In the picturesque neighbourhood of Víziváros in Buda, stands one of the city's most renowned Turkish baths, the Király Baths. However, you won't find people soaking in thermal water here. Instead, a weathered façade greets passersby. The baths have been closed for four years, eagerly awaiting renovation – a prospect that is now back on the horizon. See the plans!

Király Baths, one of the four Turkish baths nestled on the Buda side, was built during Hungary's Ottoman Occupation in the 16th century. While Rudas claimed the spotlight as the main spa at the time, Király didn't lack visitors either; it was a proper bathing paradise. A fun fact is that it has no water base of its own, it was supplied by pipes of larchwood built by the Turks so they could still bathe if there were to be a siege of Buda Castle above. However, the water always has been top-quality, inviting even the Ottoman elite to enjoy its pools.

The famous Ottoman explorer, Evliya Çelebi, even remarked, 'The water in the pool is so hot you can barely go in. Amid the rays of light that softly infiltrate through the pink ceramic dome, bathers feel they are in paradise.'

Today, we can only picture its grandeur through wide imagination as we pass by the peeling façade and a ramshackle of a building. Yet, its heydays are not over. Just before COVID hit, plans for its revamp were announced. Although work didn't start back then and the baths have stood shuttered since 2020, now it seems like the building might regain its old glory.

In 2017, news surfaced about the reconstruction of the historic monument building. A design competition followed, aiming to blend the baths' rich history with modern needs. 3h architects clinched the win with a design that skillfully harmonized the building's heritage with contemporary demands. And presented a feasible budget. Now, new – and even more budget-friendly – plans emerged, artfully weaving together elements from the building's rich past and three distinct styles (Turkish, Baroque, and Neoclassical). 

In the upcoming constructions, a key focus will be on showcasing local architectural and cultural traditions. An exciting feature involves lowering the courtyard level to create an outdoor reception space, serving as the primary entrance to the baths. With an emphasis on restoring the Turkish section, plans include covering the Baroque courtyard and expanding the ground floor relaxation area of the Turkish baths. Ottoman-era domes will be unveiled from the inside – to be adorned with traditional Ottoman tiles. The new plan aims for economic efficiency by adding functions like a wellness area, beauty salon, and restaurant alongside the medicinal spa. Negotiations are happening for scheduling, legalities, and finances and we're excited to see how the old baths will come back to life! See the plans in the meantime!

(Cover photo: 3h építésziroda)


Király Baths (Closed)

Similar to the other spas on this side of the river