History of the Lake Baths

Everything you need to know about the past and present of Lake Hévíz and the Lake Baths. Facts, figures, interesting stories

Baths from swamp, spa resort from baths
The history of one of the oldest thermal spas in Hungary from the first piles being driven into the earth to the turn of the millennium...

In fact, a master brewer dreamed up Spa Hévíz.


1889 Simaság - 1982.

Hévíz / He received his medical degree in 1913 and worked in Hévíz from 1920. He was a member of several professional organisations of national importance and, in 1927, he organised the first rheumatism department in the Hospital of the Hungarian State Railways in Budapest. In 1932, he was appointed chief spa physician in Hévíz, and in 1952, he became head of the department of the State Spa Hospital. He was also deputy director of the institution until his retirement in 1968. He was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Hévíz for a good reason. His work, research activities, and professional successes contributed greatly to the recognition of Hévíz medicine both in Hungary and abroad. In addition to the discovery of the weight baths, he is also credited with the creation of the currents map of Lake Hévíz. More than 50 of his publications were published in scientific journals. His wife, Dr Ilona Hoffmann (1908-2008), was the first female rheumatologist at the spa and a worthy professional partner in his work.
Dr Károly Moll is commemorated by a statue in Hévíz and a memorial room in the hospital, which is decorated with the renowned spa physician's medical equipment and objects. Their daughter, Dr Veronika Moll has a practice in Hévíz also as a rheumatologist.


1874. Budapest - 1944. Auschwitz and 1896. Budapest - 1978. Budapest

Vilmos Schulhof, after whom the promenade in front of the hospital was named, completed his studies in Budapest and later trained as a doctor in Berlin. He first worked at the St. Lukács Spa in Budapest, then, in 1905, he moved to Hévíz where he worked as a spa physician and then as the head physician of the sanatorium until 1944. His work was of outstanding importance in promoting Hévíz as a spa resort. He did much to improve medical treatments, one of the most important elements of which was the foundation of the Zander Institute in 1911 (such an institute existed only in Karlsbad). The Zander method is based on the use of machines to help with therapeutic gymnastics, i.e. machines help patients, who have difficulty with it, to move parts of the body during physiotherapy. With the introduction of these methods, he made a great step towards helping patients with very limited mobility to recover. In 1927, he published a book in the German language, in which he described the medicinal properties of Hévíz in detail, and, in 1937, his book Hévízgyógyfürdő (Hévíz Spa) was published, in which he summarized his decades of experience as a spa physician. His credo was that “experience is superior to knowledge”. Unfortunately, his recognition and expertise did not save him and his wife from being deported from the Keszthely ghetto to Auschwitz in 1944. His work was continued by his half-brother Ödön Schulhof (1896-1978), who was 22 years younger than him and fortunately was not in town at the time of the deportation. As a rheumatologist and physiotherapist, he was responsible for diagnostic examinations. However, he also carried out research, for example on the effects of the hydrostatic pressure of water and the biological effects of mud wraps in treatments. His so-called "insight" bone x-ray images became world-famous. He worked until 1948 in Hévíz, then, in 1949, he moved back to Budapest, where he became director of the National Research Institute of Balneology. Generations of rheumatologists grew up under his guidance as he taught, and wrote the first textbook on rheumatology, this time in the Hungarian language. During his time in Hévíz, X-ray examinations and electrotherapy treatments were also introduced in Hévíz Spa.

Emperor, poet, actor... or internationally wanted terrorist? Who were the most famous visitors in Hévíz?

After Count György Festetics built the first spa building in Hévíz in 1795, the spa quickly became famous in Hungary and abroad. In the late 19th and early 20th century, more and more famous visitors came to Hévíz to relax and recuperate.

Several famous Hungarian writers and poets took spa treatments in Hévíz or were visitors of the town: Mihály Csokonai Vitéz, Sándor Kisfaludy, Dániel Berzsenyi, Károly Eötvös, Pál Gyulai, Attila József, Áron Tamási, Gyula Illyés, Lőrinc Szabó, Zsigmond Móricz.

Many people from the world of art also visited Hévíz, such as Mari Jászai, Sári Sebők, Erzsi Sándor, Ferenc Székelyhidi, Karola Szalai, Endre Nagy, Gyula Saphir.

Several members of the royal family also travelled to Hévíz. The guest list also includes the name of Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand, who was the guest of Prince Tasziló Festetics. Archduke Joseph and his wife Archduchess Augusta also paid a visit to Hévíz.

Researchers, scientists and politicians also came to Hévíz: József Eötvös, Ferenc Pulszky, Kálmán Szél, and Kálmán Kittenberger, Béla Lengyel, Dr Gyula Weszelszky.

The famous Estonian playwright Eduard Wilde spent his holiday in Hévíz too.

Infamous guests from the political elite of the second half of the 20th century: In the 70s and 80s, several prominent Hungarian and foreign people stayed in Hévíz for holidays and spa treatments in complete secrecy, of course. There certainly are guests whose names are shrouded in mystery to this day. However, it is certain that Fred Sinowatz, who became Chancellor of Austria in 1983, visited Hévíz in 1982. Also in the 1980s, the leadership of the East German secret service (Stasi) arrived in Hévíz several times. The delegation usually consisted of 20-25 men and two accompanying women. On these occasions, they were usually accompanied by the head of the Stasi, Markus Wolf, the 'faceless man'. And in September 1984, none other than the Venezuelan-born "Carlos", better known as the "Jackal", the most feared terrorist of the Cold War, wanted also by Interpol, stayed in Hévíz. It was not the only time that the Jackal visited Hévíz and Hungary. In the first half of the 1980s, he met here the head of the Stasi several times, among others. All these guests stayed in the sanatorium of the Ministry of the Interior as it was protected by the military.

