Celldömölk, the centre of Kemensalja is located in the north-east of County Vas. Its population is 12 thousand people. Due to its location, natural values as well as its religious heritages it is the touristic centre of the region.
The town situated at the foot of the Ság hill has a 750 year history: it was born as the merger of five neighbouring settlements: Pórdömölk, Nemesdömölk, Kiscell, Alsóság and Izsákfa.
Pórdömölk used to be an abbey centre; it was first mentioned in a charter in 1252. The Benedictine Abbey that was founded in the 12th century has owned remarkable assets. At this time the settlement was booming and highly populated; decadence has started in the 16th century. Although its monastery has decayed, the ruins of the Roman style church have remained. The census in 1828 already mentions Pórdömölk as a part of Kiscell.
The foundation of Nemesdömölk must have been the result of the commercial road going through the area; however Kiscell, the growing settlement soon acquired it. The first written records of Nemesdömölk, the noble settlement are from 1410 but the date of foundation is unknown. The settlement has been formed probably because of the trade route nearby. In 1681 during the reign of Leopold Ist the Parliement has declared the right for free choice of religion for 11 counties – Vas county among them – so the protestants had the possibility to build two churches. One of them was built in Nemesdömölk. The thousends of believers arriving to the settlement had a great influence on the economy and the culture as well. The later improvement of Nemesdömölk was set back by the strengthening of the new settlement Kiscell that has merged Nemesdömölk later.
The founder of Kiscell, the well-known pilgrimage site was the Czech Koptic abbot, who was appointed by the Arch abbot of Pannonhalma in 1739. Because in Pordömölk he has only found the ruins he was looking for a new place for the Mother Mary Statue from Mariazell. He has found an asset of the abbey 2 km on the East where he has built the Saint Anne Chapel. The new baroque church was finished in 1748, the Benedictine Monastery was finished in 1768. This has made the settlement established by Odó Koptik the seat of the abbey that was called Kismária-cell that time. Its development was fuelled by the location of the salt office, an important governmental office in Kiscell, which had a favourable location and quite busy traffic due to the pilgrimages. The booming of the settlement was stopped temporarily because of the fire and epidemic in the 1780s but in the 1790s Kiscell has gained possibility for holding fairs and became an agricultural town. At the beginning of the 19th century the economy of the settlement increased and it became the centre of Kemenesalja. Its importance was further increased by the completion of the railway section of the Hungarian Western Railways that reached Kiscell in 1871. The settlement soon became a railway interchange.
The most ancient settlements of the area are most probably Alsóság and Izsákfa situated at the foot of Ság hill. They were famous for their agricultural activities.
Excavations prove that these settlements were already tactically important in the Roman times.The first written records of Alsóság are from 1272. There were remarkable agricultural activities int he settlement because it has become an agricultural town in 1787. Similarly to Alsóság Izsákfa has also been an agricultural settlement.
Kiscell and Nemesdömölk merged at the beginning of the 20th century in 1904. In 1950 Alsóság and in 1979 Izsákfa became the part of it as well. Celldömölk became a town with this action.
The city has gone through dynamic changes recently. The old buildings have been renovated, the main square and the square in front of the cultural centre obtained new looks. Besides the fountain the statue of Koptik Odó abbot can also be seen in the baroque style square.
In the heart of the downtowns the St Mary Church with the museum, the neighbouring Calvary chapel, the Holy Trinity statue, the building of the Benedictine Monastery, and the Mary-well next to the monastery attracts not only the pilgrims but also the tourists to Celldömölk from year to year.
Everybody who comes to Celldömölk must visit the Catholic Church built in late baroque style in the 18th century in Alsóság, as well as the Saint John from Nepomuk Church in Izsák built in classicist style at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Nemesdömölk part of the city became the centre of the Protestants of the western part of the country upon the law in 1861.The first church of the Evangelistic believers was consecrated in 1744, the present church was built in 1897 on the place of the old church.
The community of the Reform Church was created in Celldömölk in 1924, and they had their church built upon the plans of the architect Kálmán Dudás, the student of Károly Kós, the great Transylvanian architect in 1936.
The railways played a significant role in the lives of the city and its citizens, to remember it a locomotive engine museum awaits the visitors on the area of the railway station all year round.
The Lake of Celldömölk is a beautiful and popular place at the border of the city; it is a paradise for anglers as well.
An old dream of the people of Celldömölk came true in 2005 when the Volcanic Thermal Spa has been opened. It is open with high-quality facilities for everybody who is longing for healing and relaxation.
The Kemenes Volcano Park on the Ság Hill, the Museum of the Ság Hill, the Volcano Path and the Stone Park introduce the visitors to the development, activity and history of the volcanoes in a unique way.