TOURISM THROUGH THE CENTURIES

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The first hotel (Stari grad – Old town) was built in the Varaždinske Toplice in 1695, through the partitioning of the Kaštel into a castle. A single storey inn was built opposite the abovementioned hotel in 1756, with 10 beautifully decorated rooms, while the first brick laid baths after the Romans were constructed in 1779.

Class divisions also influenced the development of tourism and the appearance of the settlement. Due to this, in the “Donjem mjestu” (Lower town), town baths were built for members of the lower class, while the elite clientele remained in the “Gornje mjesto” (Upper town). Promotional booklets, brochures, leaflets, pricelists and guest lists in the German language were printed for tourists coming from the many countries of the immense Hapsburg monarchy and other countries in Europe. Numerous postcards from the springs are a testimony to this era.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the grand hotel Josipova kupelj (Joseph’s bath) was built and tourism in Varaždinske Toplice reached its pinnacle. As part of the spa healthcare centre there were many motels, taverns and also a number of respectable restaurants and coffeehouses. Tree-lined paths and other greenery were planted next to the facilities of the spa healthcare centre. A beautiful garden, north of the main healthcare building was planted to meet the needs of elite clientele; while a famous large spa park was cultivated next to the thermal springs. At the time, the Varaždin Toplice had a magical, lively charm and elegance with a befitting cultural, social and entertainment life.

Varaždinske Toplice continued to develop increasingly into a tourist-cultural and healthcare destination, and slowly regaining its prestigious status.

Joseph’s bath

In 1910, the building of the old Josipova kupelj was torn down and a large modern hotel was built. The modern hotel, built in the Art Nouveau style, is located south of the Archaeological zone. It had 54 rooms (110 beds) and 16 cabins, electric lighting, three electric lifts, while on the ground floor there was a luxury cinema. The centre was badly devastated during WWII; the healthcare facilities were damaged and the hotel was so badly damaged after a fire that it was unusable, so much so that it was torn down to the foundations and buried.

 Constantine’s hall – the oldest part of the modern healthcare centre

The Konstatinov dom building dates back to 1779, however its appearance changed often after many renovations. After a fire in 1779, the Kaptol built new stone baths called the “Konstatinov kupelj” (Constantine’s baths). At the end of the 18th century, and particularly after the first half of the 19th century, the baths began to develop more intensively. The modern spa healthcare centre was founded on 1 May 1820 based on the principles of medical sciences at the time.

During WWI there were changes to life in the baths centre so that the Konstantinov dom was renovated to accommodate the needs of a military hospital. Between the two world wars, there was a rich healthcare, entertainment, cultural and social life at the Toplice.

Up until 1954, the building had a small tower with a spa signal bell to announce changeover times to bathers. Since 1954, when the facility was drastically changed, it has served as the Varaždinske Toplice Special hospital for Medical Rehabilitation.

Lovro’s bath

For the needs of accommodating horse-drawn buggies of spa guests, the baths of the Zagreb Kaptol, the so-called Lovrina kupelj, was erected. At the beginning of the 20th century it was renovated into a healthcare hotel. It is characterised by a beautiful inner courtyard.

Town bath

The third healthcare building that was erected in 1844 because of the strict class division of spa guests, the town baths, are located in the lower town. An inn was also built next to the baths, which today is the Hotel “Tonimir”.

Spa park

With the construction of new healthcare facilities, the need for creating the largest spa park around the thermal springs arose, whose construction began in 1820. In later years, a significant part of cultural-entertainment life took place here.

Šute i prališća – special types of taps

Special spa words that cannot be heard anywhere else in Croatia except in Varaždinske Toplice are šute and prališća. Šute are taps through which clean thermal water from the only sulphuric thermal spring, located in the heart of the archaeological locality AQUAE IASAE, continually flows. Prališća are locations where thermal water also continually flows and where the inhabitants of Toplice built tubs in which they washed clothes with the aid of thermal water, and these were also often used for maintaining personal hygiene or bathing.