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Dr Ebers' Department of Natural Medicine

In 2007 Krynica celebrated the opening of a new building named “Hydropatria”. This new object with an interesting architectural structure was modelled after the 19th century wooden buildings of the resort. The building is located on the site where dr. Ebers’ Department of Natural Medicine opened in 1884 was once standing. At that time, it was one of the most modern such institutions in Europe.
On July 20th 1884 the National Hydropathy Institute was opened at Janowiec (close to the mineral spring “Jan”). Head of the department was the renown healthcare expert dr. Henry Ebers. The initial hydrotherapy treatments available there included baths, showers and water massage. Gradually, an electric current therapy, quartz lamp irradiations and mud bath treatments were introduced. Alone in 1893, 31,625 treatments were administered there.

It was dr. Ebers who invited to Krynica prof. Rudolf Zuber, the well-renowned geologist from the Lviv University, who discovered here the most mineralized spring in Europe (presently bearing his name). It was also dr. Ebers initiative to obtain a concession from the Austrian Government for building a new railway line from Muszyna to Krynica. The concession was issued on his name in 1907. His most heroic and distinguished deed, however, was convincing the Russian military authorities preparing for an offensive attack on the resort during the World War I to spare the town it and leave it unharmed. He managed to persuade the Russians that the health resort is in fact Polish and not Austrian.

Since The Hydropathy Department could not meet the needs of all its patients, the spa authorities were aware that the resort needed a larger and more modern Natural Medicine Center. Dr. Ebers who died in 1919, wished for a wonderful modern facility to be built at the foot of the mountain nearby the “Jan” spring. Unfortunately his idea could not be realized due to the outbreak of the World War II. The original building of the Hydropathy Department was plundered by the Germans. Medical equipment was stolen and the building became a state property. Despite the efforts of dr. Ebers’ grandson Andrew Okszy – Grabowski who suggested to open a museum of Krynica balneology, the building was finally pulled down in 2001.