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2018 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

53. Thermal Bath Complex in Vrnjačka Banja

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Abstract

The process of the formation of spas and their development in Serbia often depended only on enthusiasm, persistence and activities of the common people, since turbulent historical events frequently interrupted development processes of the state.
The first initiatives in the Vrnjačka Banja development came through as a result of PavleMutavdžić’s endeavours (1816/1817–1888/1889), a man who was the founder of the Vrnjci Medicinal Mineral Hot Water Founding Society in 1868. In the twentieth century, the spa would be the most popular one in Serbia.
Vrnjačka Banja was developing gradually. In the first decades of the nineteenth century, the use of mineral water was rather primitive. The process of a spa settlement formation started when the Society began to buy land in order to build fountains with faucets for hot and cold water, wooden baths and, later on, some small hot mineral water baths (1883). Gradually, around the water source, a park was being landscaped, and in 1895 it got its proper lighting. In the years to follow, paths were built and benches set up. From 1897 to 1910, the works on providing enough potable water were conducted; water supply system and mineral water catchment were built. Due to extensive water catchment works, in 1924 and 1925, the Hot Bath from 1883 and the Entertainment Pavilion (Kursalon) from 1891 were demolished, as they were near the Hot Water Spring in the centre of the park. A linear composition of the Vrnjačka Banja settlement, established in the early twentieth century as a result of the natural configuration, with the park formed in the centre, around the bath and the Hot Water Spring – the core of the spa resort – has been preserved in its original line up to the present day.
For quite a long time, there was a need to erect a monumental building that would house all the health resort facilities. Some new information about the Thermal Bath Complex construction has recently been discovered in the archival material in the form of blueprints dating from 1930, signed by an architect, Vladimir Dević (1886–unknown), who worked at the Architectural Department of the Ministry of Construction of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. An imposing creation, the building of the new Thermal Bath, broke out of the frames of academism, taking only a dome that would, as a form, just accentuate the open-air vestibules. The façades were made free of any historical detail and much lighter, with large and frequently placed openings, revealing the author’s tendency towards modern streams in architecture. This monumental complex has often been a motif on picture postcards.
After the works on extending the Thermal Bath, done according to a design of an architect, Prof.MiloradPantović (1910–1986) in the 1950s, and upon introducing modern therapeutic programmes, some architectural elements have been either removed or altered. So today, conservators are faced with questions of interpreting the heritage values and the valorisation criteria with regard to two architectural design approaches of the two architects from two different historical, social and cultural contexts.

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Metadata
Title
Thermal Bath Complex in Vrnjačka Banja
Author
Gordana Mitrovic
Copyright Year
2018
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-78093-1_53

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