GREETINGS FROM...PIEŠŤANY

The healthy walk

THE EMBLEM of the town of Piešťany is a man breaking his crutch over his leg, a fitting symbol of the spa town's claim to hot springs with healing properties. But the violence of the action, or any violence at all, may be the last thing on the minds of those who come here to heal or to relax.
The town's calming atmosphere seems to begin a psychic healing where the spa's cures for ailments like arthritis and nervous system disorders leave off. In addition to a number of spas, Spa Island, which sits in the Váh River, is covered in green parks and flowering gardens split by walking paths. Research shows that the town receives more sunshine than most other places in Slovakia, and visitors and residents don't fail to appreciate it. The old and young, healthy and ill, walk or peddle their bikes around the island, past outdoor concerts, across the bridge into the town center, and along the banks of the Váh.
The first spa on the island was the Thermia Palace, built in 1912, and five others followed. But the springs have received special attention perhaps since Roman soldiers bathed here in the first years of the modern calendar. Later, monarchs and other royalty frequented the town, and today, politicians and celebrities sign the guest registers.


photo: Ján Svrček

THE EMBLEM of the town of Piešťany is a man breaking his crutch over his leg, a fitting symbol of the spa town's claim to hot springs with healing properties. But the violence of the action, or any violence at all, may be the last thing on the minds of those who come here to heal or to relax.

The town's calming atmosphere seems to begin a psychic healing where the spa's cures for ailments like arthritis and nervous system disorders leave off. In addition to a number of spas, Spa Island, which sits in the Váh River, is covered in green parks and flowering gardens split by walking paths. Research shows that the town receives more sunshine than most other places in Slovakia, and visitors and residents don't fail to appreciate it. The old and young, healthy and ill, walk or peddle their bikes around the island, past outdoor concerts, across the bridge into the town center, and along the banks of the Váh.

The first spa on the island was the Thermia Palace, built in 1912, and five others followed. But the springs have received special attention perhaps since Roman soldiers bathed here in the first years of the modern calendar. Later, monarchs and other royalty frequented the town, and today, politicians and celebrities sign the guest registers.

A standard treatment is a 20-minute soak in a hot pool, followed by a rest on a bed while wrapped in a heavy blanket, then a 15-minute massage. Special treatments for all kinds of ailments can be purchased, and there are public baths and swimming pools. Those lucky enough not to suffer any ailment treated by the spas may find that just a walk around the town and island eases the stresses and pains of daily life.

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