Balatonföldvár is sitnated in a valley facing Lake Balaton on the southern shore in the north of Somogy country. The town owes its existence to the beauty of the landscape and its natural endowments.
The history of Földvár goes back to the 11th century when it was first mentioned in the chronicles, then in 1358 for the second time. In the 18th-19th century it is marked on the maps as Földvár-puszta. It has been called Balatonföldvár summer resort since 1986.
Földvár-puszta was founded by the Széchenyi family and developed to a summer resort by Imre Széchenyi with effective help of István Spúr and József Schilhán.
The first hotel of the resort was built in the middle of a green belt in a beautiful scenery in 1985. It was called the “Kupa vezér Szálló”. The following year saw the building of two other hotels. By the time of the offical opening of the resort on June 14-15th 1896 more than 40 finely built villas, displaying distinguished architectural features aeated the guests.
The resort had a 10 acre park. At the turn of the century there had already benn a renowned inn, cafe, a lido, a post office, a pharmacy, and a doctors’s surgery. Földvár had been own marketplace, a few shops and on the hilltop leading to the Kelta promenade the chapel of the resort was built.
The Széchenyi family sold their Földvár estate in 1903. The resort joint -stock company was founded in the same year. Also a 1200 m long promenade, today called Kwassay promenade, was built which offers a nearly unique possibility for a walk all along the lake. 1904 marks the building of the port and the organization of electricity, canalization and water supply. In 1905 Földvár was granted the offical rank of spa. This rapid development turned Földvár into a favourite place of amusement and summer resort of the Hungarian aristocracy.
Between the two wars Földvár’s development continued leading to a township status which it gained in 1948. The post war period brought an important phase in the growth of the summer resort. With the development of the residential area along the coastal belt Földvár turned into a contigous resort area. Hotels were built one after the other, along with restaurants, flats, private and company holiday homes, shops and service shops. The past 100 years saw a spectacular growth of Földvár. Today it is a selected international summer resort ,a favourite holiday resort of foreigners. It gained township status in 1992.
The medium-sized resort housing approximately 2000 estates shows, displaying a remarkable tidiness and nearly perfect public utilities. The beautiful old buildings present a wonderful blend with the hotels, holiday homes and residential houses of the past and the present.
One sees a lot of green nature: trees and tended beds of flowers, all along the parks and promenades. In 1994 the town was awarded the Europe prize for preserving a tidy, flowery environment. In 1995 Földvár came first in the competition call ‘For a flowery Hungary’ in the category of towns.
Balatonföldvár has a population of hardly 3000, but in summer the number of visitors reaches 20-30.000. It has a highly developed system if institutions and economic organizations, all at the service of the population, hotel-keepers and visitors.
The cultural life of Földvár is remarkable, just as it was before the Second World War. Right after having gained the offical status of a summer resort cultural life began to flourish. Today the town hosts festivals, concerts and exhibitions throughout the year along with a wide range of interesting programmes in the Cultural Centre. A great number of writers, artists, scientists and public figures have had good relations with Balatonföldvár over the past period.