THE FIRST mention of hot springs in the vicinity of Belušské Slatiny dates back to 1731. Yet, like countless other Slovak hot springs and spas, Slatiny was in use long before the first official record. Its original name, Slatinské Teplice, is evidence of this fact, since teplice means hot spring or spa.
The first effort toward making wider use of Slatiny’s springs occurred at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, when Countess Brenner ordered a basin for a bath to be dug here. The water’s temperature averaged between 20-24 degrees Celsius. Thanks to the bath’s high hydrogen-sulphide content, its waters were much sought after by people with health conditions related to bones, joints, muscles and skin.
A more modern spa facility was built here in 1894. After the construction of a spa building with tubs, as well as a swimming pool and even a road for cars leading from nearby Beluša, the facility was officially opened to the public in 1910.
Thanks to the fact that express trains stopped here in the warmer six months of the year, more than 2,300 guests visited the spa in 1911.
The spa’s promising boom was halted by the First World War, which brought about a drastic change in clientele: for three years, the spa complex was turned into a military hospital, and the spa suffered from long-term stagnation as a result. However, Slatiny managed to recover between the two world wars and several private villas were built on the premises, in addition to a church.
The Second World War, and especially the events that came afterwards, dealt a final blow to many Slovak spas, but history was kinder to Belušské Slatiny.
The spa was nationalised and remained open for recreational use.
4. Feb 2013 at 0:00 | By Branislav Chovan