Nagykanizsa is a medium-sized city 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 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.
The name Kanizsa was first mentioned in a document in 1245. The Kanizsai family continued building the castle and constructed a rectangular castle with closed back-yard on an islet in the River Kanizsa. The town and the castle had their prime in the first half of the 16th century, when Kanizsa became a centre of trade with Italy and Styria.