Serbian spas have a very rich history, known already from Roman time (Vrnyacka spa, Nishka spa, Zvonachka spa, the region of Voivodina). Romans are considered to have used thermomineral waters of Gamzigrad spa, because they built the emperor´s complex Felix Romuliana in the vicinity. Along with traces of mining in the surroundings of Bor, there is some evidence of the knowledge of healing waters of Brestovac spa. As early as 2000 years ago, Romans built springs of healing mineral water in this region. They used to build pools, wells and health resorts for their legionaries. After all, Romans used to do it everywhere in Europe, that is why Serbia is among the wealthiest country in Europe in such localities. Numerous archaeoligic researches since the 19th century have been witnessing it. There is a famous Roman spring in Vrnyacka spa, that was first mentioned by a Hungarian writer of travel books. Archaeologist and ethnologist Felix Kanitz in his travel book: „ Study of Roman monuments in the Kingdom of Serbia“, towards the end of the 19th century. That is how, owing to this archaeologist, the first traces of Roman time were discovered.
Serbian spas are related to the period of Ottoman rule. They used to build famous Turkish baths. Turkish baths in Ribarska spa, later renovated by Duke Alexandar Karadyordyevich, are well known.
Palanachki Kiselyak is a famous spa from the period of Ottoman rule. The first description of a spring of mineralwater dates from 1719, written by a Turkish travel books writer Evliya Chelebiya. He describes this spa as a „walled spa with healing water“. Later, by order of Duke Milosh, the healing property of this water was stated.
It has been written that Dyor – Mehmed pasha built two pools towards the end of the 18th century in Vranyska spa, and its remnants still exist. In 1842, the third pool of sulphur water was built in this spa.
There are mineral and thermal springs in the region Voivodina, which were used in Roman and in Ottoman period. This fact is proved by archaeologic remnants on the slopes of the mountain Frushka gora. Archaeoligical excavation proves the use of springs in Erdevik, Grgeteg and Velika Remeta. The salty water spring is mentioned in Slankamen, in records from 1702, and the bath was built in 1906. The first data of the healing properties of mud from Melenci date back from the mid 19th century.
More recent researches of the spas in Serbia started in 1834, when the first chemical analysis of waters from some of our springs were conducted in Wien. An important event was the arrival in Serbia of a mining expert from Germany, baron Sigmund August Wolfgang Herder, who first spent some time in the eastern Serbia, and then arrived in Kralyevo and conducted the analysis of 12 samples of the spa waters. His contribution, apart from the books he wrote on the spas, is that he compared our waters with the waters of well known spas in Europe, so he contributed in a special way to their popularity.
A special contribution to the knowlwdge of Serbian spas was given by a professor of Velika škola (University) in Belgrade, professor Sima Lozanich. He wrote several books on spas, a real little library. The great scientist Josiph Panchich, who did research on Vrnyacka spa, is especially respected.
The first law on spas, on mineral and warm waters, was passed in 1914. Later, Serbia got a balneology institute, and the Serbian physicians´ society got a section for balneoclimatology. Then in The Kingdom Serbia, and later also in the Kingdom Yugoslavia, the status of spas was regulated by a law, which prescribed the conditions of public order, of spatial arrangement of settlements, architectural conditions of construction of public buildings and villas and arrangement of parks.
After the Second World War, the spa recreational tourism gets more quickly developed, and in 1960 one law gives spas a status of natural health resorts. It influenced the development of accomodation capacity, mostly that of private accomodation. Later, restoration and development of modern hotel capacity began, as well as the construction of modern health and rehabilitation centers.
Places for rest, good time and recreation
Spas in Serbia have a long tradition. Spa tourism is one of the oldest forms of tourism, especially when using healing properties of water and air. Spas were in different periods of human society the image of our time, and, on the other hand, the image of the medicine of the epoch. The spas of Serbia reflect a certain health and medicinal culture of a human society, but also the history of Serbian society. That is why the spas of Serbia have a special place in the preservation of tradition and culture.
International importance of Serbia as a tourist country is getting higher. European medicinal scientific circles have recently been showing an increased interest for evaluation of the spas in Serbia, because of new centers for medicinal treatment, prevention and rehabilitation. Serbia is considered to be lying on lakes of thermomineral waters. There are over 1000 mineral water springs, and over 40 spas are built on them.
Mineral, thermal and thermomineral springs, recreational centres and climate resorts lay throughout the country, each with its own specific geographical conditions. The wealth of this country is the variety of its mineral, thermal and thermomineral springs.
Spas are places surrounded by natural beauties, cultural and historic heritage. They are suitable for tourism, because you can spend there your summer, as well as winter holidays. The spas of Serbia can also offer a lot to those who spend there a longer time. Spa healing consists of application of modern methods, along with the use of natural factors. Spa therapies are very important, since they are ideal for prevention of all sorts of illnesses, so they can help you recover and restore your good psycho - physiological state, your mental capacities, perfect shape and good looks. Spas help restore the elasticity of the skin and relax muscles. All the therapies are carried under the supervision of specialized medical staff.
Most spas in Serbia have mild climate, and are ecologically clean places. They are mostly at the foot of mountains or in peaceful valleys, surrounded by woods, pastures and orchards, protected from strong winds. Along with their natural beauty, they have numerous parks and promenades, modern accomodation facilities, sports grounds, and pools.
Serbian spas are very well equipped for organizing seminars, congresses, manifestations and other large meetings. Congress tourism is becoming more and more popular, as a blend of the nice and the useful. It is one of the most profitable kinds of tourism. Numerous manifestations, held in our spas, also represent one of important segments.
In the surroundings of spas you can go sightseeing, and visit unique medieval monasteries – St Petka in Stublo, The Zicha Monastery, Studenica, Manasia, Lyubostinya, Kalenic, and many others.
Spas are rich in springs of warm or mineral waters; we can divide them in groups: alkaline, earth-alkaline, alkaline-mouriatric, iron, weak mineral, salty, sulphuric, radioactive, iodin and lake (muddy). Spas are located in ecologically clean places.
According to their geographic position we can divide them in: spas of northern Serbia, spas of central Serbia, spas of western Serbia, spas of eastern Serbia, spas of southern Serbia.
Spas of the northern Serbia are: Kanyiza spa, Yunakovich spa, Palich spa. Spas of the central Serbia are: Bogutovachka spa, Palanachki kiselyak, Selters spa, Ribarska spa, Vrnyachka spa, Matarushka spa, Yoshanichka spa, Ovchar spa, Gornya Trepcha, Vruyci spa, Bukovichka spa. Spas of the western Serbia are: Kovilyacha spa, Priboyska spa. Spas of the eastern Serbia are: Gamzigrad spa, Brestovac spa, Zvonachka spa, Sokobanya. Spas of the southern Serbia are: Buyanovachka spa, vranyska spa, Novopazarska spa, Siyarinska spa, Kurshumliyska spa, Prolom spa, Lukovska spa, Nishka spa.