The abundance of medicinal waters in Budapest is unparalleled in any other city. The hot springs on the Buda side were already used by Celts and Romans, who built the first baths of the place. Then, under the domination of the sixteenth century Turkish baths to the fore again, and some still exist and are functional today. However, it was not until the nineteenth century when its use became popular and began to build most of the bathrooms that we can find the pearl of the Danube.
Photography by keepwaddling1
There in Budapest 123 and 400 thermal pools mineral pools from 14 sources. The sulphurous waters from the nearby Margaret Island are mostly calcareous therapeutic waters, and feed many of the bathrooms in the city. Are about 20 spas that offer the possibility to enjoy these healthy waters, being the most famous Gellért baths (or at least the most tourist) without doubt.
In this article I will discuss one of the bathrooms less known, more risky if I may say, but definitely more authentic and four centuries of history behind it.
These are the oldest Turkish baths in the city, and also the smallest. So small are they easily pass unnoticed walking down Fö utca, so after going through the renovated building of Foreign Affairs on the same street, we must look to the right to see a piece of the Turkish leadership. The annex building is an old house painted bright green, as if the vapors of the bathrooms have both made flower and vegetation around the house.
Király is one of the few baths of Budapest that has its own source of thermal water. The Turks built it in 1565 because they wanted a bathroom located within the walls of the city if it were under siege. Water transported to this area around the Lukács baths through a pine wood pipe.
Built between 1566 and 1570 under the command of Pasha Sokoli Arshlan and Mustapha Pasha, his successor, are similar in structure to the Rudas baths, but on a smaller scale. Although the capacity is limited to 80 people, the space seems more appropriate for the half. This also demonstrates that it is better to go with reserve.
Men may come on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, women, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. In the days of male access, the bathrooms are a popular meeting place for gay, so if you are straight is better to go with an open mind and a great deal of tolerance.
Changing rooms are on the second floor, the shower, in the first, and do not forget to shampoo and gel, nor towel as a precaution. The maximum stay is two hours on weekdays, and hour and a half on holidays.
The interior of the building is fascinating, like a giant mosque. Steam does not allow much visibility, and light source are small holes in the dome, as in the Rudas Bath. The bathrooms are on the first floor. Upon entering you are the sauna, called Hõlégkamra (hot air chamber). In the bathroom is accessed through a small entrance in the direction of the dome. The building is octagonal, with the pool following the round shape of the dome and arches under four banks will see where to sit after a hot bath. Under the other arches are small pools that house a maximum of four persons each. One of them is extremely hot (40 º C), while the other contains cold water to contrast after the sauna.
The sauna or Turkish bath (hammam) is under one of the domes adjacent to the principal, and is accessed through a small entrance, although it seems impossible, yet is darker and has more steam than the big pool.
Sit next to the large pool, close your eyes and hear the buzz of conversation around you, relax, no more tourists than you. In these baths there is nothing more to do than talk and relax, and if you can not speak Hungarian, do not choice but to relax. There is so much steam in the air and sunlight goes so faint that no place in chess as in the Széchenyi baths impressive, but this is also part of its charm.