Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Budapest, the capital of medical waters

The Hungarian capital is called one of the major spa capitals of the world rightly so, since numerous thermal springs and spas can be enjoyed here. Besides the water culture characterizing Hungarians, the peoples invading Hungary during the centuries have also played a role in forming this special value.

Romans deserve first mention. The II Roman Legion built private and public baths based on the local springs in the region we know as western part of the capital today. There are written records from medieval times proving that two of the spas of our days, Lukács and Császár were known and called Felhévíz during the time of settlements of the Magyars in Hungary. That means that the thermal waters were already known and utilized in the 10th century.

During the Renaissance King Mathias liked to visit spas. A kind of record of this is the name of Budapest Királyfürdő, which is the translation from the Hungarian expression: bath of the king. During the Turkish conquest the development of public spa culture of Budapest and of Hungary gathered another momentum, since baths played an important religious role, in Islamic culture as well.

Gellért Thermal Bath Photo: Shutterstock

In the times following the Turkish invasion, the 18th century brought a similarly rapid development. The first medical studies dealing with the healing effects of thermal springs and medicinal waters were published.

Nowadays, the baths of Budapest are being renovated authentically. As a result they have become very attractive for those fond of modern spa culture based on traditional values. Budapest today is a real spa city with a water wealth unique in Europe. Thanks to this richness and exciting colourfulness the baths of Budapest attract millions of visitors each year.

Lake Balaton, then and now

The first records of the “Hungarian sea” date back to Roman ages, although Balaton most probably played a role as far back as prehistoric times. These records mostly deal with ancient farming and fishing, pointing to an undisputed significance already then.

Musical Fountains of Margaret Island

One of the important spectacles of Margaret Island, Budapest are the musical fountains. There are such fountains both at the northern and the southern part of the island, the former is called Bodor Fountain, while following its recent renewal, the latter has become one of the biggest musical fountains in Europe.

The Wonderful World of Our Floodplain Grasslands

As its name implies, Danube-Drava National Park is located almost fully on a territory that once had been a floodplain along the Danube and River Drava. Its crown jewels include the world famous, stunningly beautiful groves, the Gemenc and Béda-Karapancsa regions, all compellingly rich in wildlife.

The legendary Széchenyi Spa and Swimming Pool

The Széchenyi Spa is one of the biggest spa complexes in Europe, the first medicinal spa of Pest. It was constructed between 1909 and 1913, in a modern renaissance style. The water of the spa comes from the deepest point in Budapest which is 1246 m deep, and does so at a temperature of 76 °C.

The renaissance of balneology

Hungarian balneology has been an internationally acclaimed profession from its very inception. The Hungarian Balneological Society was founded in 1891 as one of the first medical societies. The hallmark of the society consists of famous professionals like Lajos Markusovszky and Sándor Korányi.