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SHAPING THE PUBLIC SPACE OF HEALTH RESORTS IN TERMS OF HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVE

W. Bal, M. Czalczynska-Podolska
Friday 9 November 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

Examples of therapeutic space can be traced back hundreds of years ago. In ancient times, sacred groves, hills or caves with healing springs were used for therapeutic functions, while the medieval monastery gardens served as a kind of pharmaceutical facilities, which constituted a kind of therapeutic contemplative gardens. In the 19th century, there was a dynamic development of spa towns, whose specificity influenced the formation of characteristic elements of a public space (such as spa parks, concert shells and modern amphitheatres, pump rooms, graduation towers, spa houses and sanatoria as well as promenades and piers), distinguishing it from other localities. Unfortunately, the original role of the public space of health resort, which is not only a showcase of the town, but also a special kind of space with a therapeutic function and a tool used in the treatment process, has been disturbed. Modern culture of leisure and the development of commercial forms of tourism negatively affect the public space of health resorts, often causing functional and spatial deformations and threats to cultural heritage, and, as a result, the loss of its unique values. The aim of the article is to show the changes of the public space of health resorts and to assess the use of determinants of therapeutic space, in its formation in the context of its original spatial and social role, on the example of a selected spa town. The study was conducted based on interpretative and historical research, including analysis of former iconographic and cartographic materials, as well as contemporary space projects and field studies. Critical analysis of the contemporary public space of health resorts, in terms of fulfilling the primary functions and the use of the features of the therapeutic space, allowed in the end to indicate the threats to the landscape and determine the desired directions of actions.

Keywords: health resorts, public space, therapeutic space


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