Alehina E., Storozhenko N.A.

RMAT, Moscow, Russia

During centuries people have been using natural resources for medical purposes, and curative qualities of many natural factors have been known since ancient times. Primitive hydropathy buildings in the places with mineral water springs were a kind of balneotherapeutic health resort prototype.

Caucasian residents are aware about existence of such waters for a long time. In 1377 Arabian traveler visited Caucasia, and he wrote about hot spring located in Piatigor’e. Later on many travelers mentioned about healing qualities of mineral water and lake mud and their medical uses.

The first scientific researches about mineral water and opening of the first resorts in Russia are connected with the tsar Peter the Greatest, who ordered to organize the resort called «Marcial’nie» waters (1714). Since that time the research of hydromineral resources in Russia has been started. Due to the Czar Peter’s order the famous Mineral Waters has been opened in Caucasia. Peter published the royal decree about medical areas, which were declared government assets.

In the beginning of 19 century mineral waters were discovered in other Russian regions.

The interest for mineral waters studying induced to the organization of the first Russian society of science and resort. In 1863 in Piategorsk was established the «Balneal Society». Simultaneously with curing qualities of the mineral water and medical mud, the positive climate impact on patients in South bay of Crimea was discovered. The sanatorium network using natural treating resources was expanding gradually. However, the practicing doctors continued sending of their patients to the West Europe Resorts. All elite preferred foreign resorts.

The Czar government alarmed by the currency flow-out from Russia decided to provide some large-scale resorts for renting. The substantial results weren’t achieved, but prerequisites for further resorts development were established. The systematic studying of mineral waters started, the general resort services were created, the total resort structure started to develop: hospitals and roads were build, for instance, such actions happened along the South Coast of Crimea and Black sea Coast of Caucasia. In the begging of 20 century Russia already had 36 resorts connecting 60 sanatoriums with total volume of 3000 rooms.

During the first War time the resort development and accordingly the flow of visitors were decreasing. In the Soviet period due to government decisions the health resort business started not only to revive but develop actively.

In 1920 the Balneal University was founded in Piatigorsk. The first sanatoriums and rest homes were created on the base of ex-palaces and landowners’ farms, dachas, cloisters and many other private sanatoriums, pensions and hotels.

The reconstruction and expanding works of the leading resort zones were started: the projects of the development of the South bay of Crimea, Sochi. The development of Siberia took place. By the begging of 1940 in the USSR were 3600 sanatoriums and rest homes with 470.000 rooms. The War 1941-1945 incurred a huge loss to recreational economy of the country, because the majority of the leading resorts areas were in the military actions zones.

For the last five years the destroyed resorts were restored and reconstructed and new resorts were built. By 1950 the capacity of sanatoriums was greater than pre-military level.

The Russian balneology occupied the front positions in the world. In 1960 government has adopted the resolution to hand the sanatoriums, resort hospitals and rest homes (excluding establishments for kids and sanatorium for consumptives) to the hands of the trade unions, this action had positive impact on all resort industry development. The Central Resort Committee was established together with many regional branches managing medical-sanitary services.

Active development of the Resort industry stimulated the formation the most expanded in the world network of the resort establishments: by the start of perestroika in the USSR was more than 14.000 sanatoriums. The powerful agglomerations were created (Big Sochi, Big Yalta, Caucasian Mineral Waters). The new progressed forms of resort treatments, increasing the comfort level, were inculcated in the practice of the Health Resort business.

It is interesting to point out that in USSR every year during three summer months more than 90 percent of Resort visitors were children. Moreover, 2/3 of all sanatorium and rest homes were in charge of «ВЦСПС». Nowadays, in Russia there are 2,3 thousands of sanatoriums and other resort establishments for more than 400 thousands visitors.

From the point of systematic view of treatment organization and recovering, Russian resorts are ones of the best in the world. Russian resort technologies are quite modern, have substantial commercial and export values.

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