Hévíz - with almost 5,000 inhabitants, near Keszthely, it is the best known medicinal bath in Hungary, with important tourism. The thermal lake with a surface of 44,400 m2 is the second largest lake with peat bottom in the world. The medicinal water gushes out from a 38 m deep spring crater, its average temperature in summer is 33-35 °C, but in winter it is not less than 23 °C, so one can bathe outside all year round. The water of the lake has a special curative effect on the different kinds of rheumatic, locomotor, muscle, and nervous system´s disorders and gynaecological problems. The cure in Hévíz is not only for rehabilitation but it also serves for prevention, relaxation and recreation. The therapeutic effect of the water that has sallied forth since several ten thousands of years, was known as early as the Roman times, however, the first public bath was built in commission of the owner Count György Festetics in 1795.
The name of Hévíz was first mentioned in a charter that dates back to 28th March 1328 in which the Chapter of Veszprém inaugurated Pál Magyar as the reeve of Gimes into his estate called Szentandrás-páh. A place, commonly called hévíz (thermal waters), was also mentioned when a description was made about the boundaries of the estate ("ad locum vulgariter heuvyz dictum"). In the charter a huge marsh by the name of Hosszúsár, which was fed by the warm water flowing freely out of the lake, was also registered. According to linguists, the word 'hévíz' means "flowing, warm spring" in Hungarian and this word was used in the same sense in the Middle Ages as well.
In 2004 the Town of Hévíz had the chance to become one of the founders of the Hévíz Spa and St. Andrew Rheumatology Hospital Public Utility Company, with a 74% participation of the Hungarian state. The former institution was operated independently of the management of the town, so development intentions, which were formed in accordance with the guests' requirements, could not be supported by local sources. The Public Utility Company, which manages the state-owned spa and its establishments, is a pioneer of dynamic changes. The full reconstruction of the building complex of the Hévíz spa started in the summer of 2005. As a result of the two-year-long renovation, a therapeutic and recreational centre offering a wide range of services at European standards is going to be built on the largest spa of the world which is suitable for direct bathing. At the beginning of the 21st century, Hévíz is one of not only Hungary's but also Europe's most favourite, dynamically developing towns which is visited throughout the whole year.