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History

The first written mention of Bardejov Spa dates back as far as 1247 when the Hungarian king Béla IVth donated the territory of the present spa jointly with the springs to the city Bardejov. We know for certain that the local people knew the curative effects of the mineral springs very soon that they could experience themselves.

Up to the 15th century there is no precise information about the spa. The good reputation, however, spread over very quickly therefore the first booths for bathing sick people, coming here from the distant surroundings, have been built in 1505. In 1777 the first brick building was built near to the springs. The building had 12 rooms serving for the patients comfort. The curative effects attracted the Hungarian and Polish nobility which contributed essentially to the development of Bardejov spa.

The reputation of spa disseminated all over Europe so besides the visitors coming form the near vicinity who spent here just a short time, most of the guests spent in the spa from three to six weeks. Among those visitors there were several famous people such as the Austo-Hungarian emperor Josef IInd (1783), Maria Louisa, the later wife of emperor Napoleon (1809), the Russian tsar Alexander Ist (1821), the Polish queen Maria Kazimiera Sobieska, wife of the Polish king John III Sobiesky and in 1895 took some therapy here the wife of the emperor Frantz Josef I., the empress Elisabeth, called Sissi whose sculpture is ascending in the spa park.

The first written scientific report on the results of the analyses of the two most frequently used Bardejov springs - the Main and the Spa spring /Hlavný, Kúpeľný prameň/ was given by professor Pavol Kitaibel from Pest in 1795. That time 7 mineral springs were utilised. He considered the Bardejov acidulous water one of the most curative water in Europe, suitable for filling in containers and being exported. Kitaibel proposed after some further analyses the indications of the spa therapy. Pursuant to his opinion the waters from Bardejov were suitable for curing headache, contracture, epilepsy, hypochondria, gynaecological disorders, podagra, urine stones, gastrointestinal disorders. Kitaibel´s report contributed to the fact that Bardejov Spa has integrated among the most often visited spa of Hungary by the end of the 18th century. The city started to fill in containers and export the Bardejov acidulous water not only to Budapest, but also to Warsaw, Berlin, Frankfurt.

In the first half of the 19th century the Bardejov spa experienced a flourishing time. Within a short time a new spacious spa-house was built up and several dwelling houses. That time already 13 mineral springs were utilised.