HISTORY TALKS...

A spa with glory and shame

IN 1891, this picturesque spa resort was built seven kilometres south of the town of Spišská Nová Ves. It lured visitors with its beautiful surroundings as well as its luxurious facilities. A bowling alley, a piano hall and the fact that the spa housed its own permanent group of musicians in one of its villas contributed to its stylish atmosphere.

IN 1891, this picturesque spa resort was built seven kilometres south of the town of Spišská Nová Ves. It lured visitors with its beautiful surroundings as well as its luxurious facilities. A bowling alley, a piano hall and the fact that the spa housed its own permanent group of musicians in one of its villas contributed to its stylish atmosphere.

The springs, though abundant, did not discharge mineral waters. But obviously the visitors did not care - they could pamper themselves with fashionably popular Priessnitz-method hydrotherapy treatments or a special needle bath.

But after the Belle Époque period and the First Republic of Czechoslovakia, this spa also experienced the darker side of history. During the times of the wartime Slovak state, the Hitlerjugend, Hitler’s paramilitary youth division, began visiting the resort and later the spa became the seat of its military headquarters.

The spa itself had been completely destroyed by 1944. The area around the spa then witnessed the ascent of Communism. Part of the property was turned into an industrial area and the rest later served as a summer camp for Young Pioneers.

Today, only ruins are left. This postcard from around 1910, however, testifies to its glorious past.

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