Keszthely is a town of almost 23,000 inhabitants at the north-western corner of Balaton. One of the largest cities of Balaton shore, traditional cultural and educational centre, university town. Currently it is one of the most popular places of Balaton visited by lots of tourists, probably because of its nice old city, historic monuments, museums, cultural programmes and the closeness of Hévíz. In the 4th century, at the time of the rule of Constantinus II, a large fortress was built by the Romans on the territory of the current Fenékpuszta.
At the beginning of the 18th century Keszthely got under the ownership of the Festetics family. In 1745 they built a pompous castle and replaced the centre of their domains here. A hospital was established by Kristóf Festetics in 1759, and a high-school by Pál Festetics in 1772 in the town. Georgikon, the first high-level agricultural institute of Europe was established in 1797 by Count György Festetics; the institute first educated professionals only for the domain but soon it became of national significance. The Helikon Ceremony of Literature first organized in 1817 has become a tradition by now.
Programmes of summer season in Keszthely start already at the end of April with Helikon Ceremony. Opening of Summer Season is followed by the programmes of Balaton Festival in May. Classical music programmes of Festetics Palace are of national fame, beyond solo evenings and concerts of chamber-music, master courses are held there, too. The programme called Summer Theatre of Keszthely is held in July and August in the park of the palace. The Wine Festival in August attracts many visitors. In the Pantheon in the Promenade you can find plaques commemorating the famous figures and events related with Keszthely. In the city centre you can find the Doll Museum and the Marchpane Museum. Pleasant promenade to Lake Hévíz, the largest and most famous warm-water lake of Europe. Castle of Rezi in the neighbourhood of the city is also worth visiting.