Spa town in Poland
The city of Sopot, with county rights, is an administrative part of the Pomeranian Province. It lies in northern Poland on the Gulf of Gdansk in the Baltic Sea, between the city's of Gdansk and Gdynia on the Gdansk Riviera with which it forms the Tri-city. Whilst it is one of the cities that make up the Gdansk agglomeration Sopot, in terms of population, is the smallest with county rights in Poland. The spa has a characteristic of a marine climate which is powerfully stimulating and moderated by the terraced effect between the Gdansk Uplands and the coastline. The active spa resort elements are the climate and the naturally occurring mineral spring waters which are rich in chlorides, iodides and bromides. Sopot is a famous seaside resort and spa town and since 1961the organiser of the world-renowned Sopot Music Festival at the Lesna Opera. It also has the longest wooden pier in Europe. From the base of this pier visitors can take a stroll along the most famous main street in Poland, Heroes of Monte Cassino Street. During the summer months, during the height of the season, it gives the impression of being the most crowded place on Earth. The entire street is filled with countless cafes, restaurants, bars and shops which serve the sole purpose of making the visitors happy.
The history of the spa town of Sopot dates back to the Napoleonic times. In 1808, Dr Jan Jerzy Haffner settled here and on the suggestion of the Prussian government, built and launched a therapeutic bathing facility. Earlier attempts, undertaken by a local landowner Carl Christoph Wagner, did not produce the desired effect. At this time Sopot was gaining popularity as a summer seaside holiday destination. Haffner drew up plans and began work on the most comprehensive development of the city. As a result, the park was established and the pier built in 1827 along with the Southern Baths, the Northern Baths and the Treatment House with a square. After 1830, work on Haffner's plans was continued by Ernst Adolf Bottcher by looking for investors to launch other facilities. In 1870 the resort enjoyed rapid development due to the opening of a railway line between Gdansk and Berlin and in a very short period of time tennis courts and a horse racing track are built. The Lesny Theatre, today known as the Lesny Opera, a casino and numerous hotels, villas and guesthouses attracted an ever greater number of patients and tourists. Since 1922 the resort of Sopot has had nautical connections with Gdansk, Gdynia, Puck and the Hel Peninsula and a special jetty close to the pier was a dock for seaplanes bringing passengers from Germany. The therapeutic, leisure, recreational and cultural activities of the resort also continued during World War II under the German occupation. During the liberation of Sopot by the Russian Army, only 10% of the city was damaged during the street fighting and as a result Sopot as a spa resort re-opened in 1946 but only received its official status in 1999.
Today's Sopot is constantly enhancing its spa character. Innovative treatments and rehabilitation is offered in the numerous sanatoria and specialist establishments with modern equipment and comfortable accommodation. Patients are cared for by experienced staff and helped to return to full health. The countless cultural and tourist attractions enable both adults and children to enjoy their time whilst recuperating after curative procedures.
The facilities in Sopot specialise in the treatment of cardiovascular, respiratory and rheumatic diseases, degenerative ailments of the spine and peripheral joints, osteoporosis and obesity.
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