About the city

Balatonfüred, more than just a resort town.

Füred is the oldest resort on the shores of Lake Balaton, but there is much more to this charming little town, nestled among the rolling hills. It is a popular destination primarily because of its proximity to Lake Balaton and its climate, which resembles the climate of the Mediterranean, and many people also come to Füred for the thermal springs and the engaging cultural life.

The small town, which has roughly 13,000 permanent residents, is located on the northern shore of Lake Balaton, 130 kilometers from Budapest.  Highway 71 and the single-track railway from Budapest to Tapolca pass through the town.

The area was already inhabited in Roman times, but its name was first mentioned in 1211, in the list of the estates of Tihany Abbey. Tourism has always played a significant role in the lives of the inhabitants of Füred. After the acidic waters of Füred were declared medicinal waters, the town became a spa resort.

Balatonfüred started to thrive in the 1800s, during what is known in Hungary as the Reform Era, when major political changes were underway. It was a popular meeting place for liberal politicians and artists, and it came to play a major historical and cultural role. The town has many monuments, important buildings, and traditions from this period. There are many sumptuous villas and manor houses in Füred the owners of which made important contributions to shaping the image of Balatonfüred and spreading its fame far and wide.

In 1831, with donations from the abbey and the people, poet and dramatist Sándor Kisfaludy opened the first permanent theater in Balatonfüred, which functioned as a kind of home for the Hungarian language at a time when German was the official language. The historic lower part of the town has a Reform Era atmosphere, one of the gems of which is the neoclassical Blaha Lujza villa, where the famous turn-of-the-century Hungarian actress Lujza Blaha spent her summers for 23 years. In his book of anecdotal narratives entitled Journey Around Lake Balaton, Károly Eötvös devotes a whole chapter to Balatonfüred, which was inspired by the time he spent in the town.  Balatonfüred is also the setting for a short story by internationally famous Hungarian writer István Örkény entitled Satan. But the town had perhaps the greatest impact on the oeuvre of nineteenth-century novelist Mór Jókai, who spent a great deal of time in his villa in Balatonfüred. It was here that he wrote his famous novel The Man with the Golden Touch, part of which is set on Lake Balaton. The building is now a museum, where visitors s can see Jókai’s furniture and personal belongings.

Writers of the city

Rabindranath Tagore also had a close connection with Balatonfüred. The Nobel Prize-winning Indian poet spent time in Balatonfüred to improve his health, and he always looked back on the days he passed in Füred with great fondness. The famous Tagore promenade still bears his name. The renowned Italian poet Salvatore Quasimodo, also a Nobel Prize winner, captured his feelings for the Balaton landscape and the town in a poem. Since 1992, the Quasimodo International Poetry Competition, a major event in both Hungarian and Italian cultural life, has been held in his honor.

Sights to see

The Lóczy Cave

Koloska Valley

Annagora Aquapark

The Jókai Lookout

The Tagore promenade and memorial park

The statue of the fisherman and the ferryman

The ruins of the Papsoka Church

Carbonic acid springs

Sights around Balatonfüred:

Tihanyi Abbey

Tapolca, Malom Lake

The lavender grange of Dörgicse

Every year, Balatonfüred hosts major cultural events, such as the Anna Ball, the Füred Wine Week, and the aforementioned Quasimodo Poetry Competition, and the annual Kékszalag Balaton sailing race begins here.

About the residence

Residence for translators only!

Balatonfüred, a town on the northern shore of Lake Balaton, looks back on a proud history with deep ties to the Hungarian national literary tradition, ties that stretch back to the nineteenth century. The Translation House in Balatonfüred is now known as an iconic institution where some of the finest translations of works of Hungarian literature have been done. The villa, which is a few hundred meters from the promenade and the inviting inner-city, offers exactly what one would expect from such a building: grace and elegance combined with all the practical accouterments of modern-day life to ensure that translators and writers will be comfortable and able to work. The residential rooms are unique and offer the feel of a home. The common areas are also reminiscent of the turn of the century, with glass verandas and corners into which one can retreat to relax or converse. Several writers and translators from different countries usually stay in the villa at the same time, creating opportunities to forge professional friendships and share ideas about literature and writing.

To make a booking, please see the webpage below or contact the residency program directly.