Racz Bath, Budapest
Budapest is the beautiful capital city of Hungary. It is a major tourist attraction in Europe. It is home to many interesting historical sites, museums, architectural masterpieces, restaurants, entertainment and shopping centers, and many more sights. One of the main amenities of the city is its thermal baths that attract many people from all around the world. The thermal and healing waters and geothermal spas of the great city of Budapest have gained much popularity around the globe over the past years.
There are many different thermal baths and thermal bath complexes in the city of Budapest and one of these countless yet unique and equally relaxing, thermal bath complexes, goes by the name of Racz Baths.
The Racz bath, also known as the “Rác Thermal Bath” is located in Budapest, Hungary, right at the foot of the Castle Hill, near Elisabeth Bridge and is close to further Turkish Baths in the city, such as Rudas Bath or Kiraly Bath. This is an 8000-square meter bath and it is renowned for its Turkish bath that dates back to the 16th Century. The imperial pools and shower corridor of Racz baths were built in the age of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The architect behind this structural masterpiece was Miklos Ybl.
The Racz Thermal Bath Complex has a beautifully restored octagonal Turkish bath and numerous smaller and bigger thermal baths as well that include private baths for 1 or 2 people. The grand aesthetic architecture of the building is a sort of contemporary mix of the historical Turkish motifs such as the dome of the bath, the romantic extensions of the 19th century that were designed by the architect Miklos Ybl who also happens to be the architect of the famous Hungarian Opera House in Budapest, and contemporary components that also even include a range of little white ‘desert igloos’ resembling the planet Tatooine.
The ticket prices at Racz Bath for a thermal bath experience in the complex will range between approximately 7000-8000 HUF (according to this source: www.index.hu). These prices are almost double in luxury baths of Budapest including Gellert Baths and Szechenyi Baths as well. The interior of the shower room of Racz Furdo is of a luxurious five-star style with pleasant thermal spa water and a romantic yet medieval interior design that uniquely stands proudly during the 21st century.
The marvellous city of Budapest has four thermal baths that were built during the 150-year long Ottoman rule here during the 16th and 17th centuries and one of these four baths, is the Racz Bath. The Racz Bath also dates back to the 16th century. After the Ottoman rule, the bath was named by the reoccupying Hungarians as the Rácz and it is one of three baths in its immediate vicinity, of 24 built on 123 natural springs that are in public use around the spa capital of the city of Budapest. Later on, it was reconstructed and a brand new thermal hotel was built next to it in 2010. The spa complex was initially expected to be re-opened in the autumn of 2014.
The Rácz Bath is one of the amazing historic buildings of Europe that has myriads of stories to be told. It had already been featured in many international albums before even being re-opened after its reconstruction. The entrance of the building is designed in such a unique way that it makes it seem like the building opens up in front of you like a book of tales with chapters that include the “Turkish bath, the Romantic-style sections, light and dark”. This legendary thermal bath is found in Tabán which is the first District of Budapest. The eldest and most ancient part of the bath has to be its Turkish dome that was once called “small bath”. This section has been kept preserved and maintained in great condition throughout the hundreds of years. This was so that it could be restored completely to its original form. However, sadly only about 30-40% of the Romantic tracery of the dome by “Miklos Ybl” and the shower hall was able to be kept intact from the original structure. The bath of stormy history and the adjoining 72-room hotel ware were later on expected to be re-opened in 2016 but the re-opening was once again postponed. Racz Bath is predicted to be one of the most expensive baths in the city but this only adds to the benefit of Budapest.
With the current up-rise in the rate of tourism in Budapest, nearly all the high-end hotels, grand spas, and coffeehouses that belonged to the golden era of the city, some of which were even shut away for decades, have now been renovated and reopened. But the Racz Bath is one significant exception to these cases.
The Rácz was the most modest Ottoman thermal bath of the 16th-century, which is why it was given the Turkish name “Küçül ilica”, which means ‘small baths’. After the Turks evacuated the place in 1686, the Hungarians started to enjoy the facilities that had been so expertly put in place. Since the Hungarians were mainly Christian, they did not bother following the Islamic washing rituals with the connecting halls, instead they simply built as many bathing rooms on the one site as they possibly could.
Sadly enough, for over ten years this near-ready thermal bath that is Racz has remained unopened because it has been entangled in issues relating to bureaucratic problems and ownership conflicts. However, there is recent news (or rumors) of the extremely long-awaited revival of the Racz Bath which means that city of Budapest will finally have a new addition to its already impressive array of historic spas and thermal baths.