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Excellent location for weddings.
Vonyarcvashegy’s Saint Michael Hill used to be an island of Balaton. Today this 136-metre-high natural formation, born through crustal movements, is a mound on the north shore of the Hungarian sea between Balatongyörök and Vonyarcvashegy, visible even from the Keszthely Bay. On the hilltop stands Hungary’s only fishermen’s chapel, the Saint Michael Chapel.
The hill has already been populated in Roman times. It is possible that a watchtower stood on the hilltop that offers a fantastic view of the Keszthely Mountains and Balaton.
The castle of Györök probably stood here in the 1560’s, but a chapel took its place in 1622. This is attested by the date on a recently found fresco.
According to certain sources the chapel was built by 40 fishermen in gratitude of their survival from a crevasse. 46 fishermen were working on the ice of Balaton in the winter of 1739 when a slab of ice they were standing on became detached.
Unfortunately, six of them died. The ice-cold water made it impossible to swim out. The wind suddenly shifted round, saving them from certain death, for it drifted the slab of ice towards the shore.
The survived fishermen took a vow to build a chapel on the hilltop in gratitude. Actually, it was probably a reconstruction, since the Saint Michael Chapel had already been there for a long time.
This is confirmed by two crypts next to the chapel’s altar, which, according to records from the last century, used to show the dates of 1722 and 1729.
Unfortunately, the dates disappeared through the centuries, as scores of people have visited the chapel since then.