Coordinates: 48°35′03″N 17°50′01″E / 48.58417°N 17.83361°E / 48.58417; 17.83361
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Sights of Piešťany. Top left: Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Kaplnka Božského Srdca Ježišovho). Top right: Thermia Palace. Bottom left: Monument Thanks to the Liberators (Vďaka osloboditeľom). Bottom upper right: Colonnade Bridge. Bottom lower right: Napoleon's Spa Resort.
Sights of Piešťany. Top left: Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Kaplnka Božského Srdca Ježišovho). Top right: Thermia Palace. Bottom left: Monument Thanks to the Liberators (Vďaka osloboditeľom). Bottom upper right: Colonnade Bridge. Bottom lower right: Napoleon's Spa Resort.
Coat of arms of Piešťany
Piešťany is located in Trnava Region
Location of Piešťany in the Trnava Region
Piešťany is located in Slovakia
Piešťany (Slovakia)
Coordinates: 48°35′03″N 17°50′01″E / 48.58417°N 17.83361°E / 48.58417; 17.83361
First mentioned1113
 • MayorPeter Jančovič
 • Total44.20 km2 (17.07 sq mi)
160[2] m (520[2] ft)
 • Total27,057
 • Density610/km2 (1,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
921 01[2]
Area code+421 33[2]
Car platePN

Piešťany (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈpɪeʂcani] ; German: Pistyan, Hungarian: Pöstyén, Polish: Pieszczany [pjɛˈʂtʂanɨ], Czech: Píšťany [ˈpiːʃcanɪ]) is a town in Slovakia. It is located in the western part of the country within the Trnava Region and is the seat of its own district. It is the biggest and best known spa town in Slovakia and has around 28,000 inhabitants.


The name Piešťany comes from Slovak Piesok (sand), referring to local sandbanks. The etymology is straightforward – Piešťanci – people who live on the sandy site and Piešťany – their settlement.[4]


Venus of Moravany

The first human settlement in the area is dated to the prehistoric times, about 80,000 years ago. People were attracted to the site by abundance of game in the vicinity of the thermal springs that did not freeze in winter.

A small female statue representing female fertility called Venus of Moravany was found in the nearby village Moravany nad Váhom. It is made of mammoth ivory and is dated to 22,800 BC. It currently resides in the Bratislava Castle museum. In another nearby village, Krakovany-Stráže, a treasure consisting of luxury items made of glass, bronze, silver, and gold was discovered in three graves from 200 to 300 AD. The surroundings of Piešťany also include the Great Moravian castle of Ducové.

Piešťany was first mentioned in written records in 1113 (under the name Pescan). At that time it consisted of several smaller settlements. The medicinal springs were already popular in the Middle Ages. They were visited by the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus. The first book mentioning the Piešťany springs was De admirandis Hungariae aquis hypomnemation (About the Miraculous Waters of the Hungarian Monarchy) by Georgius Wernher, published in 1549 in Basel. In the 16th century, the Piešťany spa was also mentioned by two prominent physicians, Johann Crato de Crafheim (who served to several Holy Roman Emperors) and Andrea Baccius Elpidianus (a personal surgeon of the Pope). The first monography (Schediasma de Thermis Postheinsibus by Ján Justus Torkoš [sk] was published in 1745. But in the 16th and 17th centuries, Piešťany also suffered from Turkish raids and anti-Habsburg uprisings.

Throughout the centuries Piešťany was owned by several noble families; the last of them, the Erdődys, owned the area from 1720 to 1848, and the spa until 1940. The Erdődy family built the first spa buildings in 1778. They were damaged by a destructive flood in 1813. In 1820 the spa buildings were expanded and remodeled in neo-classical style and named Napoleon spa. The Erdődy family also established the Spa park in this period. In the years 1889 to 1940 the Winter family rented the spa from the Erdődys and brought it to international fame. Ľudovít Winter [de] improved spa treatment as well as accommodation and entertainment for visitors. They built several spa buildings and hotels.[5]

The spa attracted many aristocratic visitors, including Ludwig van Beethoven.[5] In 1917, three monarchs (Wilhelm II of Germany, Karl I of Austria-Hungary, and Ferdinand I of Bulgaria) orchestrated their war strategy during the negotiations in the Thermia Palace hotel.

In 1945 Piešťany received the official status of a town. In 1959, Sĺňava water reservoir was built south of the town. In the late 1960s and 1970s more spa buildings were built. In 1973 the village of Banka, located on the left bank of the Váh river, was amalgamated with Piešťany, but it regained independence after a referendum in 1995. In 1996 the town became the seat of a district.

