Lake Balaton, Hungary

Venue Lake Balaton Hungary

Lake Balaton (Hungarian: [ˈbɒlɒton]) is a freshwater rift lake in the Transdanubian region of Hungary. It is the largest lake in Central Europe and one of the region’s foremost tourist destinations. The Zala River provides the largest inflow of water to the lake, and the canalized Sió is the only outflow.

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 class.

It always has been an important location, both tactically and culturally (with many folk tales surrounding it). During the Ottoman wars played an important role in defending Royal Hungary where even battles were fought. 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.[19] The construction of railways in 1861 and 1909 increased tourism substantially, but the post-war boom of the 1950s was much larger.

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