Brestovacka SPA - The miraculus healing waters
Brestovacka Spa is located in a very lively area of Timocka Krajina’s mountains, in the midst of the volcanic district of the Crni Timok River and near the Bor mine.
Brestovacka Spa is positioned in the southeastern foot of the Crni Vrh Mountain (1027 m), 8 km close to Bor and in 385 m above the sea level.
Apparently, Brestovacka Spa was prominent even in the Roman times. Romans, famous for their love for spas, had built their settlements in that area and exploited this Spa both for its healing and its pleasure-giving properties. There is reliable historical evidence that the Spa was also used and visited by Turks.
Being frequently visited by the members of both Serbian Royal family members, Brestovacka Spa is included in the three “Serbia Court Spas”. Recently after the liberation from the Turks, Princess Ljubica, the wife of Prince Miloš, arrives to the Spa.
After her arrival, her husband started visiting the spa more frequently, which initiated the building of the “Prince Miloš mansion”. Just opposite of this building, one can find the Prince’s Castle which was shortly after built by Prince Aleksandar I Karadjordjevic.
In the latter years, many doctors have recorded in their manuscripts that they witnessed the healing properties of the spa’s waters. With its favorable climate, rich forests and thermo mineral springs, the Brestovacka Spa represents a true oasis of peace, wellness and health.
Others on Brestovacka Spa
Anonymous author (first half of the 19th century)
“I have noticed, after bathing several times in these warm and scented waters, the listless walk, the blind see, the ones with scabies loose the itch and the foul smell and the unsightliness of their illness.”
Vladimir Karic: Serbia – Report on the people and the country, Belgrade, 1887.
“… not only does it have an especially therapeutic capacity, but it is also to be found in a stunning, forest-covered area. Behind the garland of the small hills situated in the vicinity of this spa, the gaze lingers on the images of this extraordinarily colorful beauty: on the hill of Rtanj in the south, on the mountains of Golubinje in the west, and on the hill of Stol in the north. Despite the lack of human touch, of interest for the surroundings of the spa to be straightened up and more available, or the lack of buildings which would make it more acceptable to live in, people from all over Serbia loom towards to try to find the cure for their illnesses.”
This is the way dr Stevan Macaj in 1888 described his troubles with some of his patients in the spa. Today this may sound amusing, nut it demonstrates that some of the old habits among the people indeed die hard:
“No doubt that correct a diet is one of the most important tasks of a spa’s medicine. Unfortunately, the main doctor in Brestovacka Spa was deprived of this greatly important task, since only 2-3% of all the spa’s visitors receive their nourishment in the inn, where, according to the circumstances, it is seen that they receive the amount and quality of the food they need for the profit of their health. In Brestovacka Spa, eating in the restaurant is not obligatory. Thus the supervision of patients becomes extremely illusory and they end up eating fat, hot or cold, roast meat, whether it was mutton, pork, steamed or baked, greasy crusty pie, greasy crusty meat pie, unripe fruit, especially fresh plums, apples, even the cucumber salad with tarator sauce every now and then sneaks its way to the menu…”
Author: Milan Stojkovic
Sources: Pajic T., Nicic D. (1981): “Brestovacka Banja during the times of Prince Miloš”, Museum of Mining and Metalurgy , Bor