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Hungary's "seven natural wonders"
Submitted by: News on 11th February, 2011 - 06:20 - #1848

An online poll organized by origo.hu with the aim of collecting Hungary's seven natural wonders has ended. Based on results, the country's most beautiful natural wonder is the Megyer-hegy mountain lake - located near the northeastern town of Sárospatak - which received 28.1% of votes.

People could vote for fourteen locations, half of which were recommended by the portal's editors and the rest by readers. Both natural sites and landscapes originally created by human hands were accepted among recommendations. The winner belongs to the second group, as it is an abandoned mine lake which has "perfectly blended" with nature.

Hungary's seven natural wonders are:

1. Megyer-hegy mountain lake (28.1%)
This lake was formed in an abandoned stone mine which was closed in 1907. The mine had been operating since the 15th century. Next to the lake, which has a maximum depth of 6.5 meters, accommodation for miners carved into the rock can be seen. The site can be reached from the center of Sárospatak by following the red tourist route.

2. Szalajka Valley, Bükk Mountains (23%)
This valley is one of the most beautiful parts of the Bükk Mountains - located in Northern Hungary - and the most accessible for tourists. A forest railway transports passengers along the valley from the village of Szilvásvárad to the spectacular Veil Waterfall (Fátyol-vízesés).

3. Volcanic "witness mountains" at Lake Balaton (11.1%)
These hills rolling above the Tapolca Basin are witnesses of volcanic activity in the region 3-4 million years ago. They were formed when molten rock rose to the surface through cracks and covered some of the ground. The height of witness mountains thus indicates the original level of the ground. The fertile volcanic soil is good for growing wine grapes. The highest witness mountain is Badacsony.

4. Lake Hámori, Lillafüred, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County (7.6%)
This lake was created in the early 19th cenutry when water from the Garadna and Szinva Creeks were swollen by a dam, and the power used to operate machinery at an iron factory. Lillafüred's landmark Hotel Palota stands above the lake.

5. Danube Bend (5.9%)
The Danube river's section between Budapest and Esztergom is called the Danube Bend. In addition to offering picturesque landscapes, it has important historic monuments such as the Medieval castles of Visegrád and Esztergom.

6. Gaja Ravine, Veszprém County (4.9%)
The Gaja Ravine was carved into the Bakony Mountain - a part of the Transdanubian Mountains - by the Gaja Creek. One of its most beautiful sites is the Roman Baths (Római-fürdő) - located near the village of Bakonynána - where in early spring, the water of the creek falls into a small lake surrounded by rocks.

7. Bükk Plateau (3.9%)
The Bükk Plateu is the central part of the Bükk Mountains in Northern Hungary. It is a 20-square-kilometer almost flat area at the height of 700-800 meters surrounded by rock walls and steep slopes. It belongs to the Bükk National Park.

The poll follows several competitions in previous years that included castles and other man-made sights.
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