Piwniczna-Zdroj is situated on the banks of the River Poprad and has the characteristics of a piedmont spa as it lies in the foothills of the Beskid Sadecki Range. The mountain climate, that is moderately stimulating, is tempered by the thickly wooded slopes, with the predominance of coniferous trees, of the surrounding valleys. The basic therapeutic elements of the Piwniczna-Zdroj resort are its climate and the natural spring waters that are rich in magnesium, calcium and iron.
The Royal Free City of Piwniczna was founded in the Poprad Valley by decree of King Kazimierz III the Great in 1348 as part of a national defence policy which entailed the placement of settlements along Poland’s borders. The original name of the settlement, Piwniczna Neck, referred to the characteristic narrowing of the River Poprad at this location. This name was used until the end of the 18th century. Located on a busy trade route to Hungary and thanks to numerous royal privileges, caused the rapid and dynamic development of the city. Already by the 18th century Piwniczna had its water supply on tap and by the end of the century a school, a tavern, five mills, a water reservoir, a paper mill and a hospital had been built. Unfortunately, a city fire in 1876 destroyed the wooden church and about forty residential houses. The history of the spa resort at Piwniczna-Zdroj began in 1880, when a doctor from Lwow, Juliusz Korwin Gasiorowski, recommended the mineral waters found in vicinity of the town for treatments. Studies on the occurrence and properties of the mineral waters were carried out across the entire Poprad River valley by a variety of scientists but were directed specifically towards naturally occurring sources and certain boreholes. By 1932 the resort has become a famous therapeutic and leisure centre with mineral water from a specially drilled borehole pumped directly into the Spa Centre. All development projects were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II but these resumed after its end with the rebuilding of the spa facilities and ancillary accommodation. Piwniczna was given official spa status in 1967.
The natural mineral medicinal waters found here have become known as “Sour Water”. Because of their high content of magnesium and calcium ions, they have a neutralising effect on gastric juices, thus working favourably in the treatment of peptic ulcers, gastritis, diabetes and inflammatory bowel and pancreatic diseases. The spa’s medical and therapeutic centres use mineral water baths, mud, hydrotherapeutic showers, massage, gymnastics, inhalation and drinking in their range of available treatments.
Krynica-Zdroj is part of the administrative district of Nowy Sacz. The city has the characteristics of a mountain spa resort as it is situated in the Beskid Sadecki in the valley of the Krynicanka Stream and its tributaries and is overlooked by Mount Parkowa and the Kryzowa and Jasiennik Hills. It has a subalpine climate which is moderated by the dense forested areas that surround the city. In addition to the climatic conditions the main elements used in Krynica-Zdroj are the mineral waters and the therapeutic mud.
The settlement was originally founded in 1547 and from its beginnings was part of so called State of Muszyna that was owned by the Bishops of Krakow. Intensive research to determine the medicinal properties of the waters found in this area resulted in the growth of the resort but rapid expansion of the facilities only occurred thanks to the arrival of Professor Joseph Dietl in 1856. By the turn of the century more than 6000 patients were regularly visiting Krynica-Zdroj each year. It was also at that time when Professor Rudolf Zuber discovered and studied what turned out to be the most powerful therapeutic mineral waters found in Europe. Just before the outbreak of World War II some 38,000 visitors were coming here each year which included the future queen of Holland, Princess Juliana and her husband Prince Bernard, who spent their honeymoon at the resort. Krynica was occupied till January 1945 and the retreating German army removed nearly all the equipment, what remained was destroyed by the advancing Red Army. Krynica-Zdroj did not really recover as a functioning resort till the late 1950’s.
Today the spa resort at Krynica-Zdroj specialises in the treatment of women’s complaints, diseases of the urinary tract, digestive system, heart, cardiovascular system, endocrine and metabolic disorders, musculoskeletal diseases, anxiety and anaemia. There are also facilities that concentrate in the rehabilitation of gynaecological, urinary, musculoskeletal, digestive and respiratory conditions as well as diabetes and obesity.
