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09.12.2016: Germany - Hungary

Hotel as a sign of friendship

It all began in May 1991 with the vision of the National President of Kolping Hungary, Lászlo Korinek, and Joachim Lehmann, then Managing Director of the Diocesan Kolping Society of Augsburg.  They wanted to establish a family recreation and education centre in Hungary.  With the support of the Kolping Training Centre in Augsburg and Helmut Kohl, the German Chancellor at that time, a family hotel was launched in Hungary’s Alsópáhok and completed and inaugurated in October 1996.

This family hotel, the first of its kind in Hungary at that time, was opened by Kolping Hungary with substantial help from Kolping Augsburg.  As a Kolping Hotel, it has a Christian orientation and attaches maximum significance to the family. On October 8, 2016, the Hotel in Alsópáhok at Lake Balaton, which has won several awards since its opening, celebrated its 20th anniversary with about 300 guests, starting with a High Mass.  The significance of the hotel for Hungary and the German-Hungarian friendship was also shown by the prominent guests and speakers.  Along with János Szabó, the Managing Director of the Hungarian Foundation for Family Recreation, Katalin Novák, Secretary of State at the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources, who is responsible for family and youth affairs, gave greetings.  She emphasized in particular the significance of the family for the development of society and as the foundation of a country. 

The decisive factor for the success of this project was and is the partnership between Hungary and Germany.  As early as 1994, a partnership agreement was negotiated between the Hungarian Foundation for extended families and the Kolping training centre of the Diocesan Kolping Society of Augsburg, Reg. Ass.  This documented the intention for a long-term and close co-operation for the good of both countries in the spirit of Fr. Kolping.