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9 interesting facts about Budapest’s iconic Széchenyi Baths

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The Széchenyi Baths have been a staple of Budapest culture since 1913, and it's easy to see why. With its stunning architecture, healing thermal waters, and vibrant atmosphere, it's no wonder that locals and tourists alike flock to this iconic spot. The baths have a rich history, having served as a gathering place for people from all walks of life for over a century. Whether you're looking to relax, socialize, or even party, the Széchenyi Baths have something for everyone. As you prepare to visit this amazing destination, you might be keen to learn more about what makes the Széchenyi Baths so special. In this article, we'll dive into some of the most interesting tidbits about the Széchenyi Baths, giving you a deeper appreciation of this Budapest landmark.

Interesting facts about the Széchenyi Baths that you must know!

Széchenyi Baths

1. Largest medicinal baths in Europe:

The Széchenyi Baths boast an impressive 18 pools, including 15 indoor pools and 3 grand outdoor pools. With a total water surface area of over 6,200 square meters, it's no surprise that the Széchenyi Baths are considered the largest medicinal baths in Europe. The sheer size of the complex allows visitors to explore various pools with different temperatures, ranging from a chilly 18°C to a steamy 40°C, each offering unique healing properties and experiences.

2. Neo-Baroque architecture:

The stunning neo-baroque architecture of the Széchenyi Baths is a sight to behold. Designed by Győző Czigler, the complex features intricate details, grand columns, and ornate sculptures that transport visitors to a bygone era. The iconic yellow façade, coupled with the elegant indoor pools and the sprawling outdoor areas, creates a breathtaking atmosphere that perfectly blends history and relaxation

3. 100 years of history:

The Széchenyi Baths celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2013, marking a century of serving as a beloved Budapest landmark. However, the thermal bath culture in Hungary has a much longer history, spanning over 2,000 years.

4. Water composition

The thermal waters contain multiple minerals such as sulphite, sodium, magnesium, calcium, hydro-carbonate, fluoride, and metaboric acid, which have medicinal properties that can treat rheumatism, skin problems, and respiratory problems.

5. Chess in the pool

It's a common sight to see people playing chess in a pool, and sometimes even celebrities like Michael Palin from Monty Python's Flying Circus have been spotted doing so.

6. Budapest Zoo's Hippo Enjoys Spa-Quality Water:

The Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden's resident hippo enjoys the same mineral-rich water as the visitors of the Széchenyi Baths. The spring water's composition closely resembles that of the Nile River, providing the hippo with a familiar and comfortable environment.

7. Mixed Bathing

In the past, the Széchenyi Baths had separate bathing areas for men and women. However, in 1981, the baths became fully mixed, allowing both genders to enjoy the pools together. This change in policy reflected the evolving social norms and the desire for a more inclusive bathing experience.

8. Second Deepest Well in Budapest:

The Széchenyi Baths are supported by the second deepest well in Budapest, reaching an impressive depth of 1,246 meters.

9. Sparty:

The Széchenyi Baths host popular night-time pool parties called "Sparties" on every Saturday. These lively events combine the thermal bath experience with DJ sets, light shows, and sometimes even live screening of football matches.

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Széchenyi Baths Facts