The Gothic Church, the old farmhouses and stately villas in the side streets, the sculptures in the public squares, the natural specialties of the shore of Lake Balaton and the vineyard are attractions, over which visitors might pass without paying attention. However, it is a meaningful recreation to roam around Balatonberény focusing on these sights and specialties.
The Catholic Church was built around 1350, in the Anjou ages and it is one of the rare buildings of the Hungarian gothic architecture which is still standing.
During the battles with the Turkish it was seriously damaged, but the Hunyady family renovated the church around 1733. The baroque tower was built at the occasion of the renovation but the altar, the pillars, the entrance and the windows together with the atmosphere of the calm garden takes us back to the ages of a great historical period of our country, when king Lajos (Louis) was reigning.
In the shadows of the trees, we can discover the statue of St. Vendel (554? – 617?) installed in this garden in 1793. The cult of this saint was probably founded by the German population settled in Hungary during the 18th century.
In this old house, named the Historical House, visitors may meet the history of the village and see its traditional folk art.
The exhibition tells us that in 1906 Béla Bartók also visited the village on his tour of collecting folk music, folk dance and regional traditions. (A plaque placed on the main street of the village also reminds us to this tour of the great Hungarian musician.)
A specialty of the exhibition is a unique torture equipment, which provides us an idea why punishment was frightening in the ages of our ancestors.
“At the end only two remain
God and the wine…”
On the slopes of the grapehill of Balatonberény, the northest slopes of the mountains of Marcali, the viniculture has traditions over centuries.
An incredible view of the Balaton amazes the visitors walking around the wine cellars registered as monuments. The region is known by its red grapes (Merlot, Pinot Noir), but in certain cellars white wine is also offered to the thirsty visitors.
Beside the Roman heritage, it is also an interesting cultural fact that Béla Hamvas was born in the mountains of Balatonberény. His work, the Philosophy of Wine is the basic spiritual literature of our wine culture.
Nowadays, when walking next to the Balaton, it is not easy to imagine how the landscape looked like during the ages of our ancestors.
However, it is an incredible feeling to walk with bare foot in the natural green area of Csicsergő, when you are bending down to reach for a shell… at a lovely summer night, soft wind in your hair while you hear the swish of the reed and feel the unforgettable smell of the Balaton.
When watching the sunset, we can imagine walking towards Keszthely on the bridge created by the golden lights…
Park in Balaton street
In the centre of the village, next to the Balaton there is the Henger Park with its beautiful trees from where a beautiful view of the always changing Balaton may be seen.
At the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the establishment of the Hungarian state and the enthronement of St. István (Stephen), the statute made by László Hegyi an artist from Budapest, was set up in this Park. The statute is a composition consisting of three boat corps with a double crossed mainmast in its centre. The three boat corps are symbolising the great geographical units of the historical Hungary including the Uplands, Southlands and Transylvania while the mainmast stands for the double cross of the apostles, the symbol of the Hungarian sovereignty.
Monument of 1956
It is the monument of the heroes of the Revolution and war of independence of 1956, as well as the thousand-year-old Hungary.
It was inaugurated on 23rd October 2006, on the 50th anniversary of the revolution and war of independence of 1956 in the park in Balaton Street. The monument was completed from the offerings of Hungarians living abroad and was initiated by Nyers István.
On the artwork, which commemorates the heroes of 1956 and the thousand-year-old Hungary, besides the dates of the most important turning-points of the Hungarian history, Wass Albert’s lines about patriotism can be read.
The bust of Kossuth Lajos
The bust of Kossuth Lajos stands on the square named after him, in front of the mayor’s office. The artwork of the artist Kenéz László of Balatonberény was inaugurated at the commemoration on 15th March 2011.
Park of Szabadság square
The Park of Szabadság square can be found at the corner of Táncsics and Szabadság streets.
In 1996, a memorial made for the 110th anniversary of the Settlement of the Hungarians in Hungary was set up in a nice environment surrounded by flowers. Four years later another memorial was placed in this park: the cross donated for the Hungarian millennium by the village of Csíkszentimre was inaugurated on 20 August 2000.
The cross was made by Transylvanian artists on the basis of the plan of László Kenéz an artist of Balatonberény. The artwork stands on its roots with the motive of the tree of life on its leg. The combination of the cross and the tree of life originating from the ancient Hungarian religion symbolises the spirit of the Christian Hungarian state. The roots refer to the adherence of the Hungarians to their country and the cross coming out of the roots stands for the development and courage gained during the reigning of St. István (Stephen)
Directly behind the community center in a 100 year-old peasant’s house is the Painter’s House. This is the summer home of painter Paál Valéria Eszter. You can find and buy many of her paintings here as well as those of other contemporary artist.