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Lądek Zdrój - radioactive waters

The resort has the characteristics of a mountain spa as it is situated in the valley of the Biala Ladecka River that is located in the South Eastern Sudety Mountains. The area has a mountain climate which is strongly stimulating but moderated by the dense forests, predominantly of pine, fir and beech that cover the slopes and create excellent conditions for the production of essential oils. An arboretum has been created in the forested terrain surrounding the town with a large variety of trees and shrubs, some of which are exotic species. Several walking trails have been laid out in this hilly landscape that is criss-crossed by many streams. The basic element used in the Ladek-Zdroj spa resort is its natural thermal mineral waters which are rich in fluorides, sulphides, hydrogen and radon. The resort operates seven springs of which six are naturally flowing and one that emanates from a borehole. The temperature of the spring water ranges between 17.5°C and 43.9°C.

Ladek-Zdroj received its municipal rights in 1282 from Duke Henry IV Probus from Wroclaw. The waters found here were considered to have ritualistic and religious properties and the effectiveness of their application was based on word-of-mouth. It is considered the oldest health resort because, according to historical sources, there were bathing facilities here as early as 1241 which were destroyed by Mongols returning after the Battle of Legnica.

It is one of Poland's most famous spa resorts as it was already very well known in the late 15th century as the oldest natural healing centre, named "Jerzy" with a swimming pool built over the spring of the same name, was erected in 1498. Already by 1577 a comprehensive list of remedies due the healing waters is compiled which form the basis of the spa resort's functionality. Significant progress in the development of Ladek-Zdroj occurs in the 18th and 19th centuries. The person that is considered instrumental in this regard is the Dutch Princess Wilhelmina Frederica Ludwika Charlotte, but remembered in Ladek-Zdroj as Marianna of Orange. As the owner of several large estates in Silesia, she was responsible for the improvement of the local environment by raising the economic status of many of the surrounding villages. Among other things, due to her influence and activity a network of roads was built to enable efficient and safe transport. One of these roads runs through Ladek-Zdroj. It was at about the same time that, because of the difficulty of reaching them, several spa resorts in Prussia closed down. The "Good Lady" Marianna of Orange has a monument dedicated to her work in Ladek-Zdroj. Between the World Wars the spa facilities and the accompanying infrastructure were improved and modernised due to the increasing annual influx of patients. The new villas, guesthouses, restaurants, cafeterias, clubs and cultural buildings are designed for the greater convenience of the visitors "seeking the waters". World War II changed the functionality of most of the buildings as they were converted into military hospitals and convalescent centres. In 1945 the town was annexed to Poland with the remaining inhabitants relocated to Germany. The name of Ladek-Zdroj was officially introduced in the following year, replacing the former German name of Bad Landeck.

Today the resort is a well equipped, modern treatment and recreation centre. Ladek-Zdroj offers treatments, rehabilitation and relaxation in the best traditions reminiscent of this resort. These include traumatic orthopaedic, rheumatic, skin and gynaecological diseases, ailments of the upper and lower respiratory tract and nervous system, osteoporosis, diabetes and infertility.
In its history eminent patients have included Goethe, Tsarina Catherine II, Emperor Alexander I, several Prussian kings and John Quincy Adams, the President of the United States.

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