Old Mill Lifestyle House

Dunaalmas - The Pearl of the Danube

Dunaalmas

Situated near forests and picturesque hills, Dunaalmas is a beautiful village with a population of 1500 on the northern edge of Komarom-Esztergom county. Dunaalmas is located at the foot of the Gerecse Mountains on the South shore of the Danube, near the Altal Brook originating from the Old-lake in Tata.

Dunaalmas has always had an important role in the history due to its geographical location. It has been populated since prehistoric times, which is proven by the high number of artifacts revealed by constructions, digging, and excavations.

A major burial ground of Hungarian settlers has been found in Dunaalmas. The time of the burial concurred most likely with the time when the prerequisites of central power were established and the Hungarian state was founded, that is, the second half of the 10th century. The settlement-era graveyard in Dunaalmas is the only spot found so far in Hungary where the dead have been buried around a central fireplace.

The first written mention of the village can be found in a letter written by King St. Laszlo in 1093. Almas may have been detached from the land that was given to the abbey of Pannonhalma by King Stephen.

During the Mongol invasion, Almas also became depopulated. Most of the settlement was destroyed, and was not repopulated for a long time. After the Mongols withdrew, Bela IV populated the abandoned areas, villages, and cities partly with families escaped from the Mongols, and partly with a large number of foreign settlers and recalled Cumans

During talks of the Peace Treaty of Zsitvatorok in 1606, Turkish troops camped in the area of Dunaalmas. Of two of its beautiful mills - which could have been built with the consent of the pasha of Zsambek, and which still exists near the Danube - the larger is revived these days with the name Old Mill Lifestyle House. As the threat of the Turkish abated, Almas became populated again. People who had run away returned and began to clear away the debris. The reformed residents of the village took possession of the nearly collapsing, once Benedictine monastery and began to restore it. The history of Almas village is integrally connected to the history of local Protestantism, of which many interesting aspects and the local history are outlined in the Protestant parish register. "Keeping of the parish register began in 1713, when it was considered the eternal book or register of the Christian congregation with Helvetic religion, in which the data needed and worthy of preservation and subsisting shall be written. Anno 1713. In the time of preacher Samuel Szenczi."

After the Turkish subjection, the baroque church of Catholicism was built between 1754 and 1757. Its patron saint is Saint John of Nepomuk. The saint's day is September 17.

Almas was already famous for its good wine, quarry, and baths in the 18th century. There are still strings of vineyards on the slopes dipping towards the Danube. Its good wine was purchased gladly, and it is still worth tasting today.

The area is abundant with 20-24 C water containing hydrogen sulphide. In the Roman era, the springing warm water from sulphuric sources was already utilized, since a pool and a bath were built around the hot water source. In the museum of Komarom, one can find a stone with an inscription, which was stood by a former governor of Pannonia, Lucius Aurelius Gallus, to express gratitude to the nymphs (the good spirits of healing springs) for having the thermal water of Almas heal him. The bath was found by topographer and water engineer Samuel Mikoviny in the 18th century. The bath is still in good shape, located below the Reformed church and vicarage, near the thermal spring on the shore of the Danube.

In 1751, Queen Maria Theresa visited the thermal spring when she was in Dunaalmas. She entrusted Janos Torkos Justus with analyzing the thermal water. According to the results, the water is capable of healing arthritic, gynaecological, cutaneous, nervous, and gastric ailments.

However, the bath was not constructed for the next over 100 years. The construction can be associated with the name of Matyas Weininger, the land steward of the order of Canons (the landowner of Dunaalmas at that time) in Klostenenburg. The bath started operating in the form of a joint-stock company in 1887, but fell victim to the railway line that was built in 1891. Weininger could not accept the failure, and was seeking to utilize the other source over the mill and the island. Here he established a millennial memorial park in honor of the millennial anniversary of the settlement. He made the source into a pond with stake-supported walls and benches, and made it available for the visitors of the manor.

The beach near the island opened to the public in 1914. Then, it revived between 1926 and 1946, when it was led by Miklos Szilagyi, with the help of substantial state support. An 80-meter long concrete swimming pool, a separate children's pool, a spa, and a pier was built. A growing number of mansions were erected on the hillside.

It was a tragedy that the famous spring dried up due to the operation of nearby mines, and the pools had to be filled with water from the public water supplies.

The source sprang out again in 1997 with increasing flow rate, which induced an ambitious plan to develop a leisure center on the shore of the Danube in the second half of the decade.

Dunaalmas is also known as literary memorial, since Mihaly Csokonai Vitez', the great Hungarian poet's muse and lover, Lilla lived here, and she lies in the ecumenical cemetery next to the Catholic Church. Her tomb is often visited by literature-lover pilgrims. Today Lilla's former residence gives home to the community house and the library. In the house, a little room is furnished in memory of Lilla, featuring contemporary furniture, pictures, and original poem manuscripts.

The limestone quarries of Almas are parts of the Gerecse Mountains. It was the Romans who started deepening the quarries inwards the mountain. The solid freshwater limestone mined here is well suited for being carved. It was the substance of choice when the Castle of Komarom was fortified and the Imperial Palace of Vienna and the Parliament were built.

Around 1920, the sulphuric bath was reopened in front of the railway station, between the Danube and the railway embankment, near the island abundant in natural beauties. The sulphuric source supplying the bath was also situated here. The Danube flows near the island, the coast of which forms a splendid sandy beach. Guests were provided with the services of the spa and the great restaurant.

In 1936, a pier was built with the name Dunaalmas-Tatatovaros. The beach was modernized; it was equipped with a 50-meter long swimming pool and separate pool for children. The sulphuric source supplying the bath was enclosed in concrete, so the water yield increased. Thus, the water changed more quickly, and the purity of the bath increased.

Dr. Miklos Ferenczy has published several books about Dunaalmas. It was his initiative to establish the Csokonai statue in 1966, the Csokonai-Lilla Memorial Room in 1971, and the Csokonai Literary Circle. He tended Lilla's grave. Writers and poets have visited and visit Dunaalmas to view these sights.

This place is perfect for recreation. The renewed 400-year old mill with a Selfness program fulfilling the needs of the age, a stables, riding a carriage, wine tours, tasting wines, Roman-era quarries, quality programs, beautiful landscapes, good restaurants, quality lodging, and kindly people await those who visit this community and wish to relax or go on a trip. The freshening power of the beautiful environment and the sulphuric thermal water can magically revive anyone in Dunaalmas!