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Natural attractions

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”.


He was an avid supporter of the cult surrounding Lake Balaton and often enjoyed entertaining his friends, writers, poets and painters at his house. The three murals of the ceiling that adorn the Catholic church on the opposite side of the street, were in fact commissioned by him in 1907. Jánosi also worked strenuously on creating a tradition for bathing at Kenese and one of the main attractions of the harbor was his magnificent yacht that he affectionately baptized Dodo.

As a young child, one of the area’s most famous writers, János Váth (on his real name János Horváth), fell into the waters of the lake and he would not have lived to become such a renowned author had it not been for Bishop Jánosi who saved his life!

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