You don’t have to be related to bats to enjoy being in a cave. All that’s required of you is to take a trip further north-east through the forests of the Bükk Hills and head to Miskolctapolca in Hungary.
Miskolctapolca is a small vacation town next to Miskolc at the foot of the Bükk hills. Its thermal water is known since the 16th century, and used for washing of clothes and healing the tired body of locals, travelling traders and stationed soldiers.
The public bath’s main building was built in 1959, and the expansion and renovation didn’t stop since then. Now the complex is a real experience centre, unique in Europe and meets all high expectations. The spa has huge cave system filled with constantly 29°C thermal water, separated into five chambers each with different mood. Nowhere in the world has water of such ideal bathing temperature been found in karst caves, while the colourfully illuminated rock formations hidden in nooks and crannies give the bath a supernatural feel.
New service is the sauna park, where you can choose from several types of saunas and a steam cabin. You can use them individually or in a sauna-seance, where an experts guide you into the higher level of sauna-usage.
The outdoor strand (beach) is only available from spring to autumn. It has 2 thermal pools, 3 children’s pool and 1 swimming pool.
The spa organises night baths every second Saturday of each month. It also has a restaurant, cocktail bar, aqua fitness, solarium, medical and relaxing massage, physiotherapy, playing corner for children, and souvenir shop.
The thermal water is reputed to reduce joint pain, and since it has a lower salt content than most thermal waters, people can bathe in it for much longer, practically an unlimited amount of time. The Cave Bath can be visited all year long, except for January.
Mo-Su 9:00am – 6:00pm
closing hour of cash desk: 5pm
closing hour of pools: 5:30pm
History of the cave
Miskolctapolca has played an important role in life of Miskolc town since the 13th century. The burial place of establishing clan of town has been found in this area. Remains of Bencés monastery built here can be found at the entrance of Cave Bath. Monks lived here from the second half of XIV. century until beginning of XVI. century, when many attacks occured towards the abbey. Then monks have escaped. The buildings have been broken down and the place has got marshy.
In 1711, abbot of Tapolca brought the doctors from Kosice here in support of justifying medicinial affect of the water at this place. The description of the water and what it contains was made in 1743, so the bath was finished by that time for sure.
After that in 1837 the reconstruction of bath started. The real development of Miskolctapolca has started since the turn-around of XIX-XX century. Miskolctapolca became a real pleasure resort at the turn-around of 1920-1930 years and it was qualified as recreutation area in 1934. The lake bath was built based on plans of Bálint Szeghalmy in 1938, that has been built on a hot water lake and meant a round shape building.
The base of the resort was the water of the bath, so it was essential to build a new, European level bath instead of the former building of the bath. The new bath castle was built betwen 1939-1941. Several plans existed for usage of caves, since it was known that there are no other places where there is 30°C hot water in a cave. Archeological findings have been found in the course of breaking down old building of bath, but the opening of spring – that was 31,5o°C and was hotter than the ones prevously opened was even more important. This single spring would have been suitable for supplying all the population of the town with water based on its water output. The building of the bath was brought into use in 28th May 1941 that is a base of the present joint buildings can be seen nowadays. 212 pieces of piles of larch tree have been settled in the course of building due to mud layer – and the concrete crowning has been put onto this. Then the main building of the bath was built onto this base. The glass roofing of the hall has been finished by this time and original construction of that is able to open and close by pushing a button.
The first part of the Cave Bath was brought into use almost two decades later in 1959. The building of the lake bath was broken down ten years later in 1969 and the „Shell” basin was built this time as well, and that became the symbol of the Cave Bath. The openings of other passage lines of cave were started in the beginning of 1980 and these passage lines were formed to be suitbale for bathing all the time. At the turn of the milleneum the biggest enlarging of history of bath has happened that was almost 7 years long.
We could get from the basin of bath hall to the old cave basins in the water all around in the area of caves. This cave area exists since 1959 and am underground water raising and spreading over low grounds belongs to it as well.
The „Star hall” can be found in the new territory, where in the ceiling is a unique map with shining stars. Visitors have the feeling as they would bath under the starry sky thanks to the star map.
The Roman hall can be found in the new territory as well. It has got its name after the wall made of bricks recalling the atmosphere of bath of Roman ages.
The third new hall has the name of gangway since there is a bridge above the basin where visitors can pass through.
Miskolctapolca has a large city park perfect for a romantic walk, right next to the Cave Bath. You can find every type of accommodations all around the spa, all year long.
From Miskolctapolca I recommend you to take a day trip to the wonderful Aggtelek Caves, or to Lillafüred up in the forest of Bük hills. But it is also a good spot to take trip to the wine-wonderland of Tokaj or the historic town of Eger.