-HISTORY OF THE SPA
The most significant epoch for the contemporary character of Krzeszowice
as the spa was Tertiary period (60-1 million years B.C.), and - to
be more specific - the Miocene sea, which flooded Krzeszowicki Trough,
created earlier under the influence of Alpine orogenic movements.
In specific local conditions on the bottom of the sea, amongst clay,
calcium sulphate - i.e. gypsum - precipitated from water. Due to the
influence of organic matter in adjoining layers, it became reduced.
Further processes resulted in sulphur compound flushing, which - in
the form of sulphate -calcium- sulphide waters flow out in Krzeszowice
as two springs: "Main" and "Zofia".
The first inscription on using sulphur water was cattle treatment
was made by a local parish-priest Father Bernard Bocheński, in the
parish chronicle dated 1625. However, the spa's development started
in late 18th century, when dr Jan Gotfryd Leonhardi, following the
order of Duke August Czartoryski, conducted research on sulphur water
features and discovered - and applied in therapy - a spring of ferruginous
water. In c.a. 1778 the only sulphur water spring at that time was
cased ( "Main Spring"). Probably in the same year the first
baths were constructed and the first patients were registered in the
Modern baths construction plans, approved by Duke Czartoryski, were
implemented with great energy by Duchess Izabela Lubomirska. In 1788
the spa centre consisted of five small bath cottages, two baths, a
hospital and a residence for poor visitors, the palace of "Vauxhall"
with entertainment functions and several additional and storage buildings.
In the years to come, the Duchess intended to develop the spa considerably,
however, this plan was not realised, probably because of the political
events (the 2nd and 3rd partition of Poland in 1793 and 1795, Kościuszko
Uprising in 1794, the period of Napoleon wars in 1803-15).
The spa doctor in that period was Leopold de Lafontaine, who published
the first monograph of the spa in 1789, which included - apart from
the spring characteristics - also description of the region.
A further stage of the spa's development began together with Krzeszowice's
take-over by Izabela Czartoryska's grandson - Artur Potocki and his
wife Zofia neé Branicka in 1816. In 1819, probably at the location
of former baths, the so-called "Green Baths" were constructed,
after 1858 named as "Zofia Baths". In 1829 Zofia Potocka
purchased a piece of land with active sulphur spring and built there
a hospital (nowadays called "the Old Hospital"), for curing
the employees of the "Tęczyn county". During the October
Uprising (1830-31), as Artur Potocki wished, it was a hospital for
insurgents seeking refuge in the Republic of Kraków.
1835 was the period of the peak interest in the spa, however, as the
years went by, the interest was gradually fading. Only a momentary
increase in the spa popularity was noted in 1847; the reason of which
was construction of a railway line from Kraków to Mysłowice through
Krzeszowice. The Potocki family efforts were moved to development
of profitable mining and industry. The decrease of medical service
quality followed soon and the spa appliances deteriorated slowly.
After a thorough analysis of the spa in 1858 made by Józef Dietl and
presentation of a project for this condition improvement, sanative
measures were taken for the spa. The treatment methods were modernised,
the necessary repairs to the appliances were made. In 1869 Adolf Aleksandrowicz
made new chemical analysis of both springs' sulphur water. In 1875-76
"Green Baths" were thoroughly reconstructed and modernised
and in 1877 a new, one-storied residential house for spa visitors
was ready for usage. These operations increased considerably interest
in Krzeszowice. The situation in the years to follow was similar,
till the beginning of the 20th century.
Despite the baths modernisation in 1923 and obtaining the spa status
in 1928, during the whole interwar period Krzeszowice had local significance
only. During World War II the spa building were used by the Nazis
for war purposes and were largely devastated.
After the war several attempt were made to restore spa treatment.
In 1964 the spa was reactivated. Two new mineral springs were discovered
near the baths: a brine and a sulphur one. In 1966-68 adaptation works
were carried in the building of "Zofia" Baths and the centre
was partially extended. First patients arrived in 1970 at the Rehabilitation
Centre. At the turn of the 70-ties and 80-ties the baths were extended
again, this time - towards the south. At present the therapy (in-patient
and out-patient) involves patients with rheumatic, neurological and