Monday, January 27, 2014

Remember,  I rented a car just for this.  However, I had no idea what I was getting into. As I drove down the highway, heading to the spa, I had no idea what the scope of these Thermal Spas was. I knew that there was a cave that was a spa, and by spa, I mean bath, but that's all I knew. 
Picture is taken from the spa's website
This picture above is what I knew coming in.  I knew there was a thermal cave steam bath where the thermal springs fall directly into the cave.  I had been told about this place when I met the Vice-Dean of Arts for UKF, but he did not share the sheer magnificence of the complex and the setting!  I had no idea that this was a complex of resorts.  Nor did I have a clue that there were MULTIPLE thermal spas as part of the complex.  Below is a picture of the town, in which all the buildings are part of the spa (with the exception of the church on the hill). 

Picture is taken from Spa's Website
Pulling off the exit, I was just looking for a hotel type thing, next to a hill. However, after a bit, I drove up into the hills. I noticed the scenery, and the steepness of the driveway to the reception area.  The reception area was just like a hotel. The women spoke English, and gave us some basic info including temperatures and pictures and prices of each spa.  There are five separate thermal spas. There are 14 springs feeding the spas and the temperature of the hot-springs varies from 37°C to 52°C.  That's 98.6 to 125.6 degrees Fahrenheit!

Ultimately, we were not able to go into the cave, because it was the hottest. They only allow people 12 and older (Caden is 10).  We were placed in the Marie Theresa spa. To get to this spa, we walked (you could drive) down the hill on a stone path, and through a greek looking garden, around a church, over a wooden bridge and to building number 4. Once inside, we walked down a long hallway.  The hallway wauyou had to take off your shoes (in fact you must do that everywhere, apparently people never wear their shoes inside).  

A picture taken from the Spa's Website
It was 37°C and 39°C.  The reason that it is both is that there are two sides. One is a bit cooler then then other, and people switch sides when they get too hot.  That's the red line in the picture above.
Slovakia is literally overflowing with hot springs, mineral water sources, spas and even a geyser. While in the U.S. spas are generally expensive and considered a luxury, the Central and Eastern European spa tradition stresses affordability, health and relaxation.
This site also reports that there are 1,160 “registered” sources of healing water in Slovakia and 22 spa resorts. Besides being relaxing, restorative places for healthy people, spas have long been used in Europe to treat medical conditions – such as respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, immunological and other disorders, even infertility.

History of the Village 
The village Sklené Teplice began documenting its history in 1340.  This village was famous for its production of glass.The first mention about the spa goes back to 1550. In that time the thermal springs were the most appreciated by rich feudal lords, the proprietors of surrounding silver and gold mines. The significance of the warm mineral springs was also mentioned in the medical studies of Matthias Bel.  
The most famous events in Sklené Teplice took place during the reign of Queen Maria Theresa (Austria- Hungary) when the first international congress of science was organized there. Among other scientists Anton von Born presented the method of indirect amalgamation (process for recovery of precious metal values from ores). The congress was also attended by the famous poet J. W. Goethe who was also a passionate mineralogist.


the old man in south texas said...

Sounds interesting especially how Caden likes hot tubs. LOL.

Lance said...

We just got back from Sklene Teplice. The cave was HOT...really hot. We didn't get to visit the Maria Tereza pools and we would have liked to have done that.

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