Do you dream of escaping from the hectic workday of the big city and looking for a place to charge you with energy? Do you need complete relaxation amidst beautiful nature, fresh air, peace and quiet?
Longing to take a dip in the warm mineral pool and enjoy the healing and beautifying spa treatments? There is a tiny corner in our country that can offer you all this and much more.
The village of Banya – the mineral paradise of Bulgaria
Located in the heart of the Razlog valley, carefully guarded by Rila, Pirin and Rhodopes, the village of Banya is the oldest settlement in the region. It was founded by the Thracians, who were the first to appreciate its location and the presence of numerous mineral springs that gushed from the bowels of the mountain.
In the 4th century BC it came under the rule of Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great, and in the 1st century AD the settlement and its healing springs became part of the Roman Empire.
The Romans brought with them the culture of hydrotherapy and built the first healing bath, which can be seen today. The bath was built in a typical Roman style and according to legend, Roman legionaries visited it to heal the injuries received in battle.
After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the mineral springs and the settlement built around them remained in the possession of Byzantium, and after the founding of the Bulgarian state they entered the borders of our country. In the next few centuries the village passed into the possession of various feudal lords, and in 1378 Tsar Ivan Shishman issued a charter of the Rila Monastery, according to which Razlog and the village of Banya became feudal possessions of the monastery.
After the fall of our country under the Ottoman yoke, the village endured Turkish rule for 530 years. For these five centuries it experienced forced conversion to Islam, raids by Kurdzhali and complete arson in 1801. It was only during the reign of the Turkish Sultan Mohammed II that the atrocities were stopped and the village began to recover and develop.
During this period, crafts, trade and agriculture and animal husbandry developed, and the village was filled with life. This is also the time when the Turkish bath or “Muratina bath” was built with a donation from the wealthy Turkish family Murtazovi. The bath was built similar to the Roman one, and for water supply it used the most healing spring of the village.
75 mineral springs gush from the bowels of the earth in the village of Banya
Located only 5 km from Bansko and Razlog, Banya is blessed with an abundance of hot mineral springs. As many as 75 springs spring in its territory, which make up ⅓ from all mineral springs in Southwestern Bulgaria.
How were they formed and where are they located?
The great Bulgarian writer Anton Strashimirov, who is from Banya, gives an extremely romantic explanation for the formation of the thermal springs. He called them the “miracle” and according to him the village was built on a “varshiyak”, under which eternal earthly fire burns. It heats the water and springs from every “pore” on the land of the village.
The truth is that we will hardly ever know exactly how the mineral springs were formed, but according to some expert studies, their formation is most likely due to rains that fell thousands of years ago, stored in earth pockets. Is this explanation true? We don’t know. But we hope that one day scientists will be able to give a definite answer as to why the village of Banya is blessed with so many mineral springs in one place.
Regarding their location, if you walk around the village and its surroundings, literally every few hundred meters you will come across at least one mineral spring.
Of course, one of all 75 springs is the most popular and according to the locals it is the most healing. It is located at the end of the village and the people of Banya call it “Good Water” because according to legends the healing properties of the water that gushes from it can cure, among other things, infertility.
General characteristics of the mineral waters of the village of Banya
The waters are extremely clean, slightly mineralized, with an alkaline reaction, odorless and high flow rate. Their average temperature is about 55 degrees Celsius and they have a rich chemical composition and useful substances that are easily absorbed by the human body.
They are rich in:
- anions (fluorine, sulphate, chlorine, hydrogen phosphate, carbonate and bicarbonate)
- cations (magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, sodium and metasilicic acid)
- large number of
They are suitable for medical treatment and rehabilitation, as well as for various types of SPA procedures.
Who and what do they help?
The healing properties of the mineral waters of Banya are numerous, but if we have to be more specific, then we can say that they help a lot in:
Postoperative prevention and treatment of old injuries
If you have injuries such as sprains, fractures, bruises and other similar injuries, a few days in the mineral pools of the village, combined with medical procedures will help relieve your pain.
