Budapest spas

BUDAPEST - CITY OF SPAS

The Capital with the World’s largest number of Thermal Springs
Budapest first gained the epithet City of Spas in 1934, and with it recognition that there isn’t another capital city anywhere in the world that has more hydrothermal and mineral springs. It is also a unique fact that the 118 natural or specially drilled springs, with a temperature ranging from 21 to 78 °C (70–172 °F), deliver 70 million litres (15.4 million gallons) per day. Walking along the Danube embankment on the Buda side, you come across the famous thermal baths one after the other. They have a wide appeal, suiting those engaged in sports as well as those who would rather sweat it out in the steam room or pass the time of day unwinding in the soothing thermal water. The particular mineral content of the waters here marks them out as being efficacious in the treatment of locomotor, circulatory and gynćcological disorders. Close to the baths you can find springs and pump rooms, offering the range of natural mineral waters to drink. The most renowned pump room for taking curative drinks is at the entrance to the Lukács Baths. It was opened in 1937 and is recommended, amongst other things, for those suffering from gastric complaints. The building dates from 1894, and the establishment’s fame spread quickly throughout Europe, becoming one of Hungary’s best known attractions.

In Buda there are also working thermal baths remaining from the Turkish period, for example the Király and the Rác, both built towards the end of the 1500’s. Another, the Rudas, is both the oldest and the most elaborately decorated, and includes a fine octagonal main pool.

 

Budapest’s Finest Art Nouveau Thermal Spa
The foot of Gellért Hill was the site of a hospital in the Middle Ages; by the Turkish period there was a bathing place there. On one of his travels, the Turkish writer Evlia Cselebi advised that one should stay in the water almost until one’s body turns red and then quickly get out but keep warm. Today’s Gellért Hotel and Baths date from 1918, although the wave pool and whirlpool bath are later additions. This is Budapest’s finest thermal bathing complex, still displaying original art nouveau fittings, colourful mosaics, marble columns and stained glass windows and statues.



The Best Views of Buda and Pest
Legend has it that in 1046 pagan Hungarians revolting against Christianity hurled the missionary Bishop Gellért into the Danube from a steep cliff face on the hill that now bears his name. His huge statue marks the spot, above a waterfall, and looks commandingly out over the river. Following the putting down of the Hungarian War of Independence (1848-49) the Austrian Emperor had a citadel built at the top of the hill – to show the rebellious town who was master. From its terraces 450 feet above the Danube there are spectacular views over the city. And conversely from nearly every point down below there is a good view up to the bronze statue of a woman holding aloft a palm branch, the Liberation Monument. This was erected in 1947 and commemorates the liberation of Budapest at the end of the Second World War.

 

Gellért Thermal Bath - History of the Bath
We find records about the "miraculous" springs spurting up o¬n the territory of the Bath from as early a date as the 15th century. These springs were later favoured by the Turks as well, as they were larger and hotter than the Buda baths of the period. In the 17th century, the site was named Sárosfürdő (Mud bath) because of the fine spring silt that was pushed up together with the spring water and settled at the bottom of the pools.
The Gellért Thermal Bath and Hotel, known world-wide and highly favoured by foreigners, built in a secession style, opened its gates in 1918 and was expanded in 1927 by the wave-bath and in 1934 by the effervescent bath. In the course of the modernisation accomplished in our days, the sitting-pool in the swimming complex, the outdoor sitting pool and the children's pool were renovated; they were equipped with a state-of-the art water filtering and circulation device. At present, nearly all healing facilities may be used in the Gellért Thermal Bath. The Bath includes a department offering complex thermal bath acilities (daytime/outpatient hospital), it also has an inhalatorium.

 

Rudas Thermal Bath - History of the bath
The centerpiece of the bath today, the Turkish bath, was built during the 16th century in the period of the Turkish occupation. Below the 10 m diameter dome, sustained by 8 pillars, there is an octagonal pool. The thermal bath has been visited from 1936 o¬n exclusively by men. The swimming pool, operating as a therapeutic swimming facility and with a sauna, was built in 1896.
In its drinking hall, the water of the springs Hungária, Attila and Juventus can be consumed for the purposes of a drinking cure. In the bath, there is a daytime outpatient hospital operating with a complex physiotherapy department.

 

Széchenyi Thermal Bath - History of the Bath
The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is o¬ne of the largest spa complexes in Europe. It's also the first thermal bath of Pest. It owes its existence to Vilmos Zsigmondy, a mining engineer. o¬n his initiative, successful deep borings had been performed in the City Park, where later, in 1881 already an "Artesian bath" was in operation. However, this temporary type of bath was meeting the demands of the age less and less, so the Széchenyi Thermal Bath was built in 1913 o¬n the basis of plans composed by Gyozo Czigler. The Bath was expanded in 1927 with a public bathing department for gentlemen and ladies and a beach site. In the middle of the 1960s, further transformations took place, including the creation of a group thermal section in bathing suits as well as a daytime outpatient hospital (complex physiotherapy department).
The reconstruction of the pools of the swimming section, their equipment with water filtering and circulation devices was completed in 1999. The so-called fancy bath includes a whirling corridor, underwater effervescence production, neck shower, water beam back massage installed in the sitting banks and many other services.