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Healthy holidays at Narechsnki Bani resort

Photo: Albena Bezovska
Narechenski Bani (Narechen Baths) is a balneo resort with breathtaking nature and mineral springs with curative waters wedged in between two hills in the central part of the southern Bulgarian mountain of the Rhodopes.

The three sources of mineral water that have for centuries been used by people for treatment have been named The Eye Spring the Salty Spring and the Bath Spring. They are located 20 km away from the southern town of Assenovgrad and three km away from the village of Narechen. The resort of Narechen Baths was officially unveiled on 1 July 1981. During its firstyears the resort grew but in the aftermath of the democratic changes in Bulgaria in the 1990s its lost pace and today there are only two medical complexes here and only one hotel where medical consultations and treatment are offered.

© Photo: Albena Bezovska

One of the facilities is managed by the Specialized Hospitals for Treatment and Rehabilitation National Complex. Trifon Lapavichev, manager at the Narechen Baths subsidiary of the complex, argues that the quality of mineral waters has not changed. This is proven with new laboratory tests held recently. Here are more details from Mr. Lapavichev:

“The temperature of the water is constant, at 29C. And it is slightly radioactive. It benefits disorders of the muscle-skeletal system, all types of diabetes and disorders of the peripheral nervous system. There are two hospitals in the territory of Narechen Baths with the capacity to treat about 200 people. Our hospital is one of them and the other is the so-called former Military Hospital. It was built for the needs of the German Army during World War 2 with German funding. The Germans sent over military for treatment here, mostly pilots. The water was discovered 126 years ago. The three springs have different properties. At this stage only the bath springs are used. They have lower radiation and excellent therapeutic effects.”

© Photo: Albena Bezovska

It is curious that before researchers discovered the wealth of mineral waters, the locals thought the waters were actually harmful. They would not drink from them and stopped animals from drinking. The waters were only used to process flax. In the meantime, the Bulgarian Mohammedans from the nearby villages of Dryanovo, Laki, Zabardo and Bogutevo were convinced that the waters are blessed. Every year on the feast of St. George they came over on horseback or driving mules to carry out ritual bathing and drink from the springs for health.

© Photo: Albena Bezovska

The locals say that a shepherd from the village of Dryanovo discovered the healing properties of The Eye Spring. He washed his eyes several times at the spring and his sight improved. And there is another story: a patriot from the village of Hvoyna contributed to the creation of the resort. Kostadin Zlatanov raised charities and organized the construction of the first bath at the springs in the locality of Mergele. He invested in the project his saving and drew loans. One of the local legends claims that one can rid of his ailments if he tears away a part of his clothing and ties it to a special tree called the walnut of fear.

© Photo: Albena Bezovska

Well, it is worth saying that anybody willing to use mineral baths and pools in Narechen’s medical centers needs a prescription from a doctor. The mineral waters should be applied carefully and application doses are defined by specialists in a bid to avoid unwanted side effects. Foreigners, some of whom have been visiting the resort for years are aware of this and bring with themselves medical tests, reference and opinion from a doctor etc. Poured into whatever vessel, the priceless liquid loses its properties for about 30 minutes. Therefore, at Narechen Baths there are always people walking to the springs found amid a lovely park with huge trees.

English version Daniela Konstantinova

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