My home town – Keszthely
Keszthely is an ancient town by the west shore of Lake Balaton. It is one of the oldest settlements around the lake. The town has got 24 000 inhabitants but in summer thousands of tourists come to spend some nice days here. Lake Balaton is the number one tourist attraction of Hungary after our capital, Budapest.
The town is full of beautiful sights and buildings, which all tourists should visit. The most famous one is the Festetics stately home. In the building you can find the famous
Helikon Library and you can see exhibitions, too. In the park around the building some very old and rare trees and plants can be seen. In 1745 Kristóf Festetics started the building of the stately home, and his son, György Festetics established the Georgikon in 1797. It was the first permanent agricultural college in Europe.
From the stately home you can walk along Kossuth Lajos Street and you can see nice buildings built in romantic style. On the Main Square you can find the famous Gothic parish church with beautiful frescos from the Middle Ages.
If you go on along Kossuth Lajos Street you reach the Balaton Museum. Its exhibitions show the flora and fauna of Lake Balaton and the history of this region.
From the museum you can take a short walk to the coast of the lake. The formation of the lake started 22 000 years ago. It is 78 kilometres long and it is 3 metres deep in average. Its water warms up easily to 25-27 degrees celsius in the summer. Visitors can spend nice days here swimming, yachting, surfing, or playing waterpolo. In winter the lake often freezes over and people can skate or play ice-hockey on it. There are 42 species of fish in the lake so many people like fishing here.
The northern coast of the lake is hilly. You can find some beautiful towns here, like Balatonfüred or Tihany. The southern coast is sandy just like the seaside and it offers cultural programmes, mainly in Siófok.
The wind almost always blows by the lake and storms are not rare, but visitors can take nice walks along the coast in cooler weather, too. There are many restaurants, bars and hotels in the town, which provide means of entertainment for visitors. And, of course, from the town you can go on excursions to the towns and villages in the neighbourhood. You can visit the ruins of Rezi and Tátika castles, Badacsony, Tapolca, Sümeg and Hévíz, too.