Actuality to receive the newsletter or on Facebook!

Natural attractions

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.

Although an entire part of the old town, mostly inhabited by noble families, has perished during the course of history, there were still plenty of noblemen living in Kenese. Evidence for that are a number of large townhouses across the city that are still inhabited and very well preserved.

Usually, the individual rooms and spaces of the typical Hungarian house had separate entrances. The porch, architecturally unified with the rest of the house and integrated into the roofline, can be either open or closed, arched or plain. There are however no houses in Kenese that have a free-floating porch. Traditionally, the houses newer had more than a ground floor, hence the complete lack of traditional ethnic multiple-story houses in the area, while being a rare sighting all across the country. It is therefore a great source of local pride to have such an exceptional and rare example of such a building in our midst. The make-up of the walls consists mainly of stones and adobe bricks, has an additional story above the ground floor and a traditional porch.

It was originally built resembling the characteristics of the classical style in 1858 by József Kocsi. Initially, a softer spur of the Highcoast surrounded the back part of the property but the local villagers gradually carried it away. There are two possible theories that would explain the additional floor of the house: according to the first one, the extra level was necessary since parts of the Highcoast that stretched at the back, blocked the incoming light. According to the second theory, the house was designed this way since its owner had been a prisoner of war in Italy and there he lived in a house similar to this.

Another unique feature of the house has to do with the unusual arrangement of its spaces: the stone-ceiling stables, the granary and the basement were all placed at the ground floor. Nevertheless, it is still considered a village house since all the upstairs rooms and the kitchen have separate entrances from the passage just like the regular houses in the village. The upper porch rests on three distinctive pairs of nicely shaped columns. When the building became public property, it used to house the exhibition of the local historical objects, tools and manuscripts that have been transferred in the mean time to the village museum house. We highly recommend a visit to both these places and promise that you will find the short walk especially delightful.

In 1960, the building received a complete restoration; new wooden shingles replaced the old roof and the interiors were made to accommodate a cozy little restaurant called Zsindelyes Csárda.

The house is currently private property and not open to visitation. If we continue with our walk through the city, we will discover an architecturally different kind of village home.

The German-type houses differ from their Hungarian counterparts in one major feature: the house has only one door that opens to the corridor and that leads directly to the kitchen. The other rooms and spaces could only be reached through their doors that opened from the kitchen, as opposed to a separate entrance directly from the passage. During later times, the German-style houses grew increasingly more popular until they began to dominate the landscape and are to this day more numerous than the traditional Hungarian houses.

According to the records of the 1950s, there were more than 20 traditional Hungarian houses with arched porches supported by columns, which were most probably built sometime during the XIX century. Unfortunately, their numbers have dwindled drastically and only very few are still intact today.


Balaton Keleti Kapuja
Tourism Association
For more information
waiting for your call
the Tourist
Information Office!
Phone: Tourinform Balatonkenese
2022 All rights reserved.