Less infamous but rather internationally renowned guest of Hévíz was the South African heart surgeon Professor Christian Barnard, who performed the first heart transplant in 1967. In June 1993, the 14th Dalai Lama Tendzin Gyaco arrived for the inauguration of the Peace Stupa in Zalaszántó and stayed in one of the buildings of the Hunguest Hotels.

János Kádár stayed in Hévíz on two occasions, in 1970 and 1972 but the only thing people knew about his visits was that the building of the BM Sanatorium in Kossuth Street was under constant police surveillance. Op-art artist Victor Vasarely and astronaut Bertalan Farkas stayed in Hévíz on several occasions. The Kossuth Prize-winning composer György Ránki composed his Cain and Abel during his holiday in Hévíz.

The most famous four-legged guest, Nelly, the elephant

In 1913, circus director Mátyás Beketow presented a young elephant to the zoo because he felt that the animal, who had a bad leg, would not be suitable for working in the circus. Dr Emil Raitsits, the Zoo's veterinarian, examined the elephant Nelly thoroughly and diagnosed her with incipient rheumatism. The zoo's management decided to help Nelly's rheumatism with a spa treatment, so to the great pleasure of the people of Hévíz, she was treated at the Lake Baths in Hévíz for several months.


Hévíz Lake Bath and Festetics Bathhouse opening hours and price list

The Hévíz Spa and St. Andrew's Hospital for Rheumatology reserve the right to change the opening hours and prices.
Hévíz Lake Baths phone number: 06 83 342 830


Dear Guests,


According to the current Hungarian laws, vaccines or PCR Tests are not required to visit the Lake. Masks are compulsory to wear indoors (by the entrance, in the clothing rooms etc.)

Thank you for your understanding, hope to see you soon!


There are several pools in the are of the Lake Bath

Name of the pool Water surface (m2) Temperature (°C) Depth (cm)
Indoor pools 4 pcs. 520 24-38 (depending on the season) 200-300

 - one of it with massage elements

260 24-38 (depending on the season) 200-300

 - one of it with weight bath

20 24-38 (depending on the season) 150
Children's pool on the coast (in summertime) 95 / 32 30-32 30-120


Opening hours


As of right now only the following entrances are open: Festetics Spa, Schulhof Vilmos Promenade (main entrance)

  Open Closing of the cash-desk End of bathing time
End of wellness
Season "A" 
05.30.2022. - 04.09.2022.
8.30 am 6 pm 6.30 pm 6.30 pm 7 pm
Season "B"
03.28.2022. - 29.05.2022.;

05.09.2022. - 09.10.2022.
9 am 5.30 pm 6 pm 6 pm 6.30 pm
Season "C" 
01.01.2022. - 27.03.2022.

10.10.2022. - 26.03.2022.
9 am 4.30 pm 5 pm

5 pm

5.30 pm


The Bath is open every day, all year around. The Bath closes on 24.12.2022 at 2 pm,  and on 31.12.2022 at 2 pm. The Bath opens at 11 am on 01.01.2023.




Type of ticket Lake Wellness Maximum duration Available Price (HUF)
Nympha - 2 hours 2 hours before closing 2 800,-
Lotus 3 hours 3 hours before closing 4 200,-
Family ticket
(Per adult, child./pers. under 14 years
child./pers. over 14 years with student card)
- 3+2 hours During opening hours 3 500,- +children
1 900,-
2 900,-
3 500,-


Name Lake Wellness Price (HUF)
Lake ticket (3 hours)   3 500,-
Lake ticket (4 hours)   4 300,-
Daily ticket   6 000,-
1-hour complimentary ticket (To the valid ticket, except Lake-passes)   + 1 300,-
Wellness-Saunaworld complementary ticket (To the valid Lake ticket) - + 2 300,-
Hot & Cold (2 hours) 3 700,-
Relax (4 hours) 5 500,-
Senior ticket over 60 years (3 hours) – With preliminary presentation of ID card - 3 000,-
Children ticket (3 hours), between 6-14 years - 1 900,-
Student ticket (3 hours), with student card - 2 900,-
Visitor’s ticket (30 min.) * -

1 500,-
Deposit fee: + 2 000,- **

Group ticket over 20 people/person (3 hours) - 3 300,-
Exit fee (In case exceeding the time limit) - - 30,- /min.
Cabin (To the valid ticket) - - 1 000,-
Sauna towel - - 500,-
Lake-pass (10 hours) - 11 000,-
Deposit fee: + 2 000,- **
Lake-pass (20 hours) - 20 000,-
Deposit fee: + 2 000,- **


Validity of passes:
10-hour pass: valid for 10 calendar days from the day of purchase for two entries a day.
20-hour pass: valid for 20 calendar days from the day of purchase for two entries a day.
* Please note that a visitor's ticket does not entitle the holder to bathe. The deposit of HUF 2,000 is non-refundable in the event of overstay. Thank you for your understanding.
** The deposit can only be paid in cash.

  • Valid from 09.05.2020 until withdrawal.
  • The depth of the medicinal lake is 2-38 meters.
  • Free use of changing rooms (included in the entrance fee)
  • A sauna sheet is provided free of charge if you buy a ticket that entitles you to the use of the wellness facilities.
  • The services of the wellness area are only available to persons over 12 years of age.
  • Children under 6 years of age are admitted free of charge.
  • The deposit is refundable within 72 hours of expiry.
  • Daily tickets are valid only on the day of purchase.
  • All tickets are valid for one entry a day only.
  • We are not able to refund the price of the purchased tickets.
  • We reserve the right to change prices and opening hours.
  • An ATM is available during the opening hours in the building accessed from the Schulhof Promenade.

You can have more information about our special offers at the cash desks or on our website.
Hévíz Lake Baths phone number: 06 83 342 830