THE BEGINNING OF TOURISM
Krapinske Toplice is a beautiful, well arranged, quiet town in Hrvatsko Zagorje region, only 45 km far away from Zagreb. In the past it was a modern, european bathing resort. The beginning of tourism dates back at least to 1868, where we find the first price list of accomodation services and the mention of the name “Krapinske Toplice” in a tourist guide.
In 1658 – The first “pool” in Krapinske Toplice was a hallow in the ground that was enclosed about by oak trees. It was build by Franjo pl. Keglević, owner of Krapinsko-Kostel Manor.
In 1703 we have the first reliable data of the public use of the hot springs in Krapinske Toplice – the Viennese doctor Stockhammer sent Bolt pl. Patačića to Krapinske Toplice for therapy.
The therapeutic nature of the water was mentioned by 1709 in the book, “Od kreposti Toplic Varašdinskih i Krapinskih” by Johann Leopold Payer. There is also a rumour of the therapeutic nature of the pools in Krapinske Toplice, which says “glas o liekovitom dielovanju krapinskih kupelji razprostiraše se u najdalnje kraje.” (The rumour of the therapeutic properties of the Krapinska baths have spread to the furthes regions.)
Rapid development of therapeutic and bathing tourism in Krapinska Toplica really began with the arrival of Jakob Badl.
Jakob Badl was born in to a wealthy family, in Rogaška Slatina, which owned huge plantations of vineyards in Maribor and the surrounding area. He was in the trading business with vines and horses, and his son Antun became the owner of the Staudingerove leather factory in Maribor.
Badl bought Dubrava Manor, in the vacinity of Krapinska Toplica. Then in 1857 he bought the pub “K janjetu” in Krapinske Toplice, and the “Gospodska and Pučka” baths. And, with the other owners of the hot springs, he made an agreement with the “countess Oršić and nobleman Kuhtić,” becoming the owner of all the springs for the amount of one hundred thousand Hungarian forint.
Shortly after he tore down the old spa, and by the end of June of 1866, at the beginning of the austro-prussian war he, completed the building of a modern european bathing and therapeutic bathing centre. The construction work lasted only seven years (1859 – 1866). Mr Badl did not recieve any support from the government in his enterprise.
In 1861 Mr Badl began construction on the first pool, and in May of 1862, with pomp, ceremony and a Roman Catholic benediction, Mary’s pool was opened (the pool got it’s name after Badl’s wife). The pool was 1 metre deep, and from the water’s surface to the ceiling, 9 metres. On that same occasion they laid the foundation stone for another pool, Jacob’s pool.
The pools were located above the thermal spring, and the bottoms of the pools were constructed of interspaced oak planks, through which the therapeutic water (that is older than 40,000 years) could well forth, even as it does to this day. The water in the pool is crystal clear without any supplementation of chlorine or any similar additives. The Italians especially enjoyed swimming in such water.
In 1876 Krapinske Toplice made its first appearance on the “turist map” of Europe, with the shortest routes to the spa marked (Anton Rak “Der mineralspas Krapina-Töplitz in Kroatie“, Vienna, 1876.). *Pettau– Ptuj; Poltschach – Poljčane.
From that time visitors, mainly from the German, Italian and French speaking countries, began coming to Krapinske Toplice.
THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN BATHING TOURISM
In 1939 the first outdoor pool was build, and since then we have noticed an intensive development of the village as a bathing and therapeutic resort.
In 1958 the “Dom rudara i metalurga Hrvatske” (Mining and Metallurgy Centre of Croatia) was built. At which location the “Toplice Hotel” is now to be found, which was added in 1972.
Until 1970 there had always been two ‘outdoor’ pools, but by the mid ’80s there were four outdoor pools, all filled with the hyperthermal spa water.
The newest development of Krapinske Toplice began at the end of the 20th Century. A pre-existant health resort and hospital were right next door to the special hospital for cardiovascular surgery, “Magdalena,” when it opened in 1999; and the new intern polyclinic for hemodialysis, “Vita,” was opened in 2006.
At the same time the new indoor pools were being built, which will become the largest and most modern water activities recreational centre in Croatia.
In 2008 we had the opening of the Orthopedic and Traumatology Hospital “Akromion.”
2009 – the opening of the first 4 * hotel in the Hrvatsko Zagorje region – the Villa Magdalena Hotel
2015 – the opening of the new Aquae Vivae water park which covers an area over 18.000 m², and includes 5 indoor pools and 1 outdoor pool, with numerous water attractions, and a wellness centre with saunas and a restaurant.