Muszyna lies close to the Poprad Landscape Park which is one of the largest in Poland. The resort has the characteristics of a piedmont spa with a moderately to strongly stimulating climate that is moderated to large extent by the dense forests covering the surrounding hillsides. The essential elements of the spa resort are its climatic conditions and the natural mineral waters found there that are rich in bicarbonates and oxalates of calcium, magnesium, sodium and iron, also having traces of lithium and selenium.
The first mention of this settlement appears in an act from 1209 in which the Hungarian King Andrew II authorises the collection of taxes along the River Poprad, close to Muszyna, by Pastor Adolf from the Spis Diocese of St. Martin. At the time the settlement belonged to the Niegowicki family. In 1288 the settlement passes to the Bishops of Krakow but in the 14th century, as a result of a quarrel between them and King Wladyslaw Lokietek the lands and the settlement of Muszyna were annexed by the crown. For the next 80 years, they were governed by successive rulers and finally Muszyna received its civic rights in 1356 from the Polish King Casimir the Great.
The history of the spa at Muszyna dates back to 1911 with the opening of the first mineral water spring which was result of research into the possibilities of using the healing properties of the mineral waters in this region. At the turn of the century, with the growing popularity of Balneological treatments, investment into the building of further therapeutic centres also increased. The first well, to depth of 146m, was opened in 1922 which was followed the subsequent year with another to a depth of 120m. Muszyna received its formal status of a spa resort in 1929 and became a full member of the Association of Polish Spa Resorts in the following year. Soon the first modern spa amenities began to appear which included bathing facilities along the River Poprad and in the town centre as well as pump and tap rooms. Development plans were stopped by the outbreak of World War II and the health resort did not reopen till 1958.
Today Muszyna is firmly on the map of recognised spa resorts. The operating sanatoria offer spa treatments and rehabilitation programmes as well as organising interesting pastimes for patients recovering after surgery. Muszyna specialises in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, diseases of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, neurological conditions, metabolic diseases and gynaecological and psychosomatic disorders.
Zamek, położony na wysokim wzgórzu (463 m n.p.m.) na prawym brzegu Popradu, na północ od wsi Sucha Struga, został zbudowany prawdopodobnie na przełomie XIII i XIV wieku, niektórzy XIX-wieczni autorzy sugerowali, że początki najstarszej części budowli, czyli kamiennej wieży, mogą sięgać XII wieku.
W dokumentach źródłowych nie ma informacji, kto zbudował zamek. Pierwsza wzmianka pochodzi z przywileju Władysława Łokietka z 17 kwietnia 1312 roku, który pozwolił zakonowi klarysek ze Starego Sącza na pobieranie cła “pod zamkiem Ritter”.
Zamek już od XIII wieku należał z pewnością do domeny królewskiej. Pozostawał w rękach tenutariuszy, którzy przyjęli nazwisko Ryterskich. Wkrótce potem zamek popadł w ruinę, o czym świadczy relacja Marcina Bielskiego oraz lustracje z lat 1616-1617. Według lokalnych podań uległ zniszczeniu w 1657 roku w czasie najazdu Jerzego Rakoczego.
Źródło (teksty i zdjęcia): Wikipedia
The oldest part of the castle, which has been confirmed by excavation, came from the second half of the 13th century. The King Casimir the Great was the builder of the perimeter walls, then in the fifteenth century the governor of Czorsztyn – Jan Baranowski constructed the tower above the lower gate, that still today towers over the castle offering splendid views of the lake, Niedzica, as well as the northern banks of the Czorsztyn lake. In the past the Czorsztyn Castle, located along the trail leading from Poland to the merchants of Hungary, played a very important part of defending the country’s economy. The castle was also the residence of many famous people in its days of glory, among others the legendary knight Zawisza Czarny.
From the fourteenth century, the castle was used as the seat for the mayors of Czorsztyn. However, in the mid-seventeenth century it was conquered by Kostka Napierski. After a fire in 1795 there were only ruins left of the castle, which now, thanks to the current owner, The Pieniny National Park, are seeing extensive restoration work, bringing it back to its former style. As a preserved ruin, the castle is accessible to tourists, and the terrace offers amazing views of the lake and the surrounding area.
