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Tskaltubo (Georgian: წყალტუბო) is a spa resort in west-central Georgia. It is located at around . It is the main town of the Tsqaltubo Municipality of the Imereti province. It is famous for its radon-carbonate mineral springs, whose natural temperature of 33–35 °C (91–95 °F) enables the water to be used without preliminary heating.
The resort's focus is on balneotherapy for circulatory, nervous, musculo-skeletal, gynaecological and skin diseases, but since the 1970s its repertoire has included "speleotherapy", in which the cool dust-free environment of local caves is said to benefit pulmonary diseases.
Tskaltubo was especially popular in the Soviet era, attracting around 125,000 visitors a year. Bathhouse 9 features a frieze of Stalin, and visitors can see the private pool where he bathed on his visits.
Currently the spa receives only some 700 visitors a year, and since 1993 many of the sanatorium complexes have been devoted to housing some 9000 refugees, primarily women and children, displaced from their homes by ethnic conflict in Abkhazia.
Tskaltubo is located in the central part of west Georgia, in the lowland, at the foot of the Southern Caucasus, 98 meters above the sea-level, in the valley of the river Tskaltubo. It is in 9 km distance from Kutaisi and 240 km from Tbilisi. The climate in Tskaltubo is warm and moderately mild. Average annual temperature +15C; average annual precipitation 76%. Winters here are warm and mild.
Tskaltubo is rich with karst caves. Such as “Satsurblia", "Prometheus" and "Sataplia" which provide visitors with breathtaking examples of stalactites, stalagmites, curtains, petrified waterfalls, cave pearls, underground rivers, and lakes. The temperature in the cave is always 13-15C.
Satsurblia cave is the first and only Speleotherapic - object in the Caucasus Region. The cave has unique climatic environment that gives it the ability be transformed to a recreational tourism destination for individuals with respiratory diseases ( e.g. Bronchial asthma, etc.). As for Speleotherapy, or underground climate-therapy it is a set of recreational therapy methods based on the use of underground microclimate to improve health.
Prometheus cave is one of the most beautiful and longest caves in Georgia. Visitors can see amazing halls of Argonauts, Colchis, Medea, Love, and Prometheus and of Iberia, the excursion can be finished by foot or by a 15-minute boat ride an underground river .
Sataplia reserve is famous its footprints of herbivore and carnivore dinosaurs. The reserve also has a karst caves. There is a transparent platform that gives an outstanding view of Imereti's landscape beauty.
Another significant factor in Tskaltubo is its architecture which is basically a synthesis of Stalinist period classical style and of Georgian ethnic decor with Gothic and Roman features.
The "Waters of Immortality" in Tskaltubo were probably known already in the 7th-9th centuries, when the oldest historical records are dated. Since the 18th century several foreign researchers gave word of the healing properties of these springs:Berlin Society of Friends of Natural Science (1782); J.Klaproth (1815); A. Jolenberg (1897). By 1920, after chemical analysis had revealed the uniqueness of the water, Tskaltubo was officially declared a medical spa resort and achieve the status of city in 1953.
In 1920 the territory of Tskaltubo became state property and it acquired the function of balneology resort. The building of the resort started in 1926. In 1931, a decree by the government of Georgian Soviet Republic designed Tskaltubo as a spa resort and balneology center.
In 1950-1951, architects I.Zaalishvili and V.Kedia prepared a project plan for the town where sanatoriums form a circle around a park, recreation and balneology facilities. Tskaltubo was divided into the following zones: balneological, sanitarian and living.
In 1953, Tskaltubo became the important spa-resort during the Soviet times. At different times, there were built 19 sanatoriums and pensions, nine baths, resort park, Branch of Scientific Institute of balneology and physiotherapy. As one of Georgia's flagship historic spa towns, the town is still popular for the qualities of its waters. Tskaltubo mineral waters are famous for their stable physical and chemical composition and they are categorized as slight radon chloride –magnesium waters. The high-performance spa preventive effect of mineral waters is conditioned by their complex content and particular fusion of salt components. In Tskaltubo the bath taking has a peculiar technique, the treatment take place under the constant running water ( mineral water constantly flows in and out of the spa) and the water permanently preserves physical-chemical and mineral compositions. The water consists of six components and it penetrates into the human body via pores. Constituent ingredients in number are far below the permissible minimum, temperature of water is 33-35 C, it is very soft, pure and odorless.
Mineral water bathsEdit
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The unique radon-carbonated waters are Tskaltubo's major mineral resource. Tskaltubo Mineral water cures the following disease: limbs, peripheral nervous system, cardiac and vascular, skin, disbalance, endocrinology system, gynecological, rheumatism, poliomyelitis, cerebral palsy.[dubious ] Waters are recommended for adults and children (over 3) as well.
They emerge at a comfortable temperature for bathing (35C), allowing them to be directly transferred from springs to the baths without cooling or heating.
These exclusive water are used to relieve a number of conditions including skin, metabolic, and circulatory diseases. It effectiveness make them useful to treat up to 60 conditions.[dubious ]
The Spring No. 6, is the largest thermal bath working today. It was built in 1950 exclusively for Joseph Vissarionovich Jughashvili (Stalin), the soviet union leader of the period. Private baths and dachas of Stalin and Lavrenti Beria are still kept in the city. The mineral water flows directly into Buildings #1 and #6. These medical and rehabilitation centers are equipped with modern, European production and medical equipment. There are five pools of mineral water, 37 individual cabins for bathing mineral water, 17 hydro-massage cabinets, horizontal stretch cabinet of the spine, etc. They offer treatment for osteochondrosis, ankylosing spondylitis, stature disorder, rheumatoid polyarthritis, spondyloarthritis, urologic and andrologic diseases, gynecological and skin diseases, etc.
In 2015 the new medical thermal center Tskaltubo-BE Healthy was established, equipped with the latest technologies and modern infrastructures. The center is notable for its wide offer of services available in its calm and comfortable environment. It offers treatments with healing waters and various health procedures. For example: Skin –restorative procedures, Body Fitness, Spa and Wellness body massage, Wellness hydrotherapy procedures, Application of mineral mud ( Peleoidoterapy ), Diode laser, Gym and many other health-improving practices.
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- Russians seeking sun, sea and cures. New York Times