City of Spas

30 03 2012

Ever since the Roman age, Budapest has been known for its many thermal springs with medicinal qualities.  As a result, Budapest has many world-famous thermal baths that were built throughout its history, with a wide range of architectural styles.  In fact, in 1934 it was christened as  “City of Spas” (or “Spa City”).

One of the most famous baths  is the Széchenyi Thermal Bath.  In addition to being the largest thermal bath complex in Budapest, it is also one of the largest in Europe.  The bath was built in a Neo-baroque style in 1913 and was named after the great Hungarian statesman István Széchenyi.

Another of Budapest’s famous and more luxurious baths is the Gellért Thermal Bath, which is connected to the four star Gellért Hotel.  It was built in an Art Nouveau (Secession) style and opened in 1918.

Ever since their discovery, the springs of the Gellért Bath have been especially favored for the “miraculous” quality of their water.  The Gellért Bath was also referred to as Sárosfürdő (Mud bath) because of the fine silt that sprung up from the springs and settled at the bottom of the pools.

Other famous thermal baths in Budapest include the Király Baths, the Rácz Thermal Bath, the Rudas Baths, and Lukács Baths.  These baths originated during the Turkish period and are outstanding examples of Turkish architecture.

Some of these baths, the Rudas Baths in particular, also host special spa parties (referred to as “Sparties”) sponsored by Cinetrip, which attract younger audiences.  In addition to dancing and music, these Sparties include audiovisual features such as projecting lights and vintage silent films on walls to further enhance the experience.

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