Swoszowice is the only health resort in Poland, situated within the big city limits (Kraków). Here, in the southern part of the Podgórze district stretches a real spa park with baths (bathing centre) and a spa building.
The health resort in Swoszowice is one of the oldest health resorts in Poland, and the benign qualities of local waters containing sulphur were known and used for therapeutic baths as early as in the 16th century, while sulphur was extracted nearby two centuries before that. However, only in 1811 the professor of the Jagiellonian University, Feliks Radwański, at that time the owner of the town, took care of the spa. (Professor Radwański is remembered above all for saving from demolition the most famous part of the Kraków city walls, including Brama Floriańska and Barbakan). Thanks to him, a spa building with baths (Dom Zdrojowy) was erected in Swoszowice. Later also pretty villas and guesthouses were built. The health resort was then extremely popular. It was frequented, among others, by Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz and Hugo Kołłątaj. Professor Józef Dietl also contributed to the development of the health resort, which fell into decline after 1830, and thanks to him the present spa park was founded. Even though today Swoszowice is located within the city, the spa district retained its charm, typical for resorts, an abundance of green areas and the interesting architecture of guesthouses and villas. Mineral waters: “Zdrój Główny”, “Napoleon”. Apart from walking in the spa park around 19th century spa buildings, Swoszowice offers a variety of active leisure opportunities. You will find sports grounds, tennis courts and a horse stud in the area. A stay in Swoszowice is naturally a perfect occasion to take advantage of the cultural offer and tourist attractions in Kraków. On the way to the city centre you will pass, among other things, the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Kraków-Łagiewniki. It is also worth visiting the nearby attractions in towns neighbouring the city to the south. Not far from Swoszowice (around 10 km), by the popular “zakopianka”, i.e. national road no. 7, lies the village of Mogilany. A classical palace from the 19th century housing a conference centre is situated here. Around the palace stretches a beautiful park, which retained its original 16th century arrangement in line with the Italian Renaissance models. The forest complex around Mogilany is a perfect walking area. You will also find two nature reserves here: Cieszynianka (home to a rare plant Hacquetia epipactis or ‘cieszynianka wiosenna’) and Kozie Kąty (the most beautiful beech and fir tree stands in the Bronaczowa forest next to Mogilany). From Mogilany you can reach the nearby Świątniki Górne. The town is an old crafts centre and for a few centuries it has been known for the products of smiths specializing in artistic metalwork. In Świątniki you will find the oldest school of locksmithing in Poland (active since 1888), whose apprentices produce locks and padlocks. There is also a 19th century church here, with side altars brought from the Wawel cathedral. There is an excellent road connection from Swoszowice to Tyniec, also situated within the Kraków city limits. You can get there quickly on the motorway ring road. In Tyniec, on a rocky hill just above the Vistula currents, rises an almost one-thousand-year-old Benedictine abbey, founded as early as in the 11th century. Even though most of the architecture comes from a later period (the Gothic church from the 15th century was rebuilt in the Baroque style, similarly to the monastery buildings), you can still find the relics of the original Romanesque layout. It is best to appreciate the picturesque location of the abbey while walking along the Vistula, just below the rock, on which the monastery is situated. Walking routes lead among the hills to the forested areas of Podgórki Tynieckie. The villages of Pogórze Wielickie, neighbouring with Swoszyce, hide many other attractions. It is worth recommending a trip to Wola Radziszowska, with a Gothic wooden church on the Wooden Architecture Route, or retracing the steps of the forts of the Kraków Fortress, along the circular road connecting the forts and other elements of the fortress (Pol. “droga rokadowa”). The road leads from Swoszowice along a picturesque ridge to the east, through the old villages of Rajsko and Kosocice, presently within the Kraków city limits. Following this road, you can reach Wieliczka, where the famous UNESCO-listed salt mine is located.