Well, where else should it be? If you saw my Monday walk this week, you’ll know that I have a new Polish love in my life. The thermal spa town Szczawnica in the very south of Poland, where it meets Slovakia, was a rich discovery for me.
Alkali sorrel springs and a temperate climate make this an ideal base for the treatment of respiratory and digestive ailments. In the mid 19th century a doctor, Jozef Dietl, saw the potential and began the development of hydrotherapy treatments unique to Poland at the time, turning Szczawnica into a spa town. An Inhalatorium equipped with pressurised rooms was built, and in the woods, Willa pod Modrzewiami (villa under the larches).
The start of World War II halted developments and in 1948 the spa was nationalised by the government and used for the treatment of miners and metalworkers. It was not until 2005 that the ownership of the resort was returned to descendants of the Stadnicki family, the pre-war owners of the estate. They invested hugely to restore the spa to its former glory. Dietl Square was rebuilt to its historical design, with Cafe Helenka at its core, and, in 2oo9, 5 star Modrzewie Park hotel replaced the villa. A museum dedicated to the project soon followed.
Not for us the 5 star hotel! I had chosen to stay in a lovely old dark wood chalet, ‘Willa Danusia’, in the upper town overlooking Plac Dietl. Naturally that meant a steep climb home on an evening, but there’s always a price, isn’t there? Inside the villa, the wood was pale, while the view from our lofty porch provided wonderful views.
One evening we dined handsomely in the ‘Willa Marta’ in the lower town. It also was constructed from dark wood, but most of the town had a more modern appearance.
An evening stroll through the upper town gave me a chance to breathe deeply and make the most of the tranquil atmosphere. I know that I felt better, just for being there!
‘Romantykaly’, as they say in Poland.
I had intended my ‘S’ post to be all about the Sukiennice in Krakow. Maybe I’ll find time to write a second. Meantime I’d like to thank Frizz for providing the incentive this week with Tagged ‘S’, and also Julie Dawn Fox for her Personal A-Z Challenge. I can promise you a wonderful read at either website, and perhaps you’d like to join in with the challenges?