The story dates back to the Middle Ages, when a certain hermit monk settled in the cave of Mount Gellert and discovered the healing power of the place. True to the 19 century, it was believed that healing is not so much water as sludge from mountain wastewater. And the name was appropriate, Sárosfürdő - mud baths. There was once a hospital, built in the 13 century by King András II of the Arpad dynasty for distinguished persons. Then, at the time of the Ottoman yoke, Turkish baths appeared here.
In the 19 century, the modest one-story bathhouse building was finally open to the public. And later, the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph ordered to build a building over the baths, similar to the royal palace. The construction lasted 6 years under the leadership of Hungarian architects Armin Hegedyush, Arthur Shebestien, Isidor Sterk.
And in the 1918 year, after the death of the emperor, in Budapest, an exquisite Secession-style palace (one of the modernist style) with marble columns, flowing sculptures, stained-glass windows, mosaic panels on the floor and luxurious basins from Zholnai were opened for visitors .
Unfortunately, during the Second World War the building was destroyed. As a result of the reconstruction of 2008, it was possible to almost completely restore the original appearance of the baths.
Interesting Facts about Gellert Baths
- For the entire existence of the Gellert baths were closed only once, when one of the pipes broke
- Retro photos of the baths can be viewed in the Hungarian House of Photography (Mai Manó Ház) on Nagymező, 20, by Shandor Pustay. The photo project is called “Miniszterek gatyában” (Ministers in swimsuits). Also these photos can be viewed on the website. hvg.hu.
- Luxury interiors baths repeatedly used for filming Hungarian and Hollywood movies. Thus, in Gellert, certain scenes of the experimental film “Cremaster” directed by Matthew Barney were filmed, as well as the fantastic film “Accumulator” by the Czech director Jan Sverak. And in the old German film 1936 of the year “Wo die Lerche singt” (“Where the Lark Sings”), based on Franz Lehard's operetta, Martha Eggert performs the song “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” to Strauss’s music in the bathhouse “Gellert”.
- In 1999, Polish artist Katarzyna Kozyra presented in Venice the infamous video installation “Male Bath”, filmed in the men's section of Gellert. For the sake of such a thing, the Warsaw artist penetrated there, making up under a man, with artificial stubble on his face and an attached silicone penis.
- Once in a hall with marble columns balls were arranged. For this pool covered with a special glass floor and danced on it all night long.
Editing and layout by me 😉