Goczalkowice-Zdroj is a spa village in southern Poland. It is a municipal administrative centre located in Pszczyna County which is in the province of Silesia. The town lies in Oswiecim Valley which is part of the Upper Vistula Basin, and about a kilometre from its banks. To the south-east, the region is bordered by the Beskidy Mountain Range and undulating plateaus with the vast tracts of the Pszczyna Forests lie to the north. Large areas of this municipality are covered in forests, fish ponds and Lake Goczalkowice, which is the main source of drinking water for Upper Silesia. Although the local climate has the characteristics of one found in the foothills with a soothing tonic effect the resort has the lowland character. The air temperature measured here is higher than that in some of the other neighbouring villages.
The village with name of Goczalkowice first appeared on an old map dating back to 1603 but the name first appeared in texts that go back to 1326. According to local legend, the name of the town is derived from the name of the Knight Goczal, who, as a reward for all his acts of bravery in wars and on many battlefields, received these lands. His descendants assumed the name „Goczalkowiczow”, or of the family of Goczal. The town, which sprang up on this spot, bore the family name Goczalowicze. The original map of 1603 still list the village as Goczalowicze but the Geographic Dictionary of the Polish Kingdom printed at the end of the 19th century gives the name as Goczalkowice, as well as its German version of Ober-Goczalkowitz.
The main attributes of the spa are its natural mineral waters, therapeutic mud and its climate. As it lies at the foot of the Beskid Mountains and surrounded by forested areas, the region has a comfortable climate for more than half the days of the year. Also, the Lake Goczalkowice reservoir has a calming effect in the local climate as it acts as an environmental thermostat. The history of the spa dates back to 1856 when during geological work being carried out the brine deposits were discovered. The confirmation of the healing properties of the water in the wells caused work to be carried out on the spa almost immediately. A few years later peat deposits were discovered close to the nearby village of Rudoltowice. With all its components in place the town of Goczalkowice-Zdroj began full operations as a spa. It had fully equipped bathing facilities, a mineral water pump and tap room, a spa clinic and accommodation to house its visitors. A good omen for the investors of the project was that after the first season of activity the second season had already sold out. Goczalkowice quickly became a popular resort.
Today, the resort at Goczalkowice is a modern well equipped spa which treats more than 10,000 patients each year, offering professional care and using experienced personnel. The hospitals, sanatoriums, health resorts and clinics in Goczalkowice specialise in the treatment of rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis), degenerative diseases of the peripheral joints and the spine, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases (diabetes or gout) and osteoporosis. Treatment of children includes diseases of bones and joints, muscular diseases, like dystrophy, myopathy or atrophy, and neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy and traumatic paresis.
Due to its position Goczalkowice is also a popular destination for hikers, cyclists and horse riding enthusiasts with its numerous prepared trails and equestrian centres.