Donors rush in to revive Hungarian cave bath crippled by energy bills

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary's famous Miskolctapolca cave baths reopened on Friday after local hotels and politicians teamed up to help it pay its surging power bill, state news agency MTI reported.

The centuries-old attraction shut down three weeks ago, saying it could not cover its heating costs as energy prices soared across Europe and beyond in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The closure cast a shadow over the tourist industry in the surrounding region in eastern Hungary, which relies on the caves to bring in visitors.

On Friday, the cave managers posted a message on their website saying they had reopened and had a programme of Halloween activities planned for the weekend.

Pal Veres, the mayor of the nearby town of Miskolc, told MTI that the municipality, local hotels and other tourist businesses were providing financial support.

Visitors have been coming to the vast cavern since before Roman times to bathe in its naturally heated waters. In recent years, the venue has relied on gas to top up the temperatures in the pools and the caves, particularly during winter.

(Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Andrew Heavens)