Of all Polish spas, this one is situated closest to Warsaw, so no wonder that it has become a favourite destination for Varsovians who wish to spend a day or just a few hours away from the bustle of the city. Konstancin-Jeziorna is also a rehabilitation centre and an elegant residential area inhabited by the rich and famous. Nestled in a pine forest and filled with lots of lovely, old villas and small palaces, the town has a charming feel that is hard to resist.
The fastest way to get to Konstancin from Warsaw is by car in the Wilanow or Piaseczno direction, but the most enjoyable would be a bike trip through Wilanow or Kabacki Forest. Of course, there is always the choice of going by bus.
It is worth spending some time leisurely strolling along the quiet streets, flanked with stately abodes and boarding houses. Anytime you feel tired, you can sit on a bench amongst old trees in any one of the resort’s parks. If you are visiting Konstancin with children, they will enjoy riding ponies and playing on the wooden swings. There are a number of good lunch stops, ice cream shops and candy stores in town.
As the financial elite of Warsaw invest money in renovating villas and building their own impressive residences in Konstancin, the town continues to develop and yet without losing its distinctive atmosphere. Since 1980, the biggest attraction in the town has been the brine graduation tower, which was built in the middle of the Spa Park. The open-air inhalatorium has a positive influence on the immune and nervous systems. Flowing down the fascine, the evaporating brine produces an exceptional microclimate, which helps compensate for deficits in microelements within the organism.
Konstancin-Jeziorna is located in Piaseczno County, Masovian Voivodship. A mere 20 km south of downtown Warsaw, it is part of the metropolitan area of the capital, reachable by car in 40 minutes. Konstancin covers an area of 78 km2, with a population of about 23,000 inhabitants.
Through this lowland spa town, situated 90 m above sea level, flows the small Jeziorka River, a side-stream of the Vistula River. In the vicinity there are three wooded areas: Slomczynski, Chojnowski and Kabacki Forests.
In the mid-18th century a flour mill and a paper mill were built on the territory of future Jeziorna. At the time very few paper mills existed in Poland, and this one was the first to be set up in Masovia. A settlement developed around the mill, finally receiving town rights in 1962.
The town of Konstancin was founded in 1897 by Count Witold Skorzewski and was named after his mother, Countess Konstancja. It was established on land adjoining the palace in Obory, where today you can find the Artistic House of the Association of Polish Writers, to serve as a holiday retreat for the wealthy inhabitants of Warsaw. The attraction was not only the town’s proximity to the capital, but also for its location among forests, its clean air and healthy climate, beneficial in the treatment of cardiologic, neurological and rheumatic diseases. Very soon after the foundation of the town, in 1899, the English-style Spa Park was laid out.
Modelled on Europe’s most lavish resorts, the plans for the town’s development involved dividing the land into lots of about 3,300 m2 each, while the buildings were created by the most prominent architects of the era.
Already by the outbreak of the First World War, Konstancin had become a stylish town and a popular health resort. Artists, writers, doctors and lawyers came to live here, including the outstanding Polish writer Stefan Zeromski, who stayed in the “Swit” villa for a couple of years. At the turn of the 19th and 20th century a number of new houses, Art. Nouveau, classical and other fine villas and pensions appeared, with names like “Este”, “Pallas Athenae”, “Wanda”, “Sloneczna” and “Materni”. In 1927, a group of artists established the Veteran Actors House in Skolimowo. The construction of a Spa House was prevented by the outbreak of the World War II.
After the war, with ownership of these villas being taken away from their rightful owners and the buildings themselves turned into communal flats, they lost their charm and character. Many were to fall into ruin and vanish from the landscape of Konstancin. However, in 1962 hot brine springs with curative properties were discovered in Konstancin, at a depth of 1750 m.
Konstancin-Jeziorna came into existence in 1968 as a result of the merging of five places: Konstancin, Jeziorna, Skolimow, Krolewska Gora, Klarysew and Chylice. In 1972 Konstancin-Jeziorna gained the status of a spa.