History of Margaret Island
Visit Margaret Island, the natural heaven between Buda and Pest, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, have a walk or a picnic with your partner or with the family.
Margaret Island is a perfect leisure destination for everyone, you can find stunning historical buildings, pet zoo for the children, a spectacular music fountain, and a belvedere with 360-degree panorama at the Water Tower.
Margaret Island originally consisted of three islands: the Main Island at its southern tip, the Small Island (also known as the Buda or Painter’s Island ), and the Island of the North at the northern peak. By the beginning of the 20th century, the Small Island was connected to the Main Island and the North Island was demolished.
Margaret Island was first mentioned in a diploma dated 1225, in which the King gives the entire Island of the Rabbits to the precinct St. Michael’s Prison.
The island’s name from that time on rabbits could also indicate that the island was a royal estate used as a hunting ground.
In the 13th century castles, churches, monasteries and probably a village were built on the island.
The island was named after Margit (Margaret princess) who was offered to God by her parents to rescue Hungary. Hungary was defeated by the Tatars and the king had to escape with his wife, Mary Laszkaris, Princess of Byzantine to Dalmatia where Margit was born.
Margaret Island was the scene of several major events, King Bela IV. signed peace with the rebel King István V.
Margit came to the Dominican nuns of Veszprém at the age of three and received nursing care. Later she moved to the fortress on the island of Rabbits, built by his father. Here Margit’s vows were made in 1254 and she has rejected the marriage offers by Czech King of Ottokar and the Polish King’s to live the everyday nun life. She lived a simple life and worked hard.
A legacy, dating from 1510, also possessed, that Margit had fortune-telling skills, which sometimes helped his father solve his diplomatic problems.
She died at the Margaret Monastery, in 1270, one week before her 28 th birthday.
According to the legend, her body remained just like she was sleeping for three weeks after her death and smelled like roses.
Later, in the 19th century, Archduke Lajos József Károly has decided to build a world-class bathhouse, so he asked Miklós Ybl to design the baths house.
The Bath was built in the northern part of the island, where medieval chroniclers have reported natural sources from the Middle-Ages and Vilmos Zsigmondy drilled an artillery with breaking water temperature 43 ° C.
Margit Baths was opened in a ceremony in 1869, at Pentecost.
Ybl planned to build similar baths and hotels in the lower part of the island, but they have never been built.
Margaret Island soon became popular not only as a spa but as a holiday destination and a beloved place by locals of Budapest too. Painters, writers, poetrists came to get inspiration in the peaceful island. Concerts, balls, Wine festivals and other events have followed each other with lots of visitors.
Until 1900, when Margaret Bridge was built, the island was only accessible by water.
Later, the second World War caused a big damage on the island, almost every building was damaged and many trees have come down.
The Margit Bath was dismantled in 1958 and a new Thermal Hotel was built in its place.
Today, Margaret Island is a beloved destination for everyone who seeks some relaxation in Budapest.