city of county status and seat of Veszprém megye (county), western Hungary. It lies along the Séd River, spanned there by a viaduct, in the Bakony Mountains, southwest of Budapest. The town already had a cathedral and castle in the 9th century; it was supposedly named after the Polish prince Bezprim. The city is built on five hills and contains many historical and architectural monuments: the street of ancient houses, the Cathedral of St. Michael, the Gizella Chapel with valuable 13th-century frescoes, the Baroque bishop's palace (1765–76), the Franciscan cloister (1770–76), and the fortress with its Heroes' Gate. Between 1552 and the end of the 17th century, Veszprém was intermittently occupied by the Turks. The city is a road, rail, and market centre. The University of Veszprém was founded in 1949.

      Manufactures include consumer electronics, computer parts, cables, textiles, wine, and vegetable oil. Veszprém also has a chemical industry. Pop. (2001) 62,851.

 megye (county), western Hungary, extending north from Lake Balaton (Balaton, Lake). It is bordered by the counties of Györ-Moson-Sopron (Győr-Moson-Sopron) to the north, Komárom-Esztergom to the northeast, and Fejér to the east, as well as by Lake Balaton and Somogy county to the south and the counties of Zala to the southwest and Vas to the west. Veszprém city is the county seat.

      Other important towns include Pápa, Ajka, Várpalota, Tapolca, Balatonfüred, and Balatonalmádi. The county is populated mainly by Hungarians, with significant ethnic German, Slovak, and Roma (Gypsy) communities.

      Veszprém county consists largely of the forested Bakony Mountains and parts of Mezoföld flatlands. The Bakony Mountains are fragmented by several valleys and divide into the Southern Bakony and the Northern Bakony Mountains. The inner areas of the Northern Bakony Mountains are breached by loess basins and steep stream valleys with rich karst formations. Tapolca basin lies at the centre of the county and to the south gives way to the highlands around Lake Balaton. The Keszthely Mountains rise in the southwestern part of the county.

      Soil and geographic conditions in Veszprém county do not favour agriculture. The elevated areas of the Bakony are relatively rich in rainfall, while the southern parts of the mountains and hills—because of Mediterranean climatic influences—see a lot of autumn sunshine. Conditions are well suited for wine production, which takes place at Badacsony, Szent Görgy Mountain, Somló, and the north shore of Lake Balaton. Mineral resources found in the Bakony Mountains include bauxite, pitch coal, lignite, and basalt. Limestone and water from the karst regions are also important natural resources. The once-abundant karst springs in the Bakony Mountains were diminished by the large amounts of water brought to the surface by bauxite mining.

      Veszprém was one of the most-industrialized counties of Hungary until the 1980s, owing to its developed mining, chemical industry, and aluminum foundry, as well as the famed manufacturing of porcelain and china in Herend and crystal in Ajka. In the aftermath of the political changes in 1989, the county's economy became more reliant on the tourism industry centred on Lake Balaton (Balaton, Lake), especially at Veszprém, Balatonfüred, and Balatonalmádi.

      Veszprém is one of Hungary's most historic counties, dating, as an entity, from the Árpád (Árpád dynasty) era. Veszprém city was home to Queen Gizella, the wife of Stephen I, and the castle there was the seat of Hungarian queens in the 10th century. At Zirc, high in the Cuha valley, is a 12th-century abbey, and in Nagyvázsony are the ruins of the legendary Kinizsi Castle. Balatonfelvideki National Park is located on the Tihany Peninsula. Area 1,781 square miles (4,613 square km). Pop. (2004 est.) 368,000.

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