Nagykanizsa is a medium-sized city in Zala
County in southwestern Hungary
. It is also known in Hungarian as Kanizsa. It lies not far from Lake Balaton
at the meeting point of five routes. For centuries the town has been a connecting link. Goods from Slovenia
were transported to Graz via Nagykanizsa, and the town played an important role in the trade from the Adriatic Sea to the Alpine region, Vienna, and Budapest
. The city's oldest Roman era ruins were uncovered in the 1960s.
Later, during the Middle Ages, it became one of the most important strongholds of the Hungarian Kingdom. The fortress had a significant role in the southern shield line of Hungary, keeping the whole of Western Europe
safe from the attacks of the Ottoman Empire. Instead of conquerors, today Nagykanizsa attracts thousands of dental tourists as the modern age's invaders. The name Kanizsa is of Slavic origin (Knysa), and means "belonging to a prince". It refers to the fact that the region was the property of an aristocrat.