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Gyula Castle Spa & AquaPalace

Gyula Castle Spa & AquaPalaceGyulaGyula region

Hungary is rich in spas, with several outstanding baths among them. One of these is the Gyula Castle Spa & AquaPalace, which offers an exquisite sauna park and an eco-friendly family spa experience.

Hungary is the land of spas – they are viewed as a true national treasure. Thanks to the unique geological properties of the country, wherever you drill, you have a good chance of finding thermal mineral water offering some kind of health benefit. No wonder Hungary abounds in the best spas – and not only in Budapest, the capital of this beautiful country and “the city of spas”, but many of the smaller towns and villages throughout the land also offer a plethora of health spa establishments.

The legacy of Turkish culture

Bath culture was introduced by the ancient Romans, and did not disappear when they left, but was actually taken to the next level during the nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule. The town of Gyula in south-east Hungary was a cornerstone of the medieval Hungarian border fortification system built to fend off the invading Ottoman army, and period documents show that it already had cold water spas at the time, run by the church. Under the Ottoman rule, the Turks introduced an entirely new level of bath culture, building no fewer than 11 baths across the town. The Turks would eventually leave; the baths and the culture, however, stayed on for some time.

The Castle Bath with mineral water

The first modern open-air public bath in Gyula, whose water came from the nearby branch of the River Körös, opened in 1930. Plans for a modern bath facility soon arose, but the Great Depression and the ensuing World War II postponed construction. Eventually opening in 1959, the Várfürdő (Castle Bath) was fed with 720C thermal mineral water drilled up from beneath. A fun fact about the history of the bath: in the bloody and hard period before the opening, the noble Almásy family (the name may be familiar from the blockbuster movie The English Patient) volunteered to help boost the bath culture of Gyula – though with little in the way of success, because although they had the money, they lacked expertise.

The Castle Bath was designated a health spa in the early 1970s, launching the facility towards national and then international recognition. About 15 years of developments were carried out in the 2000s, seeing the modernisation of existing facilities as well as the introduction of two new ones: the top-quality Castello Sauna Park and a family spa complex: the eco-friendly AquaPalace.

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