Krynica-Zdroj is part of the administrative district of Nowy Sacz which is located in the Province of Lesser Poland. The city has the characteristics of a mountain spa resort as it is situated in the Beskid Sadecki in the valley of the Krynicanka Stream and its tributaries and is overlooked by Mount Parkowa and the Kryzowa and Jasiennik Hills. It has a subalpine climate which is moderated by the dense forested areas that surround the city. In addition to the climatic conditions the main elements used in Krynica-Zdroj are the mineral waters and the therapeutic mud.
The settlement was originally founded in 1547 and from its beginnings was part of the so called State of Muszyna that was owned by the Bishops of Krakow. In 1793, an Austrian, Franz Stix von Saunbergen, bought some land with the source of mineral water with a view of building a spa resort here. Intensive research to determine the medicinal properties of the waters found in this area resulted in the growth of the resort but rapid expansion of the facilities only occurred thanks to the arrival of Professor Joseph Dietl in 1856. By 1877 there were 11 treatment centres and 64 private clinics which were monitored by the Spa Commission that was set up at about this time. By the turn of the century more than 6000 patients were regularly visiting Krynica-Zdroj each year. It was also at this time that Professor Rudolf Zuber discovered and studied what turned out to be the most powerful therapeutic mineral waters found in Europe. In 1911 the railway came to Krynica-Zdroj which led to a new influx of patients and resulted in Krynica also receiving city rights. Just before the outbreak of World War II some 38,000 visitors were coming here each year which included the future queen of Holland, Princess Juliana and her husband Prince Bernard, who spent their honeymoon at the resort. Krynica was occupied till January 1945 and the retreating German army removed nearly all the equipment, what remained was destroyed by the advancing Red Army. Krynica-Zdroj did not really recover as a functioning resort till the late 1950’s.
Today the spa resort at Krynica-Zdroj specialises in the treatment of women’s complaints, diseases of the urinary tract, digestive system, heart, cardiovascular system, endocrine and metabolic disorders, musculoskeletal diseases, anxiety and anaemia. There are also facilities that concentrate in the rehabilitation of gynaecological, urinary, musculoskeletal, digestive and respiratory conditions as well as diabetes and obesity.
Krynica-Zdroj also offers visitors several recreational and relaxation services that supplement the health facilities. It is the ideal location for those who wish to immerse themselves in nostalgic memories, enjoy the resorts stunning scenery or just listen to Poland’s only „Spa Orchestra”. It is a place for art lovers, especially works by the artist Nikifor that can be found at the Villa Romanowka who was influenced by the natural surroundings of this region. Krynica-Zdroj is also a destination for active tourism enthusiasts as in the summer months visitors come to use the city’s tennis courts, swimming pools, cycling trails of varying difficulty and scenic hiking trails. For those that prefer winter activities there are facilities for skating, skiing and tobogganing, as well as a specially prepared all-weather toboggan run. For everyone, at the Ballroom of the Old Spa Palace, at the concert hall in the Main Pump and Tap Room and on the promenade, there are concerts, recitals, exhibitions and artistic meetings. In addition to the existing funicular railway to the top of Mount Parkowa from 1937 a new gondola lift was opened in 1997 to the top of Mount Jaworzyna which can carry 1200 people per hour to an altitude of 1114m above sea level. This investment has turned Krynica-Zdroj into a major winter sports centre in the region.