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.