You are here


On 24 May 1925, the 100 year-old county museum opened the doors of the "palace of culture," built to the plans of István Medgyaszay, to a public interested in historical treasures. In the permanent exhibition Millennia of the Bakony and the Balaton Uplands, visitors are shown the ancient history of the county, through the treasures of various archaeological ages. After the Conquest, the establishment and organisation of the Hungarian Monarchy was a decisive turning point. By the acceptance of Christianity, 1000 years ago, Grand Duke Géza and his son, King Stephen I, guaranteed the country a position among the states of Europe. Veszprém county was part of the property of the Árpád dynasty. Veszprém is the county town - one of the first secular and ecclesiastical centres. Hungary flourished in the Middle Ages, but was split into three sections due to the Turkish occupation, and in terms of population and material resources, was to a large extent destroyed. Reconstruction began in the early 18th century, and the struggles for national independence, the initiation of civil development and the creation of contemporary social conditions may be followed through two centuries of historical, cultural and art treasures.

Along with the expansion of embourgeoisement following the settlement between the Habsburg empire and Hungary, there were broad social movements in rural townships to collect and establish places of exhibition, museums for historical and natural values of the close vicinity. The initiative was solicited by Piarist teachers, municipal and county magistrates, high priests, and local intellectuals.

Although the County Government Authority passed an order to facilitate the initiative first emerged in 1873, but actually the museum was founded thirty years later. The Veszprém County Museum Laczkó DezsőAssociation was founded with 23 founding members and 127 regular members on 30 November 1902 to facilitate the museum, chaired by Lord Lieutenant dr. Ferenc Fenyvessy, eternal honorary member baron bishop Károly Hornig, who would donated the museum funds, books, paintings, and “other antiquities.”

On December 2, 1902 the County Government’s Legislation Committee adopted a decision on the establishment of a “county museum”. The order on the county museum passed on the extraordinary assembly held on 10 March 1903 outlined the status of the museum and therefore subordinated to the National Directorate of Museums and Libraries. They also employed staff members and appointed Dezső Laczkó, teacher of the Piarist Secondary School, who accepted the appointment with the personal recommendation of Lajos Lóczy. The Hungarian Minister of Religion and Education acknowledged the foundation of Veszprém County Museum and registered with the “purpose to grant subsidies due to such institutions” on 24 March 1903.

The first “finds” for the museum-to-be were vicar István Miháldy’s collection of 2000 items of the stone-age, which the chief directorate purchased and presented to Veszprém.  

The Vice-Lord Lieutenant called notaries and mayors of townships to further the case of the museum with all their efforts within their powers. Due to lack of museum building, the first exhibition was opened in room 7 on the second floor of the County House on 6 November 1904. Two rooms were used as library and another two rooms as store. The expanding collections used up all available spaces in a few years, and the library could not welcome readers as the rooms were packed. They definitely needed a museum building for the collections. A few years later the plot for the museum was assigned in the Elisabeth promenade, and the building was built to the plans of architect István Medgyaszay.

The construction dragged on for 10 years on account of World War I and the global recession. The collections were moved to the new building in 1924, and the Museum was opened on 24 May 1925. In addition to the exhibitions, the doors of the library also opened to the public in the following year. Dezső Laczkó deceased in 1932 and Gyula Rhé was appointed a new director until his death in 1936. He was followed by László Nagy (an archaeologist, literature historian, ethnographer, and librarian), who created the first rural open-air museum by building the Bakony House (architect: György Linzmayer), a replica of a 19th century lower-class nobleman’s landhouse of Öcs.

All collections managed to survive World War II, but the building was damaged. To the plans of László Nagy, the country’s first regional library with some items of the Museum’s library was opened in 1949-ben. Director Aurél Vajkai, who further developed the Museum’s ethnographical collection, opened a new permanent exhibition in the renovated building on 7 January 1951. The number of professionals employed in the museum “increased” to three persons in 1953. The County Museum Organisation, headed by county museum director István Éri, was founded on 1 January 1962. Volume I of “The Annual Report of Publications of Museums in Veszprém County” was published in 1963, followed by many until this year’s Volume 20. Volumes I to IV of Archaeological Topography of Hungary, the collection of archaeological finds, buildings, data, etc. found in the county. were prepared and published between 1964 and 1972. Volume I discusses the district of Veszprém, and volume IV deals with finds located in the district of Zirc.

Both the headcount of professional museologists as well as the collections increased. The library, that had become a county library, moved out of the building in 1968. After the ground floor got reconstructed, the exhibition area enlarged on the first floor. As the collections increased, it became reasonable to move the department of natural science to Zirc in 1972. The department  became the centre for Bakony-researches and joined the research programmes organised by the Academic Committee of Veszprém (founded in 1974). The Museum for Natural Sciences in Zirc has been an independent institution since 1 January 1992.

Our permanent exhibition “Millennia of Bakony and Balaton Uplands” was opened on 4 October 1985 in the building. In recognition of our scientific achievements, the Ministry of Culture ranked Bakony Museum as a member of scientific research network of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

The Roman Villa and Garden of Ruins were opened to the public as a new place of exhibition in Nemesvámos-Balácapuszta on 18 May 1984. First the restorers’ workshop and archaeological collection moved to Felsőörs (1983-84), followed by ethnographical, historical, fine and applied arts collections in new warehouses. Number of items in the collections belonging to the Museum: archaeology: 200 000, numismatics: 28 500, ethnography: 18 500, history: 7500, applied arts: 4600, and fine arts: 2300. There are 250,000 documents and pictures stored in the data and photostore, and the library consists of 24100 books and 12800 periodicals.

The institute has been a place for research since 1981, and was named Dezső Laczkó on 1 March  1990 respecting the memory of the first director, geologist, and Piarist teacher. The Museum, with a history of more than 100 years, has been open to visitors and exhibiting permanent exhibitions of international recognition, cross-border and cross-regional travelling exhibitions, numerous temporary and jubilee exhibitions, events, and scientific publications.

There is a modern, multimedia information system and a museum shop waiting for visitors in the renovated hall of the Museum building. Scientific achievements are published for professionals and any visitors interested in books, periodicals, conference proceedings, exhibition catalogues, and on video cassettes, and museum booklets and worksheet for students.

As a result and in recognition of the versatile activities at national and international scale, the Museum was awarded the prize “Museum of the Year 2006” in 2006, which is the highest and most respected prize among such institutions.

In line with the new legal regulations, gradual reorganisations started in the county museum in 2007. First the Memorial Museum of József Egry and Róza Szegedi’s House in Badacsony, the open-air ethnographical museum in Nagyvázsony, Jókai Villa in Balatonfüred, the open-air ethnographical museum in Tihany, and later the Károly Esterházy Castle and Regional Museum in Pápa, the Memorial House of Endre Bajcsy-Zsilinszky in Kővágóörs-Pálköve became a property and were transferred to the management of local governments in 2007 and 2012, respectively. Villa Romana Baláca became an exhibition place belonging to the National Museum of Hungary, but still operated by our Museum.

Reorganisation has not come to an end, since Dezső Laczkó Veszprém County Museum was transferred under the operation and control of the City of Veszprém as of 1 January 2013, and was renamed accordingly to Dezső Laczkó Museum. Since then the Museum has been a city museum with operations in the entire county.