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sights & culture

Best decorative wine cellars around Balaton’s vineyards

Take a winter tour of historic wine cellars around Lake Balaton, each with their own unique decoration and quaint architectural solutions.

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Rare historic finds discovered in Tihany – expert study awaits on remains of András I

Experts are confident that remains discovered at the Benedictine Abbey of Tihany are the bones of András I, who ruled Hungary in the 11th century.

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New Netflix fantasy series filmed at Festetics Palace in Keszthely

Look out for the opulent interiors of Festetics Palace in Keszthely when you watch the current Netflix fantasy series 'Shadow and Bone', partly filmed at the Baroque pile near Lake Balaton.

sights & culture

Treasure hunt and ruin trip around Balaton - Part 2

When summer is over, it's time to turn our backs to the water. This slightly warm autumn weather is the best for making trips near Balaton. In the first part we started to explore ruin castles and ruin churches, and now here are five other picnic spots. Most of these ruins have pictures and descriptions (only in Hungarian) at this blog about the ruins of Balaton.

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Kövesdi templomrom in Aszófő

There are many things to see in Aszófő, but now we recommend the ruins of Kövesdi church which are more than 100 years old. The road that takes you there offers a stunning panorama of the surroundings. In good weather you may even see Tihany Abbey's snow white towers from here. The church, which was built in the 1260s or 1270s had only one nave. It is surrounded by trees, and it is close to a natural reserve that is surrounded by reeds. It is worth taking a walk among the vineyards on the other side of main road 71, because the buildings of the wine cellars are protected historic buildings. These were all built between 1848 and 1883, and each consists of a press house and a wine cellar with tunnel vault. Before/after the trip you can try Nemrosé at the Skrabski Fröccsterasz, or you can taste their wines at the cellar.

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Three church ruins in Dörgicse

There are 300 people living in Dörgicse, and besides their 4 active churches there are 3 church ruins in the village. The explanation is pretty simple: there used to be 6 villages here. Boldogasszony, Szentpéterdörgicse, Szarkadörgicse, Akalidörgicse, Kisfaluddörgicse and Ságdörgicse. Boldogasszony church ruin is the most famous, because its 22 metres high gable can be seen even from a long distance. The church's acoustics are still great, thus it still hosts concerts. There is a pleasant resting point with benches and a toilet next to the church. If you're coming from the direction of Balaton you have to turn right at the edge of the village and follow the signs up the hill.
Szent Péter church ruins appear in front of us when we arrive to the village center. Two churches became one in this case, because a church from the 11th century and another church from the 13th century were built right next to each other.
The grand tour of Dörgicse is far from over: along the way from Dörgicse to Kisdörgicse you should turn left after the old stone bridge. You will see the church ruins of Saint Michael from the 13th century near the meadow next to Bere-patak.

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Mámai templomrom in Balatonfűzfő

The pleasant ruins of a church from the 13th century hide behind Jézus Szíve Plébániatemplom in Balatonfűzfő. Nowadays it is still in use as the modern carved pulpit proves it. Máma's church was built in honour of Saint László at the end of the 13th century, but it was destroyed during the Turkish occupation in the 16th-17th century. It was excavated and restored in the 1960s, and in summer it hosts concerts and other music programs.

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Somlói vár in Doba

You will find Somlói vár close to Doba. It is the perfect place for a good hide-and-seek, because the inner castle with its towers is still there, and the architecture of the building is not ordinary at all. You can drive as far as Margit chapel, but the journey lasts for another 45 minutes on foot. You can take a good look at the surroundings from Szent István lookout tower, which is pretty close to Somlói vár. There were plenty of butterflies in the surroundings when we were here, and their presence in itself is worth the visit. This volcanic inlier hill, Somló is 433 metres high, and it is a perfect place for the grapes of characteristic wines of extraorindary quality. A wine tour is recommended, because you can find friendly wine makers and pleasant accommodations around here.

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Avasi templomrom in Szigliget

Due to its unique atmosphere Szigliget has become a favourite city for many Balaton fans. The beauty of the landscape, the romantic thatched buildings of Öregfalu, the narrow streets of the hill and the castle's ruins on the top of the hill have been sources of inspiration for many poets and writers. Avasi templomrom (or Csonkatorony) from the 13th century is as popular as the castle's ruins here. You will find these church ruins at the meeting point of Iharos Street and Réhelyi Street by the old cemetery.

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