Central Transdanubia

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This region is constituted of three counties, Veszprém, Fejér, and Komárom-Esztergom. To the south, the lake Balaton, above it, the Tapolca basin with the sugar-loaf volcanic mountains and the worn-off ridges of the Transdanubian mountains medium height, to the north, the plain of Kisalföld (Small Lowland) bordered by the Danube, while to the east, Mezõség running toward the Danube form the aspect of this region.

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As if the history book came alive: there is no age without significant findings within the region. The half million year-old remains of the primitive man in Vértesszõlõs, the 40 000 year- old remains of the cavemen as well as the numerous findings from the neolithic period and the bronze and iron ages are witnesses of the ancient times. Coming nearer in time, we reach Pannónia where the huge ruined town in Tác-Gorsium and the castellum of Dunaújváros are telling tales about a flourishing Roman province. Nevertheless, the significance of the region is inherent in the glorious era after the Conquest, when first Szé kesfehérvár, then Esztergom became seat of the country. Grandiose and gigantic churches were built in the towns for the Hungarian people changing paganism for Christianity, akin to the Szent Mihály church in Veszprém, while small and fortress- like temples were built in the villages, e. g. the thick-walled, rotund temple in Öskü. In the absence of an external enemy, the individual stems fought against each other and started to build fortresses in their estates, e. g. fortress Csókakõ built on a rock proclaiming the former glory of the stem Csák from the house-top for almost nine decades. First the Tatarian, later the Turkish hordes plundered the rich towns and, although the fortresses were reinforced after the plundering, most of them were completely ruined by the end of the Turkish occupation lasting for hundred and fifty years. One of the few exceptions is the superior fortress of Sümeg, never occupied by Turks.

This is the reason why the towns of our country are characterised by the Baroque style or another style of later ages, even if their history started 700 years earlier.

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The system of latifundia characterising the region (in some cases due to the redistribution of the estates after Rákóczi war of independence, when the estates confiscated from the “rebels” were granted to loyal supporters of the emperor), numerous wonderful castles were built in this region. The following incomplete list presents some of the castles open for visitors: Festetich castle in Dég, Károlyi castles in Fehérvárcsurgó and Iszkaszentgyörgy, Zichy castle in Seregélyes or Nádasdy castle in Nádasladány belong to the most beautiful castles ever built in the Hungarian province.

The region is offering plenty of real church historical curiosities. The picturesque group of buildings housing the kamalduli reclusory in Majkpuszta, the centre of reformation in Transdanubia, Pápa as well as the Cistercian monastery and arboretum in Zirc are very interesting show-places.

Székesfehérvár, Central Transdanubia (Közép-Dunántúl) region, Hungary; This photo can be found here on the Panadea website.

Székesfehérvár, Central Transdanubia (Közép-Dunántúl) region, Hungary; This photo can be found here on the Panadea website.

The variety of the landscape in the region is by itself a speciality and it is impossible to list all the natural spectacles one can find here. The remaining beech- and pine-groves of the former vast forests of the Bakony mountains, the countless caves, the picturesque valleys of the streams Séd and Gerence or the graceful ruins of fortress Csesznek built onto a rock make the Magas-Bakony Nature Conservation Area a preferred target of excursions. One of the most popular pathways in the Vértesi Nature Conservation Area is the botanical and geological “exhibition” path on Haraszt- mountain, where the special geological formations and the sub- mediterranean fauna and flora of Vértes can be observed. On the mountains standing on the northern coast of Lake Velence, at Sukoró, a unique geological phenomenon, the so called “rocking stones” amaze the visitors. In the arboretums of Alcsútdoboz and Zirc, special vegetal rarities and secular trees can be seen. The forests of Bakony and Vértes formerly abounding in games, served as hunting-grounds for royal and aristocratic families. Although the ever crowded wood became looser, various animal species, e. g. mouflon, deer, wild pig, roe and small game are still living here. The less known lakes in Soponya can be offered to the anglers. For people interested in horses and riding, a visit to Kisbér, famous for its race horses or the museum of harness in Sümeg may be of interest, but there are several other places as well to be a slave of a hobby.

In addition to the famous wine-lands of the Balaton-highland, there are several wine-growing areas in Central-Transdanubia: Somlóhegy, offering ezerjó, leányka and riesling in addition to the famous “wine of wedding night” and somlói furmint, Mór, homeland of móri ezerjó, famous also for the special Cellar-row and Wine Museum, the warm downhill of Velence mountains offering excellent piquant white wines, “honey-white” and “hárslevelû” or the vast wine-yards of Etyek producing fine sour-sweet wines.

There are so many areas, so many national dresses, folkways, patterns and motives are to be found in Central-Transdanubia. The beauty and high standards of the folkweaves, crewel-works of Sárrét as well as the wood-carvings of its shepherds are equivalent to the better known products of other regions. The most beautiful masterpieces can be seen in the Sárrét Cottage in Füle.

The local Vértes Museum exhibits the works of the potters working in Csákvár. The beautiful untouched village Vérteskozma with its German inhabitants and the Rácváros outdoor village museum are the most beautiful items of the ethnic vestige. Although the “blue painter” does not belong to the traditional national dress, it constitutes part of the Hungarian dressing culture for decades. The exhibition of the Blue Painting Museum in Pápa presents some wonderful masterpieces.

The most famous product of the region is manufactured in Herend.
The expo-winning china of Herend spreads the fame of this region being so abundant in both historical vestiges and natural beauties all over the world.