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Natural attractions

1. Tatarian Breadplant study path

One emblematic symbol of our city is considered to be the Tatarian Breadplant (Crambe tataria) since it made Balatonkenese widely known among hikers, festival guests and nature-lovers in general. The study path that leads to its habitat on Soós-hill is marked with a (T) and starts right in the city center. There are several explanatory signs along the way that also help with orientation.

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2. Rákóczi’s elm tree and surrounding area

According to legend, the beloved Hungarian leader Ferenc Rákóczi has once stopped to rest in the cool shade of a large elm tree in the area which has subsequently been declared a protected specimen and has gone on to live another 400 years. Although there are no written testimonies to verify the validity of the account, we do know for certain that one of Rákóczi’s brigadiers, Béri Balogh Ádám has visited the area a number of times and even won a battle against emperor Rabutin’s army in February 1707.

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3. The Parragh arboretum

The privately held arboretum in the heart of the city is only seasonally open to the public.

The agricultural engineer Farkas Parragh who initially founded the closed garden space to serve as a nursery, left it to the Hungarian State upon his death. The majority of the garden has been artificially designed to resemble a park and hosts many of the trees native to Hungary but also some exotic species. In 2002 the “Forest retreat” was added in order to serve as a service area within the establishment.

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4. The chestnut tree park

There site of the miles-long chestnut trees, located in the southern part of the city, next to the bicycle trail and parallel to road 71 which runs through the western borders of Balatonkenese, offers an unforgettable image each season.

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5. The Catholic church of Kenese

The founding stone was laid on May 11th 1815 and the building process was finalized on August 15th 1819. A dedication service was performed on the feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8th. The biggest of the three bells mounted high in the church tower, bears the portrait of Saint Stephen and Pope Urban, weighing in at more than a ton and having been cast in the foundries of the city Veszprém. An older bell has been removed during the second World War and melted into iron for military purposes.

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6. The Catholic church of Akarattya

Right in front of Park Rákóczi rises the Catholic church, built from donations after the new parceling subdivision initiatives in the 1920s. The building is home to a rare beauty: a Virgin Mary sculpture donated by Kisfaludi Stróbl Zsigmond, a renowned sculptor who often rested in the area near the church building.

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7. The Reformed Church and its parishes

The church was built between 1658-1660 on the ruins of a Catholic church building that used to stand there. It is a well-known and highly appreciated landmark of the city and forms a harmonious unity together with the late-baroque style parsonage. The building itself faces towards the East which further proves its ancient Catholic heritage.

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8. Ethnographic village museum house

After the end of the initial stages of the Turkish occupation, that claimed the lives of many of the local population and at the beginning of the XVIII century, the area around Kenese began to be more densely populated. One by one, houses were built on the small properties of just 540m2 belonging to the serfs. The cadastral maps of 1858 clearly demonstrate the existence of today’s village museum house on Kossuth Lajos Street No. 6. It was located on the street front and at the time owned by Ferenc Sipos.

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9. The Owlfort

Initially, the building was erected at the end of the XIX century to serve as the summer residence of the Bishop Gusztáv Jánosi (1841-1911). Spending most of his life in Kenese, he wanted his mansion to resemble the appearance of the old Scottish forts and since the clergyman devoted most of his time to the study of sciences, writing poetry and translation of English literature, the local population named his mansion “Owlfort”.

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10. The House with the wooden shingles

Along the northern coasts of Lake Balaton there used to be quite a few villages inhabited mostly by the wealthy representatives of the local gentry. Their lifestyle, traditions and architectural style is to a certain extent still preserved today. The ribbed vaults and clerestory columns easily identify their former residences.

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