The Hungarian capital is widely known for its thermal baths, spas and pools, where visitors of every age can enjoy multiple recreation programs. The elegant hotels built near these offer comfortable accommodation, and Budapest is one of Europe’s most beautiful capitals. Thus, it is not surprising that, before the epidemic, foreign tourists swarmed in the city and the baths, and they are expected to return from next spring. And the Rác bath in Buda seems to reopen just when foreign tourism starts to skyrocket again.
According to Népszava, at the beginning of September, the Budapest Gyógyfürdői és Hévizei Zrt. (BGYH Ltd.), a company owned by the local government of the capital got the Rác thermal bath back. Ildikó Szűts, the CEO of the Ltd, added that they started drafting a technical status report of the building. Next week, there will be electricity again in the buildings. As a result,
work is expected to continue swifter.
Based on the CEO, the buildings have been abandoned for ten years. Thus, they suffered significant damages. Therefore, the company’s task is now to submit a renovation plan to the local government. According to previous estimates, the costs will exceed 2.5 bn HUF (EUR 6.9 million) and last for eight months. Thus, they calculate with a reopening in 2022 November.
Népszava wrote that the bath was completely renewed in 2010, and a hotel with 67 rooms was erected next to it. When Fidesz’s István Tarlós overthrew the left-liberal leadership, they brought the constructor to court. And even though they reached an amicable settlement, the bank behind the project quit, so the money vanished.
To avoid selling the iconic bath and the hotel, Budapest bought the claims of the bank.
Furthermore, they initiated compulsory liquidation against the company that did the reconstruction. However, that crept forward like snails even though the government made it a priority issue. According to Népszava, that was partly because government-close oligarchs and foreign investors wanted to gain the ownership of the illustrious buildings.
Finally, Budapest could buy them this May. Erzsébet Gy. Németh, deputy mayor of the capital, promised that they would reopen the Ottoman era bath.
However, they do not have money for the renovation. The capital’s leadership hopes that it will get EU funds for the project. Népszava added that it was unlikely if the Orbán-government remains. They did not decide about the operation yet, but it seems that the BGYH will run only the bath. Meanwhile, they plan to entrust the running of the hotel to a market player.