At the foot of Mount Koritnjak (808 m) which is a section of Mt. Suva Planina (1870 m), only 10 km south-east of Nis, on the international road towards Sofia – 250 m above the sea level – lies one of the oldest spas in Serbia – Niska Spa.
The springs of this Spa issue water of diverse chemical properties that is considered one of the most radioactive waters in the country as well as in Europe, which makes this health resort known outside the borders of this country.
The curative mineral water is exploited from three springs:
- Glavni (38,2° – 38,5° C -which makes it a hyper-therm) is one of the most abundant of Serbian spa springs;
- Suva Banja (12° – 37° Q- the water of which belongs to the category of radioactive hypo-therm and
- Skolska Cesma (17° -19° C), the water of which is among the most radioactive ones in Yugoslavia – its radioactivity reaches the level of 36,36 up to 54,70 MU, which is the reason it is used solely by drinking.
The waters of Niska Spa are used by drinking and bathing and have high medical, balneological and tourist values.
Niska Spa is also rich in large supplies of calcerious tuff stone, (very rare in nature, with radioactivity level of 626 MU), which is used for mud compresses (peloid) and in treatments of some diseases.
Niska Spa is also known for its radioactive gas radon which is used for medicinal purposes by inhaling. For all of the above mentioned reasons, Niska Spa provides a wide range of possibilities for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of patients of both sexes, all age groups and various stages of illnesses and of those who need health check ups and rest.
In the area of Niska Spa, the finds have been discovered, which point to the fact that there had existed a small settlement in prehistoric times, and that the Spa was populated in the Bronze Age as well, and later on in the Iron Age.
The Spa began to develop during the rule of Ancient Romans over the eastern parts of our country, and “in Roman times it blossomed in the glow of the antique culture”. The Spa was also mentioned in the 2nd century A.D. (during the reign of Emperor Hadrian), when the Romans had already built a bath and the entire spa complex, and the spring they had tapped at that time still serves its purpose.
In the 5th century, the Huns destroyed the Spa, which was again rebuilt under the Byzantium rule.
In the Middle Ages, it served as a famous Turkish settlement, mentioned in 1667 in the testimony of Janketa Pavlovic, a diplomat and a poet from Dubrovnik. (In this testimony, Niska Spa is compared to the spas in Budim, stating that Niska Spa by then had separate baths for men and women, and that several Turkish shelters were built there for accommodation of visitors.)
By the end of 1877, Niska Spa was liberated from the Turks and joined to Serbia.
It was only in the thirties of the 20th century, between the two World Wars, that the Spa started developing more intensively as a balneological-climatic health resort.
The jewellers from Belgrade, Zaharije and Nikola Popovic, bought the land around Ozren Hotel of today in 1880, and that same year built on this allotment an edifice with a restaurant and a bath containing 12 marble bath tubs and 12 rooms for accommodation of visitors. That same year Lovac Tavern was built, with ten guest-rooms. After this Rasic’sand Zeljak’s Taverns were built. These were the first modern lodgings for the Spa guests, the number of which in 1898 reached only – 19.
Anyhow, Niska Spa started its rapid development as a balneological-climatic health resort in the thirties of the 20th century.
In the period from 1925 till 1932, after the discovery of radioactive waters, several hotels were constructd:
- Srbija Hotel was opened in 1932,
- Zelengora Hotel the following year,
- and in 1935 the today’s Partizan Boarding House.
The development of Niska Spa was aided by the introduction of the tramway line which led from the railway station in Nis to the centre of the Spa. (The first tram on this line started on October 12th, 1930, while the last tram travelled the route on August 9th, 1958.)
Niska Spa of today is one of the three most significant and most frequently visited balneological centres in Serbia.
The most important health institution in this Spa – connected to the Faculty of Medicine in Nis – is the Institute for Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of patients suffering from rheumatism and heart problems.
A team of doctors specialised in various fields of internal medicine, rheumatology, physical medicine and orthopaedics provide medical services in the Institute, which possesses contemporary medical equipment for treatments, and applies all balneo-therapeutical procedures of physical therapy.
This contemporary medical complex also has its hotels – Radon, Zelengora and Terme, as well as the main Spa Bath.
Besides the treatment of rheumatic and heart conditions and rehabilitation, visitors also have at their disposal various special medical programmes:
- preventive (early) rehabilitation and controlled response,
- examination of overall health condition,
- anti-cellulite treatment,
- weight-loss programme,
- scar treatment…
The Spa buildings are situated on a mild slope – 250 m above the sea level – in the parks (covering the area of several hectares) with lawns and flower beds, scattered fountains, streams of mineral water winding among black locust, ash, linden, mulberry, nut and black pine trees…
Besides the hotels, dispensaries, rest homes and baths, the Spa has also got a post office, shopping centre, church, galleries, library, health station, pharmacy, casino, a summer stage, sports fields, swimming pools, a bawling alley, trim and jogging paths (an hour’s easy stroll will take you to the top of Mt. Koritnjak) and riding paths…
During the entire tourist season, concerts, theatre plays and film projections, exhibitions, folklore ensemble performances are organized in the Spa.
The surroundings are rich in natural, cultural and historic monuments which make Niska Spa an attractive tourist centre. Excursions are organized to
- to the archaeological site of the classical summer settlement of Mediana (5 km)
- Sicevacka Gorge (4 km)
- Jelasinacka Gorge (3 km)
- Cele-Kula and Cegar monuments
- excursion site Kamenicki Vis (24 km)
- Lake Oblacinsko (28 km)
- Cerjanska Cave (20 km)
- Mali Jastrebac (44 km)…
The fact that the Niska Spa is located in the central area of Balkan Peninsula, almost at an equal distance from the Adriatic Sea, Black Sea and Aegean Sea, and its moderate-continental climate (warm and hot summers, cold winters with snow, (readily distinguishable seasons), makes it attractive for both local and foreign visitors.
The Spa offers opportunities for receiving medical treatments, as well as for recreation, rest and entertainment.
It is also suitable for symposiums, congresses, seminars, preparation of athletes…
Visitors of the Spa have some 5000 beds at their disposal
– beds of all categories –
- in the hotels-dispensaries of the Institute (Radon, Terme and Zelengora),
- and in the hotels that belong to “Srbija Turist” from Nis (Ozren, Partisan, Srbija),
- as well as in rest homes,
- in private accommodation and in
- Nis hotels.
Thanks to our friends Niska Spa : Moa , Osvita-ivankiv , Impots , Haveyoursay, Esc , Cantho , Kedah , Akimvko , Shrjskw , Shouyang , Torgi , Sh , Gdda , Fujianti , Laopdr , Fijit , Fido , Data , Bhxhbinhduong , Zhenjiang , Forum, Huizhou , Alrassedu. Thank you from the heart of our great Niska Spa.