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The Hungarian Capital Is The City of Spas

Jun 4, 2008
With a history dating back to the beginning of the common era, the Hungarian capital, lying between the two banks of the Danube, offers sights to see until their coming out of your ears.

Many of the hotels in the city will offer some kind of spa facility, however, if you are in a bed and breakfast or lower star hotel, of which there are many wonderful options, you will have the incentive and the opportunity to visit one of the cities baths.

Locals will go to the public baths which will open from 6 a.m. and represent a Budapest institution of a nearly ritual type. For the tourist this is a must do experience if only because of how much it is a part of Budapest culture. There are over 100 thermal springs in the city which pump out around 70 million liters of hot water per day.

The springs inside the city of Budapest range in temperature from 70-170 degrees Fahrenheit; that's 21-78 degrees centigrade. The factor that defines a spa is its emphasis on medicinal benefits. Therefore, whilst they will often been categorized together, a spa and a lido are very different as the former is concerned primarily with mineral water and its healing properties whilst the later is traditionally a place of relaxation and fun, not necessarily with a physically healing element.

The Romans were attracted primarily by the pleasant experience of the bathing and they were the first to build baths here, the remains of which can still be seen today in the north of the city. Whilst the Turkish ruled the area between the mid sixteenth century and the late seventeenth century, the springs were utilized again for the double purpose of bathing and healing. During these years new baths were built and it is in some of these baths that modern visitors can still enjoy the benefits that the Turks did.

It wasn't until the twentieth century however that Budapest was officially dubbed the "City of Spas" after the spurt of development of the springs in the 1920s. This is a title that the city still proudly wears. Today you will find older people than younger in the baths. The youngsters show a preference for the lidos of the city over the medicinal hot spring bathes.

Absolute must sees for the visitor to Budapest are the two oldest baths in the city. The Kirly Thermal Baths are housed in a building dating almost exclusively to the Turkish period, whilst the Ruda Medicinal Baths date from the same period and features a wonderful octagonal pool lighted by a 30-foot in diameter capola. Both baths have separate sessions for men and women bathers.
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