Szczawno-Zdroj is a city and municipality which is part of the administrative district of Walbrzych. It lies at an altitude between 400m and 430m above sea level in the Walbrzych Mountains, part of the Middle Sudety Range, which can be found in Lower Silesia in south-western Poland. The resort has the characteristics of a foothills spa with a mild climate which is mildly stimulating and moderated by the dense forested areas that surround the city. The basic elements with therapeutic effects are the naturally carbonated spring water which is high in bicarbonates, sodium, calcium and magnesium and the climate in this area.
The first mention of a princely village here appears in the „Book of Henryk”, a document prepared by Henryk I Brodaty in 1221. By the end of the 13th century the village became part of the estates of Castle Ksiaz and the fates of the village was linked to that of the castle. Initially the village belonged to the Duchy of Wroclaw.
It is one of the oldest spa towns in Lower Silesia as the therapeutic qualities of the mineral waters in the vicinity of Szczawno have been known since the 16th century. The beneficial effects of the waters on the human body were known much earlier but it was not until the advances in learning, specifically medical sciences, which increased the interest of this phenomenon among the ruling courts. The person that is of particularly significance in the development of systematic studies of natural medicinal materials was the Hochberg court physician and doctor, Caspar Schwenckfeldt. He came to Jelenia Gora where he practiced and conducted his research into plants and minerals. His numerous scientific studies formed the basis of many early Balneological treatments. His thesis „Hirschbergischen Bades Warmen”, written in 1605 on hot springs in the Jelenia Gora region, provided valuable insight for even future spa resort investors. The first sanatorium in Szczawno was opened in 1815. In a short time numerous facilities were built and equipped in the emerging resort. According to fashion and standards of the day, which were evident in the exclusive resorts of Switzerland, Prussia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, many of the accompanying facilities also appeared in Szczawno which included cafes, restaurants, a mineral water pump room, a theatre, a concert hall and parks with walking alleyways. The final shape of the resort was obtained in the late 19th century and the early 20th century. Many of the older buildings have survived to this day in excellent shape, even the Spa Theatre that was built in 1896 which still puts on festivals, concerts and performances in its stunningly decorated interiors. A visit to the stylish tea-room transforms every guest to the atmosphere of a elegant bygone era.
Today the health resort at Szczawno-Zdroj with its meticulously restored infrastructure is primarily a fully-equipped healing, rehabilitation and recreation centre. The additional medical, residential, cultural, tourist and recreational services ensure that returning to full health is not arduous and the aesthetic experience remains in visitors’ memories for a long time. Treatments in Szczawno-Zdroj include those for musculoskeletal disorders, diseases of the respiratory system, urinary tract and the digestive system as well as cardiovascular and metabolic complaints. Specialist treatments for children include those for asthma, allergies and chronic sinusitis, diseases of the endocrine system and metabolism, posture defects and cerebral palsy.