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Tapolca is a town in Veszprém county, Hungary, close to Lake Balaton. It is located at around. The town has a separate district approximately 5 km to the East called Tapolca-Diszel.EtymologyThe origin of Tapolca is disputed, originating either from the Hungarian Tapolcza, meaning "high place", due to the city's position on a small hill, or from the Slavic Tapolča, meaning "hot springs." It was also known as Turul or Turultapolca at some points in the Middle Ages.Notable sightsThe Lake CaveThe around 3000-metre-long lake cave system, this unique attraction, is situated in the heart of the town. It was opened to the public in 1912 after ten years of its discovery. Small boats can be hired to explore the cave system. Merely 15–20 m below the town a 5 km long cave system criss-crosses the Miocene limestone layers. This includes the 3.3 km long Lake Cave, which is mostly filled with karst water. The cave was discovered in 1903 during well digging. Thanks to the explorations even round boat trips were made possible from 1937. Because of its special origin and unique formations, it was designated already in 1942, and placed under strict protection in 1982. The mixture of the cold carst water flowing here and the thermal water upsurging from the deep dissolves limestone. Initially narrow passages, then smaller and larger niches were formed. During a very long time these widened into spacious chambers and passages. Dripstones have not developed in the cave, as several metre thick clay zone prevents infiltration from the surface. Only some calcareous formations (cave corals and aragonite crystals) occur at some places, having precipitated from the cave air. Bats cannot enter the closed spaces, so the largest vertebrate is a 10 cm long fish, the Minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus L.), which probably swims in through the wet passages from the Malom-tó (Mill Pond). The cave air with nearly 100% humidity, a high calcium content and a constant temperature of 20 °C is being used for curing respiratory diseases in the brenches under the town hospital that are in close connection with the cave. The radon content of the cave air does not have any effect on the visitors.
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