Szentbékkálla is the
gem of the Káli Basin, located on the northern area of the basin sourrounded by
the Boncsos-top, the Black Hill and the Sátorma Hill.
Due to the location
of the village, not only the view is special and the natural sights of interest
are numerous but it has a relatively protected climate, where the sun shines for
over appr. 2 thousand hours per year. The not too extensive fields around it are
mostly woody and hilly, open only towards the south, but even there the land is
marshy at most places.
The first part of the
name of Szentbékkálla originates from St Benedict, whose sons, as monks, did the
most to save the descendants of Kál and Vérbulcsú (two leaders of the ancient
Hungarian tribes). The first church of the village was erected in honour of St
Roman Catholic church was reconstructed at the end of the 18th century according
to the plans of the architect Jakab Feiner employed by Károly Eszterházy, the
Bishop of Eger. The new church, built on the remains of the early medieval
church is of baroque style. On its fresco appears the valiant soldier of Kál and
a monk of the St Benedict order converting the people of Kál.
The wall-painting was
made by the Budapest-based painter Ernő Jeges. The plaques on the side of the
church are commemorating the victims of the 1st and the 2nd World Wars.
In the direct
neighbourhood of Szentbékkálla lie the ruins of the Palace of Veléte, which is a
gothic historic monument from the 11th-12th century and the ruins of the
Töttöskáli church which was built in Roman style in the 13th century.
On the old houses of
the village – some of which are official historic monuments - the traditions of
folk-architecture can be discovered. A typical example of this is the
Istvándi-house, built in 1828.
The Birkás-cellar and
house is a nationally significant monument of the large classic presshouses of
the Upper Balaton Region. It was designed by Jakab Felner in 1763 and originally
belonged to the Seller family.
swimmingpool which was built, in 1930 by Gáspár Németh, a local citizen is
ruined by now. This bath, fed by the mountain source, was operating until 1960.
the western border of the village lies the famous Sea of Stones. Once the flint
acids and thermal waters which had erupted here following the volcanic activity
cemented the loose sand sediments just to be reformed by the wind, the rain and
the erosion. The size and height of the stones are surprising. Some of them
reach the size of a house others could fill a whole room. As if a giant had been
walking here throwing gigantic pieces of rocks for fun.
Beside the village
emerges the Black Mountain, which is an excellent place for walking. It is worth
to visit here the Karoly Eötvös Viewpoint which was built of basalt stone in
1950, then replaced in 1978 by a view-tower made of red pine. From here you
can have a wonderful panorama not only of the picturesque Kali Basin, but also
of the so called witness mountains of the Tapolca Basin, the Tihany Peninsula
and the lakes of the mountaintop.
latter are tiny, drainless depressions of the land, called stone-plates or
crater-lakes. These depressions have appeared simultanously with the development
of the lava cover, since the lava was not able to fill completely the old
cavities that had been formed previously on the base under the basalt. It is
only in the rainy season when most of the lakes are filled with water and even
then they become only shallow marshes covered with cane. The lakes are the
following: Lake Bika, Lake Bonta, Lake Barkás, Lake Monostori, Lake Kálomis, and
the „Double Lake”. From the Black Mountain, by the side of the ditch leading
towards Szentbékkálla, flows the water of the Bocskor Well source. To the south
the water filtering through the cracks of the dolomit rocks beneath the lakes
emerges to the surface as an abounding spring: it is called the Old Mountain
Spring or Well.