Bokod Floating Houses
This Hungarian stilt village is built in a lake that never freezes over due to the power plant that that uses it as a cooling pond.
The neighboring towns of Bokod and Oroszlány, about 50 miles west of Budapest, have more than two linear miles of cabins and cottages suspended on stilts over Lake Bokodi. The little houses are mostly used by locals in the summer months, but they also cater to year-round anglers who take advantage of one weird fact about the lake — despite the frigid Hungarian winters, it rarely freezes over.
The 12-month liquidity is due to the power plant that dominates its skyline. As a “lake,” Bokodi-hůtőtó (its Hungarian name) is actually a cooling pond for the plant. The water is continuously circulated — cool water into the plant, warm water out — so it keeps the surface from fully freezing. If you’re looking for fish in the wintertime, not having to cut through ice is a plus. And since the houses sit directly over the water, your catch is never more than a front porch away.
The lake had its 15 minutes of fame in 2014, when a moody photo of the cabins, rising out of a blue mist, was used by Bing on one of their search pages. Before Bing, few people other than the locals and dedicated fishermen were aware of the picturesque spot.
It’s still off the beaten path, but it’s since been photographed more than a few times. It even played a starring role in a music video by the Hungarian contestant in the 2014 Eurovision competition. In addition to the labyrinth of cabins, boardwalks and piers, it even included a few shots of the power plant.
Know Before You Go
The lake is bordered by two villages, Bokod on the west side and Oroszlány on the east. Coming from Budapest, the best option is to travel to Oroszlany and make your way from there. The best views are from this side of the lake.
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