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Veszprém County is one of the 19 counties of Hungary. It is located in the central part of the Transdanubian region, one of the country's most developed areas. In the southern part of the region, Lake Balaton expands and continues into the Somogy county, creating a natural border between these two regions. Veszprém County is also bordered by Győr-Moson-Sopron and Komárom-Esztergom to the north, Fejér to the east and Vas and Zala to the west.[1] The county consists of ten districts, with a capital city, also named Veszprém, located in the southeastern part of the region. The county's area is 4,463 kilometers square and is inhabited by approximately 356,573 residents, which adds up to a population density of 78.4 people per kilometer square. The northern part of the region is occupied by Little Plain, which continues to the Bakony Mountains spreading over the central part of Veszprém. The southern part of the region is covered by Balaton Lake and adjacent Balaton Uplands. [2] Soils of the Veszprém County are considered unfavorable; however, the area is known to have numerous significant wine regions and a developed grape and wine culture. The meat and dairy sector also plays a prominent role in the food industry. [3] The county also offers numerous touristic attractions, from historical and wine tasting routes to various nature activities such as hiking or cycling; however, among the most prominent attractions is Lake Balaton and its range of activities. [4]

What Veszprem is known for

Veszprém County is presumably most known for the Lake Balaton, which poses its southern borders. The lake itself offers various recreational touristic options, such as swimming, boating, fishing, and many others. On the most prominent peninsula of Balaton Lake is located Tihany village, standing on the peak of a smaller hill. The town prides itself in lavender fields, covering a substantial part of the peninsula. Lavender House Visitor Center is open for tourists, providing information about the history of lavender cultivation and Tihany village itself. [8]

On the northern shores of Balaton Lake, the Balaton Uplands National Park occupies an expanse of land, which was established in 1997. The National Park consists of six landscape protection areas: Kis-Balaton, Keszthely Hills, Tapolca Basin, Káli Basin, Pécsely Basin as well as previously mentioned Tihany Peninsula. Some of the most sought-after natural sights are, for example, the Sea of Stones in Szentbékkálla or Tapolca Basin and its basalt organs of the Szent György Hill. [9]

The Balaton area is also known as probably one of the finest wine regions in Hungary. Badacsony, along with Tokaj and Somló wines, is considered among the top three in Hungary. Badacsony vineyard is located in the Tapolca Basin and reaches Balaton Lake. That area has a long wine-production history, as grapes have been cultivated there since the Roman era. Some of the recommended wineries offering tastings and vineyard tours are, for example, 2HA Vineyard and Winery, Borbély Family Winery, or Folly Arboretum. [10]

Concerning the historical sites of the Veszprém County, Sümeg Castle belongs among the predominant cultural and historical sites. Sümeg Castle is a medieval fortress located in the city of Sümeg, on the western border of Veszprém County. The Castle, whose construction started in the 1260s, consists of three larger units, the outer, inner, and the citadel. Nowadays, the Castle offers various exhibitions and programs, such as historical horse games. Sümeg Castle also features weapons and a carriage museum. Another unique attraction is Knight's Tournament & Medieval Feasts, held on the castle grounds. [11]

Bakony Mountains are situated in the central part of Veszprém County. The mountains are under the protection of the Bakony–Balaton UNESCO Global Geopark. The area offers various natural tourist and hiking opportunities. [12] On the edge of the Bakony Mountains is located the city of Veszprém, the capital city of Veszprém County. In the city is situated the Veszprém Castle, which bears local historical significance. In current times, the Castle is the largest inhabited castle district after Buda Castle. The city itself is nicknamed the "City of Queens." This nickname arose when King Stephen I. gave the town and estates of Veszprém to his wife, Queen Gizella. From then on, the city became the property of the then Hungarian queen.[13]


In the heart of Veszprém County, the Bakony Mountains are situated. The mountains have the highest point in the region, Kőris Hill in North Bakony, at an altitude of 709 m above sea level. The Little Plain extends to the north from the Bakony Mountains. The southern part of the territory is occupied mainly by Lake Balaton, which Balaton Uplands surround. The uplands continue into the Keszthely Plateau, including the Tapolca and Káli basins, for which Mediterranean climate is a characteristic of the area. [3] The county's landscape belongs to five separate geographical units, the Kisalföld, the western Hungarian periphery, the Transdanubian hills, the Transdanubian Central Mountains, and the Great Plain.[1]

A prominent natural hydrographic feature of Veszprém County is Lake Balaton. Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe, covering an area of approximately 600 kilometers squared. The biggest inflow to this freshwater lake is the river Zala, and the canalized Sió is the only outflow river connected to the lake. In general, the soils of Veszprém territory are sparsely fertile; however, the mountainous area of northern Balaton shores is rich in grape vegetation and wine production. [6]

To a lesser extent, the Atlantic climate affects the Veszprém County. The spatial distribution of the precipitation varies depending on the altitude of the region. The area of the Bakony Mountains gets the most rainfall on average. [1] July is the warmest month of the year, with an average daily temperature of 25°C. January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 2.0°C. The driest month is July, with an average of 32.0 mm of rainfall. The most precipitation falls during June, with an average of 60.0 mm. [7]


The Veszprém County landscape has been inhabited since ancient times. Red paint was mined near the Lovas village approximately 80,000 years ago. Later, during the Bormza Age, the area of Bakony was invaded. During Iron Age, earthen castles were built in the hills around Balaton Lake. Roman conquerors settled the area as well. The most significant remains are a Roman farm located in the Baláca steppe, in close proximity to the county's seat, Veszprém; however, the actual development of the area began during the rule of King Stephen I, who granted the county a number of privileges. The development stopped due to the Turkish invasion, when most settlements were destroyed. The central position and natural wealth of the Veszprém County have established its historical, cultural, and economic significance. As an example, the first Hungarian Christian bishopric was established in the city of Veszprém, resulting in it becoming the archbishop's seat. The county also played a prominent role in establishing a new state organization. After another Turkish invasion in the 16th century, Slovaks and Germans helped resettle the Veszprém territory, bringing their culture and traditions as well. To this day, the area of Bakony is mainly inhabited by Germans from that era. Another significant change of nationality occurred in 1945, when one-third of the German-speaking population was displaced. [3]

The events mentioned above led to today's population composition. German nationality is still the most significant minority in the region, followed closely by the Roman people of Hungary. The prevailing religion is Catholicism, mainly its Roman and Greek sectors. Most seats in the Veszprém County Council are occupied by the right-wing, conservative, and Christian coalition. [5] Mining is currently the primary industry in the region, resulting from the richness of mineral resources, such as bauxite, lignite, manganese ore, basalt, tuff, marl, and dolomite. Tourism in the area is relatively developed as well. Veszprém County is the second most visited area after Hungary's capital, Budapest, presumably for the lake Balaton. [3]