SOMOGY "COUNTRY" (in the transdanubian, western part of Hungary).

Probably the well-known moniker "Somogy country" (instead of county) originates not only from its size, namely it is the largest county in western Hungary, but also from its special features, it has had big forests joining each other and they made this county a separate geographical unit. There were human settlements on the territory of this county already 25,000 years ago and at the beginning of our calendar prospering Celtic settlements existed here according to the findings of archeological excavations. The Hungarians who came here to occupy the land had found here small Slavic and German villages as well as favorable conditions for them to settle here, namely verdant grass for grazing, forests, rivers teeming with fish and the lake Balaton.

Later the 150 years of Turkish occupation was survived only by a small fragment of the population. The decline in the number of the population was so drastic that after the Turks were chased out from Hungary, more than 40 thousand Hungarians and Slavs from the south as well as 15 - 20 thousand Germans had settled in this county. Thus became Somogy county perhaps ethnically the most colorful region.

Since this county was separated from the market of agricultural products by swamps, extent forests and poor transportation therefore the economical progress started late and slowly. In reality Somogy county has never become an industrial territory, the progress, which started at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, has taken place only by processing agricultural products, while the waves of the so-called "socialist industrial expansion" after the World War II hardly reached this county.

A county of forests between (the lake of) Balaton and (the river of) Drava.

The territory of Somogy county exceeds 6 thousand square kilometers, among the counties it is the fifth largest. It includes the middle section of the hills of the transdanubian that is the western part of Hungary, and it can be divided into well-distinguishable regions; the northern region also known as the outer Somogy with its changing scenes, and the southern region also known as the inner Somogy which is rather flat covered with woods and groves. The valley of Kapos divides these two regions and here can one find the county seat Kaposvar. We can further distinguish as unique regions the shore of Balaton touching Somogy county and that of the river of Drava. The climate becomes more continental as we approach the eastern part of the county. The layer that covers the soil shows it clearly that long ago huge forests and extensive swampy regions existed here. Therefore the clay and sandy as well peaty and swampy soil (wetland) is characteristic of this region. The area covered by forests is bigger and the area used for agriculture and horticulutre is smaller than the average. Somogy county is the third one in forestry. The population density of Somogy county is low and once was considered the place without cities. Today one can find twelve cities in this county and from these twelve five are situated on the shore of Balaton.