Balaton, the largest shallow lake in Central Europe, was formed by tectonic movements around 25,000 years ago. Tihanyi-félsziget (Tihany peninsula) divides the lake into two basins. The characteristic view of the Mediterranean landscape was formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, as shown today by two giant calderas. The remains of these craters form two little lakes, without outlet, higher than the water level of lake Balaton: Belső-tó, which is popular with anglers, and Külső-tó, a paradise for aquatic birds.
The peninsula has been inhabited since prehistoric times. People of the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Roman Age liked this place very much. The ancient Tihany village was founded in the Middle Ages when King Andrew I. founded here, in 1055, a burial place for the royal family and had a monastery built, where Benedictine monks were settled. The ledger stone of King Andrew's (I.) tomb can be seen in the crypt of the monastery.
In the 13th century Tihany was authorised to issue official deeds (locus authenticus). During the Turkish times, in the 16-17th century, the monastery, which had been transformed into a fortress, was demolished. It was rebuilt in a baroque style in the 18th century and became the symbol of Tihany.
Today, Tihany is a jewel of not only the Balaton but also Hungary. Every year thousands of tourists, both Hungarians and foreigners, visit this beautiful place.