Sovata Spa press release
Sovata, looking back on old traditions
During our travels in Transylvania when arriving in Sovata, famous for its salt hills north west of Parajd, we have to make a stop at Medve lake (Bear lake), the famous medicinal spa, a glittering splendour of the lakes to be found in the surroundings, a unique jewel, an invaluable natural resource.
The lake has a concentrated, salty mineral water (with common salt, chloride) in layers of different salt concentrate. Its special natural value is that its hot water is helio-thermal, and it lies in a „dolina” (pit) encircled by woods in wonderful picturesque surroundings, five hundred meters above sea level. It is 300 m long and approx. 200 m wide, the water surface is 40 000 m2, its deepest point is
18 m with a salt concentrate of 250 g‰.
This helio-thermal phenomenon is very rare in Europe, it is found specifically only in Sovata. The helio-thermal characteristics of the lake were established in 1901 by Sándor Kalecsinszky, head chemist of Cluj, who, opposed to the initial assumptions, came to the conclusion that the water was heated up by the sun. The sweet water of the streams of light specific weight flow in to make a thin layer on the surface of the lake, which lets through the sun rays, and these heat up the deeper layer of water that is rich in salt. It is the high salt content that makes those taking a bath virtually float on the surface of the lake. Patients from all over the world sit by the lake and rub their skins with the red and black mud of medicinal power.
In terms of hydro meteorological and bathing factors the physical specifications of the water are made up of four sections or periods:
1. First section (15 May - 25 June) – accumulation of heat energy. The temperature on the water surface is 20-22 C in the sweet water layer, while
45-50 C as deep as 1,5-2 m.
2. Second section (25 June 15 August) – as a result of bathing – the water layers get all mixed. The temperature of the water gets homogeneous – in 2 m depth it is only 30-35 C.
3. Third section (15 August – 10 September) the salty water of the Medve lake gradually chills out and at 2 m depth it is only 24-28 C.
4. Fourth section (October–November) although the bathing period is over – the helio-thermal phenomenon gradually disappears – temperatures sink generally under 22-25 C.
The Medve-lake is the greatest helio-thermal lake in the world, the water and mud of which is used for therapeutic purposes. The Medve-lake was soon utilised following its evolution. The utilisation right of the lake was acquired by Lajos Sófalvi Illyés, land owner in 1894, he requested permission for bathing and having been granted one he established today’s „Sovatafürdő” in 1900. The bathing life saw its recovery only after the completion of the railway, a hot water thermal bath and several walkways were built adjacent to the lake, public utilities were implemented in the community, and the number of inns was increased. The bathing activities were extended step by step from this stage on: in 110 villas 1600 rooms were offered already in 1932 to guests seeking healing. According to an old writing "Sovata boasts several lakes but one is especially preferred, the warmth of which is very sensible, and its advantage is that there are no insects to disturb those bathing compared to the lake of Torda ….. The first bath buildings were built by Baron György Simén and Mr János Tolnai".
Formerly famous scientists rushed to the region to prove with tests that the water of special content is excellent for the healing of certain diseases especially to fight women’s infertility. Years of successful gynaecological treatments and thank you notes from happy parents prove the above.
Today Sovata is in for yet another prosperity, since the Hungarian Danubius Hotels Rt. has purchased several hotels in the spa area and also signed a long lease for the Medve-and Mogyorósi- lakes. The hotels have been renewed; the areas around the lakes were cleaned up making way for quality health spa tourism. We must mention Danubius Health Spa Resort Sovata, as a result of the successful reconstructions, which in wake of its excellent services managed to upgrade its initial 3-star to 4-star. The spa hotel of 168 rooms has its own therapy and wellness department where effective help can be offered against chronic rheumatism (arthritis, spondilosis), rehabilitation of post-traumatic conditions (following orthopaedic operations), diseases of the nervous system, peripheral nerve paralysis, chronic gynaecologic diseases, chronic saplingitis and metritis, secondary sterility, chronic diseases of the lung and respiratory system, chronic skin conditions (psoriasis). In addition to the spa and wellness services the new conference centre of the hotel is an excellent venue for the organisation of events related to meetings and conferences, all the way from professional conferences, trainings, balls, receptions, high level protocol events till team building programs requiring a thorough organisation and creativity.