The 1938 World Fencing Championships were held in Piešťany.

On January 4, 1987, at the final match in the World Junior Championships of ice hockey between Canada and the Soviet Union there was a bench-clearing brawl, now famously known as the Punch-up in Piešťany. Both teams were disqualified from competition as a result.

On July 5, 2001, three members of the Real Irish Republican Army were arrested in Piešťany. They were lured into a trap by agents of the British Security Service MI5 who were posing as arms dealers from Iraq.[6]

The Váh river in Piešťany


Piešťany is situated in the western part of Slovakia, in the valley of the Váh river, at an elevation of 162 metres (531.50 feet). The Považský Inovec mountains form the eastern boundary of this part of the Váh valley. The highest hill of these mountains, Inovec 1,042 m (3,418.64 ft), is about 25 km (16 mi) north of the town. The hills immediately east of the town (10 km (6 mi) away) reach a height of about 700 m (2,296.59 ft). On the western side, the valley boundary is formed by the Little Carpathians, which are somewhat lower and further away from the town. The valley is open to the south, and thus has a warm and sunny temperate climate.

Most of the town is located on the right bank of the river. South of the town is the Sĺňava water reservoir created by a dam on the Váh river. The artificial canal Biskupický kanál and the main river branch join in the town. Another short branch of the river (Obtokové rameno) creates the Spa Island.

The hills of Považský Inovec are mostly covered with deciduous forests. These consist of oak and hornbeam in the lower elevations, and beech in the higher elevations. The Váh valley is used for agriculture. The main products are cereals, sugar beet, animal feed, and pork.

Piešťany is located 75 kilometres (47 miles) north-east of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, and 30 km (19 mi) north-east of the local regional seat Trnava. Upstream from Piešťany on the Váh river are the towns Nové Mesto nad Váhom (19 km (12 mi) north of Piešťany) and Trenčín (40 km (25 mi) north-east); 17 km (11 mi) downstream is Hlohovec.

Piešťany is located on the route of the D1 motorway from Bratislava to Žilina with connections to Vienna and Brno. The main railway route from Bratislava to Žilina and Košice also goes through the town. The town has an airport, mostly used for international charter flights for spa clients (10,000 passengers in 2007). The municipality operates a local public transport system with 11 bus routes (as of 2008).


Climate data for Piešťany (1991−2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.4
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 2.5
Daily mean °C (°F) −0.8
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −4.1
Record low °C (°F) −20.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 31.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 7.2 6.2 6.2 6.1 8.9 8.0 7.9 7.1 7.0 7.7 7.0 7.5 86.9
Average snowy days 9.3 7.7 4.2 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 3.5 7.5 33.4
Average relative humidity (%) 83.3 78.0 71.0 64.7 66.7 67.8 66.1 67.8 73.6 78.9 82.2 84.8 73.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 60.4 90.0 142.2 205.4 246.8 258.5 273.0 260.5 180.9 125.5 62.0 49.0 1,954.2
Source: NOAA[7]

Main sights[edit]

Because of frequent floods in the past, most buildings are dated to the 19th and 20th century. The most notable exception are the ruins of a medieval monastery from the 13th century. The Napoleon Spa is a complex of Neoclassicist spa buildings built between 1822 and 1862. The town's Catholic church dates from the same era. The Kolonádový most bridge, constructed by Emil Belluš in 1930–33, is a preeminent functionalist construction with many precious art objects. The local airport is home to the Military History Museum Piešťany.


The Napoleonic Spa

The Piešťany spa has a capacity of two thousand beds (as of 2005) and treats over forty thousand patients a year. More than 60% of the clients are foreigners (mostly from Germany, the Czech Republic, Israel, Austria and Arab Countries). The spa specializes in treatment of chronic rheumatic and arthritic diseases and post-accident lesions of joints and bones.[5]

The spa is located on the Spa Island between two branches of the Váh river, at the site of several hot springs with temperatures of 67–69 °C (153–156 °F). The water originates in a tectonic break at 2,000 metres (6,600 feet) depth. The sulfatecarbonate water from the springs is used in pools and tubs. Sulfurous mud extracted from the bed of a side channel of the river is also used for treatment in the form of thermal mud pools with temperature 39 °C (102 °F) and for partial and full body packs. Spring water and mud therapy is complemented by electrotherapy, exercise, massage, medication, and diet.

The spa is operated by the company Slovenské liečebné kúpele. The company was purchased in 2002 by Danubius Hotels Group. A small share is owned by the town. Danubius Hotels Group also owns hotels in Hungary, Mariánské Lázně spa in Czech Republic and Sovata spa in Romania.


