Hidden Budapest bath a locals' favorite for vibe, healing power
By Bernadett Szabo
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary's capital owes its popularity as a tourist destination partly to its numerous hot springs and bathing culture which have drawn visitors to the area since Roman times.
Bath houses range from large, ornate 19th-century buildings like the Gellert and the Szechenyi to tiny Ottoman Turkish-era hamams, some of them more than 500 years old. However, few command such fierce loyalty from locals as Lukacs, an intimate bath complex wedged between the Buda hills and the Danube river.
Tucked away in a leafy hospital courtyard, Lukacs offers not only swimming and bathing facilities but also boasts special healing powers for its mineral-rich waters.
"No other bath house compares," said the director of the site, Mariann Eva. "Time has stopped here, and the harmony and the vibe are absolutely unique. Guests calm down, take life slowly, engage with one another."
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ARTISTS AND INTELLECTUALS
There has been a bath house at the site, which sits atop a hot spring, since the 12th century and its clients have included the 20th century composer and educationalist Zoltan Kodaly. Continued...