The healing springs of the north coast have been known since the 18th century. But since when have people been bathing in Lake Balaton? Our exhibition follows the development of the Balaton bathing culture.
In the 19th century, the distinguished guests went to the spa not only for healing, but also as a part of social life. At that time, Balatonfüred became a meeting place for politicians and artists. Open-air music, balls, excursions, lively sports and boating life provided entertainment for the contemporary public. Interestingly, during this period, swimming in the lake was only a supplement to various sour-water treatments.
Today it is almost unthinkable, but at the time of Balatonfüred’s heyday, Lake Hévíz was only a spa for the poor in the area. Its development into a modern spa can be traced back to the early 1900s and to the Reischl family in Keszthely.
Our exhibition displays the 19th century spa gifts. Aerial photographs, maps and photographs illustrate the expansion of the holiday resorts from the late 19th century to the 1990s.
Do you know where the scouts’ popular Balaton base used to be?
Lots and lots of old postcards and posters bring you back to the first half of the 20th century, the early flourishing period of the Lake Balaton bathing culture. At that time, the first children’s resorts and student hostels were established. In the 1920s and 1930s, Lake Balaton was a popular base for scouts, marked by the legendary Pioneer Town of Zánka. Do you know that in this era – with the support of the Communist Youth Association, and later the counties, settlements, larger companies – hundreds of thousands could travel to Lake Balaton for holiday at a very discounted price, or even for free?
Favorite parts of our exhibition are postcards and diary excerpts written and drawn by young residents of children’s camps and resorts.