The Therapeutic Legacy of Vincenc Priessnitz

The Therapeutic Legacy of Vincenc Priessnitz

Moravian spa in Jeseník holds primacy as the first hydrotherapy center in the world.

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Relaxing and therapeutic stays in Czech spas are popular options as you rest in the middle of nature and fully enjoy the beauty of autumn. Jeseník Spa, which is inextricably linked with the figure of Vincent Priessnitz, ranks as one of the most popular sites in this area. October 4, 2019 has been exactly 220 years since the birth of this pioneer of natural medicine, according to whose model, dozens of hydrotherapy centers sprouted up across Europe.

The magic of the story of Priessnitz lies in the fact that he literally experienced the beneficial effects of hydrotherapy with his own body. With its help, he was able to recover from severe injuries which he got from working on a farm. While healers wrote him off and predicted a cripple’s life for him, Priessnitz applied wraps and cold compresses - and recovered. A stay in the fresh air with the use of spring water became the cornerstone of the future successful treatment of his patients. At first he took them in to his converted house with washtubs, with which he established the first hydropathic institute in the world, but as their numbers increased exponentially of course they didn’t stick with washtubs and Gräfenberg (today Jeseník) about 100 km away from Olomouc, today a city registered in UNESCO, became a famous spa center, where the elite of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy went for treatment.

Spa park as a tribute to the founder of the spa

With several dozen springs in the immediate vicinity people are still going in large numbers today. The spa with the legacy of Vincenc Priessnitz proudly remembers him by more than just his name. The spa park using his methods which was completed a few years ago, a rarity unique in Europe, is a great tribute to its founder. Its concept builds on traditional Priessnitz hydrotherapy and develops his famous philosophy of treatment through water, sun and movement.

The spa park is built in a natural area, through which a healing spring flows and is designed as a trail through a "water garden" with different stops, which include various baths of the upper and lower limbs, walking on pebbles, a shower with cold spring water or terraces for relaxation and exercise. All of these treatments have a beneficial effect in lowering high blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, the disappearance of allergic symptoms or the treatment of headaches.

Clean air and a variety of walks

Priessnitz spa is also known for its microclimate - having the cleanest air in the Czech Republic according to regular measurements and is therefore ideal for walks with views of the skyline of Hrubý Jeseník. Studniční vrch, in whose foothills the spa are located, is crisscrossed by paths from lighter climbs to more demanding ones for which guests prefer to use hiking sticks. Nordic walking is very popular matter, the health effects are undeniable, and it is often included in the program of medical procedures.

A great tip for a walk is a seven-kilometer hiking trail that leads around the springs and spas and through information boards at each stop tells the history of Jeseník, the local spas, and of course it does not leave out the important chapter of the remarkable life story of Vincenc Priessnitz.