The area was inhabited as early as the neolithic age (about 3500 B.C.) and an increasing number of archeological items, dating from the Roman Era and onwards, found here gives evidence of a rich past.
A populous colony used to live in the area reaching as far as the village of Fenékpuszta (‘Valcum’) nearby. A significant archeological finding, i.e. a 1400 year-old necropolis with 301 graves, has been uncovered which used to be related with the so called ‘Keszthely culture’ (a population of Roman origin). A burial-place dating back to the time of the Hungarian settlement has also been excavated in the village.
Three villages existed in the area of Gyenesdiás consecutively, with Falud being the earliest during the age of the Arpads. The first mention of the Saint Elizabeth’s Church was made in 1333, but according to archeological findings, the village was populated as early as the 11th century. In the 19th century, the ruins of the church were demolished by the inhabitants of Gyenes (to use scraps to build a church of their own). Until 40 years ago, the place of the former church was marked by a hillock, which was subsequently removed during the construction works of Faludi Street.
Gyenes, the western part of today’s Gyenesdiás, was first mentioned in 1696 as a vineyard belonging to the village of Falud. This name derives from the first name ‘Dénes’. A seal from 1766 carries the name in the form of ‘Gyenes’.
In 1807, vineyard-owners of Gyenes decided to erect a chapel on the top of the hill planted with vines and removed the ruins, still standing erect, of the Saint Elizabeth’s Church of the former village of Falud to gain building material. The plans miscarried as György Festetics “did not allow it to be built on his estate”. Finally, the church was erected in classical style in a matter of a year in 1826, under the sponsorship of László Festetics. In honour of his daughter’s patron saint, the church was given the name of Saint Helen.
The first mention of Diás was made in 1341 as an estate, already populated, belonging to the Lôrinte clan. The name of Diás, that is the eastern part of the present-day village, is likely to have derived from the word ‘dió’ (=‘walnuts’), which is native in the area. It was consecutively owned by several families until it was finally bought by the Festetics’s in the middle of the 18th century. Gyenes and Diás united to form a single village in 1840.
According to the first national census taken subsequently, it had a population of 948 in 1869. The village developed slowly up to the end of the century, followed by an increasing growth of the population from 1890. It was mainly attributable to a vine-pest epidemic in 1889 which destroyed complete vineyards and attracted a wave of new settlers to buy former press-houses and cellars cheap and add kitchens and rooms to turn them into homes.
The building of the former tithe-house, later pub, built in 1763, was used as a school from 1871 (now it accommodates a children’s nursery).
Gyenesdiás is finely situated and has an excellent climate, diverse touristic and outstanding hospitality of its community. Gyenesdiás is now an ideal touristic target for any age group or class in a seek after careless and substantial quality holiday-making at favourable costs.