Margaret Island, Budapest Margit-sziget
Margaret Island (Margit-sziget), barely 2.5km (1 1/2mi.) long and up to 0.5km (1650ft) long, is undoubtedly the main local recreation and recuperative center for the people of Budapest. Thermal springs, feeding the medicinal and swimming baths, space for sports and games, carefully tended gardens and paths, and not least the remains of buildings which play a significant part in the history of the town all serve to attract many visitors every day.
Margaret Island Map
The comprehensive facilities of the Palatinus Baths (Palatinus strandfürdo) cover an area of 7ha/17 acres. They include a bath with artificial waves, together with various medicinal, swimming and children's pools, and can accommodate up to 20,000 bathers at any one time.Opposite the Palatinus Baths will be found the pretty Rose Garden (Rózsakert), to the south of which is a small animal enclosure.
Spa Hotel Thermál
This hotel, completed in 1978, is extremely modern and has become well known far beyond the borders of Hungary. It was designed by the architect G. Kéry and is equipped according to the most recent balneological ideas. Near the hotel can be found an artificial rock garden (sziklakert) with rare plants of much interest.
The Union Monument is a metal sculpture by István Kiss (1972) in the form of a flower. It was unveiled on the occasion of the centenary of the union of Óbuda, Buda and Pest. On the inside surface of the "leaves" are symbols depicting the modern history of Budapest. Near the Union Monument is a large fountain.
Along Artists' Promenade (Müvészsétány) can be seen busts of celebrated Hungarian personalities of the art world.After serious flooding of the Danube which occurred in 1838, remains were discovered of the Dominican convent which had decayed during the Turkish occupation. The most celebrated nun was Princess Margarete, the daughter of King Béla IV. Traces of Romanesque and Gothic architecture have been detected.The 52m (170ft) high water-tower, built in 1911, was recently restored and given a viewing platform. Temporary exhibitions are held inside the tower. Close by lies an open-air theater (seating 3,500) which is very popular.A few remains of the 12th C Premonstratensian Monastery can still be seen. Some years ago the church of this foundation was rebuilt in Romanesque style.
Alfréd Hajós Sports Bath
The Alfréd Hajós Sports Baths (Hajós-Alfréd Sportuszoda) on the south-west side of the island are named after the man who was double Hungarian champion at the first modern Olympics (1896). They were constructed in 1930/1 and include a covered pool, two open-air pools, a diving pool and two children's pools.A short distance south is the Youth Stadium (formerly the Uttöro-stadion).
Only scant remains have survived of the Franciscan monastery church which was built in the 13th/14th C; these include parts of the west side and of the north wall and apse, as well as a fragment of the tower.
The so-called "Musical Fountain" in the north of the island is a copy of one built in 1820 in Tîrgu Mures in Romania by the Transylvanian artist Bodor. The water-driven mechanism was unfortunately destroyed in the Second World War.