The Watermill of Tapolca
|• Total||63.48 km2 (24.51 sq mi)|
|• Density||279.43/km2 (723.7/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
The origin of Tapolca is disputed, originating either from the Hungarian Tapolcza, meaning "high place", due to the city's position on a small hill, or from the Slavic Tapolča, meaning "hot springs." It was also known as Turul or Turultapolca at some points in the Middle Ages.
The Lake Cave
The nearly 300-metre-long cave system, this unique attraction, is situated in the heart of the town. It was opened to the public in 1912 after ten years of its discovery. Small boats can be hired to explore the cave system. Merely 15–20 m below the town a 5 km long cave system criss-crosses the Miocene limestone layers. This includes the 3.3 km long Lake Cave, which is mostly filled with karst water. The cave was discovered in 1903 during well digging. Thanks to the explorations even round boat trips were made possible from 1937. Because of its special origin and unique formations, it was designated already in 1942, and placed under strict protection in 1982. The mixture of the cold carst water flowing here and the thermal water upsurging from the deep dissolves limestone. Initially narrow passages, then smaller and larger niches were formed. During a very long time these widened into spacious chambers and passages. Dripstones have not developed in the cave, as several metre thick clay zone prevents infiltration from the surface. Only some calcareous formations (cave corals and aragonite crystals) occur at some places, having precipitated from the cave air. Bats cannot enter the closed spaces, so the largest vertebrate is a 10 cm long fish, the Minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus L.), which probably swims in through the wet passages from the Malom-tó (Mill Pond). The cave air with nearly 100% humidity, a high calcium content and a constant temperature of 20 °C is being used for curing respiratory diseases in the brenches under the town hospital that are in close connection with the cave. The radon content of the cave air does not have any effect on the visitors.
A romantic part of the town is the Mill Pond (Malom-tó). The Upper Pond can be reached from the Main Square through a small backyard where the “Four Seasons”, a sculpture by László Marton, is situated.
Garden of Ruins
The Church Hill is the medieval centre of Tapolca. The church was built in the 13th century in Roman style. After the Turkish invasion it was rebuilt in Baroque style in 1756.
The School Museum is located in the former cantor house. The greatest pedagogic collection of the Transdanubian region can be found here.
The former marketplace of the town, the Main Square, functioned as a trade centre from ancient times. The statue of Holy Trinity was erected in the middle of the square in 1757. Another masterpiece, the Little Princess, is located here too.
- János Batsányi (1763–1845), poet, philosopher,
- József Cserhát, poet, writer, editor
- László Marton (1925–2008), sculptor
- József Csermák (1932–2001) athlete, (hammer-throwing gold medal 1952. Helsinki)
- István Péter Németh (1960-), poet, literary historian
- Pál Sümegi (1960), associate professor
- Gábor Boczkó (1977-), fencer
- Veronika Tóth, singer, the winner of the Hungarian Megasztár 2004
- Information board, entrance of the Cave Lake, Tapolca, Hungary
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