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Spa Smrdáky

Folk legend says about the origin of these spas that the mineral springs were discovered a long time ago by a shepherd who healed his "painful" feet while bathing in the strangely and unusually pungent rammish water of these springs. Hearsay and rumours about the healing effects of the spring spread very quickly and people from the larger environs began to hunt and look for it.


The origin of the name Smrdáky is interesting. Based on historic documents, the settlement was called Nová Ves (New Village, Villa Nova) in Slovak language at that time. The village got its present name from the stinky mineral springs. When peasants and farmers gathered in the neighbouring towns for annual fairs, those who came from Nová Ves were nicknamed „Smrdáci“. This name became common then and eventually substituted the preceding and previous name of the settlement.

The first written reference about the spa location in Smrdáky was stated in the city plan from 1617. It was issued by the squire at that time, Majtény - Novák. Slovak polyhistor Matej Bel, in his well-known work Notitia Hungariae Novae Historicogeographia (Historical and Geographical Knowledge of Hungary) from 1740, states the spa hamlet Smrdáky, and for the first time describes here the use of hydrogen sulphide water for therapeutic healing purposes. In 1763, the official physician Ján M. Gottmann prepared an analysis of Smrdáky´s waters, in which he commented and remarked that spas could be established near such waters in the future.

Very significant also is the medical dissertation thesis of the chief physician Jozef Callas Nagy about Spa Smrdáky (Thermarum Büdösköensium, 1840) considered and assessed at Vienna University. Except for the chemical water analysis, which was done by Nitra´s pharmacist and apothecary František Lang Adolf, there are also indications – a list of diseases which were successfully treated already here before the establishment of the spa institution. Primarily mentioned are various skin diseases, like eczema, herpes, sphinx moth and the like.

The first bathhouse in Smrdáky was built by the landowner in the vicinity of the springs, Nitra´s deputy city mayor Jozef Vietoris, in the years 1832-33. This period is dated and also known as the modern history of the spas.
Later in 1839, also by courtesy and thanks to the owner J. Vietoris, an impressive grand manor house was built for his family and beloved guests. After several reconstructions, it has remained until today. The manor house with its classical portal has become the symbol of the spas.

Jozef Vietoris also procured and arranged the building of a pleasant and agreeable spa environment. When he drained the marshland and swamp, he reclaimed space for a park, where he planted rare trees. Spa Park has today a surface area of 16 ha and is a favourite relaxation place for spa guests.

The years of 1935 – 1938 were the most successful for the spas. The spa facilities there at that time accommodated around 180 patients and almost the same number was accommodated from the village. In addition, other patients from the nearby region also arrived for treatment, and so in those times around 400 daily bathers were recorded in the spa at the peak of the spa season.

In 1950, the precious valuable source of mineral water was recorded and captured by drilling, and thus the healing water of the well-known composition was ensured. Depth drilling in 1953 discovered the primary source of hydrogen sulphide mineral water at a depth of 301 metres, and in 1957 a more abundant and substantial wellspring was discovered. Its content of active diatomic sulphur is currently the highest out of all the well-known European hydrogen sulphide waters.

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