The selected legend to be part of L´AQUA experiences as a pilot will be the legend of the equestrian staute hiding gold inside which was found nearby the Lake Velence:
At the village of Velence – which is at the Lake Velence – , a headless equestrian statue was found along a military road dating back to the Roman times. It is alleged to have been standing by the road, bearing witness to the marches of various folks, who did not dare to do any harm to it.
The legend says: The statue by the road was sinking deeper and deeper into the ground, so, it was only its head sticking out. When King Matthias called for Italian masters of construction from the distant Venice to rebuild the castle of the town of Fehérvár (today: Székesfehérvár), three brothers came along with the masters as well, who stopped here in Velence on their way from the town Buda to Fehérvár.
From the bottom of the hill they were watching the landscape, the water of the lake with the lagoons among the reeds, and they grew to like it as it resembled their home land, Venice. As they were indulging in the scenery, they beheld a head of a statue sticking out of the ground, which they began to dig out. When they finally managed to take it out, they erected it. They resolved to take it to King Matthias’ court to Fehérvár. However, no sooner had they wanted to put it on their cart when it fell down, its head broke off and a pile of golden coins fell out of it. The three brothers were rejoicing and they decided not to wander on but settle down here and build a settlement from the money found, which they named the Hungarian Venice/Velence. They began to gather stones for construction from the nearby stone mine, which was named Olasz (Italian) quarry after them.
The fracture of the equestrian statue can be found by the entrance of Museum of István of Székesfehérvár. In Velence, the name of the Italian quarry can still be seen on Lake of Velencei maps these days.
After studying the legend and using the manual on storytelling techniques provided by UEX, the working group have decided what will be the main aspects and elements exploited and used to design the tourist products for the piloting. These are the following:
– it is a story about treasure (gold)
– Lake Velence as a natural phenomenon is included (its lagoons, reef etc)
– related to a great Hungarian King: Matthias the Just King
– Matthias had an Italian wife and many Italian craftmen came from Italy with her
By using these key elements, services created under L´AQUA brand, for the piloting experience, are:
– visit to the local aquarium: to see local fishes and underwater wildlife of the Lake Velence, also with a guide explaining for the visitor what they see, with a question-answer session. Each kid gets a free of charge activity book on the Lake Velence.
– a treasure hunt on the Lake Velence by canoe (finding the spots with a portable GPS device) OR a treasure hunt in the hills around the Lake taking an easy (max 1,5 hour-long) tour also with a portable GPS device
– a lunch or dinner at a local restaurant
– wooden castle at Gárdony, which offers different activities for kids (battle for the castle, competition of warriors)
– for small kids: story telling of King Matthias legends and tales
– for bigger kids: crafting activity (to prepare objects from reef etc)
– for parents: local product tasting