An attractive area with a host of small things to tempt the visitor. The sight of the
balcony of a baroque mansion in Sopron, the concert of bells at dawn in Veszprém,
an ancient stony road worn silk-smooth in Szombathely, or the golden-green glimmer
of a ceramic well in Pécs. One can sample roast chestnuts in Kőszeg, quaff Kékoportó
wine in Villány, bite through crispy fried fish by Lake Velence, and taste wild boar stew
in Bakony. No other area in Hungary has a landscape with as many flavours, scents and
colours as Pannonia. In other words, Pannonia.
This name was given it two thousand years ago, when the Roman legion was stationed
along the Danube. The river was the border of the Roman Empire. Known as the “limes”, the
border was defended by those who dwelt in the military camps 15-20 kilometres apart. The
Romans founded many flourishing towns in the province of Pannonia, and these were linked
by a well developed road network. Comparing maps of the time with modern ones, we can see
that most towns of Pannonia still stand where their Roman predecessors were built.
Today the Danube still forms the eastern and northern borders of the region, with Croatia and
Slovenia to the south, and Austria to the west. In the centre is Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater
lake in Central Europe. In Pannonia you can see the largest fortress of the region, a line of
lime trees considered one of the horticultural wonders of the world, the largest Baroque stately
home in the country and a traditional arena for practising horseback archery, a rarity in Europe,
one of the largest Benedictine libraries in the world, the dwelling place of one of the earliest examples
of prehistoric man in Europe, the country’s first Christian church, its most beautiful flood-plain
forest and its only intact medieval castle. It is here that two well-known Hungarian specialities are
made: Herend and Zsolnay porcelain. Three features of Pannonia have also been added to the
UNESCO list of World Heritage sites: the Pannonhalma Abbey, the ancient Christian tombs in Pécs,
and Lake Fertő.
Everyone can find a destination to suit their mood, including yachtsmen and hill-climbers, those
who enjoy evenings in the towns, or those who like to take refuge in a small village. In Pannonia
the choice is endless: good food, hiking, swimming in open water, taking thermal waters, fishing,
hunting, clambering up to castles, strolling through arboretums, going on a wine tour,
admiring stately homes. One thing is not possible: boredom.
Hungarian National Tourist Office
|Sopron, Storno House
|Fertőd, stately home of the Esterházy dukes