Sights in Hévíz
Thermal lake | Schulhof Promenade | Town Hall | "Holy Spirit" Roman Catholic Church | Lutheran Church | Church of the Árpád Age | "Heart of Jesus" Church of Egregy | The former Roman Catholic Church of the Assumption
Lake Hévíz lies in a 60.5 hectare nature conservation area, 4.44 hectares of which is the surface of the lake. The marshland surrounding the lake is protected by law. The spring cave and the lake are also highly-protected natural phenomena.
Lake Hévíz is a geological curiosity: unlike the other warm-water lakes in the world which were typically formed in clay soil or in a rocky bed, Lake Hévíz is a lake with a peat-bed.
The average annual rainfall is 679 mm, and there are nearly 2000 sunny hours a year. Due to the balanced temperatures, summer heat is more moderate, while winter is milder. The mean annual temperature is 11.2°C. The air of the baths is clear and free from dust and moisture.
The Mediterranean-type microclimate of Hévíz is most apparent on the Vilmos Schulhof Promenade, leading to the main entrance of the lake. Besides the colourful flowers blooming from early spring to late autumn and the exotic evergreens, the row of plane trees and also elderly trees (ash trees, bald-cypresses and lacebark pines), planted at the same time as the planes, are of great importance. The promenade is lined with benches, inducing tourists to stop and have a look around. The atmosphere of the promenade is made even more pleasant by a row of public works of art.
The newly-built town hall of Hévíz was constructed between 1998-1999 on the place of the former village house and its surroundings. The mayor of Hévíz and Bertalan Farkas (space research engineer, brigadier and Hungary's first astronaut) laid the foundation stone of the building on 31 January 1998.
Next to the main entrance of the town hall stands an ellipse-shaped tower containing a staircase and houses a carillon of 18 bells. Its special purpose is to provide the music for the marionette procession three times a day.
This church is the biggest in Hévíz, seating 1,000 people. József Szendi, the former Bishop of Veszprém, laid the foundation stone on 27 May 1996, on Whit Monday. The building was built in three years to the plans of architect János Bocskai with the financial support of Hévíz and its citizens. The church was consecrated by retired Archbishop József Szendi on 9 September 2007. The seven towers of the church symbolize the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The plans of the church were made by the architect Bálint Szeghalmy from Oradea in 1941. At that time, the church could not be constructed, but was finally built between 1995-98. The red stone wall and marble decoration of the church reminds us of the Hungarian Calvinist churches in Transylvania. The detail of the woodwork is also noteworthy. The official laying of the foundation stone took place on 21 Jun 1997. The church was consecrated by Béla Harmati (Lutheran priest) and Dr. Mihály Márkusz (Calvinist bishop), with the service of the local priest, on 6 December 1998.
The church of Egregy is one of the most beautiful rural churches of the Roman era. This is one of the three churches of the pre-14th century Árpád era still intact among the churches of Balaton and its surroundings.
The exact time of the construction of the slender stone church is not known, but it is estimated to have been in the first part of the 13th century. The first chartered data is from 1341. During these times, the church suffered great damages and was rebuilt and renovated several times. The present Baroque form of the church was created in the 18th century from plans by Kálmán Lux.
The church has two parts built in different periods. The bell tower was built in the 20th century, but the nave was built between 1994-95. The construction of the nave started in 1994 from plans by János Bocskai. The modern church looks splendid with its green colour. It was consecrated by Dr. Gáspár Ladocsi (brigadier and army bishop) on 22 April 1995.
Today this former church is used as the Mother Theresa Residential Home. It served worshippers for 33 years, but was closed after the consecration of the newly-built Roman Catholic church. The local government of Hévíz reconstructed the interior of the church into the current residential home.