History and coat of arms of Balatonlelle
Balatonlelle is registered in the tithe list of 1332-37 as Lelye and Belye. The village Gamás was located on the territory of Kisgamás on the boundary of the town and it was in the possession of the Tihany Abbey in 1055. The settlement was mentioned as Felső-Gamás in 1229. Rádpuszta belongs to Balatonlelle, where a settlement from the Arpadian Age was situated and a listed church ruin built in the 12th century can still be seen, which is an important relic of the Arpadian Age.
The history of Balatonlelle dates back to the age of Saint Stephen. The Basilica of Saint Clement in the area of today’s Balatonlelle built by the Great Military Road was mentioned in the Deed of Foundation of the Tihany Abbey in 1055. This is the first church at Lake Balaton that we know. It is mentioned in the Deed of Foundation at the crossing of two roads – Military Road and Sziget-szád, in other sources Great Road – on the western boundary of the estate of the abbey. Here was the fork of the famous Military Road to the Great Road. Both of them are supposed to have been remains of the Roman Empire. The Military Road led from Aquincum through Kanizsa and Dalmatia to the Adriatic Sea, the Great Road led to today’s Kaposvár and Szigetvár. The old basilica was completely destroyed during the Turkish era. A new church with a wooden tower was built in its place in the 1720s, which received a stone tower in 1756. The Baroque church was widened by adding the aisle at the end of the last century. It was pulled down because of its run down condition in 1943. The church you can see now was designed by the architect Bertalan Árpád. It is the only church on the southern shore that was built of red brick.
Lelle was an important settlement in the South-Balaton region in the early period of the Hungarian history. It was mentioned as chieftain Lél’s court, he took part in military campaigns and fell at the battle of Augsburg. The military Road handled heavy traffic further on. Leader Koppány and his folk had their quarters here. Saint Ladislaus led his troops through this region to conquer Croatia and Slavonia. He came here on several occasions when he visited Somogyvár, the basilica and the Benedictine monastery, which he had founded. In 1199 King Emeric fought against his brother Andrew and defended the throne in the battle along the river Terves flowing at the eastern end of the meadow. After the defeat of Muhi in 1241 Béla IV and Duke Coloman fled through this region to Dalmatia. In 1848 Ban Jelacic led his soldiers on the Military Road to suppress the revolution. A small detachment tried to stop them here – unfortunately without success – only the Honveds could disperse them at Pákozd on 29 September. The ‘Rascian tree’, under which the dead of the clash rest, reminds us of the battle here.
In 1726 the settlement was mentioned as Löllye. It was in the possession of the family Maithényi at that time. On 7 January 1848 the settlement received the right to host markets. After 1856 Lelle belonged to the families Jankovich and Szalay. The first cottage was built by Elemér Lisznyai in 1896. Everybody laughed at him for building a house in the buffalo pasture. Lelle had only 40 bathing guests at that time. This number had risen to 460 by 1899. Owing to the work of the Bathing Association founded in 1904 Balatonlelle was among the first settlements to organise the bathing life. Numerous holiday homes, cottages and small hotels were built at that time and the develeopment continued between the two world wars, too. The town started to build the harbour, the electricity and water supply networks.
Owing to the union with Balatonboglát in 1979, renamed as Boglárlelle it became the 6th settlement of the county and held town status. The two settlements separated on 1 October 1991 and both could retain town status.
History of the Coat of arms
The town’s coat-of-arms is a kite shield erect with a pointed base, tierced per tenté by two curves issuing from the middle chief and terminating at dexter and sinister base points. In the shield the chief motif is the anchor in the tent argent, surmounting the base azure parti per fess wavy. The anchor is the attribute of Pope St Clement, since he was always borne with it, in addition, it also means faithfulness, consolidation and permanence. The field azure in the base represents Lake Balaton. In dexter chief (first) gules, on a mount vert a Baroque chapel argent, affronté, its spire surmounted by an orb and a cross or. This motif refers to the fact that the majority of the citizens followed and is still following the Christian faith. In sinister chief (second) vert, between two wheat ears or embowed, with stalks crossed in saltire two bunches of grapes leaved and shooted, all or. This motif indicates the agriculture of the town. Across the shield the open helmet affronté, barred or is crested with a turul contourné argent, borne on a crown. The turul is the holy bird of the Magyars, it is part of the monument erected in the town’s main square. The mantling issuant from the crest is on the dexter azure and or, on the sinister gules and argent.