Hungary: Heviz Spa Town
Europe’s largest thermal lake (4,44 ha) is fed by two rivers. This took divers decades to find out. Thermal healing spring comes from an underground karst cave. Its temperature is 41°C. The other spring is cold. So mixed together they make water about 34 degrees warm in summer, in winter 26. Expert estimates say both springs have very high-performance (60–80 million liters of water per day) which means water in the lake changes every 28 hours. Natural reservoir doesn’t grow larger, however, because the water is drained to Lake Balaton. Muddy bottom of the lake make all kind of organisms flourish – mostly lotus. This blossoming lake is home to many animals. For local people, it is a place of steady income.
The cross-looking complex is built above the lake standing on columns from reinforced concrete. It looks like a floaring structure lined with terraces for sunbathing. The center of the structure hides inner thermal pools with massage nozzles. You can swim through the whole complex. you have to only find the right route through wooden doors. The route would get you under one of the towers and you are on the surface breathing fresh air.
The interior is mostly made of glass as well as terraces cowered with folding beds. Shores of the lake host structures of the same style which serve as changing rooms or hygienic facilities. Folding beds are on grass shore as well with an acess to the lake. Non-swimmers can have fun at the point where water flows to Balaton – at the south entrance. The compound has couple of entrances. Choose the one for you according to your accommodation which is normally not possible on the compound. Other services include – a summer restaurant on the beach. Adjacent to it is a pool that has couple of attraction mostly for kids and also offers all kinds of refreshments and massages. Due to the fact that the lake is pretty deep there as anchors where you can tie your vessel. Visitors who have already been there take inflatable round with. Once you enter the spa you get an electronic wristband and go to common changing rooms. From there you continue through glassed corridors towards the pools, terraces or beaches.
It is a typical spa town. There are spa houses, hotels and guest houses all set in a nice green landscape. Pedestrian zones and town parks make walks in the town great. When tired take a seat in some café. Also see the district of Egregy (Weinberg) – a hill famous for wine-growing that has been happening there since the Roman times. Thanks to warm climate vine grows perfect there. Wine bars open earliest at the noon and are mostly half-full also in the evening. A small cemetery with a 13th-century Romanesque church is at the end of the pedestrian zone.
Heviz’s largest church is to be found in the center opposite to the town-hall. This church devoted to the Holy Ghost has seven towers which represent seven gifts of the Holy Ghost. Its façade is pale blue. You can hardly miss it.
Text and photo: Monika Babická
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