Trenčianske Teplice: A fairy-tale old fashioned spa town

Walking into the Hamman hall in Trenčianske Teplice conjures up memories of the fairy tale "One Thousand and One Arabian Nights," when Sheherezada tried to make up a new love story every night. An indoor arcade with vaulted ceilings, beds lining the Arabic ornamented walls, and marble drinking fountains spouting mineral water from the springs welcome visitors to the soul of this health resort situated in the forested Teplička valley just 10 kilometers northeast of Trenčín. Alas, as a holdover from bygone days, the grand lounging space of Hamman can only be enjoyed by men. Women can access the adjoining century-old Sina thermal swimming pool through a separate, plain white entrance that was used only by servants in the last century.


Holding the secret cures of thermal water.
Danka Hašková

Walking into the Hamman hall in Trenčianske Teplice conjures up memories of the fairy tale "One Thousand and One Arabian Nights," when Sheherezada tried to make up a new love story every night.

An indoor arcade with vaulted ceilings, beds lining the Arabic ornamented walls, and marble drinking fountains spouting mineral water from the springs welcome visitors to the soul of this health resort situated in the forested Teplička valley just 10 kilometers northeast of Trenčín.

Alas, as a holdover from bygone days, the grand lounging space of Hamman can only be enjoyed by men. Women can access the adjoining century-old Sina thermal swimming pool through a separate, plain white entrance that was used only by servants in the last century. Spas such as Sina helped this town of only 5,000 people build a reputation as the best-known spa in the Hungarian Empire during the 14th century. Its renown still holds true today. Specializing as a locale to treat rheumatism, Trenčianske Teplice cradles a balneotherapy complex of hot sulphurous springs and mineral-rich mud.

As it gushes from the springs directly into the indoor and outdoor pools, the water reaches optimal healing temperature s of 37 to 40 degrees Celsius. While Trenčianske Teplice is a small town, it seems much bigger, due to the annual swell of more than 18,000 visitors and patients that converge on it during the summer season from June 1 to September 30. A typical stay includes daily treatment from Monday through Friday for three weeks. During the high summer season, classical and traditional folk concerts and occasional operas and theater performances are staged at the Kúpeľná Dvorana cultural center in the 2-kilometer long park.

At the end of the park is a lake where swans linger, eager to be fed by passers-by. For those with a more energetic bent, go to the tennis courts or the local swimming pool called Žaba (frog), both of which also are near the park.

In the midst of a nice stroll to the lake stands the romantic and luxurious Villa Tereza. Communist leaders reconstructed this pension in 1989, but they lost their chance to enjoy it when their time in power ended late that year. If you are there on a Saturday, you may be lucky enough to see a traditional Slovak wedding, since this is the only place for weddings in the whole town.

Up the block from Villa Tereza is Rekrea Sipox, another pension with a very good restaurant serving fresh game. Evidence of past hunting outings adorn the walls in the form of bear and deer trophies. The meat fondue is excellent, washed down with Vavrinecké red wine. For a meal spiced with entertainment, you can catch live music and dancing at Restaurant II. Rímska légia (Second Roman Legion Restaurant). Like most entertainment in Trenčianske Teplice, the music ends at 11 p.m., a polite reminder to visitors that they have come here with a mission to relax.


Sights & Sounds Travel Tips

GETTING THERE

By train:Take main line to Žilina, get off at Trenčianska Teplá; cost: 80 Sk. Then take local line to Trenčianske Teplice (around 15 min.); cost: 8 Sk.

Or take main line from Bratislava to Trenčín; take bus from Trenčín to Trenčianske Teplice (around 20 min.).

Lodging

Villa Tereza- Ul. 17.Novembra 19, Trenčianske Teplice, tel.: 0831/553051, fax: 0831/553-504. Suite 1,000 Sk/night double bed with breakfast for foreigners.
Penzion Rekrea Sipox- Kúpeľný dom Sipox, 914 51 Trenčianske Teplice tel./fax: 0831/552-862. 800 Sk/night.
Hotel Jalta- Masarykova 3, Tr. Teplice, tel.: 0831/553-450, fax: 0831/553-504

DINING

Penzion Rekrea Sipox- entrees range from 90 to 300 Sk
Restaurant II. Rímska légia -entrees range from 60 to 100 Sk
Hotel Jalta- entrees range from 90 to 200 Sk

DAY TRIPS

Trenčín- Castle, churches, synagogue and museum
Hiking trip- the blue trail leads to Baska hill Baska and is about 9 km
Hiking trip- the red trail leads to the Opatovská dolina valley, a beautiful hike.

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