Kudowa-Zdroj is a spa city in the county of Klodzko and part of the administrative structure of the province of Lower Silesia. The resort has the characteristics of a piedmont spa and lies at an altitude between 200m and 400m above sea level on the banks of the Bystra Stream which flows through the Metuje River to the River Elbe and eventually into the North Sea. It is situated in the shadow of the Stolowe Mountains and the Lewinski Hills whose slopes form a natural barrier against the northerly and north-easterly winds. With its exposure to the south the town of Kudowa-Zdroj has a much milder climate, which is low to moderately stimulating, than the rest of the Klodzko Valley. Another moderating factor of this climate is the proximity of vast tracts of natural forests predominantly consisting of spruce, pine and beech trees. The basic element used at the Kudowa-Zdroj resort are the naturally occurring mineral waters found here.

The first mention of a settlement at this location dates back to 1354. The village that gave rise to the town was part of the Czech ethnic state and originally called Lipolitov which was later changed to Chudoba. The first written reference to springs at Kudowa appears in 1580 and the healing properties of the waters are mentioned by the chronicler Aelurius in 1625. The first organised spa activities can be dated to 1636 with the launching of wooden bathing facilities. In 1777 the name of Kudowa was prominently mentioned in a brochure that appeared in Wroclaw titled „Public information about Health Resorts and Healing Mineral Waters in Silesia” and was a translation by David Vogel of the German booklet originally published in 1774 by Gottfried Morgenbesser, an eminent doctor and chemist from Wroclaw. The publication contained results of analysis carried out, the chemical composition of the waters and their proposed medicinal usage. By the middle of the 19th century the resort was considered the leading cardiac centre in Germany and further impetus of its development was the opening of the railway line from Klodzko, through Kudowa and onto Czechoslovakia in 1905. The luxurious treatment facilities, clubs and restaurants, coffee houses, villas and guest houses all added to the splendour of Kudowa-Zdroj and attracted new visitors. Thankfully the war rolling across Europe spared the resort and all buildings survived intact. At the end of World War II a border dispute erupted between the Polish Republic and Czechoslovakia which included the ownership of Kudowa. The dispute became so heated that the Czechs sent an armoured train into the area. Eventually the town became part of the Polish State and its German population relocated to Germany. At this time Kudowa also received its civic rights. The resort reopened almost immediately after the end of the war but not until the 1960’s were the facilities modernised along with its urban infrastructure. Kudowa-Zdroj is also a tourist and a recreational resort. Increasingly health and recreational facilities are combined as in all modern spa resorts.

Today treatments at Kudowa-Zdroj include those for haematological, traumatic orthopaedic, cardiovascular, rheumatic and gastrointestinal diseases and obesity and also the rehabilitation treatments of children.

The main tourist attractions that can be found in Kudowa include the renovated Spa Park with mineral water pump and tap room that was opened in 2002 and the Scull Chapel in Czermna district of the town which is one of only three in Europe. It is lined with skulls and bones of people that have died during the Thirty Years War and from the plague. The town is a base for daytrips into the Stolowe Mountains or to the sanctuary in Wambierzyce and also to the Czech Republic and Prague, which is only about 150km away.