B5A1DW The Kiraly Baths, Budapest, Hungary, Europe
Robert Harding/ Alamy
Arslan, a Turkish pasha, began building Király (which means “King” in Hungarian) inside Buda’s castle walls in the sixteenth century so he could bathe even under possible siege. Thus, this bathhouse doesn’t have its own hot spring—it has piped in its thermal water from the Lucasz bathhouse for nearly 500 years. The central octagonal pool in a dark-stone setting provides a sultry atmosphere favored by younger locals and in-the-know visitors, who also enjoy the green inner courtyard for bathing breaks. Kiraly hasn’t been restored since the 1950s and it shows; the necessary revamp—slated to begin in late 2019 and end in 2020—will add new services and expand facilities. Watch for possible closures.
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