Lake Fertő (UNESCO site)

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The lake lies between the Alps by the Austrian boarder. The UNESCO World Heritage site lies in a region that was Hungarian territory from the 10th century until the First World War. From the 7th century BC the lake shore was densely populated, initially by people of the early Iron Age Hallstatt culture and on through late prehistoric and Roman times. In the fields of almost every village around the Lake there are remains of Roman villas. The basis of the current network of towns and villages was formed in the 12th and 13th centuries, their markets flourishing from 1277 onwards.

The mid-13th century Tatar invasion left this area unharmed, and it enjoyed uninterrupted development throughout medieval times until the Turkish conquest in the late 16th century. The economic basis throughout was the export of animals and wine. 

The remarkable rural architecture of the villages surrounding the lake and several 18th-and 19th-century palaces add to the area's considerable cultural interest.

Széchenyi Palace, at the southern end of the lake, is a detached ensemble of buildings in the centre of a large park, initially built in the mid-18th century on the site of a former manor house. It acquired some of its present form and appearance around 1800. The Baroque palace garden was originated in the 17th century. In the late 18th century an English-style landscape garden was laid out.

Esterházy Palace in Fertöd was the most important 18th-century palace of Hungary, built on the model of Versailles. Between 1769 and 1790 Josef Haydn's compositions were first heard here. The plan of the palace, garden and park was on geometrical lines which extended to the new village of Esterháza. There, outside the palace settlement, were public buildings, industrial premises and residential quarters. To the south is an enormous French Baroque garden that has been changed several times, the present layout being essentially that of 1762. 

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