The competition seeks to raise awareness of lookout towers throughout Hungary and encourage as many people as possible to visit them, while at the same time popularize hiking and an active lifestyle.
Submissions for the competition closed on October 4, and out of the 177 entries received, the professional jury of Active Hungary selected 10 final lookouts. Taken into consideration were the condition of the building, its environment, the level of service, the quality of the hiking trail leading to the lookout, the panorama, and ecotourism. The finals were open to lookouts that had been built in the last 10 years or had undergone major renovations.
People could vote for their favorite of the 10 selected lookout towers on the Facebook page of Aktív Magyarország:
- Galya Lookout Tower – Galyateto: 1,406 votes
- Írott-kő lookout tower – Kőszeg: 1,515 votes
- Kisfaludy Lookout Tower – Badacsonytomaj: 883 votes
- Megyer-hegyi lookout tower – Sárospatak: 802 votes
- Prédikálószék Lookout – Dömös: 881 votes
- Prónay Lookout Tower – Alsópetény: 623 votes
- Ranzinger Lookout Tower – Tatabánya: 1,381 votes
- Sasbérc Lookout Tower – Lush: 1,369 votes
- Zengő Lookout Tower – Pécsvárad: 3,871 votes
- Xantus János Gömbkilátó – Balatonboglár: 3,901 votes
More than 16,000 votes were received in total, with the Xantus János Gömbkilátó in Balatonboglár receiving the most.
The winning Xantus János Gömbkilátó in Balatonboglár was made of aluminum by the Székesfehérvár Metalworkers’ Company in the early 1950s. It was presented at the World’s Fair in Brussels and later became a temporary attraction at the Budapest International Fair. It received its final location at the top of the volcanic Várdob in the late 1960s. The sphere is 165 meters high and 15 meters in diameter and consists of 240 triangular plates. At the suggestion of architect László Zics, it was provided with decorative lighting, which can be easily seen from Lake Balaton’s north shore.
In strong winds, the lookout in Balatonboglár can swing up to several meters; but thanks to its flexible structure, it absorbs the kinetic energy generated by the wind, so it will not “roll down” the hill. The lookout tower, which has become one of the symbols of Balatonboglár, offers a dazzling panorama of Balaton, the largest lake in Hungary.