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The story of Terme Dobrna starts deep down underground and springs up in the form of the purest water whose healing properties and beneficial effects were admired already by the ancients Celts and Romans.
It is a story of exceptional individuals and numerous generations who visited us looking for inspiration in the nature’s treasure.
In 1809 hundreds of soldiers wounded during French-Austrian battles were treated here. Among them was Napoleon’s brother. As repayment, Napoleon paid for the levelling and smoothening of the rocky bottom of the swimming pool. This is the origin of the famous marble baths that have remained to date and which are a true and memorable experience for our guests.
In 1900s, the spa was enjoying great reputation. Important guests frequented it, among them Karl May, a German writer, who came here in 1907 to find inspiration for his work in the peace and quiet of the valley of River Dobrnica. During his stay here, he spent his whole wealth. Guests also came from Graz and other places from German Styria; archduke Rainer was one of the most important guests of that time (1905).
The Gačnik Family
In 1624 Matija Gačnik erected the first health building at Terme Dobrna. To commemorate this event he had a marble plaque, that still exists today, built into the wall above the swimming pool. With the accession of the Gačnik family who became the owners of the spa, began an era of prosperity for Dobrna. The Gačnik family owned Terme Dobrna until 1729.
Count Ivan Hoyos
In 1848 the spas were purchased by the count Ivan Hoyos who radically tackled the restoration and construction works. He raised a wing with a beautiful new spa hall, further on a chapel, a swimming pool for visitors and the poor, and other buildings. He also arranged the paths and rest areas in the park. Nearby the enclosed spring, Hoyos had five individual baths constructed. In 1850 he erected another floor on the spa centre and increased the capacity from 49 to 76 guest rooms. He rebuilt the former Novak family house into a guesthouse. From the outbuilding of this house, he made a “Lawn house” (a “Wiesenhaus”). He was the one who established the Terme Dobrna spa resort as it is known today.
Ban Jelačić and bishop Anton Martin Slomšek
In 1850 everything was prepared for the reception of esteemed guests, mostly nobles, rich bourgeoisie, high civil military and ecclesiastic dignitaries. Among the guests visiting in 1852 were Croatian ban Jelačić with his wife, and bishop Anton Martin Slomšek.
Baron Franc Ksaverij Kajetan Dienersberg took possession of the spas in 1814 and started a new development of the spas. In the same year, he wrote excitedly to his friend in Graz: "Believe me, my dear friend, I have seen a lot of this world, yet this is the place I have dreamed about. This heavenly useful spa fills me with strength and thoughtful peace. Remain well, and I dare hope that you will visit me soon."