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The History of Druskininkai’s Health Centre

Did you know that Druskininkai’s first health centre was built… in Ratnyčia?

Today the small settlement of Ratnyčia is part of Druskininkai. However, in the middle of the nineteenth century it was a thriving administrative centre. In 1838 the landlord, one Sivickas, decided to set up a separate resort in Ratnyčia and built a health centre there, to which the salty water of Druskininkai was transported in barrels. Business would have thrived, but three years later an extraordinary flood in Ratnyčia destroyed eighteen houses and the new health centre.

Initially wooden health centres were built in Druskininkai, but they either succumbed to the many fires that often ravaged such wooden buildings or were destroyed by various floods. Finally, in 1896, a stone health centre was built for the resort near the River Nemunas, and this building can still be seen to this day: an elegant construction of the historical period, influenced by the architectural fashions of St Petersburg. The new health centre had as many as 150 baths, making it one of the largest health centres not only in Druskininkai, but in the whole of Europe.

Until 1970 these health centres provided a wide range of services including salt, mud, carbonic acid, electric, solar, and air baths, as well as massage and orthopaedic healing gymnastics. Following the recent overhaul, the building has been re-used for a new purpose – a four-star hotel called Europa Royale Druskininkai.

Druskininkai’s present health centre was built in 1960. Initially, it was limited to healing mud treatments and had 72 booths. After the rebuilding of 2003, the health centre now offers both mud and mineral bath treatments, with a mineral water pool, a steam bath, relaxation rooms, and a mineral water pump room.

In 2019 the wellness department in the health centre was refurbished and expanded. Guests are now welcomed by a bright space with a mineral water pool, with also areas that contain healing mud, mineral baths, and saunas, and which are equipped according to modern interior trends and forms of technology. The refurbishment work was carried out in accordance with good practice established in Baden Baden (Germany) which is famous for its thermal waters.