Busko-Zdroj is well known for its sulphide springs, which are quite unique in Europe. Of course, the town is also one of the most attractive and popular spa destinations in Poland, as it has been since the beginning of the 19th century. There are many annual cultural events, including the Festival of Busko-Zdroj, the Ponidzie International Exhibition of Photography, the Florianski Fair, the International Music Festival, the International Folk Festival and the Summer with Chopin. Do you need more? Teeming with historic sites and tourist attractions, the area around Busko also provides brilliant opportunities for day trips.
On hearing the name Busko-Zdroj, most Poles think of a pure environment, water with healing properties and a place to improve the health. Rated as one of Poland’s top health resorts, Busko has long specialised in the treatment of heart, rheumatic, vascular system and dermatological diseases as well as neurological and post-traumatic disorders. Moreover, the town is the main Polish balneological spa.
Well-organised in terms of tourist infrastructure, Busko-Zdroj offers high standards of accommodation, excellent cuisine, great health and fitness programs for men and women, including revitalizing treatment. All this ensures that even the most discerning guests will not be disappointed.
The historic Marconi sanatorium was built in 1836 and is the best known in Busko-Zdroj; however, it is highly modern and uses the latest therapeutic techniques. The sanatorium stands surrounded by the magnificent and extensive spa park, where you can see a beautiful view of the Swietokrzyskie Mountains just outside the town. Another major edifice in the park is the white classicistic building of the baths themselves.
It goes without saying that sport and recreation are important to achieve good health. Significantly, each tourist route in the town and the surrounding areas is designated for cross-country skiing and cycling, depending on the season. In the vicinity of the town you will find two reserves dedicated to flora and fauna – the Skoronie with its caves carved out of gypsum rock, and the Owczary.
The town of Busko-Zdroj is located in the Swietokrzyskie voivodship in southern Poland, some 50 km south of Kielce, the capital of the province, 80 km north of Cracow and 220 km south-east of Warsaw. It resides close to the Swietokrzyskie Mountains, in the wide and scenic Ponidzie valley of the Nida River. There are no industrial sites within 50 km of the town.
Busko enjoys a pleasant and stimulating lowland climate, typified by mild winters, dry hot summers and the greatest number of days of sunshine per year anywhere in the country. The average annual temperature is 8 degrees C, also one of the highest in Poland.
As early as the 12th century a group of shepherds started a settlement around the St Leonard’s church, the simple beginnings of modern Busko-Zdroj.
Based on an initiative by Knight Derslaw, who owned Busko and its surrounding area, the Norbertine nuns came to live here in 1185. In his will, he left all his lands to the nuns, and for several hundred years from 1241 Busko remained the property of the convent. In 1251, King Boleslaw Wstydliwy (the Shy) granted a revenue privilege permitting the use of the saline waters – an important event as salt was as important as gold in those days.
The town received its civic rights in 1287 from Prince Leszek Czarny (the Black). Due to Busko’s geographically strategic position at the meeting point of several trade routes, King Wladyslaw granted the local burghers the right to hold a weekly market and two fairs annually from 1412.
The 15th and 16th centuries saw the town experiencing a period of prosperity as a centre of trade and cloth production, which lasted until the mid-18th century when wars broke out and an anti-middle class feeling began to rise amongst the aristocracy. Nevertheless, the region had a new economic boom with the discovery of brine springs in 1776. Around 1808 the first patients began to arrive in Busko, and then in 1819 the government took the right to own the property from the Norbertine nuns. Following a fire in 1820, General Feliks Rzewuski took Busko on lease and, being aware of the beneficial qualities of the local mineral waters, he initiated the construction of a baths complex.
The year 1836 saw the official inauguration of the health resort, and after this it was leased by a group of industrialists from Warsaw. In 1869, by the tsar’s decree, Busko lost its municipal rights, yet this did not prevent the health resort from functioning. In 1880, the lease was purchased by Doctor Andrzej Dobrzanski, and the 15 years with him in charge was one of substantial growth for the town; it was his doing that Busko emerged as one of the most popular health resorts both in and beyond the country.
During World War I, Busko remained under Austrian occupation and in 1915 the town became the headquarters of the district of Stopnica. A year later, it recovered its municipal rights and then in 1919 the sanatoria were once again filled with patients. When World War II ended, Busko began serving as an administrative, trade and service hub for the nearby villages, but most importantly it continued to develop as a health resort.