Hévíz, a közkedvelt fürdőváros Zala megyében található, a Dunántúl középső sávjának nyugati részén, a Balaton északi partján. A legközelebbi nagyváros, a part egyik legnépesebb városa, a gyönyörű kastélyáról híres Keszthely 6 kilométerre található; Alsó- és Felsőpáhok 4, ill. 3 kilométerre; a kilátójáról, várszínházáról, kútbarlangjáról és arborétumáról híres Cserszegtomaj szintén 3 kilométerre - de a kis távolságok miatt ezek a városok szinte már egybeolvadtak, látványosságaik egyetlen kirándulás keretében felkereshetők. A város közel 5000 állandó lakost számlál, azonban - elsősorban világhírű tófürdőjének köszönhetően - látogatóinak éves összlétszáma akár a 2 milliót is meghaladja. A várost dombok veszik körül, egyedi, mediterrán mikroklímájának köszönhetően magas a szélcsendes napok száma, sokat süt a nap, az éves átlaghőmérséklet 11.2 Celsius fok.
Gyor is located halfway between Vienna and Budapest. On the freeway, M1, both can be reached fairly quickly. Situated at the junction of the Mosoni-Duna, Raba and Rabca Rivers, it is often referred to as the town of rivers. Its climate is continental, although summers are somewhat cooler, and winters are somewhat warmer than usual, with a bit more rainfall.
The oldest name of the settlement is Arrabona - which takes us back to the Roman era, when a castrum (a fort, defending the province) was located here, with a neighbouring town for civil residents. The first Hungarian King, St. Stephan, established one of the first mitres here, with a bishopric. The Episcopal Palace and the Basilica on Kaptalan Hill preserves the memory of this era. During the Turkish invasion, the fort played a crucial role in preserving Vienna. Afterwards, soldiers were replaced by merchants and craftsmen, who turned the town into a flowering Baroque city.
Historic Buildings and Museums
The Basilica was established with the bishopric in 1000-1009. By the end of the century, a three-alley church building was built. The towers and the Gothic chapel was added later, during the 13-14th century. The chapel has preserved shrines of high ecclesiastical importance. Due to damaging fires and the Turkish invasion, large-scale renovation was needed during the 17-18th century, and thus, the interior reflects Baroque design. The building can be visited between 8-12am and 2-6pm every day.
The Episcopal Fort and Palace was established on Roman ruins, the escape route in the lower part of the tower fort was built in the 14th century, the multi-storey chapel was added in the 15th century. The fort and the palace was enlarged in the 18th century. Today, a museum preserves the personal history of Biship Apor, who suffered martyrdom in the basement.
The same square includes a treasury with ecclesiastical items, a library with rare books and manuscripts, and a stone collection dating back to the Middle Ages. The exhibitions are open from 10am until 4pm daily, except for Mondays.
Further historical church buildings can be found on Szechenyi Square, on Aradi Street, and on Balint Mihaly Street.
The nicely renovated Esterhazy Palace on Kiraly Street serves as the main building of the town's art museum, and includes high standard exhibitions. The gallery of the same museum is to be found in the neighbouring Napoleon House. The exhibitions are closed on Mondays.
The Janos Xantus Museum is situated on Szechenyi Square, displaying the history of the region from pre-historic times until today. Additional exhibitions include a medical history exhibition, a stamp collection, and fine art exhibitions.
Surrounding areas offers a wide variety of hiking a bicycle tour opportunities. Most popular destinations are: Bishop's Forest (Gyor-Pinyed), Pannonhalmi Reservation (Ravazd-Sokoropatka), Holt-Raba (Gyor-Gyirmot), Fort-stone botanical route (Gyorujbarat), Pannonhalmi Hills, Szigetkoz and the Mosoni Lowland, Rabakoz.
The Raba-Quelle Spa was built on a peninsula at the conjunction of the Mosoni-Duna and the Raba River, offering a beautiful panorama on historical downtown. The thermal bath includes two pools with healing water and one thermal pool. Free aqua gymnastics is offered every hour. The 67 °C thermal water, coming from 2000 metres underground, is rich is minerals, and has a healing effect on arthritic and muscular disorder. The adventure bath offers five pools with a great number of fun elements and two slides (64 and 38 m), as well as a children's pool and a play corner. The Sauna Garden includes a Finnish saunas of different temperatures, as well as steam cabins, an infra cabin; outdoor and indoor dip pools, and a large Jacuzzi. A Health Island offers various massages and packs. A therapy section joins the spa, offering full range therapeutic services.
For children, the local Zoo can be a great place to visit. It is open from March until November, between 10am and 7pm every day. The city offers a great number of sport facilities, including a waters ski centre, and a recreational centre with beach-courts and fields.
Gyor is also a city of festivals. In February, a unique Baroque Festival entertains guests, while March brings along a nice Art Festival. Concerts and festivities also abound during the summer and the fall season.