Luhačovice (Czech pronunciation: [ˈluɦatʃovɪtsɛ]; German: Luhatschowitz) is a spa town in Zlín District in the Zlín Region of the Czech Republic. It has about 5,100 inhabitants. The spa is the biggest in the Moravia region.
Luhačovice occupies a valley whose elevation is a minimum of 250 m above sea level. The north-western edge of the valley is formed by the slopes of Malé Kamenné. The south-eastern part is formed by the forested Obětové peak (511 m above sea level). The southern section of the vale is surrounded by the hills Velké Kamenné (385 m), Solné (451 m), Zálužné (446 m), Lužné (428 m) and Ovčírny (429 m). All of these hills are part of the Vizovice Highlands and the White Carpathians. The highest peak in the Luhačovice area is Komonec, 672 m above sea level. The eastern and south-eastern sections of the Luhačovice vicinity are part of the White Carpathian Protected Scenic Region).
Luhačovice is first mentioned in a historical document of 1412. It is, however, supposed to have been founded before the year 1287. At the end of the 16th century Luhačovice became the chief townlet of a manor including 12 villages. From 1629 until 1945 the manor and the country estate belonged to the Serényi family. However, in 2016 the property was restituted to Isabella baroness Thienen-Adlerflycht, née countess Serény.
The Serényi family were the first to make use of the mineral springs in the area and who built the spa. Local names give evidence that the springs were known and used here ever since the area had begun to be settled; they are first mentioned in the 1669 book Tartaro Mastix Moraviae by Johann Ferdinand Hertodt von Totenfeld.
A new stage of development of both the spa and the town appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, when a Czech physician František Veselý, came to Luhačovice. He decided to get financial means to change Luhačovice into a modern Czech spa by establishing a joint-stock company, which took over the spa from the control of the Serenyis in 1902. They, however, kept on taking a significant part in it financially. The remote and not easily accessible position of the spa was overcome when a local railway line was built here in the year 1904, even before the number of visitors increased due to the construction of the Vlárská Railway Line (1888) and more distant Northern Railway Line (1841). The first stage of important building development of the spa area was connected with the name of the architect Dušan Jurkovič, the author of the fundamental reconstruction of the Janův House, the hydropathic establishment and other places.
After the setting-up of the independent Czechoslovak Republic, mainly in the 20s and 30s, the importance of the Luhačovice spa increased along with the increasing number of inhabitants, which was also formally expressed by giving to Luhačovice the statute of the municipality in the year 1936. Further buildings of architectural importance appeared: the building of the present Municipal National Committee, the Palace-Sanatorium, the Alexandria Hotel, the "Fučik" and "Morava" hydropathics, and in 1935, the Social Club. After the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia by Nazi Germany, the spa was closed to the Czech public almost completely and was taken possession of by the Nazi organizations. After the liberation of the town in May, 1945, another chapter in the history of the spa began.
Between 1945–1947 a new complex of spa buildings was built: the Main and Small Colonnades, the Hall of Vincentka, and the health centre. Social changes after February 1948 influenced both the life of the people in Luhačovice and the spa organization as a whole. Agriculture was collectivized, the woods were nationalized, and the state became the only owner of the natural cure sources and all balneological, accommodation and catering capacities in the spa towns. Some buildings were used to solve the housing problem, and others were divided between the Central Trade Union Council and the Ministry of Health. In 1957 Luhačovice and other spas were given the spa statute, and the spa care was unified in the Ministry of Health. Both the spa care and environment are always in the course of improvement.
Luhačovice mineral water is a heavily mineralized (9,854 milligrams of minerals / liter, osmotic pressure 634.7 kPa), naturally effervescent residual seawater, indicated for diseases of vocal cords and breathing pathways, metabolic diseases, stomach and duodenal ulcers, liver cirrhosis, diabetes mellitus, chronic pancreatitis, and excessive consumption of alcohol. The water is bottled under the brand name Vincentka.There are three wells of Vincentka in Luhačovice. The original one is available to the public in Hall of Vincentka, it is however too low-yield (10–12 liters per minute) to be used for bottling. The second well, Nová Vincentka, was made in 1988. It is 35 meters deep, has a yield of 30 litres per minute and has been used for bottling since 1991. The third well, Vincentka 2, with a yield of 40 liters per minute, is a reserve well for spa medicinal use.
Twin towns – sister cities
Luhačovice is twinned with: