Sister City: Velence, Hungary

 

The town in the north-east of Lake Velence is an important center of tourism. It is a popular resort with beaches and water skiing facilities.

The area where Velence is located was settled as early as the age of the Romans and the ancient military road leading from Acquincum to Savaria (Szombathely) went right through the village. Road signs from the period of the Romans were found by archeologists in the vicinity. Opinions differ as to the origin of the name of the village. While some local historians believe that Velence used to be an archaic term used by fishermen, others argue that it comes from the name of the Italian settlement Venice (in Hungarian it is called Velence), since the Italian architects working at the different building sites in nearby Székesfehérvár had come from Medieval Venice, Italy.

The most important attractions of Velence are the lake itself and the slopes of the Velencei hills which embrace the lake from the north. Velence itself is made up of the town, the smooth surface of the water and the reedy islets in the lake, as well as the gardens, vineyards and wooded areas towering above the settlement.

It has 5,073 permanent inhabitants, but in the summer season the population is more than 10,000 including vacationers. Velence won the first place in local competition “For the Flowery Hungary“, and was awarded a “Silver certificate” at the international competition.

A traditionally recurring event on four Saturday nights at the end of July and at the beginning of August is the series of cultural events called ‘Velence Summer Nights of Music’. Audiences are entertained by popular musicals and operettas which are performed on the stage of the Castle Park. The musical events are followed by the festivities of St. Stephen’s Day on August 20th which include a concert of wind instrument music, the cheerleaders’ procession, and a street ball. In September, vintage entertainment closes the series of annual cultural programs

In February of 1998, four residents of the Hungarian town of Velence paid a visit to Round Hill through an affiliation between the Velence and Round Hill Baptist Churches. As one of their many stops in the Round Hill area, they asked to meet with the Mayor and members of the Town Council.

The pastor of this church, the Reverend Sandor Szenczy, extended an invitation to the Town of Round Hill to become Velence’s American Sister City.

Subsequent resolutions, adopted by each town’s governing body, have formalized this relationship.

The Town is interested in any ideas or suggestions the local community may have with respect to establishing an on-going relationship with the people of Velence. Please feel free to contact the Town Office and let us know what ideas you may have.