The Romans who conquered Pannonia as a province brought bathing culture with them from Italy, and this was easily accepted by the local people; in addition, the Romans discovered medicinal natural waters here. Bathing was nothing new to Hungarians who arrived here during the Hungarian conquest: their dignitaries had their own portable leather baths. According to Galeotto Marzio, visitors from distant lands were invited to take steam baths in the court of King Matthias.
From Turkish baths to thermal baths
The Turks had their own advanced bathing culture when they arrived here and established numerous Turkish baths in Buda, Eger and other parts of the country. Many of these (like the Rudas Thermal Bath, Király Thermal Bath or the Irgalmasok Veli Bej Bath) are still open today and offer services that combine the advantages of traditional Turkish baths and those of the modern wellness baths, with services ranging from massages to the Classic hammam experience. One thing has not changed, however: they continue to serve as forums for rejuvenating body and mind.
The doctors of the Habsburg Empire also used thermal waters for curing different diseases. The aristocracy in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and – with increasing frequency – members of the upper-middle classes spent their summers in different health resorts around the country, from Opatija to Băile Herculane. Although the country lost several famous thermal baths due to the Trianon decision, those in Hévíz, Hajdúszoboszló and Budapest are still prestigious members of European bathing culture today.