The town is home to an old Benedictine Abbey, surrounded by the famous nature reserve where a number of rare animals and plants can be found. It was the first landscape protection area in Hungary, created in 1952.
The abbey was established in 1055. King Andrew I chose Tihany as a burial-place for the royal family and founded a Benedictine monastery. The oldest written record of the Hungarian language is connected to its foundation. The original document is kept in the Pannonhalma Abbey.
In 1267 a fortress was built around the church. It was regularly attacked by the Turks, but it was eventually destroyed in 1702 by the Habsburgs. They ruined many of the Hungarian castles in order to eliminate the means of resistance against their reign in the country.
The echo of Tihany is a well-known phenomenon since the 18th century, when the abbey was rebuilt. The words shouted from the top of the Echo Hill are reverberating from the abbey’s north side wich is more than 300 metres far. In the 19th century many poets were inspired by the Echo Hill which was said to repeat the words even sixteen times. Currently the echo is disappearing due to increased noise and many other buildings built in the area.
The abbey is still functioning. The monks are also in charge of the Benedictine Abbey Museum.