The name of Kaszó is a mystery in itself. The name of unexplained source stands today for a settlement, for a several centuries-old, tragic and mysterious story, for a forest of giant proportions, for a habitat with unique biological diversity, for a company, for a corporation undertaking a complex activity and not at least for many-many legends, hearsays and rumors.

    Kaszó Settlement

    Kaszó település “The name of Kaszó is a mystery in itself. The name of unexplained source stands today for a settlement, for a several centuries-old, tragic and mysterious story, for a forest of giant proportions, for a habitat with unique biological diversity, for a company, for a corporation undertaking a complex activity and not at least for many-many legends, hearsays and rumors. At the same time the name of Kaszó stood for occlusion - and despite of all the changes, efforts and new initiatives it partly still stands for today – and not only in the geographical sense. According to the public opinion the name of Kaszó had always evoke the names of barons, politicians, or – let’s say – some of the privileged ones. Along with their supposed and alleged affairs. The past forty - fifty years – and their latest, exaggerated and biased appraisel – only reinforced the gloom among the village of Kaszó.”
    Quotation from the book: 600 years of Kaszó.

    Location

    Kaszó település It is hidden in the southern forests of Somogy county, and the small settlement is mostly known by the name Kaszópuszta. The Baláta lake lies on the southwest side of the town, which is the habitat of the rare Aldrovanda vesiculosa carnivorous plant - not to mention the other plant and animal species living there. The settlement is named Kaszó since 1994, after separating from Somogyszob and founding of its own local government. Its popularity is mostly based on the rich game stock of the nearby forests, which count also as one of Hungary’s best hunting territories.

    The history of the town

    Kaszó településEarly memories

    The first written record, a certificate written in Latin, dates back to 5 May, 1398 and bears the signature of King Sigismund. In this document the settlement is still referred to as the Kazaw Estate. According to a certificate written on 25 May, 1495, the holiday of Pope Sainte Urban, Kaszó, amongst other things, was given as a gift to the Báthori family by King Ulászló II. At this time the document still referred to the settlement as Kiskaszó (“Little Kaszó”) and Nagykaszó (“Big Kaszó”).

    The year 1715 finds the region in the ownership of Count Tamás Nádasdy. The largest settlement at this time was Somogyszob with a total of 8 households. The military council turned to Maria Theresa with a request in 1764. They were advocating the preparation of such maps that would fulfil every need of the military leaders. The area of Somogy County could only be assessed in 1783 and then in 1794, by which time Kaszó is also indicated in the vicinity of Lake Baláta. In comparison with later maps, it is now certain that the Baláta Inn was located on the side of the settlement closer to the lake, which today is the town limits of Szenta, but which was in the ownership of Count György Festetics in the early 1800s. The Kaszó Inn was owned by the main chapter of Esztergom.

    Hohenlohe hercegFrom Hohenlohe to the present

    This is how it was possible that Duke Hohenlohe, who was an avid fan of hunting, after merely a few hunts in the region, got the hunting tenement right from the main chapter of Esztergom in 1909. In 1911 he purchased the 10,000-acre land for 7 million gold crowns, from which 3,500 cadastre acres were forest and 6,500 cadastre acres were plough-land, meadow and pasture. Following World War I, the area was developed into an 18,000-cadastre-acre estate, which could flourish in this period. The little clearing hiding in the depths of the forest, Kaszó, became the centre of the estate, where the duke hunted regularly and also welcomed a number of distinguished guests. It is here where he had the building constructed from larch after seeing it at the 1910 Austrian World Fair. It was expanded by adding several rooms until it turned into a hunting manor whose interior walls were decorated by the trophies of the duke. The water tower that still stands today was built in 1913.

    A new chapter opened in the life of Kaszó following the death of the duke. The first unfortunate event was that the hunting manor caught fire and burned to the ground on 15 February, 1927. Stone was used to erect the new building in its place, which became the new hunting lodge.

    Kaszó and its forest had no official owner from February 1945. Due to the shortage of food at this time, almost everyone hunted and captured animals. The estate was annexed by the Soviet Union on 14 November, 1946; therefore, the Directorate for Soviet Property Abroad ran the life of the Kaszó forest for almost 4 years. Following some twists and turns, with the support of Lajos Czinege, the Kaszó Forestry came under the direction of the Ministry of Defence on 1 July, 1967. This is the time when the roads of Kaszó were constructed, when the hunting lodge was renovated and office buildings and the resort itself were built.

    The present

    Kaszó településSince Kaszó could not stay an independent forestry, it was attached to Veszprém in 1989. It has been an independent township since 1994. The Kaszó Erdőgazdaság Zrt. can call 15, 000 acres of forest its own, its sawmill is located in Szenta. About 80-90% of the wood frieze manufactured here is exported. Hunting is still active in the woods of Kaszó; the quality of its game stock still ranks in a distinguished place in Hungary.

    Several “puszta” belong to the town: Bördec, Bükk, Darvas and Kanizsaberek are still inhabited today. The population of the five “puszta” counts 148 people. Since there is no public transportation linked to these settlements, the local government operates a bus service in collaboration with the forestry, which makes schools and kindergartens, workplaces easier to access along with running errands.

    The development of the village is still ongoing. There have been 19 building sites established within the area of Kaszó (ranging between 947-1,234 m2 in size). Thanks to the designated plots, the infrastructure has developed further, and we expect tourism to pick up as a result of the constructions.