photo: Zdravko Yonchev
Until thirty years ago, they called Bulgaria the "Land of Mineral Springs". They were said to be around 5 000, and in many statistics this natural resource was referred to as: "National wealth of utmost importance". According to medicine, mineral waters help in the treatment of almost all diseases, and it depends only on the disease whether one should drink or perform balneological procedures. But first, you need to know what water is healing.
The mineral waters in Bulgaria have been studied for decades. In many places, balneo sanatoriums were created that healed even hopeless cases. From many European countries people came to be treated, but the Bulgarian mineral baths never achieved the glory of Karlovy Vary or Marienbat. And not because they have less healing power, not even because most springs are sinking into oblivion. Their water flowed freely into the rivers, not even being used for greenhouses, or more simply - a mineral hygiene bath, as there should be anywhere with a similar spring. We are not talking here about bottling mineral water, which is of national importance for the health of the people.
And since we could not cover all the mineral springs and describe their healing properties, let us turn to those around Sofia that list 7 targets.
Bankya water is suitable for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, nervous system disorders and metabolic disorders. The mineral water in Gorna Banya district helps in the treatment of kidney, liver, gastrointestinal and other diseases. The water in the Pancharevo Quarter also treats the most severe joint, muscle, rheumatic and neurological problems, with many national sports teams treating their injuries there. The water in the Knyazhevo district was recommended for the treatment of nerves, and the water in the Central bath was used for almost all types of diseases. The bath in the village of Zheleznitsa (the old Turkish bath) also treated the most severe skin burns. However, all of them must yield to the incredible power of mineral water in Ovcha Kupel, which cures everything and is unique without any contraindications throughout Europe. Miracles were spoken of and it was a real success to find a spa card there.
It is an important fact that almost all the bathrooms had physiotherapy and rehabilitation, as well as balneal doctors who prescribed the type of baths and their combination with physiotherapy, and fortunately, to this day, there is a large sanatorium for the sick in the Ovcha Kupel Quarter. . Unfortunately, nowadays the rest is just a beautiful memory and a terrible punishment for all the sick and in need of treatment for their illnesses.
Now all of the listed bathrooms are sinking into ruin, with only the bathhouse in Pancharevo being private and, although at higher prices (than 5 BGN), it still exists. But without a medical center and physiotherapy, which does not make it curative because everyone is healing themselves and used improperly, the mineral water at Pancharevo can be very dangerous for the heart, blood pressure and nerves.
The Central Bath has been renovated for decades, it is unknown why. Or more precisely why. And it, which is one of the emblems of Sofia, practically does not exist. And there was a large medical center where thousands of people were treated annually. The Bankya mineral bath, which is an architectural monument, is not functioning, but at least it has not yet been destroyed. While in Knyazhevo, Gorna Banya, and especially in Ovcha Kupel, they wallow in ruin and may soon cease to exist. Yes, Gorna Banya water is bottled in large quantities and so much. It is as if the state has abdicated the health of the people.
And as the crown of creation, let's take a brief look at the sheep bath. Built at the beginning of the 30 years by a Turk, it was a true architectural monument with beautiful small pools, one-man baths and a large swimming pool, with beautiful faience tiles, ornaments and copper ornaments - truly unique. Next to it was a mineral water beach divided into two: Adamov and Evin. Now that the bathroom is not functioning, the water goes out to the beach freely, but it is not used there. And once there were people from France with huge tanks to fill their water for treatment.
But the baths around Sofia are far from the only ones in need of restoration. In every settlement with mineral water, which has not been turned into a resort, the water is not used for its intended purpose. For example, shortly before the place where the film "Separated Time" was shot in the Rhodopes, there is an incredibly strong mineral water in which people were treated in winter and summer. And what about the incredible natural phenomenon near Varna, in "St. Constantine and Helena. There, on the beach of the military resorts is poured into the sea with a huge flow of incredibly healing sulfur mineral water. It, mixing with the sea, cools and heals all joint, neurological and muscular diseases in a flash. There, too, in the winter, people self-medicate. And how nice it would be for all these waters to feed balneological centers and donate health that one cannot buy with any medicines…
It is unacceptable what is happening and it is unfortunate because health is so delicate and easy to lose, and we have a great natural resource that no other European country has. Hopefully, this incredible Bulgarian wealth will be restored someday and someone will pay attention to this serious and long-delayed issue.
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