Jesenik SPA- the place where water therapy was born
The first water therapy premises were his own house in Grafenberk-Fryvaldov, and advertising was by word of mouth that spread through. The house was soon too small to treat all that came. So Priessnitz pulled down the old house and in its place built a new brick building in 1822. A number of disputes arose caused by some physicians. In the end, in 1838, based on the credentials of the official committee, he got permission to run his own spa. The building of a large bath house commenced the very same year. But because of the unprofessional approach and insufficient quality of the material a part of the building collapsed killing five workers and injuring sixteen. The builders secretly left the town...
Priessnitz paid off all the relative of the diseased workers, finished the project and the spa was festively opened in 1939. This was the peak of the Priessnitz career - that year 1500 patients came for healing and 120 physicians from all around the Europe came to study his methods to be able to start a similar spa. The town of Fryvaldov also profited from the busy life of the new spa.
Priesnitz wish to give his spa to one of his descendants. His son was only four when his father died in the age of 52. His tradition was kept on going by Josef Schindler (1814 -1890), an excel lent physician and an owner of the first Priessnitz method water therapy bath house in Bohemia in Potocna in the Jizerske Mountains. He came to Silesia because of a wish of Priessnitz widow Zofie. He took over the spa in 1853 and managed it for next 38 years. His knowledge extended the experience of his predecessor. And the spa expanded.
Schindler's successor was his assistant Dr. Eduard Emmel, who also extended the knowledge of the water therapy treatments. The spa reached international standards while managed by Dr. Josef Reinhold (1885-1947), an excellent psychiatrist and psychologist.
He came to Grafenberk as an assistant physician in 1913 and from 1921 he was the head of the mental sanatorium. During his time the world famous psychiatric and neurology section was open. Rich clients from Europe, the USA and Canada found their way here. For racial reasons Reinhold must have emigrated to Poland in 1938, he ended up in a concentration camp, survived and came back to Jesenik and he worked here till his death.
After the occupation of the border areas the spa was paralyzed. The clients and patients from abroad and even from the Reich were not allowed. The spa buildings were filled with wounded soldiers that were sent here for rehabilitation, and some other buildings accommodated children from the bombarded German cities. After 1945 the future was not clear, some suggestions were made to reconstruct it to a grand trade union recreation centre. Fortunately this did not happen and the whole complex continued to develop as spa. The main focus is set on psychiatric disorders, and on smaller scale also recoveries after heavy metal poisoning and respiratory problems. After 1989 privatization was introduced and the spa received a new name - its founder's name. The emblem of the spa is a lion symbolising Priessnitz's water therapy methods way to victory.