“How can I explain to my relatives back in India that I had travelled all the way across the world only to take a bath, and too at a public place!” exclaims the well-known travel vlogger-actor Shenaz Treasurywala aka Shenaz Treasury in her recent social media post. Shenaz talks about the 'most famous bathroom in the world, a unique facility that is situated in Budapest, Hungary, known as Europe's largest medicinal bath. The thermal waters that beckon visitors apparently flow in from two hot springs having temperatures of 74 and 77 degrees Celsius. The water is said to contain sulfate, calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate in addition to a significant amount of metaboric acid and fluoride.
Originating from the thermal spring that was discovered beneath the Vilmos Zsigmondy Park in the mid-19th century, the facility was initially known as the Artesian Spa. It later adopted the name of Istvan Zsechenyi, an iconic figure in Hungarian history. The bath, situated in the City Park, was built in the neo-Baroque style and designed by the architect Eugene Schmitterer. The initial investment in the construction, though substantial, proved its worth as millions flocked from around the world to immerse themselves in this extraordinary bathing experience.
Over time, the facility expanded to include three outdoor pools and 15 indoor pools in 1927, transforming it into a haven for relaxation. Initially, there were separate sections for men and women which later gave way to a more inclusive environment, allowing everyone to bask in the therapeutic waters wherever they choose. Adding to the attraction are the famed spa parties called Sparties held every Saturday from February to December, between 9:30 pm and 2 am. This unique event allows guests to enjoy the thermal bath's ambience with pre-booked tickets, offering various packages to suit individual preferences.