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Muszyna

Muszyna is a spa town in the administrative district of Nowy Sacz in the province of Lesser Poland. The resort has the characteristics of a piedmont spa and lies in the valley of the River Poprad and its tributaries the streams Szczawnik and Muszynka. The town lies at an altitude of about 450m above sea level in the Sadecki Beskid mountain range and only about 5km from the Slovak border. It also lies close to the Poprad Landscape Park which is one of the largest in Poland. The resort has the characteristics of a piedmont spa with a moderately to strongly stimulating climate that is moderated to a large extent by the dense forests covering the surrounding hillsides. The essential elements of the spa resort are its climatic conditions and the natural mineral waters found there that are rich in bicarbonates and oxalates of calcium, magnesium, sodium and iron and also having traces of lithium and selenium.

The growth and development of Muszyna is associated with the nearby border and the old „Hungarian” trade route that ran through the valley of the River Poprad. The first mention of this settlement appears in an act from 1209 in which the Hungarian King Andrew II authorises the collection of taxes along the River Poprad, close to Muszyna, by Pastor Adolf from the Spis Diocese of St. Martin. At the time the settlement belonged to the Niegowicki family. In 1288 the settlement passes to the Bishops of Krakow but in the 14th century, as a result of a quarrel between them and King Wladyslaw Lokietek the lands and the settlement of Muszyna are annexed by the crown. For the next 80 years they were governed by successive rulers and finally Muszyna received its civic rights in 1356 from King Kazimierz Wielki.

The history of the spa at Muszyna dates back to 1911 with the opening of the first mineral water spring which was result of research into the possibilities of using the healing properties of the mineral waters in this region. At the turn of the century, with the growing popularity of Balneological treatments, investment into the building of further therapeutic centres also increased. The instigator of these facilities in Muszyna was Dr Seweryn Msciwujewski along with the Mayor, Antoni Jurczak, who both saw the potential of a spa resort as a source of regular income and the basis of economic development of the city. The first well, to depth of 146m, was opened in 1922 which was followed the subsequent year with another to a depth of 120m. Muszyna received its formal status of a spa resort in 1929 and became a full member of the Association of Polish Spa Resorts in the following year. Soon the first modern spa amenities began to appear which included bathing facilities along the River Poprad and in the town centre as well as pump and tap rooms. These were accompanied by guesthouses, cafeterias, bowling alleys, a cinema and, characteristic to spa resorts, a promenade. The resort orchestra played to increasing audiences at the concert bowl, not just for local patients but also for tourists and visitors from the nearby town of Krynica. Development plans were stopped by the outbreak of World War II and the health resort did not reopen till 1958.

Today Muszyna is firmly on the map of recognised spa resorts. The operating sanatoria offer spa treatments and rehabilitation programmes as well as organising interesting pastimes for patients recovering after surgery. Muszyna specialises in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, diseases of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, neurological conditions, metabolic diseases and gynaecological and psychosomatic disorders.

The city provides further cultural and recreational amenities. The landscape of Muszyna and its surrounding area offer an invitation to explore either on foot, by bike or on horseback. The resort is open throughout the year and visitors come for only a few days to escape from the stress of everyday life or to restore their physical and mental energies. In the vicinity of mountains it appears to be easier to put into perspective about what is most important, namely one’s own health.

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