“The Tapolca Cave Lake is one of the world’s unique attractions, which thanks to the new Visitors’ Centre, constructed with the help of 300 million forints in European Union funding, can now expect to welcome even more tourists than the current number of 100 thousand-a-year”, Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas said at the inauguration ceremony on Tuesday.

Minister Fazekas stressed that the investment will make the region even more attractive to tourists and enhances the sights offered by Hungary’s 10 national parks, which have a total area of over half a million hectares. The Ministry views the operation of the country’s national parks and providing the required legal and financial background as extremely important, because these parks “represent man’s living conscience”, he added.

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The underground lake in Tapolca is the only one in the world that exists under a populated area, the Minister stressed, adding that Hungary will remain a pleasant place to live if people have a greater sense of responsibility and fewer demands towards nature.

Head of the Balaton-Highland National Park Directorate Zoltán Puskás explained at the event that work on the Tapolca Cave Lake and Visitors’ Centre began in 2012 and the finished Centre is spread over 770 square metres, with 10 rooms, including a 3D movie theatre in which visitors can find out more about the cave, while a playground, a crawling cave and a climbing wall await younger visitors.

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The construction of the Visitors’ Centre is the realisation of a state-of-the-art investment project built on an existing natural attraction, and is the largest investment at the Tapolca Cave Lake to date, he said, adding that as a result the facility had become the “Western Gateway to the Bakony-Balaton Geopark”.

Chairman of Veszprém County Council Imre Polgárdy told reporters that the message sent by the Centre is that one must be simultaneously Hungarian, European and a local patriot, and that it is important that we “capitalise on our treasures, increase awareness of them and make them available to all”. Government Commissioner to the Veszprém County Council Szabolcs Takács emphasised that the people of the area can be proud of their excellent wine regions and their cultural treasures, the latter of which have now been further enhanced by the new Visitors’ Centre.

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Archbishop of Veszprém Gyula Márfi pointed out that the new Centre is environmentally friendly and the project is one that he especially welcomes as a Christian, since Jesus too was fond of lakes and water.

(Ministry of Agriculture)