Piestany has a rich history. Traces of settlements can be found from the prehistoric times (approximately 80 000 AD) surrounding the thermal springs of what is now the Piestany Spa. People were attracted to the area by the existence of the thermal springs because they did not freeze during the cold winter. Neanderthals lived in this area evidenced by stone tools which were found close to the village of Banka and the Certova Pec cave.

In the Neolithic Age, the springs were densely populated and traces of settlements were found on the ridges on the left bank of the river Vah, dated from the end of the Stone Age. The oldest sculptures in Slovakia come from our region. The most important object of regional history was discovered in the Moravany nad Vahom, it is known as the “Moravian Venus” and was made of mammoth ivory. A collection of luxury items made of gold, silver, bronze, glass and pottery from graves was discovered in Krakovany, and in the 9th century, the aristocratic court in Ducove was built, of which foundations of the church and a small cemetery is still visible. The first written mention of the town is in a document written by Hungarian King Koloman I. It was written in the year 1113, the document defined the boundaries of Zobor Abbey. The town was mentioned under the name Pescan.

The thermal springs in Pieštany were very popular during the Middle Ages for their healing characteristics. The famous king of Hungary, Matthias Corvinus, enjoyed time in the town. The first detailed description of the thermal springs was written by Juraja Wernher in his Latin discussion “About wondrous waters of Hungary.” The town experienced massive attacks by Turkish troops in the 17th century, during which the spa area was damaged. The most coherent account of life in the Piestany area was written by Adam Trajan, who settled as a pastor in the nearby village of Drahovce. His poem “Saluberrimae Pistinienses Thermae” was a celebration of the healing springs and its treatments. Piestany received town privileges in the year 1642.

Further developments arise in 1789 under the rule of Joseph Erdödy. The Erdödy family built the first spa buildings (Napoleon Spa), but the biggest expansion came when the Winter family reted Spa from Erdödy. In the period of 1889-1940, the family owned company of Alexander Winter and Sons guided the development of the spa baths. Their work and abilities turned Piestany into a well-known international spa center. They continued building several new spa buildings and hotels. Hotel Thermia Palace was the meeting place of three important rulers in February 1917 (German Emperor Wilhelm I, Austrian Emperor Charles IV, and the Bulgarian Tsar Ferdinand I.) Piestany has renovated its spa facilities in the last ten years and has since held onto its reputation as a favorite destination for tourists and patients from all around the world.

3 Responses

  1. Small but very historical city with a lot of spa opportunities. The beauty of the old buildings in combination with a wellness day is magnificent.

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