Ancient Volcanoes of Hungary

July 16, 2005


Provided by: Janos Pelikan
Summary authors & editors: Janos Pelikan

The extinct volcano remnants shown above were last active several million years ago, when the area of present day Hungary was covered by a shallow sea, known as the Pannon Sea. These mounts were volcanic islands of that sea. Now, they're just hills (300-400 meters in elevation) on the north shore of Lake Balaton, the biggest lake of mid-Europe. Balaton is relatively young (approximately (20,000 years old) and is not associated with the former sea. The hills are famous for their wine, each one having its own brand -- the Somlói ('Shom-law-ee') being the highest rated. In the valleys between these hills, sedimentary rocks of the ancient Pannon Sea harbor a superb tasting mineral water. This flavorful water was the favorite drink (apart from wine) of the Byzantine empress, Theodora.

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