Complex of spa facilities, Busko-Zdrój
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Complex of spa facilities

Busko-Zdrój

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The spa complex in Busko-Zdrój is the oldest spa in the voivodeship of Świętokrzyskie. The author of the design of "Mineral Baths Resort" was an eminent Polish architect of Italian descent, Henryk Marconi. Architecture of the building resembles the style of public facilities of late-Roman times, which Marconi was in that time particularly fond of. "The Baths" became a beginning of significant changes in the urban planning of the town and its development.

History

Medicinal water in Busko was discovered as early as in the late 18th century, and its use for treatment was started in the early 19th century, by Feliks Rzewulski, who in years 1828-1836 launched a makeshift spa in a monastery taken over from Norbertine nuns. The proper activity was started when the authorities of the Kingdom of Poland decided to build baths with necessary back-up facilities. The baths of Busko were designed by the renowned architect Henryk Marconi, and the main body of the complex was completed in 1836. Shortly thereafter, two side pavilions were added with accompanying utility buildings. On the basis of an concept by Marconi, an extensive spa park was created next to the newly established Mineral Baths Resort by gardener Ignacy Hanusz. After Rzewulski brothers who managed the resort died, a difficult period in the history of the spa started, marked with struggle with economic realities, between 1865 and 1894. In 1894, the resort went under supervision of the State Treasury which formed a treasury receivership; in that times, necessary renovations and investments were carried out, and the number of spa customers increased. As result, new residential and service buildings appeared in the town. The whole installation infrastructure in the vicinity of the Baths was changed, and new facilities were also created — a water tower originally named as "Fresh Water Reservoir", built in the current shape in 1900; a chapel (of St. Anna), built in the eastern part of the park in 1884, which is an important element of the complex. The gardener's house, situated in the south-western corner of the park, was designed and constructed, along with a greenhouse, in 1836 according to a design by H. Marconi. Also the main building was extended — adjoined from the south by a new building of mud baths and further on the west, by a water-treatment building (in 1902-1903). After the World War I and restoration of Poland’s independence, the development of the spa was supported by the Polish State, enabling it, first and foremost, to operate throughout the year. The spa was open also during occupation, and after 1945, it started to operate as part of socialised health care. In that time, the Uzdrowisko Busko-Zdrój State Enterprise (then Busko-Solec) was created, and, as part of its activities, implemented many investments, renovations and changes in the building (referred to then as Spa Marconi) and in the park. Inter alia, in the 1950s, the wings of the main body were extended upwards (guests rooms were located on the first floor), and rooms between wings and outbuildings were added; in 1970, the greenhouse was dismantled, as well as — some time thereafter — the gardener's house, which was reconstructed in 1982, but with different interior layout and purpose (for catering services); from the east, a substantial cubature of congress centre with a restaurant was added. The spa park was extended in the early 21st century by other areas of structured vegetation — from the south-west side — belonging to an adjacent spa. Also, organisational changes were implemented — in 1999, a one-person company of State Treasury was created ("Uzdrowisko Busko-Zdrój” SA), and in 2013, the local government of the Świętokrzyskie voivodeship acquired all shares in the spa. Currently, apart from regular operations, intense works are under way in the spa complex (renovations, maintenance and investments).

Description

The spa complex in Busko-Zdrój includes currently the main building (former Baths or Spa Marconi), and the historic park with accompanying structures. The complex is located in the southern part of the town, and its spatial layout demonstrates features of Romantic Classicism — the complex is built on an rectangular, axial layout, with the building of the baths placed in the southern part of the park, at the end of the axial avenue leading to the town. The Spa Marconi is an impressive building on a plan resembling the letter "T". On the main axis, a five-axis arcaded portico is placed with columns with Corinthian heads, standing in front of the arcades. Behind it, there is a vestibule on a rectangular floor plan with annexes; further on the main axis, there was a spacious ball room, constituting the then passage between the bath cubicles located on its sides. In side wing corridors, it was similar — the cubicles were arranged along them too. Today, the former ball room was transformed into an auditorium with a stage and small backstage facilities for artists.  Side wings, which contained bath cubicles in the past, were preceded from the front side by columned arcades, with entablature resting on Corinthian columns; currently, they are being extended upwards by a storey, housing rooms for spa customers. The wings end with two-storey buildings situated perpendicularly to them (and currently being extended to the south); they are cuboid in shape, of simple architecture. The building is made of stone and brick (mostly plastered); roofs are covered with sheet metal on a wooden truss. The water tower is located to the south from the "Baths" and is currently shaped as a three-storey cylinder. It is made of stone, and its external face was left unplastered. The spa park has mostly remained in its original layout. The oldest part is located to the north from the main building of the spa; it is fenced and carefully developed. Nearby the "Baths", there are geometrically-shaped plots (with low greenery and a fountain set on the axis, as well as a converted concert shell), which further on are replaced by park greenery. Many tree species can be found here, including trees much older than hundred years. It the eastern part of the park, there is a chapel; it is comprised of an elongated nave and a slightly narrower presbytery with a three-sided ending section. The presbytery is united by a pointed-arch rood opening, and from the west — by a small porch. The architecture of the chapel is neo-Gothic, quite plain, and the interior is covered with a flat ceiling and a gable roof; it is made of brick and stone.

The complex is largely accessible, and the park is public.

Compiled by Dariusz Kalina, 12.12.2014.

Bibliography

  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytków architektury i budownictwa, Kaplica pw. Św. Anny w parku zdrojowym w Busku Zdrój, compiled by A. Witkowska, Kielce 2010, mps w archiwum Wojewódzkiego Urzędu Ochrony Zabytków w Kielcach i Narodowego Instytutu Dziedzictwa w Warszawie.
  • Kalina D., Miasto Busko i jego Zdrój, Busko-Zdrój-Kielce-Kraków 2014.
  • Mirowski R., Zabytkowy układ urbanistyczny i Zabytkowe budynki buskiego zdroju [in:] Miasto i gmina Busko-Zdrój. Dzieje i zabytki, D. Kalina, R. Mirowski, Busko-Zdrój 2014.
  • Mirowski R., Album Buski, Busko-Zdrój-Kielce-Kraków 2014.
  • Mirowski R., Sanatorium Marconi w Busku-Zdroju na tle architektury XIX stulecia, [in:] Z dziejów budownictwa rezydencjonalno-obronnego na terenie gminy Busko-Zdrój, ed. Dariusz Kalina, Kielce - Busko-Zdrój 2009.
  • Kasza Ł, Buskie uzdrowisko w XIX wieku 1776-1916, Busko-Zdrój 2013.
  • Piotrowicz D., Zarys historiografii urbanistycznej Buska-Zdroju, [in:] Kościół pw. Niepokalanego Poczęcia Najświętszej Marii Panny w Busku-Zdroju, pod red. Dariusza Kaliny, Kielce - Busko-Zdrój 2014, pp. 176 i nn.
  • Rogala S. Busko-Zdrój i okolice, Kielce 1999.

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1836 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Busko-Zdrój
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district buski, commune Busko-Zdrój - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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