Sunday, January 18, 2009

Varazdin's Spa

The church of St Martin by the night,today evening

The erliest written record of Varazdinske Toplice (Varazdin's Spa) after the Romain period is the document signed by king Bela III in 1181 that stating that Varazdinske Toplice was given as a gift to Zagreb bishopric.The citizens were the tenants of Zagreb's bishop,they paid him a rent and owed him the service of repairing and maintaining the baths.The baths at that time,in the Middle Ages,were a very simple and crude.A woden structure with a roof was open on all sides and in the pools naked women and men bathed together.One of healing methods was bloodletting done by the people known as the barbers.From the late Middle Ages to the 17th century Varazdin's Spa was constantly attacked and ruined by Turkish hordes and ravaged by epidemics.
An important period for Varazdin's Spa began in 1772,when Dr Jean Baptiste Lalangue was the town phisician in Varazdin,a town 17 km away from here,that was the capital of Croatia (at that time Croatia was a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire).Dr Lalangue was responsible for the town and county of Varazdin that includes also Varazdin's Spa.He was shocked with horrible methods of local barbers and imposed some rules they were obliged to follow.

"Constantine's Bath" on an old postcard:

A new stone bathhouse "Constantine's Bath" was erected when the old wooden bathhouse was destroyed in fire.Dr Lalangue introduced a number of sanitary regulations on proper use and maintanenace of the quality of the water and the baths. A phisician was permanently employed here from 1836.
At the begining of the last century the bathhouses were renovated and here was built a luxurious new hotel "Joseph's Bath".

"Joseph's Bath" on an old postcard:

Here was also a grand new park where were found old Romain thermae I wrote about in my post below.

The entrance to the park and the portal from 1865 with parts of the Romain nympheum from 2th century and the inscription on Latine

Varazdin's Spa developed into a fashionable resort.But the luxurous hotel "Joseph's Bath" was destroyed during the World War II and bathhouses were damaged.From 1950 the spa becomes a big rehabilitation centre and hospital for rheumatic diseases and spinal enjuries.
The school building from 1878 today evening


The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Wonderful! I love, love that gate. So dramatic.

mary said...

Thank you so much for showing this. Growing up in New Jersey my best friend was of Croatian descent, I was always curious about it. Since then I have learned a bit from public television and have been impressed with its history and its beauty. This has made me more curious. Next up a trip to the library. Thanks again, Mary

susanna said...

You paint an interesting picture of what the place must have looked like throughout the ages. I can't imagine what it must have been like before Dr.Lalange stepped in and implemented new rules. Hooray for people like him who make difference for others' health and safety.

mansuetude said...

If you've ever fainted from "giving" blood, this seems so strange to know of blood letting... (i think men are just fascinated by the human body, its insides.)

Love your photos, and your music, too.