Our exhibition catches exactly this kind of diversity and shows it the visitors, organized in intersections, in the form of chapters. We do not want to tell everything about Balaton (this is also suggested by the subtitle of the exhibition), but we would like to show the major characteristics through which the lake and its history can be known.
The exhibition recalls the history of the lake through eleven rooms. The 1st room shows the formation and geology of Lake Balaton, lining up several new and important findings of the research of the last decades that put the question of the birth of the lake in a new perspective. The 2nd room analyses the relationship of man and the lake in the light of the settlement of the surroundings of the lake and the regulation of the water. The 3rd room shows us the fauna and the flora of Balaton in big dioramas, dividing the topic in three thematic parts (the life under the water, lakeside and the highland). In the 4th and the 5th rooms the visitors can get to know the castles and fortifications the prehistoric, roman and medieval periods of the surroundings of Balaton.
The 6th room serves the visitors as a “virtual point of knowledge”; here we surf in the history of the lake by the help of computers.
The 7th room deals with the most ancient food procuring method of the man of Lake Balaton – fishing. Dioramas revive the summer small-scale fishing and the winter large-scale ice-fishing. In the exhibition cases you can see fishing tools from the Stone Age up to the 19th century. In the middle of the room a dugout boat called light boat is put on sight.
In the 8th and 9th rooms visitors get to know the formation of modern bath culture and the typical scenes of last decades around Lake Balaton. Starting from the discovery of the lake and the formation of holiday resorts, more themes come to light which are rarely exhibited in Hungarian museums: sports, children camps, catering, wine harvest and vineyards, folk art and souvenirs, hotels and holiday homes, vacation rentals. The century-old fashion of swimsuits can be seen in the wooden bathhouse recalling the former Islandbath in Keszthely, surrounded by shop-windows and scenes on the promenade of the holiday resort.
The 10th and 11th rooms deal with the past of Balaton shipping. Many photos and illustrations make spectacular the survey from the prehistoric period until now. Compared with other shipping exhibitions, there can be found here also the freight shipping and ferry crossing. Ship models display not only the galleys of Festetics family, but the classic steamboats and screw steamers, not forgetting the motorboats. Among the branches of sports of Balaton the yachting can be studied here, at the themes of modern shipping.
Reaching the end of the whole exhibition, visitors take a rest and summarize on the shipboard which gives them the experience of steering and lake view.