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All year round SteamshipOldest sailing bargeBiggest sailing bargeCount István Széchenyi

Our exhibition takes you through the history of sailing on Lake Balaton. We display how the means of transport on Lake Balaton have changed from Roman times to the present day.

Do you know that the landlords of Keszthely, in the Festetics shipyard in Fenékpuszta, built the largest sailing ship of all time on Lake Balaton?

The history of sailing on Lake Balaton dates back to prehistory. Our exhibition shows what tools were used by ship carpenters in Roman times, where ferry crossings were in the Middle Ages, and what kind of boat life took place on Lake Balaton in the 16-19th centuries.

Do you know that the landlords of Keszthely, at the shipbuilder settlement of the Festetics in Fenékpuszta, produced a whole small fleet?

The largest sailing ship of all time on Lake Balaton was also built here. You can see its original signal gun in our exhibition.

As a result of the organizing work of the Deputy Governor of Zala County and Count István Széchenyi, the Balaton Steamboat Company was founded in 1845. The steam engine of the first ship, the “Kisfaludy,” was brought from England. The fleet expanded in the last decades of the 19th century, including the Baross, Helka and Kelén ships presented in our exhibition. The ships of Lake Balaton also fell victim to the devastation of the Second World War: in 1945, everything had to be started from the beginning.

It is almost unbelievable, but ‘Kishamis’, the oldest sports sailboat on the lake, built in 1896, still sails today.

Like steam boating, the first attempt to introduce sports sailing belongs to Count István Széchenyi. For whose entertainment did he bring his sails boat from Lake Fertő/Neusiedl to Lake Balaton? You can find it out with us!

Of course, we should mention the “Balaton Blue Ribbon”, the longest lake go-around race in Europe, we will also tell about it later, and we will remember the most serious lake accident of the last century, the tragedy of the Pajtás steamer, which claimed many lives.

At the end of our exhibition, you will find yourself on a passenger ship on Lake Balaton, where you can grab a steering wheel and turn around in the Füred Bay with a skillful maneuver.