Radon Treatment was applied in Jachymov SPA at the first time

Jachymov – the First Radon Healing in the World

The greatest wealth, silver, was hidden in the mountains protected by deep thick forests. Settlements were established only on the burn off places and meadows. Min­ing had a long history in the neighboring Saxony and the Saxon miners represented the majority among the thousands of immigrant workers. The Slikas, owners of large estates, were shrewd businessman with foresight. They bought up the land and started mining businesses, inviting specialists - and doing well. In 1520 the town had 5000 inhabitants and in 1533 the number reached 18000 and thus, after Prague, this town became the sec­ond most populated town in Bohemia.

A German chemist Klaproth discovered a new element in 1789, and called it urani­um after the recently discovered planet. It was found suitable for the production of colors. Until then, the pitchblende stone from which uranium is won was thrown out as useless. In 1854 the factory for production of colours was open. In 1864 a rich ra­dioactive spring welled up in the Svornost Mine, in the depth of 500 metres, and flood­ed a part of the mine. The water was drained away without being used in those days, even though the miners talked about its unusual healing powers. It was not before the famous physicist Marie Curie-Sklodowska gave a proper explanation. For forty months she studied the Jachymov waste waters. First she discovered polonium and in 1898 she ob­tained radium. In 1905 the Viennese physics Mache and Meyer found out that the Jachy­mov water contains a great amount of gaseous product released through the radium decay- radon, which has healing properties as mineral thermal waters.

The first attempts to use the effect of the radioactive water for healing came soon af­ter. A baker Kuhn started an improvised bath house in his own home. Old miner Prenning used to bring the water here in wooden vats. Then the state financed the making of bath cabins in the uranium colour factory com­plex. The water from the springs in the Wern­er Mine (today Svornost) was directed there. In 1906 Jachymov was put onto an official list of spa towns and also became the very first radon (radioactive) spa in the world.

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