Fonyod.  Georgafy

Fonyód, the town of 5211 people is located in North West Somogy, on the Southern Shore of Lake Balaton. The settlement can be reached on road, rail and water, too. In the shore-lane there was built a bicycle path. From the middle of the last century steamers regularly put in. Beside the scheduled ship services the most frequent line goes to Badacsony, the famous vine-growing area carrying 6500 passengers every day in the summertime. Due to train service there exists a direct connection between Fonyód and Kaposvár, the county town. At the same time Fonyód is able to join in the international rail network of Europe.

Road 7, which runs through on the shore of Balaton, was finished by 1928. Local bus-services became scheduled from the middle of the sixties.

Inside the limits of Fonyód a 10 km long green area can be found, which is suitable for bathing and spare time activities. From 168 hectares of green, parks and open-air pool take 43 hectares, while camps, campings, holiday homes and public domain take 50 hectares.

Winter is cold and wet, so ice near the shore is suitable for winter sports. But sunny and hot summers have the real attraction. The concomitant of summer weather is the slightly frequent, fast passing storm of Balaton.


Over the Hungarian conquest the Bő clan settled on the territory on he County of Somogy, and the leader of the settlers was Koppány, who probably had a strong castle on the castle hill. After the revolt of Koppány, King St Stephen placed "besenyő" and "berény" troops on the area defending Somogyvár and Fonyód (Fonó) castles. In 1082 a letter of Saint Ladislas mentions the village as "Funoldi". In 1232 the village belonged 10 the Abbey of Tihany. A map from 1339 shows Lake Balaton smaller than it really was, two hundred years later another map indicates Fonyód, too - although as an island, but with a castle; probably its stronghold was inhabited at that time, too. Over the area of Fácánváros the remains of a church were found. Turkish occupied its castle in 1575 - it was razed to the ground by them. By 1580 nobody lived in the village. After the Turkish occupation Fonyód was only inhabited in the 19th century again. Over the Hungarian War of Independence Fonyód had only 108 permanent inhabitants - mostly peasants and fishermen. In the 1940s a port was built in the village. Shipping, land drainage, fishing and grape production meant new work-possibilities in the village and around, too. The construction of the railway contributed a great deal towards the development of the area, and grape production became even more popular after a teacher of oenology (wine-growing) moved to the neighbouring Balatonboglár. Besides wine-growing fishing was also significant in the region. Acres of the lake could be rented from the landowner Inkey family. The turn of the century meant the modernisation of fishing too: Balaton Fishing Corporation was founded and one of the nine company seats was in Fonyód. By the turn of the century Fonyód started to become a holiday resort - the Fonyód Holidaymakers'Association was established in 1897 and next year many villas were built in the village. After the opening of the Kaposvár-Fonyód railway-line a fast development started: by 1911 one and a half thousand regular visitors came to Fonyód every year. Twenty hotels and many guesthouses provided for 2500 guests in the village and in the bathing establishments. Road network was built, as the village was situated on a rather big area. Fonyód was connected to the Balaton-area telephone network in 1905, the electrification of the village started in 1912-1913. Over World War I 128 villagers had to join the army, 27 have not returned from the fights. At that time holidaymakers stood away which meant less work possibilities in Fonyód. This tendency continued until the thirties, locals tried to earn their living in agriculture, as vineyards needed seasonal work force most of the time. In 1930 721 residents were businessmen, and 1617 people lived in the village. The flood of 1940 caused the regression of fishing. In the thirties visitors rediscovered Fonyód, 4-5 thousand of them spent their holidays here. In 1933-1934 the local port was reconstructed, so it was able to receive bigger ships from then on. In World War II many villagers were killed in the fights, those who remained in the village hosted Polish and Southern Transylvanian refugees. Following the German occupation 19 Jewish villagers were deported from Fonyód. After the war the near 3000 villagers started the renovation of the village, and the "centrally organised holidaymaking" started in 1949 - for which the state nationalised 14 villas. The search for thermo-water started in 1957 - as a result carbonates water was found, and the bottling in 1960. The Fonyód mineral water is a well-known brand now. Development had not stopped in the village of 3251 in the sixties: streetlights were finished for Bélatelep, one of the holiday areas, Fonyódliget's water pipes were constructed. Pavements were constructed, culture house was built and new swimming establishments, bathing boxes were prepared. Half of the buildings of today's Fonyód were built between 1960 and 1969. By 1970 Fonyód was declared "nagyközség" - "large village" constituting an administrative division (the last step before becoming a town) in Hungary. High quality services were provided in the village, and in that decade only the county town Kaposvár was better in business turnover in Somogy County. Many flats and a nursery was built, a stadium was constructed. Fonyód celebrated its 900th anniversary in 1982. In that year 131 children were at the nursery school, the primary school was attended by 500, the technical vocational secondary school by 346 students. The four cinemas received 81.000 guests, and the local library had almost 2.000 registered readers. The town title was awarded to Fonyód in 1989.


