Thermal baths of Budapest:
The Gellért Thermal Bath:
The present building of the baths and hotel called Szt. Gellért Gyógyfürdő és Szálló was erected in 1918 and opened to the public on 26th September of that year. The wave pool was built in 1927, and the `champagne` bubble pool was constructed in 1934. The spa, well-known throughout the world, is the most popular spa among foreign visitors. Nearly all medical services of a spa are available, with rheumatology, comprehensive physiotherapy unit (day hospital), physiotherapy sub-unit and inhalatorium. Besides the `champagne` and wave pools, the sunbathing terraces for women only and for mixed naturists are popular. These are open from April to late September. Gellert hotel guests regularly use the services of the spa. Come here for a night swim in the outdoor pools on Friday and Saturday nights before midnight.
The Király Baths:
The history of the baths dates back to Ottoman rule in Buda. The Pasha of Buda, Arslan, is assumed to have started building the baths in 1565 so that, should there be a seige, there would be a baths in a protected area within the town walls. The present name was given by the König family who owned the building from 1796. The impressive baths is a rare survival of Turkish times in Hungary and today as a listed building it represents an early Ottoman baths palace in its original grandeur. It is supplied with thermal water piped from the Lukács Baths.
The Lukács Thermal Baths and swimming pool:
The present baths was built in 1894, and until the Széchenyi Baths was ready it was the biggest and most popular spa in Budapest. Besides the thermal baths the swimming pool is also a favourite meeting place for writers and artists. The 1800sq.m area around the spa is a popular place for relaxation with its century old trees. A drinking hall here offers curative waters. On the sidewall of the spa plates of gratitude hang showing how many people from different countries of the world have visited the baths and recovered here. The comprehensive physiotherapy unit (day hospital) deserves special emphasis from among all the services of the spa.
The Rudas Thermal Baths:
The baths is believed to have been built in the 1550s and rebuilt by Pasha Sokol Mustafa in 1566. At that time it was called `Green Columned Baths`. The centre of the present Rudas Baths, the Turkish bath, was formed during the Turkish occupation. It has an octagonal pool under a 10m-span dome supported by eight columns and surrounded by a barrel-vaulted corridor. It exists today almost in its original form and is the core of the present baths. The swimming pool dates from 1896 and was the second indoor pool in Budapest. The thermal baths is popular with all ages, though is for men only. The swimming pool, which operates as a medicinal pool, is primarily visited by the elderly. However, children`s groups also visit in large numbers. Several generations have learnt to swim here. There are also complex physiotherapic services (daily hospital) offered on the second floor of Rudas Gyógyfürdő.
The Széchenyi Thermal Baths:
It is one of Europe`s largest bath complexes. The atmosphere of Roman bathing culture may be felt in its light, spacious pool halls, while Greek bathing culture is reflected in the tub baths, but traces of Nordic traditions may also be found in the heat chambers, saunas and dipping pools. This first spa of Pest owes its existence to the well dug by Vilmos Zsigmondy in 1879. The present bath building was constructed in 1913. The swimming pool was built in 1927, but it was only open from May till September until the 1960ies, when, in 1963, it was made suitable for winter swimming as well. Since then it has been open throughout the year. The two `public bath` units were established also in 1927, today housing the mixed baths and the complex physiotherapy units (day hospital).