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Gárdony, the largest city on shore of Lake Velence (Gárdony)

The largest city on the southern shore of Lake Velence is a tourist centre and its thermal baths is open year round. Among the districts of Gárdony, Agárd is the most developed bathing area and Dinnyés features a conservation area.

Originally the area was a part of the queen's estate of Csepel Island. The first written record referring to an inhabited settlement dates from 1410. The old settlement originally spread out along the shore of the lake but in the wake of repeated flooding eventually it was moved higher up the hillside. During the 18th century a series of puszta farmsteads and manors developed on its outskirts. Farming still plays a significant part in the economic life of the area.

In the 1920's construction of vacation residences and the development of a bathing culture set out. Initially sport associations and groups of nature lovers purchased property here establishing holiday houses and cabins. It was in 1926 that the previously reed covered shoreline was turned into a developed public beach.

Following the events of World War II it was not until the 1950's that the bathing culture resumed again. The most developed bathing resort in Agárd and the Dinnyés nature reserve are both located within the administrative territory of Gárdony.

 

 

A modern bathing facility was constructed in 1984 on a stream found in Bika Valley between Gárdony and Agárd. The facility is open year round and its 36 degree Centigrade mineral waters have beneficial effects on people with locomotor and gynaecological conditions. The thermal baths is the only covered medicinal bath in Fejér County.

 

SIGHTS

Bird hide, ornithological research stationGárdony

The first bird watching station in Hungary was founded here in 1928. Destroyed during World War II, the current hide named after István Chernel replaced the original.

 

Due to radically diminishing habitat and increasing tourism, in 1958 the Ornithological Institute (Madártani Intézet) declared the western reedbed of the lake a conservation area. However, the 420 hectare reservation proved to be too small. Species sensitive to disturbance moved to the Dinnyés Marshes. The two bird reserves have been under the Ramsar Convention since 1979.

 

Dinnyés Marshes Nature Reserve

The Dinnyés Fertő Nature Reserve is located in the west borders of Dinnyés, part of Gárdony. Mainly covered with reeds it provides a habitat for many protected plants and animals.

 

The original meaning of the word 'fertő' in Hungarian is swampy, boggy, marshy land. This is also quite typical of the lake situated on the outskirts of Dinnyés. Prior to the construction of the railway embankment, the marsh lake was directly connected with Lake Velence. The fauna of this lake which is silting up can be observed very well from this embankment and from the hides built along the edge of the conservation area.

The protected botanical heritage of the area are the orchids, spuria irises. The open water surfaces dotted with reedy bits are excellent habitats for greylag geese (Anser anser), coots, groups of ducks, great white egrets (Egreta alba) and the eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia). It also provides a superb habitat for birds of prey like the marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) and kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). Amongst the greylag geese, great crested grebes (Podiceps cristatus) and ducks, the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus) and hobby (Falco subbuteo) appear too.

There is a total ban on hunting water game on the marshlands.

 

Géza Gárdonyi Memorial House

Writer Géza Gárdonyi (1863-1922) was born in this house. The life of the author of 'Eclipse of the Crescent Moon' is told with the aid of period furniture, manuscripts and photographs. The house also hosts a local history exhibition.

Originally called Ziegler, Géza Gárdonyi assumed the 'Gárdonyi' name in honour of his birthplace. His father, whose biography is also a theme of the museum, was an engineer at the manorial estate.

As well as presenting the history of the area, the local history exhibition shows the reed cutting and fishing trade of Lake Velence. A period peasant kitchen is also set up here.

A memorial tablet has been placed on the wall of the house in honour of Géza Gárdonyi.

 

Accommodation in Gárdony:

http://www.hungaryrooms.com/hotels/Gárdony/

Map of Gárdony:

http://www.hungaryrooms.com/map/Gárdony/

 

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