13 October 2016

Danubian Island of the year 2016

This is the fourth time the Donauinseln blog starts its poll for the Danubian Island of the year. You can vote for the three nominated islands between 13th October and 31th December 2015.

The aim of this poll is to focus attention on the mostly unknown islands of the Danube. Most of you probably visited the Seychelle Islands before any Danubian Island. As we stated this is the third poll, and we hope we have started a tradition and more-and-more people will learn about these islands across the Globe.

The winners so far (please note this is a Hungary-based blog):
2013. Kompkötő Island, Vác
2014. Helemba Island, Esztergom
2015. Kismarosi Island, Kismaros

This year our readers have selected two islands in the qualifying rounds. We start the introduction in alphabetical order, with the island we thought worthy enough to participate in the poll.

Former Fürdő Island, Budapest

Our first nominated island is really unique. This is the first nominated island from Budapest, and the first one which no longer exists. This tiny Danubian island could be found just north from The Árpád bridge, close to the left river bank. In the 18th century an icy flood devastated its trees. Since then it was only a gravel bank, rarely emerging from the river. Just before its final disappearance József Szabó visited the island and collected samples from more than 50 hot springs coming from the limestone hundred meters below.  He also sketched some Roman ruins, possibly remnants of a bath and archaeologists found an altar devoted to the god of the Danube. The Fürdő (Bath) Island has been dredged completely in 1874 due to river regulation works.

Szalki Island, Dunaújváros

The Szalki Island is located next to Dunaújváros, an industrial town in the middle of Hungary. This section of the Danube often changes course. On its predecessor there was a military camp in the beginning of the Roman era, 1st century. Out of its stones an abbey was built on this Island dedicated to Saint Pantaleon, who later gave the name to the nearby village: (Duna)Pentele. This abbey has been swallowed by the Danube in the 16th century. The Szalki island was later attached to the right banks of the Danube and in its side arm they built the ports of the city. Today the Szalki Island is a park, there is a campsite, famous for the rock festival called Rockmaraton. 

Zebegényi Island, Zebegény

Zebegényi Island can be found in the Danube bend. It is a real island on the Danube, which means it is uniquely surrounded by water all year. It is a rather young formation, not long ago it was only a gravel bar without plants on it. By this time this inaccessible strip of land became a popular place for the locals and the tourists as well in summertime. In wintertime it is a shelter for birds. This island was almost excavated during the construction works of the nearby Nagymaros hydroelectric dam, fortunately they stopped the construction, so this island could remain in the Danube Bend.

The poll will be closed at midnight 31th December 2016. The results will be available in the first post of the year 2017.

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