National and historical symbols of Hungary

In this section you can find the crests of almost 2400 settlements of Hungary with notes. Find the starting letter of the settlement in the list and click if you want to see it.

The Coat-of-Arms of the Town of Balatonalmádi [¤]
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Balatonalmádi

(County Veszprém)

Balatonalmádi's coat-of-arms was adopted by Decree 4/1987 (V. 12) of the local council.

The coat-of-arms is a shield erect with a pointed base, party per pale azure and gules. In the first (dexter) field azure four bendlets wavy argent, symbolising Lake Balaton, which appears in the settlement's name. The second field (gules) symbolises Vörösberény, now part of Balatonalmádi (translator's note: vörös is the Hungarian for gules/red), while the single-towered, onion-domed church argent with a tower window and surrounded by a wall with a gate, borne on the top of a mount vert, represents Vörösberény's renowned historical monument.

History and Description

Balatonalmádi is a resort of picturesque beauty on the northern shore of Lake Balaton. Its seven-kilometre-long coastline is surrounded by varied ranges of hills and slopes, offering the town a unique, amphitheatre-like geographical location.

The settlement consists of four, clearly distinguishable yet organically unified parts, namely Vörösberény, Almádi, Káptalanfüred and Budatava.

As proven by Bronze Age finds, the area was inhabited by early humans. In 1996, archeologists excavated a cca 8,000-year-old fireplace. The village of Vörösberény must have existed in the years around the Magyar conquest of Hungary. According to a document written in Greek and containing some Hungarian place names, it was King St Stephen who bestowed the settlement on the Greek nuns of Veszprémvölgy. Another witness of ancient times is the Calvinist church built on Romanesque foundations. Despite several reconstructions, it has managed to keep the characteristic features of Gothic and Baroque as well.

The church surrounded by a stone wall emerges above the skyline of the town majestically and, as the oldest building of the settlement, it is deservedly borne as its symbol in the coat-of-arms. In the summer the ancient building is the venue of classical music concerts. Another distinct and listed building at Vörösberény is the Roman Catholic church, consecrated in 1779 to honour St Ignatius; the frescoes, altar and pulpit represent outstanding works of art. Next to the church one can find the building of the former Jesuit monastery, which today functions as a hotel. Vörösberény has been part of Balatonalmádi since 1971.

Almádi's name was first mentioned in a purchase deed dated 1493 with regard to a vineyard. Due to the favourable climate and geographical location, viniculture was for centuries the primary source of living in the area until as late as the mid-1880s, when the vineyards were destroyed by a phylloxera epidemic. Almádi's area belonged to the estate of the Chapter of Veszprém, and it only obtained the rank of an autonomous settlement in 1869. From 1901 onwards, the settlement's official name has been Balatonalmádi. Following the phylloxera epidemic, as a result of the distribution of the chapter's estate and of other private land properties, the settlement was gradually growing into a resort in the last quarter of the 19th century. In the areas that had not been replanted with vine, the cellars were transformed and villas, resort houses and baths were built. Alongside with the growth of population, the number of holidaymakers also increased. Since there were guests to cater for, a lot of restaurants, hotels and cafeterias opened, together with the continuously widening range of services. In 1889, Almádi was linked to the regular passenger boat service on Lake Balaton, and in 1909 rail transport also started to operate.

Káptalanfüred used to be part of the estate of the Chapter of Veszprém. Following the above-mentioned distribution of land in the 1930s, a settlement of mainly holiday homes emerged. Until 1952, this area was part of the county Zala, but it reached as far as Balatonalmádi's distributed plots of land. The memories of the past are kept by Káptalanfüred's oak and pine trees, which give shelter to hundreds of resort houses.

Situated near trunk road 71, Budatava is the youngest and most urbanised part of Balatonalmádi, with a multitude of resort houses and hotels built by the shore. Along the coastline an uninterrupted strip of reedy waterworld can be found, reaching as far as the bay of Fűzfő.

The settlement was raised to the rank of town in 1989. Today the number of residents is 8,300. Local institutions have been established on a small town's scale. The young are educated at three kindergartens and three primary schools.

The Hungarian-English bilingual secondary grammar school, taking students from all over the country, was opened in 1988. The town's music school is located in the beautifully renovated building of the former village hall. The public library and the community centre provide excellent opportunities for education and leisure time activities. The Új Almádi Újság (Almádi News) is a popular local paper. The regional Öböl-TV (Bay TV) regularly broadcasts local events of importance.

For Balatonalmádi, it is above all tourism at Lake Balaton that represents the chief driving force of progress and the attraction that keeps residents in place. Accommodation is available at many thousands of bed and breakfast places, as well as pensions, campsites and lakeside hotels. Hungry and thirsty guests are awaited at excellent inns and restaurants with tasty food and local wines, both on the shore and on top of Öreghegy. In the high season not a single day passes without a cultural programme or some other form of entertainment. One of the most renowned events in the summer is the series of old music concerts held each Friday in July and August at the fortified Calvinist church of Vörösberény. Another important event is the colourful bustle of Almádi Napok, organised at the end of July every summer. For ten days, guests are entertained with cultural programmes, concerts, sports and other events. On Városháza tér (Town Hall Square) there is an open-air market featuring excellent works by folk artists. In summer, the art gallery in the attic of the town hall (Padlás Galéria) is the venue of individual or collective art exhibitions. There is also a biannual exhibition called Balatoni Tárlat, displaying the works of artists who are closely related to the Balaton region. The open-air concerts held in the music pavilion at Öregpark are also popular with holidaymakers and tourists.

Lovers of swimming and sun worshippers can pursue their favourite pastime at a number of public beaches. The lake offers excellent opportunities for sailers, surfers and anglers as well. Those who like nature and hiking can walk along the trail called Vörös Homokkő (Red Sandstone) passing by the lookout at Óvár. They can also walk in the beautifully tended Öregpark or wander in Malomvölgy (valley) along marked paths in the forests surrounding the town and can take delight in the beauty of the landscape.

Using our new guest card system introduced in 1999, visitors to our town can take advantage of parking lots and beaches owned by the local authority free of charge.

Pictures:

1. View of Almádi from the Bay of Fűzfő

2. A mediaeval Calvinist church, fortified with a stone wall

3. One of the stations of Vörös Homokkő (Red Sandstone) Trail, which introduces the town to visitors, evokes the memory of the one-time narrow-gauge railway between Veszprém and Alsóörs

4. Visitors arriving in Balatonalmádi are welcomed by this block of red sandstone bearing the town's arms

5. St. Imre Parish Church at Almádi