The castle is located in the southernmost part of the region. It was erected between the years 1320 and 1326 by Kokos of Brezovica on the site of an ancient stronghold surrounded by earthen walls in the Pieniny mountains. The Niedzica Castle stands on a hill 300 m upstream from the Dunajec River mouth, measured from the center of the dam on Lake Czorztyn. The outline of Niedzica Castle can best be viewed from the ruins of Czrosztyn Castle on the other side of the lake. It is known as one of the most picturesque castles in the country and adorns the covers of many books.
The castle holds secret treasures, ancient artwork, and the ghost of a woman who appears nightly. Along the road leading up to the castle is a sign that warns visitors that they are about to enter a haunted location. The castle itself is located on a small peninsula into the river, making it ideal to defend against any sort of threat. The castle that stands today was originally built in 1325 by the Brezevichy family.
There was a castle before this one, and it was named Dunajec Castle. It had about several owners in its existence, and there are now only walls that mark the original structure. The ghostly legends at the castle originate from one of the first owners of the castle, Sebastian Brezevichy. He traveled to Peru in South America, and he went on to marry a woman named Umina, who was an Inca royal. When war broke out between Spain and Peru in the 1860s, the Brezevichy family moved back to Niedzica, Poland. They brought along with them the Inca treasure of the family so the Spanish would not be able to take it.The legend says that Umina was murdered in front of the castle by a treasure hunting thief, and since then her ghost appears every night to scare away anyone who comes close to the castle in order to protect her gold. Umina’s father hid the treasure and he created a cryptic document so the treasure can be found again one day. However, no one has been able to break the code of the document up until this point. Umina is referred to as the “White Lady” of Niedzica Castle. Today the castle serves as an archaeological museum.
CZERWONY KLASZTOR (SŁOWACJA)
The monastery was founded in the early 14th century, during the Hungarian Kingdom. Court documents from 1307 state that a man by the name of master Kokoš from Brezovica, founded six monasteries as a punishment for murder. In 1319 he donated 62 sectors of his village – Lechnice – to the Carthusian order. A wooden structure was built in 1330, which was later replaced by bricks and stones. The monastery gets the name “Red” from the red tiles that were used on the roofs.
The monastery suffered several quarrels with Czorsztyn lords, and was occupied by Husseites in 1431 and in 1433. It was adversely hit by the Battle of Mohacs in 1515, and in 1545 Czorsztyn Knights from Niedzica Castle attacked the monastery, and the monks fled across the Dunajec River into Poland. The monastery was abolished during the Reformation in 1563, becoming a private residence for wealthy noblemen.
In 1699 a bishop in Nitra, purchased the monastery, and donated it to the Camaldolese order, who settled down it this area in 1711. In those years, the monastery’s library was sold to Budapest, and the church equipment to Muszyna, Poland.
In 1820 the Emperor Franz Joseph I donated the monastery to the newly founded Greek-Catholic diocese of Presov. The monastery suffered a fire in 1907 and was heavily damaged during the World War II, but after being rebuilt in 1956–66, it was opened again and serves now as a museum.
Stary Sącz is located in the place where the rivers Dunajec and Poprad meet. A Galician town founded in 1163 with a cobbled market square that is surrounded with small houses, it is one of the oldest towns in Poland dating back to the 13th century. The Abbey of the Poor Clares was founded by St Kinga a Hungarian princess and wife of Prince Bolesław Wstydliwy (Boleslaus the Shy). It is the most important historical building extant in the town. The abbey church of Holy Trinity is a gothic edifice with beautiful baroque polychromy interiors. The town square forms the centre of the town – from among the historical buildings stands out the late baroque town house “Dom na dołkach” (House on small pits), which houses a museum. The parish church of St Elisabeth is another gothic building which was rebuilt in baroque style.
Stary Sacz is well worth visiting not only because of its historical character, but also due to its famous Festival of Old Music the city hosts between the end of July and the beginning of August.