For most of the people, Budapest is the first thing that comes to their mind when they think about Hungary. This country is beautiful, and it has many other beautiful cities. We have already written about Győr, Szeged, Debrecen, Veszprém, Sopron, Pápa, Szolnok, Kecskemét, Szekszárd, Tatabánya, Salgótarján, Kaposvár, Szombathely, Esztergom, and many other cities. Now, let us take a look at Keszthely.
Keszthely is a lovely city that is situated on the Northwest corner of Lake Balaton. Even though it has only about 20,000 inhabitants, it is a very popular city due to its location. Keszthely has a long history because the oldest remains that were found here are from the Neolithic. Keszthely is not a county seat because Zalaegerszeg plays that role in Zala county. However, it is definitely worth a visit. Read along because you will fall in love with this charming city.
Photos: Wiki Commons by Alensha
Festetics Castle is one of the most-known buildings of Keszthely. Today, it functions as a cultural centre, where the city organises its cultural programmes. Additionally, it is the fourth biggest castle in Hungary. The castle has its own saloon, theatre, and congress hall. It was built from the middle of the 18th century until the 1880′. It has a wonderful library, the Helikon Library, that owns about 80,000 books including antique encyclopedias and prints. Furthermore, the 42 acres big castle garden, that is a nature reservation offers a relaxing area to take a nice walk.
Museums in the castle
The House of Balaton Wines (Balatoni Borok Háza) can be found in the castle’s 500 years old cellar system since 2005. Visitors can not only taste wines here but also enjoy a guided tour. At the Helikon Museum, there is a hunting exhibition as well as a historical model railway with the country’s biggest layout. At the Coach Museum, visitors can experience the way of travelling in the old times.
Museums in Keszthely
The Balaton Museum lets visitors get to know the history of Lake Balaton and sailing. It also introduces the older as well as the modern times on this topic. It has permanent and temporary exhibitions, too.
The Doll Museum exhibits a wide range of dolls from the older times. The dolls have various dresses and clothes; some of them are traditional Hungarian ones, some are from different countries. There is also an 18+ section for those who are interested.
If you have a sweet tooth, the Marzipan Museum is definitely a good choice for you. At this museum, you can admire beautiful and detailed works made of marzipan. Additionally, visitors can relay at the confectionary of the museum and choose from many cakes and sweets to eat or to give as a present.
We recommend you the Cadillac Museum if you are interested in antique cars. You can find Cadillacs made in different times, and what is more, all but one are operatable. When you visit this museum, you will be able to see the model from The Godfather movie as well.
The Surber Music Vending Machine and Phonograph Museum and the Nostalgia Museum fly you back in time. Check out the Historical Panopticon as well if you like history.
Keszthely has a lot to offer, and that also includes the beauty of nature. Visitors do not need to go far to experience it because Helikon Park lies right in the city. It is the biggest green area in Keszthely and offers a relaxing environment. There are hundred-year-old trees in this park that offer shadow. On the main walkway, there is the domy Helikon-memorial, which became the symbol of Keszthely.
As we have already mentioned, Keszthely lies at Lake Balaton. Therefore, many programmes and events are interesting. On the other hand, Keszthely is also close to the so-called Small Balaton (Kis-Balaton). This region has always been boggy, but until the 17th century, it was part of Lake Balaton. The reason why it got separated is that a railroad was built nearby. Because of the construction, there had to be regulating works with the lake’s water level. Due to the intervening, Small Balaton got separated from Lake Balaton. Today, this area is protected due to its rich natural treasures.
Featured image: www.facebook.com/festeticskastelyhivatalos/