The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is the largest medicinal bath and one of the largest public baths in Europe, located in the northern end of City Park, in Budapest. The waters, fed from two thermal springs, is rich with minerals such as sulphate, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate and a significant amount of fluoride and metaboric acid, that is believed to have a therapeutic effect on bathers relieving them of degenerative joint illnesses, joint inflammations, and other orthopaedic disorders. Because the baths remain hot all throughout the year, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy, especially during the winter. The Széchenyi Bath is a favorite for both locals and tourists alike.
The first thermal bath was built here in 1881. It was a small Artesian Bath, and stood on Nador Island in the middle of the lake in the City Park. The hot spring water supply came from the artesian well drilled by the Hungarian engineer Vilmos Zsigmondy who specialized in geothermal well drilling. The Artesian Bath was so popular that by the end of the 1880s the city councillors decided to build a bigger and nicer palace for bathing and relaxation. The Széchenyi Thermal Bath was built in 1913 with beautiful Neo-Baroque interior. The bath was further expanded in 1927 with a 50 meter long open air swimming pool. 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).
Today, Széchenyi Thermal Bath has 18 different pools, each with different water temperatures including a large outdoor swimming pool. There is water streaming, whirlpool and Jacuzzis, as well as saunas and massage service. Turkish-style thermal baths are segregated and are located off to the sides of the pool. In warm weather, there is segregated nude sunbathing on the roof.
Old men playing chess in the pool is a common sight. Photo credit
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