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Szechenyi Thermal Baths


Budapest, Hungary 

I am not a bath person, and I never have been.  So, the idea of getting into a giant bathtub with hundreds of strangers did not sound all that appealing.  However, I feel like part of traveling is stepping outside of your comfort zone and experiencing things you might not normally do.  I put my swimming suit and my game face on, and literally took the plunge.

We started in the largest outdoor pool, which was one of the coolest.  It was neat to see older men playing chess in the pool, and it was interesting to see that there was very little horsing around, even though there was a fair amount of young adults.  People either reclined against the sides of the pool, stood in groups and talked or just kind of floated around.  

After trying the 2nd outdoor pool, we ventured inside.  The each pool was in a different room, and as the temperature of the pools increased, the size of the pools decreased.  One reason I don't like baths is that I tend to get overheated, so sitting in truly hot water makes me feel a little ill.  I tried a couple of the warmer baths, but I really wasn't very comfortable, so I went outside in the sun to try to dry off a bit.

I am really glad we went to the baths, and I am glad that I tried them.  Do I think I would go again if I went back to Budapest?  Maybe not.  At the Szechenyi Baths, they had little dressing rooms that you could rent, and you got a key to the door.  I highly recommend spending the extra money for one of these.  That way, you don't have to wear your suit all day, and you can lock up any valuables, like cameras, etc.


Fun Facts:

  • The first hot spring bath palace on the Pest side of Budapest
  • Built between 1909 and 1913
  • The original structure was much smaller and only included the indoor pools. 
  • The outdoor pools were opened in 1927
  • These outdoor pools were originally surrounded by sand to bring the "beach" to the people of Budapest, but the sand was replaced by pavers in 1985
  • The water that is brought up from the deep wells is 170.6 degrees Fahrenheit and is cooled with fresh cold water for the baths
  • Until 1981, there were separate indoor pools for men and women, with the outdoor pools always being co-ed
  • There are 18 different pools, and each are a different temperature
  • The hotter the pools, the more natural spring water they have.  This also means the hotter pools have a higher concentration of minerals

Process And Size Guidelines

I handcraft each piece in my home studio, located just outside of Kansas City, MO.

Most of the photos I use were taken by me on my travels near and far.    I review each photo, looking for striking colors and strong structural elements.    If you think of the entire design as a pie, I am looking for a perfect “slice” of pie within the picture.  Once I find it, the slice is mirrored and repeated in a circular fashion to create the whole pie, i.e. the kaleidoscopic design.


The design then is printed multiple times onto photo paper and I hand cut different elements from each copy of the design with scissors (yes, scissors!). After the cutting is done, I reassemble the pieces into tiered layers separated by foam core, creating the unique three-dimensional kaleidoscopic effect.  Finally, I mount the piece onto mat board and frame it in a shadow box, adding a small copy of the original photo to the piece.



Each design is available in multiple sizes.  The larger the piece, the more layers the design will have, which gives you even greater depth and dimension.  The larger size also allows for more intricate cutting, providing more texture and more "wow"!


Outside Dimensions Inside Dimensions Frame Color
9.75" x 9.75" x 2" 9" x 9" x 1.5" Black
13.5" x 13.5" x 2.75" 12" x 12" x 2.25" Black
18.5" x 18.5" x 4" 16" x 16" x 3" Custom made reclaimed cedar with museum quality plexiglass front