According to the 2001 census, the town had 30,306 inhabitants. 96.30% of inhabitants were Slovaks, 1.69% Czechs and 0.27% Hungarians.[8] The religious makeup was 72.65% Roman Catholics, 16.71% people with no religious affiliation and 5.96% Lutherans.[8]


The 8-bit PMD 85 personal computer produced in 1985–1990 by the Czechoslovak Tesla company in Piešťany

One of important employers in the city during the communist era was the Czechoslovak electronics maker Tesla Piešťany. It closed down in 1991 and in 1998 its factories were acquired by ON Semiconductor, a former subsidiary of Motorola, keeping a small customer support centre in the town. Delipro, s.r.o., manufacturer of quartz crystals founded in 1993, is another company building on the legacy of electronics manufacturing in the region.

Other important employers in the town include Slovak headquarters of financial services company Home Credit Slovakia. Technický skúšobný ústav Piešťany [sk] is an independent certification, testing and inspection body for conformity assessment of machinery and construction products and consumer goods. Historically, Technický skúšobný ústav Piešťany is one of the oldest and the largest testing bodies in Slovak Republic within testing activity.


A World War I biplane of Milan Rastislav Štefánik in the military museum

The town is known in Slovakia for its rich cultural programme throughout the year. In the summer tourist season, the town hosts several cultural events. Both opening (in June) and closing (in September) of the summer spa season is connected with big street festivals. An annual summer classical music festival, Piešťany Music Festival, established in 1955, takes place in the House of Arts of Piešťany. This venue, with a seating capacity of 622, is currently the largest cinema hall in Slovakia and also offers other concerts and theatre shows. Country Lodenica is a festival of folk and country music established in 1999. It takes place south of the town, on the shores of Sĺňava water reservoir. Since 2000s, various festivals were held at Piešťany Airport, among others second largest music festival in Slovakia - GrapeFestival, rock-centered Topfest, electronic music-focused BeeFree or Hodokvas. Furthermore, from 2006 to 2009 and since 2019 there have been air shows.[9][10] There were also regular car-, motorcycle- and truck-races.

Between 1967 and 1993 the city was the site of an annual sculpture exhibition in the Spa Park. This tradition was renewed in 2005 and 2008.

Piešťany also has several museums. The Balneological Museum of Imrich Winter [sk], the only one of its type in the region, focuses on archeology, history and ethnography of the region, as well as the history of Slovakia's spas in general. It was established in 1933 by the Winter family. Another small museum belonging to Balneological Museum commemorates the life of the Slovak poet Ivan Krasko, who lived in Piešťany from 1945 to 1958. Finally, a new museum at the airport (active since 2004) exhibits a collection related to the Slovak military history from 1945 to 1992.

The House of Arts is the first postwar Slovak theatre building outside Bratislava, being project of architect Ferdinand Milučký [it]. In first half of September, the annual International Film Festival Cinematik is held in various areas of Piešťany. It is currently the second largest film festival in Slovakia.[11]

Notable people[edit]

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Piešťany is twinned with:[12]


  1. ^ Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (www.statistics.sk). "Hustota obyvateľstva - obce". www.statistics.sk. Retrieved 2024-02-08.
  2. ^ a b c d "Základná charakteristika". www.statistics.sk (in Slovak). Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic. 2015-04-17. Retrieved 2022-03-31.
  3. ^ Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (www.statistics.sk). "Počet obyvateľov podľa pohlavia - obce (ročne)". www.statistics.sk. Retrieved 2024-02-08.
  4. ^ Žigo, Pavol (2009). "Slovanský jazykový atlas – vzťah jazyka a historicko-spoločenských fenoménov z areálového hľadiska" (PDF). Slavica Slovaca (1). Bratislava: Vydavateľstvo Matice slovenskej: 9.
  5. ^ a b c "Winter's legacy continues to charm and heal guests". Slovak Spectator. 2002-08-26. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  6. ^ "Three plead guilty to bomb offences". BBC. 2002-05-02. Retrieved 2006-09-03.
  7. ^ "Piešťany Climate Normals 1991–2020". World Meteorological Organization Climatological Standard Normals (1991–2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on 20 August 2023. Retrieved 20 August 2023.
  8. ^ a b "Municipal Statistics". Statistical Office of the Slovak republic. Archived from the original on 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2008-01-13.
  9. ^ Grape Festival Piešťany
  11. ^ Cinematik
  12. ^ "Partnerské mestá" (in Slovak). Piešťany. Retrieved 2019-09-03.


External links[edit]