Problems with the musculoskeletal system
Spa treatments with mineral water alleviate the condition of people suffering from problems with the musculoskeletal system such as:
- spinal deformities
- congenital changes of the hip joint
- traumatic injuries of the skeletal system.
The treatment is also suitable for people suffering from soft tissue diseases and Bechterew’s disease.
Diseases of the peripheral nervous system
From studies conducted among people with problems with the peripheral nervous system, their condition has improved dramatically after treatment with mineral water from the village of Banya. The healing water has a particularly beneficial effect on diseases of the nervous system such as:
- damage to peripheral nerves
- paresis and others.
Inflammation of the respiratory tract
Inhalation procedures with mineral water help diseases such as:
- bronchial asthma
- sinusitis and others.
Treatment of skin diseases and inflammations
SPA treatments with mineral water relieve inflammatory processes and help treat skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis. Add to that the fact that a few days spent in the mineral pools of the village of Banya or special spa beauty treatments make the skin healthier, tight and radiant, it is hardly necessary to say why the ladies like to visit the mineral pools and the beach of the village.
Treatment of internal diseases
As mineral water is also suitable for drinking, applied internally after tempering has a beneficial effect on:
- gastrointestinal diseases
- kidney – urological diseases
- metabolic diseases
- endocrine diseases
- for problems and diseases of the genital system.
- It is also useful for general prevention against osteoporosis, tartar, removal of heavy metals, etc., etc.
Why do more and more domestic and foreign tourists choose to enjoy the healing mineral waters of the village of Banya?
The resort village is actively developing spa tourism and this is an indisputable fact. Here each hotel has an outdoor or indoor pool, which are filled directly from the mineral springs in the area of the village. In the summer there is an open mineral beach, which is preferred by more and more people who prefer to rest in the mountains, but want to have an alternative to the beaches by the sea.
In the village everyone can find something for themselves. Banya is blessed with uniquely beautiful nature, has an ancient history and visiting one of the pools can be perfectly combined with a walk on an eco-trail, sightseeing or lunch or dinner in one of the many small restaurants that offer authentic cuisine from Bansko and Razlog.
The proximity of the village to our popular ski resort also affects the interest of tourists to the mineral springs of Banya. A large part of the vacationers in Bansko visit the pools of the village to enjoy the relaxing properties of the warm and healing mineral water.
The mineral pools and the beach are a favorite place to relax both in the warm summer months and in the winter. Because there is nothing more relaxing and invigorating, if after a great day spent on one of the ski slopes in Bansko you will immerse yourself in the outdoor pools of the village of Banya, full of warm, healing mineral water.
How to get from Lucky Bansko Hotel to the mineral springs of the village?
If you are a guest of Bansko or plan to rest soon in our popular resort and have chosen to stay in one of the most popular apart-hotels in the city – Lucky Bansko, we recommend you to visit the village of Banya at least once and enjoy its mineral springs.
To get to Banya you will need no more than 8 – 10 minutes, as the distance between the two settlements is only a few kilometers. You just have to get out of the hotel, get in your car and take the road to the village.
There are enough signposts, and even if there aren’t, you can’t go wrong, because if you leave the city in the direction of the village, you don’t have to deviate anywhere.
What do we recommend you to see while visiting Banya?
If you decide to spend a few hours in the warm mineral pool or on the beach, take some time to see some of the great sights of the village. We advise you not to miss to visit the most popular mineral spring in Banya – “Good Water”. The spring is located at the end of the village and in 2018 was completely renovated.
Near the spring is the Turkish bath, which we told you about a little earlier. In the past, while the bath was in operation, it was from this spring that it was supplied with water. Today the bath is one of the great landmarks of the village and you can see it as part of your tour.
Be sure to visit the Roman bath, which is preserved in its authentic form. Built during the Roman Empire, the bathroom is built in the typical Roman style.
If you wish, you can see all three preserved churches that the village is proud of – “St. George” Evangelical Church and the church “Holy Assumption”. And at the end of your walk, you can sit in one of the cozy restaurants and try homemade dishes according to authentic recipes from the region of Bansko and Razlog.