Inhale The Brine Vapors In The Teznia
KONSTANCIN, Poland – A Unique Sanatorium Experience. Here just eight miles south from the Centrum of Warsaw lies the formal spa and rehabilitation complex of Konstancin-Jeziorna. A very unique feature of the spa is its teznia – a mineral water graduation tower. Upon first sight it appears to be a bizarre looking structure, and it takes a small bit of time for the brain to interpret what the eyes are actually seeing. And for sure this was the desired reaction that my Polish relatives anticipated when they arranged the surprise visit for me. (in photo: The Sanatorium’s teznia structure)
The teznia is three stories tall, approximating the linear dimensions of a U.S. football field, and open to the sky above. Its four walls consist of framework containing bundles of brushwood, usually blackthorn – and so the teznia can also be referred to as a “thorn house.” The brushwood walls are constantly trickle-bathed from the top down by mineral/brine waters emanating under natural pressure from deep underground wells. The mineral water is rich in bromide and iodine, which the sun evaporates on the brushwood bundles thereby leaving mineral deposits on them. Consequently, the bundles must be replaced every 5-10 years because they become too encrusted with the accumulated minerals.
The resulting microclimate created inside of the structure results with mineral-rich water droplets suspended in the air and regarded as having beneficial health effects similar to that of breathing in robust sea air, and touted as being especially beneficial for those suffering from respiratory ailments.
In photo: The ‘grzybek’ vapors fountain
Additionally, inside the graduation tower, located on one end its large open quadrangle, and surrounded by benches, sits the peculiar grzybek (“little mushroom”) – a naturally pressurized mineral-waters dispensing device about 5 feet tall that resembles a mushroom. Everyone in the immediate vicinity of it is enveloped in the heavy mist spewing out from its dome equipped with multi-directional nozzles. You experience a surrealistic constant interplay between the pulsating fog and bright sunshine. It is recommended that you be in the near vicinity of the grzybek for 15 minutes at a time, and within the teznia itself for only a 1 hour period.
The posh town of Konstancin is a very interesting place in-of-itself. It’s peaceful and quiet leafy lanes are lined with walled mansions and elegant estates – it being akin to Warsaw as Beverly Hill is to Los Angeles. It’s the recognized abode of many successful, influential, rich and famous Varsovians who decamped from the hustle and bustle of Poland’s capital city.
All-in-all, the Konstancin-Jeziorna suburb is well worth a day trip visit from nearby Warsaw. You can enjoy Mother Nature’s green countryside with its many recreational activities, visit a restaurant or café, and even immerse yourself in the therapeutic mists from the grzybek in the teznia.
Richard P. Poremski
Polish American Journal
Washington, DC Bureau
August 5, 2015