- Rimske Toplice, Laško
Rimske Toplice (literally 'Roman Spas' in Slovenian) is a small town in the Municipality of
Laško, Slovenia. At 213 meters above sea level, the town is situated in a minor valley alongthe SavinjaRiver along the Celje– Zidani Most– Ljubljanaroad. The valleyof Rimske Toplice is surrounded by wooded slopes of the nearby mountains,providing shelter against wind and summer heat and supporting richvegetation of exotic plants from all over the world. These includegiant sequoias, Canadian hemlocks, Japanesehloes, cypresses and Californian cedars. The town's is also the birthplace of the Slovenian poet Anton Aškerc.
The healing power of natural springs was valued by the Romans. As early as 39 B.C. they invented first basins with warm, hot and coldwater. They have enjoyed the benefits and healing power on the right bank ofthe
SavinjaRiver where there are still thermal springs underStražnik (655 m), rising from triassicdolomite rock cracks in Rimske Toplice(Roman Spas). Monuments and sacrificial altars devoted to goddesses andnymphs as thanksgiving for the convalescence of ancient quests, foundbetween 1769and 1845, provide evidence of this.
The first mention of the spas was found in the Aquilea Document dated
1486; the spas were owned by Habsburgsfor 30 years and then by theCounts of Celje( 1456) together with the LaškoEstate.
Through history the baths owners changed numerous times. The first turnabout in the spa’s history was in
1840, when the formerwholesale merchant from TriesteGustav Adolf Uhlich bought the spas in thename of his wife Amalia because he was healed with the healing power of thethermal water there. This was when what had been a modest health resort was turned into the modernspas and given the name Rimske Toplice ('Roman Spas'). For the need of the spa,two large wells were regulated and named Amalia's Spring (38.4 °C)and Roman Spring (36.3 °C). With the erection of the Sophia Manor, the numberof rooms increased from 38 to 100 at first and then to more than 200. On theeven plateau with a chestnut tree promenade there was a Spa Church onone side and an Orchestra Pavilion on the other side. In the afternoon theorchestra played out in the open, on evenings in the Spa salon.Therewas a billiard room, a tennis court in a nearby wood and on a steep meadow aroofed bowling alley. Because the Vienna– Triesterailroad passed Rimske Topliceafter 1848; more guests visited the place, all of them better-offpeople from Trieste, Hungary, Zagreb, or even the United States. Most of themwereGermans from all over the monarchy. A sensation for all of them was thevisit of the British princess and Prussian heiress Victoria, who stayed inRimske Toplice in 1879, using it as starting point for pleasure trips in theneighbourhood. The most distinguished guests had the habit of plantingexotic trees in the spa’s park, so even nowadays you can see huge sequoias, Canadianhemlocks, Japanese hloes, cypresses, Californiancedars and otherinteresting species. Russian prisoners of war built a 2 km promenade through the forest (TheRoman Path) during the First World War. Open thermal baths from 1931were animportant achievement. During the 2nd World Warthe Spa was occupied bywounded German soldiers and the owner (a member of the Uhlich family) andhis family moved away at the end of the war.
After that the Yugoslav Peoples' Army used the spa for healing andrehabilitation of its soldiers. The spas have never been fully utilized by common Slovenian people. Although the Uhlich Family were good masters andturned the humble bath into spas of world reputation, they dominatingover the local population. Also when Yugoslav Peoples' Army managed thespas, they were more or less inaccessible to the local people.
1991onwards, after the Yugoslav Peoples' Army left, attempts were made to revive RimskeToplice. Finally, on 17th November 2005the thermal spas once again opened their doors to guests, with the Medical Rehabilitation Centre aiding therevival of the town's fortunes.
* [http://www.rimsketoplice.net/ Portal RimskeToplice.net]
* [http://forum.rimsketoplice.net/ Forum RimskeToplice.net]
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