Lukács Baths

Budapest, Hungary

Photo Credit: Gabor Losits

The historic Lukács baths have a long history of healing people. In the 12th century, knights of the Order of St. John settled the area, bringing the sick to enjoy the waters. Today the baths remain popular for locals and tourists alike, come to relax or enjoy one of the many treatments available at the modern indoor/outdoor spa complex.

Following the order of St. John, other orders settled the area and built their monastery baths at the site. During the rule of the Ottoman empire, the springs were used to power mills for producing gunpowder and grinding wheat. One remaining wall of a former Ottoman powder mill actually still exists today! The baths eventually became city property, and were sold to Fülöp Palotay in 1884. Thus the modern history of the baths begins. 

Palotay built the spa hotel, established a hydrotherapy department, and completely remodeled the pools, naming the complex after St. Luke. Visitors soon flocked to the complex, hoping to be healed by the famed waters. One exterior wall of the spa still features plaques sent in thanks by people from around the world who feel they were cured by the waters at Lukács.

Expanded and modernized over the decades, the Lukács Baths remain a staple of life in Budapest. In 2013, the city included free entry to the baths with the purchase of a Budapest Card, thereby greatly increasing the amount of tourists to the baths. The baths have also become a bit of a party scene, hosting a series of Saturday night “bath parties.”

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