wines showing local particularities; its most widely grown variety is olaszrizling.

Balatonalmádi District District in Veszprém, Hungary

Balatonalmádi is a district in south-eastern part of Veszprém County. Balatonalmádi is also the name of the town where the district seat is found. The district is located in the Central Transdanubia Statistical Region.

Balatonfüred District Districts of Hungary in Veszprém

Balatonfüred is a district in southern part of Veszprém County. Balatonfüred is also the name of the town where the district seat is found. The district is located in the Central Transdanubia Statistical Region.

Siófok District Districts of Hungary in Southern Transdanubia, Hungary

Siófok is a district in north-eastern part of Somogy County. Siófok is also the name of the town where the district seat is found. The district is located in the Southern Transdanubia Statistical Region.

Balatonboglár wine region

The Balatonboglár wine region, also known as the South Balaton wine region, is the only one wine region in Somogy County, Hungary. The area consists of 37 settlements, mainly located on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, but also some near Kaposvár like Böhönye, Csurgó and Nagyberki. It is part of the greater Balaton wine region.

References

  1. Herschy, Reginald W.; Fairbridge, Rhodes W. (1998). Encyclopedia of Hydrology and Lakes. Springer Publishing. ISBN   978-0-412-74060-2 . Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  2. "Lake Balaton". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  3. "Lake Balaton". Encyclopædia Britannica . Retrieved 2008-03-20.
  4. "History of Lake Balaton - Lonely Planet Travel Information". Lonelyplanet.com. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  5. Brill's New Pauly: encyclopaedia of the ancient world - Hubert Cancik, Helmuth Schneider, David E. Orton - Google Knihy. Books.google.com. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  6. Historical review - Google Knihy. Books.google.com. 2009-01-06. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  7. A bulwark against Germany: the fight of the Slovenes, the western branch of ... - Bogumil Vošnjak, Fanny S. Copeland - Google Knihy. Books.google.com. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  8. Dejiny slovenského jazyka - Ján Stanislav - Google Knihy. Books.google.com. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  9. 1 2 Bartl 2002, p. 19.
  10. 1 2 Róna-Tas 1999, p. 243.
  11. 1 2 Goldberg 2006, p. 85.
  12. "Urlaub in Ungarn - Ferienwohnung Ferienhaus am Plattensee in Ungarn". Weltweit-urlaub.de. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  13. Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, 24. Aufl., s. v.
  14. "the Grimm dictionary". Woerterbuchnetz.de. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  15. Archived July 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  16. Archived May 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  17. Archived October 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  18. Lake Balaton History at Lonely Planet
  19. "Lake Balaton and Herend". guideservicebudapest.com. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  20. "German unity at Lake Balaton – a European history". Dortmund.de. Archived from the original on 2014-01-02. Retrieved January 2, 2014.