SK, Piestany – Home of Health and Beauty V
At this cultural sight of nation-wide significance we start off our tour of city's main attraction – the Spa Island. The Colonnade Bridge across the Vah was designed by Emil Bellus. This one is one of the longest roofed bridges (148 meters) in Slovakia. The construction is made of reinforce concrete and was built between the years 1931 – 1933. The bridge is divided into a pedestrican section and road for cars. In the present, however, the road has been changed to a pedestrian zone. The split is made by a glass wall runing through almost exactly in the middle of the bridge. There are artistic etchings in the glass "The Songs of Detva" and "At Herdman's Hut" designed by the academic painter Martin Benka.
Before the year 1945, the year when German army almost destroyed significant part of the bridge, etchings were taken away. Therefore, thanks to good fortunes you can enjoy this amazing piece art even today. There are copies installed on the bridge to prevent damages by vandals. It took 11 years before the bridge was renewed. There are stores on both sides of the bridge selling souvenirs, artistic pieces, and there is even a travel agency. A yellow trail runs across the bridge.
There is a Latin inscribing on the facade facing the city. It is text from a poem by Adam Trajan (1642) – "Heling Piestany spa". On the side facing the island there is writte – "Get up and go" linked to Gospel of Matthew. The bronze statue of a man breaking clutches (1933) is a well-known symbol of Piestany and proves that one indeed can heal in the spa.
Here visitors to the city meet spa guests and the locals in beautiful natural surroundings.
Behind the bridge, there are world famous healing spa. MIneral water containing mostly hydrogen sulphide and healing mud, one of the most famous peloids in the world, is used to treat patients.
We spot the 5-star hotel Thermia Palace on our right side. It was opened in the year 1912. A park, sculptures and a fountain surround the hotel. Outside is no match for beautiful designed and carefully renovated interior. There is a stained glass staircase, amazing Grand restaurant with a pentagonal oil painting by Alfons Mucha. The artist gifted the painting to the spa as a thankful gesture for successful treatment there. In the year 2000, the painting was stolen. Fortunately, four years after that it was discovered, renovated and put back on it place. Before the very theft, the painting was considered a wall painting.
If you are not guests to the luxurious hotel yet you would like to see the work of world renowned artists visit the reception desk. They will surely be helpful.
Thermia Palace Hotel is linked to Irma spa. These are the most popular treatment facility in in Piestany. Why? We reveal it next week.
Text and photos: Oskár Mažgút
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