(photo: Zsolt Bankó, keszthely.hu)
A further great project has ended by the Lake Balaton: by using the period plans the renovation of the palace park of Keszthely, which was originally built at the end of the 1800s in Victorian style, is finished. They spent a lot of money on it, more than 400 million forints (included 244 million forints aid given by the European Union), but each cent had its place.
They renovated the park of eight hectares and they changed the underground public utilities by using this amount of money. In the course of reconstruction they restored the park, which was established in Victorian style between 1885 and 1889 by the English Henry Ernest Milner, on the basis of the original plans: they planted and nursed lawn of more than four hectares, thousands of trees, bushes and other kinds of plants.
The park had otherwise an adventurous story: it suffered serious damages in 1945 after that military institution was established on the major part of its area, in 1986 it was cut in halves by a public road. At that time it was renovated a little bit but not in the spirit of historical authenticity.
In the course of the recent works the surfaced roads were torn up and they were substituted for poured gravel paths. They restored the pond in its original form – its surface was almost doubled -, the rustic wooden bridge above the pond, and the fountains that were completed with modern mechanical and lightning techniques. The floodlight and the promenades were also restored in their original shape, the former princess garden was re-established and garden seats that were made on the basis of archive photos were placed in the area of the park.
Rebuilding of the watering-system and the pump-houses are finished, and as a new attraction projectors were set up that make light painting possible and that will give new sights in Keszthely from the following summer.
In the Helikon Palace Museum developments worth 2.6 billion forints has been finished or will be finished this year and the most significant of them is the renovation of the palace, but these developments include also the reconstruction of Festetics-mausoleum worth 175 million forints that was finished in October. According to the plans in 2016 Helikon Palace Museum will get 950 million forints of the Balaton development program, 1.5 billion forints of the program for the renovation of castles and palaces.