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Gellért Baths

Gellért Baths one of the most famous baths in Budapest, not only for the healing properties in the water, but for its Art Nouveau perfection.

St. Gellért Thermal Bath and Swimming Pool
Address: Kelenhegyi út 4 – Budapest
Phone: +36-1-466-6166
Web: www.gellertfurdo.hu
Hours: 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM
GPS: 47.484259, 19.0521

We’re about to visit one of the most famous baths in Budapest. Famous not only for the healing properties in the water, but also because it is a stunning, Art Nouveau masterpiece in itself.

According to the legend, in the 11th century, a hermit/monk named Gellért, was the first person to dip his toes into these healing waters. But it was the Turks that built baths here during their occupation of Hungary.

They named their baths here Açık Ilija which in Turkish translates to ‘open air mud bath. They called it mud bath, because fine silt was pushed up with the thermal waters, and it settled on the bottom of the pools creating a squishy mud surface.

When the baths went back into Hungarian hands in the 17th century, they kept the name: Sáros Fürdő ‘Mud bath’ Sáros Bath wasn’t that fabulous, and it was in the way of the construction of the new Franz Joseph Bridge. SO they demolished it, but they knew they needed to replace it. Perhaps build a new bath SO fantastic it would put Budapest on the map as the greatest spa destination in the world!

So a competition was created for a design for the new bath.

The breathtaking design for a new Art Nouveau hotel and spa won the competition. Work began in 1912 and the Gellért Hotel and Spa opened in 1918 to great fanfare. Hungarian Zsolnay ceramics play a central role in the fluid Art Nouveau style that is carried throughout the building. Legendary Hungarian stained glass window creator Miksa Róth designed all of the windows and interior glass ornamentation.

This not only solidified the Gellért Bath as the 1st Luxury Hotel and Spa in Hungary, but also the most modern medical bath in Europe.

But they weren’t done yet.

Almost a decade later, in 1927, the Gellért Bath opened the world’s very first wave pool. This solidified Gellért as the most modern and the most famous bath in all of Europe.

Visitors today can still test their wave-jumping skills in the world’s very first wave pool. The Art Nouveau interiors have become even more entrancing with age and they contribute to the peaceful atmosphere of relaxation. The thermal pools continue to put the naturally heated 40 degree celsius water to good use.

Actually, Ryan Gossling once used the thermal pools here for a GQ photoshoot. But sorry ladies, the thermal pools are drained and replenished with fresh thermal water every day, so you will not soaking your body in the same waters as Ryan.

So if you like your day at the spa lathered in centuries of history, a thick layer of Art Nouveau, and medicinal / thermal pools, there is only one spa in Budapest that can satisfy that craving. Gellért Baths should definitely be on your must-see list.

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Buda, Baths, and Beyond (BBB) – Through an extensive series of short, entertaining, and informational videos, BBB attempts to lure travelers to the streets of Budapest and to explore this vast, amazing city on foot. The streets will come alive as Hungarian history, legends, culture, and hidden secrets are illuminated and celebrated, making even a brief stop in Budapest a unique and memorable experience.

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