Budapest has been called the ‘City of Baths’ since the 1930s, but many of the hot springs have been used by Celts, Romans and even before them, prehistoric men. Hungary and its capital, Budapest, are lands of hot thermal waters with healing qualities.
The miraculous effects of Hungary’s healing waters have been prized for over 2000 years. During the Roman Empire, Emperor Marcus Aurelius discovered that his soldier’s wounds healed faster when they bathed in these hot springs. As a result, he built the first thermal bath in present day Óbuda (Aquincum).
In the 1500s, thermal baths became increasingly popular during the rule of the Byzantine or Ottoman Empire (1526-1686). These baths were built in the style of the Turkish Hammam. To this day you can still find many thermal baths from this era within Budapest: Rudas, Király, Rácz and Lukács - the one on the picture - has Turkish origins too.
The third generation of baths were built during the Austrian occupation (1686-1867) and the Austro-Hungarian monarchy (1867-1918). The architecture within these thermal baths were much grander and theatrical. As you can see, in all times bathing has played an important role in Budapest’s life.
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