Internal Affairs / ‘Hagymatikum’ is probably the most beautiful thermal spa of Hungary and the whole world 

‘Hagymatikum’ is probably the most beautiful thermal spa of Hungary and the whole world 

‘Hagymatikum’ (Onion Land) built on the basis of the plans of the architect Imre Makovecz is the most beautiful thermal spa of Hungary and probably of the whole world, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated on Sunday in Makó.

At the inauguration ceremony of the refurbished and enlarged spa complex called ‘Hagymatikum,’ Mr Orbán said with the completion of the new building part of the bathing complex, Makó has again become stronger, and we have also repaid some of the debt that we owe to Imre Makovecz.

In the Prime Minister’s words, Makó is Imre Makovecz’s legacy, and ‘Hagymatikum’ is worthy of being marvelled at by visitors from around the whole world.  

Mr Orbán said it is part of a Hungarian’s general education to know who designed which famous Hungarian building. However, we did not learn in school about Imre Makovecz’s buildings that he designed them; we simply recognise them, it is enough to take a look at them and we will see immediately. His art is not just an example of a specific architectural style; it is a style in itself.

According to the Prime Minister, there was only one other similar example of an architect himself representing a clearly distinguishable style that could not be placed into any one specific category: Antoni Gaudí. And what was Barcelona for Gaudí was Makó for Imre Makovecz.

The Prime Minister spoke in words of praise about the merits of the town’s former socialist mayor Péter Buzás in that a number of plans of the architect could be realised in the town. Péter Buzás gave Imre Makovecz commissions at a time when he received no requests from almost anywhere in Hungary, he pointed out. 

By the time – with the victory of the national side – gates of opportunities had again opened up before Imre Makovecz, the period of grace while the Lord kept him with us in flesh had expired. Those who in the past kept thwarting his work at every opportunity now keep saying that there is no point in building buildings based on his surviving designs, the Prime Minister said. Mr Orbán added that “our message to them is that Imre Makovecz is alive also today, here is the proof, we have just completed the heritage he had dreamt.” 

What Imre Makovecz and Péter Buzás planted has been further cultivated and cared for by the right-wing municipal leadership, and has been fully implemented with the effective involvement of the government and Minister-Government Commissioner János Lázár. Makó can now boast not only the most Makovecz buildings, but also the largest, Mr Orbán stressed.

Mayor Éva Erzsébet Farkas (Fidesz-KDNP) said with the project, the building of the spa complex has become full and an integral whole as once dreamt by Imre Makovecz and his colleagues. It was almost thirty years that the paths of the town and the architect first crossed, and today there are as many as 14 public buildings designed by Imre Makovecz which stand in the Csongrád-Csanád County town. This makes Makó an important settlement of the South Alföld tourism region, she added.

President of the Hungarian Academy of Arts Attila Turi said that Imre Makovecz’s buildings determine Makó’s image. He recalled that Imre Makovecz could not live to see the opening of ‘Hagymatikum’ in 2012; however, his work did not end with his passing, he left to us a rich intellectual heritage which it is our duty to keep alive. 

The development worth HUF 12 billion implemented by the construction company Fehérép Kft. has doubled the capacity of the bathing complex first opened twelve years ago. The new building with a ground space of almost 2,500 square metres features a family and water adventure zone as well as a slide tower with closed water slides starting from a height of 12 metres. Further additions to the spa include a partially indoor thermal water pool, a built-in pool bar and a sunbathing terrace with a summer changing facility, while the green areas of the complex have also been renewed. A special feature of the bathing complex is a section evoking the mythical world of Atlantis built on the basis of the drawings of Imre Makovecz where unique groups of sculptures and light shows also entertain visitors to the complex. 

Imre Makovecz (1935-2011) was a Kossuth and Ybl Miklós Prize winner architect, the founder of a new school of thought in Hungarian organic architecture, founding president and honorary life president of the Hungarian Academy of Arts. 


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