The past reappears. Veli Bej in Budapest is one of the oldest baths that have remained from the Turkish rule.
The history of Veli Bej Bath
In 1514, the Turkish took over Buda, and slowly the rest of the castle and until 1686 Hungary lived under the rule of the Turkish.
150 years under the rule of the Turkish left a deep mark in Hungarian history. It might sound strange, but this era had its positives, for example, the spread of the baths, from which some still works to this day in Budapest and Eger.
Those who have visited Turkey have surely noticed the scribbled inscriptions on the walls of monuments – mosques, fountains, bridges, tombs – which in Turkish they call kitáb. With their decorated looks, they partly served as decorations for the buildings, but on the other hand, they created an everlasting memory of the builder as well.
However, the beautifully formulated poems were also puzzles: the intelligent reader could calculate the date of construction by summing up the number of certain letters. The year recovered from the Veli Bej bath is 1574-75.
This was when Sokollu Mustafa, Buda’s most famous Pasha (1566-78) finished the construction of the most beautifully built bath. Even after the Turkish reign, the baths created by them were used for a long time, recognizing their positive effects on health. The baths were used many times by soldiers, commanders, but it was also an important location for political debates.
Six Turkish baths from the former Turkish baths in Buda has archaeological traces (Jesil direkli, Kücsük, Veli bég, Horosz kapu, Pasa szeráj, Toygun pasha), 4 of which are now thermal baths (Horosz kapu: known today as Király Baths, Jesil direkli: today Rudas Baths, Veli bég: today Irgalmasok Veli Bej Baths, Kücsük: today Rác Thermal Baths).
It was no luck that the Pasha from Buda found this spot to build the bath next to the “highway” leading out from the north of Buda. Even the Romans have enjoyed the blessings of these heat sources. Evidence shows that Prince Attila and Árpád has also resided here.
The healing powers of the source quickly became known, and in 1804, under the instructions of the Royal Council of Regency, a medical team scientifically examined the chemical composition of the medicinal water. The reputation of the great healing mineral water quickly grew, and the bath gradually became one of the country’s most prestigious health resort. All this was mainly thanks to the thermal springs, and the places where they erupted – as the most important parts of the baths – were highly valued.
In 1806 Count István Marczibányi donated the restored building to the Hospitaller Order. At the entrance a stone board was placed with the inscription “For the Uncared for Patients 1806”.
Unfortunately in the 1970s, in order to give more room to the hospital, they demolished a part of the Veli Bej Bath. The new hospital building almost completely surrounds the Turkish bath. From 1980 the Veli Bej was not used for 10 years.
As part of the 2004 plans, the full renovation of the Veli Bej was completed. The Bath serves partly medicinal and partly wellness purposes, therefore, all of the medicinal units and their backgrounds have been renewed.
The renovation started out slow, as the archeologists of the Budapest History Museum filled the building and kept finding things. They found the 400 years old, never before examined building’s elements, such as: the original floors, painted plasters, plumbing and sewer systems and the well supplying the bath. They found a medieval burial site, pots, millstones and last but not least, water, water, water…
The excavation revealed a good portion of the bath’s former weight, and the stone wall that has aged over the centuries.
Good to know:
- The bath is coed. You must wear swimwear.
- The prices are cheaper during the mornings and weekdays.
- The price of the ticket does not cover massage.
- People under the age of 14 cannot use the thermal bath.
- The bath is closed every day between 12:00 and 15:00.
- Only a limited number of guests can enter the bath. *
- Due to this limit, a ticket allows you to stay for 3 hours.
- The massage can not be paid for by card.
- The bath contains one large and four smaller thermal baths.
- During the afternoon/evening the 12m long, non thermal pool can also be used.
- There are no outdoor pools in this bath.
Tip: The best time to arrive 15 minutes before opening. ( 14:45 ) *
The Veli Bej Medicinal Water can successfully be used for these illnesses:
The total soluble mineral content of the spring which provides 1200l of thermal water per minute is 1275mg/l. The water is not chlorinated in the large thermal pool.
The water positively affects many illnesses and it is particularly suitable for locomotor disorders.
- bone injury
- joint injury
- ligament injuries
- after surgery
- rehabilitation after implantation of prostheses
- post-fracture treatment of fractures
- soft tissue rheumatism
- after-treatment of traumatological surgeries
The opening hours of the Veli bej bath:
06:00 – 12:00
15:00 – 21:00
Due to water changes there is a technical break during lunch hours everyday.
Massage services are available:
09:00 – 11:45 and between 15:30 and 20:45
Entrance fees to the Veli Bej in 2020:
These prices are for 3 hours.
Prices are in Forint. Check real time rates here.