Nastavna baza Medicinskog fakulteta Sveučilišta J.J. Strossmayera Osijek

The history of the sanatorium

According to some unconfirmed sources, the therapeutic springs in Lipik were used as far back as the Roman times. But the first written records about the therapeutic tourism date back to the 16th century, when Ivan Kapistranin mentioned the therapeutic properties of the sanatorium in Lipik.

Records from the 18th century often mention the therapeutic water that made Lipik famous. In 1773 Lalangue tested the springs in Lipik. One record from 1777 mentions "one wooden building with three bathrooms", and already in 1782 the sanatorium has four baths: "general", "count’s", "lady’s" i "Episcopal". That is also when the temperature of the water first started being measured. The sanatorium thrived in the first half of the 19th century, when Lipik got electricity and the railway line Bartz - Banova Jaruga - Lipik – Pakrac was completed. From that time on, its water has been bottled and exported to a wider market, and numerous world experts came to Lipik to study the properties of the therapeutic water. At that time, as many as three thousand guests passed through Lipik. At the turn of the century, Lipik was included among the most famous European sanatoriums, along with Baden-Baden and Karlovy Vari. After a halt in its development temporarily caused by the World War I, the revival of health tourism restarted in 1920. The Sanatorium was then rebuilt, regaining its former glory. At that time, Lipik was an important medical and tourist centre. In 1938 it was listed as the town with the second highest number of overnight stays in the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 1980s, the facilities of the newly built hotel “Lipik“, supplemented with a shopping and an entertainment centre, a bowling alley, a riding school, a new pool complex, tennis courts and the possibility of fishing and hunting excursions, expanded the medical and therapeutic offer. At that time, the Hospital was one of the most modern establishments of its kind in the region. The guests were not only attracted by its offer but also by the efficiency of the treatment and high therapeutic effects. Lipik suffered the hardest bombing in 1991, when the hospital facilities were also devastated. The direct war damage to the Hospital (construction, installations, equipment) and the indirect damage were estimated at 10,000,000 former DM (around 5,600,000 euro). Some parts of the Hospital were renovated as soon as 1992, when primary activities were restored: physical medicine and rehabilitation (hospitalisation and inpatients). One part of the hospital's premises was at that time used as a temporary accommodation for a number of refugees. In March 1994, following a decision of the Croatian Ministry of Health, the hospital regained its status of a specialized hospital for medical rehabilitation.

Since then, maximal efforts have been invested into additional improvements of the hospital facilities, while simultaneously restoring the monumental heritage and traditional foundations the sanatorium was created upon.