Elections of 1990 made a significant change in the life of Fonyód. Since then five parties have operated local divisions in the town - the members of the five local party branches and the Town Embellishment Association form the local government. Many foundations have been set up in Fonyód, there is a local cable television and two publications. Fonyód and Lengyeltóti started a mutual fund, which is called Big-Band, and its purpose is to support talented, young pupils of music. Fonyód has three twin cities: Leipheim (Germany), Borszék (Rumania) and Novi Vinodoloski (Croatia). Together with the neighbouring Balatonboglár and Balatonlelle Fonyód has a valuable contact with the city of Cracow in Poland.


Standard population of the settlement has not changed significantly over the past few years. Proportion of sexes is balanced, female residents take 47,2 % of total population. 60% of the 5.211 residents are at working age, luckily unemployment is very low - it varies between 3 and 5% depending on the holiday season.


The local government operates 11 institutions in the town - these provide educational, cultural, social and sanitary services. The organised education of children starts at the nursery schools. A day nursery for 35 children, two nursery schools for 155 children can be found here. A primary school for 500 pupils, a secondary school with dormitory, a music school, and technical vocational education are also available in the town. Today almost 2.000 students attend schools in Fonyód, almost 90% of the students participating in secondary education come from outside the town or stay at the dormitory.


All educational institutions have their own libraries, they have 1.200 registered readers. One of the largest cultural institutions of the town is the Culture House, which hosts many study circles and clubs like wood-carving, stamp-collecting, folk-dance, language-course. The cultural life of Fonyód has a special character by the presence of different festivals. Foreign guests always keep these programmes in their mind and for this reason visit Fonyód every year. The regular summer and autumn festivals attract many tourists from all over Europe. Many artists live in the town and the "Helikon" Poets Festival is also famous all over the country.


The members of three denominations live in Fonyód, the Lutheran, the Calvinist and the Roman Catholic. The Catholics have their own church in the town, while the representatives of the other two denominations use another church in common. Practicing religion is typical of the old.


Ambulance, surgery, internal pathology, ophthalmology, gynaecology, laboratory are hosted at the local polyclinic. Two family doctors, private doctors, dentists also work in the town. All-night service, and family nurse are also available in Fonyód.


The sportgrounds occupy 3 hectares of the town's area, a sportcomplex is also available with athletics-, football grounds and with an indoor ground. The tennis grounds are popular among tourists and locals alike.


2.064 flats and 3.504 holiday cottages, homes can be found in Fonyód - three fourth of all roads are paved in the town. The town's water supply system is used by 4.651 consumers, and 2.090 sites are connected to the sewer drainage network. The local police operate the Water Police with four boats on the lake.


It is well worth trying to make a round of the town's monuments. Public baths like Csiszta amplify other services of Balaton. The port of the settlement receives many ships, ferries and guests throughout the summertime. The Statue of Couple, the high school's building, the underground passage, the monuments of Manó Szaploncay and forest 'Kossuth' are all special characters of Fonyód.


Public institutions, which give employment to about 700 people, can be found among the largest employers of the settlement. Big industrial companies give work to another 700 people. Remarkable number of enterprises operate in Fonyód, particularly in summer. The town cooperates with Balatonboglár, Balatonlelle and other settlements in tourism and propaganda activity. More than 15 travel agencies help the town organize tourism. Many of the residents receive guests every summer.


Fonyód has close connections with three settlements. The town collaborates with the German Leipheim, the Transylvanian Borszék, the Croatian Novi Vinodolski.


The local government plans to develop conditions of quality tourism. The town's aim of high priority is to enlarge catering trade's capacity.

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