The region / The history of Balatonföldvár
The town of 2.300 inhabitants lies in the north of Somogy County, on the south shore of Lake Balaton.
It was formed due to its favorable geological position. The resort town was designed on a commission by the Széchényis and has remained a popular destination for holiday makers to this day.
The natural beauties and the green areas, spacious parks and avenues and the diverse architectural style created on the basis of the original design add up to a unique and characteristic atmosphere.
The archaeological findings tell us that Celtic culture was thriving here in the 4th century b.C.
In this day and age a ground castle (földvár), the town's name giver was built, which was protected from the south by a rampart and the north the High Shore of the gulf and the lake.
The name of Földvár was first known in written documents in the 11th century and in 1358. It was indicated under "Földvárpuszta" on the map during the 17th-19th centuries as a part of the Széchényi Family's land.
Their family doctor, the respectable Dr. Frigyes Korányi, also a university lecturer was the initiator of creating the bath resort.
Earl Imre Széchényi had the land divided into sections in 1894 on his doctor's suggestion. The land was then organized by István Spur manorial engineer and József Schilán manorial gardener.
The bath resort was officially opened in 1896, the same year the town received its final name, Balatonföldvár. At the time over 40 magnificent mansions received and entertained their guests and quickly became a popular place for the aristocracy, the lords as well as the higher military and authority circles.
Following World War I. and the loss of the Adriatic Sea shore interest was increasing in the lake that became very fashionable later in the 30's. Balatonföldvár kept developing between the two World Wars and became one of the most sought-after holiday destinations on the south side of the lake.
It gave home to events of national significance and a number of artists, scientists and celebrities had ties with the town such as: Gizi Bajor, Kálmán Kandó, László Németh, Jenő and Szidi Rákosi, Jenő Kvassay, Lőrinc Szabó and György Ránki.
The Second World War brought the development of bath resorts to a serious halt. Restoration works started in the 1950's and the years after that saw a large-scale development; the shore along the lake was formed into a connected area of holiday resort towns and residential areas. Hotels, corporate and private resorts, flats, restaurants and shops were built one after the other.
The open air stage was also erected, as were the house of culture and the open air cinema.
The settlement was awarded the title of "township" with independent administration in 1949 and of township in 1985.
The self-government set up in 1990 did a great amount of development on the town institution network, as a result of which it was officially awarded a town in 1992 and later became the centre of the region.
The city's leadership paid great attention to cleanness, organization and gardening as well, which efforts were rewarded by a the European Competition for Towns and Villages in Bloom award in 1994 and the first prize of the "Entente Floral Europe" tender in 1995.