Lukovska Banja Spa

The Lukovska Banja Spa is young spa settlement with some 350 inhabitants, a medical and climatic resort, the air spa and tourist center in southern Serbia, 300 km south of Belgrade, on the south-eastern slopes of Kopaonik Mountain, in the northwestern part of the Kursumlija Municipality which is 36 km away. The Lukovska Banja Spa is located at the altitude of 681 meters and features mountainous surrounding of some 1000 meters that make it the highest spa in Serbia. Climate of the Lukovska Banja Spa is moderate-continental with large number of sunny days per year. Winters in Lukovska Banja Spa are cold with snow cover lasting from 28 to 112 days during year, while summers are warm, and autumn is bright and much dryer than spring. In the vicinity of the Lukovska Banja Spa there is small ski lift and ski run that provide visitors recreate skiing, while several health trails provide pleasant and invigorating walks.

The Lukovska Banja Spa features large number /37/of springs of thermal mineral waters of different temperature – from 22 to 65°C, rich in potassium, lithium, rubidium, cesium, strontium, cobalt, phosphorus, used for healing rheumatism, post traumatic and post operational conditions, gynecological problems and sterility, skin diseases etc. Lukovska Banja Spa also features intact nature, forested slopes of Kopaonik Mountain and clean mountainous air. The Lukovska Reka River is the main river of the Lukovska Banja Spa, the tributary of Toplica River, which is the most attractive and most important in regard of tourism. The Lukovska Banja Spa belongs to the richest spas of Serbia in regard with large number of thermal-mineral springs and abundance of water – over 100 liters per hour. At the King Milutin’ Baths in Lukovska Banja Spa are applied balneo-therapeutic baths in thermal carbonic acid and phosphorus waters with Natrium-Calcium-Magnesium hydro-carbonate types, of the temperature between  42⁰C and 44⁰C. In the Upper Spa of the Lukovska Banja Spa there are several thermal spring that distinguish themselves for healing of Inflammatory rheumatism, discus hernia, spondylitis, lumboischialgia, osteoporosis, blood vessels disorders, regulation of blood pressure and curing of kidney diseases and urinary tract infections.  Virovi locality is site for local balneo and peloid therapy. In those pools called by locals „Virovi“ or „Vidarice” there is natural phenomenon of spontaneous spring of underground thermal water through the natural outlets with the water temperature from 33 to 44 °C at the hottest pool. Those pools are predominantly used for local baths of peripheral joints, knees, palm and elbows. In the Upper Spa of the Lukovska Banja Spa there are two mud thermal springs that were turned by the Planinka Company into open pools where visitors and patients cure rheumatism and skin diseases by applying the mud or bathing in the mud pools. The artificially prepared medicinal mud is used for therapeutic treatments at the Medical Ward of the Lukovska Banja Spa hotels. Invigorating vacations with activities for recreation or medical treatments and therapies in the Lukovska Banja Spa are suitable throughout the year, while the most favorable period is from the beginning of June till the Mid of September.

Guests stay hotels of “Kopaonik” and “Jelak” in the Lukovska Banja Spa that include and combine comfortable accommodation, modern medical and Wellness treatments, pools with thermal water and other amenities. Their vacations or health treatment in the Lukovska Banja Spa guests spend actively,  along the health trails in the wonderful nature, or taking sports or touring the cultural and historical monuments and attractions. While fire slowly burns and slow cooking preparations for delicious food cooked under the pot start, guests of the Jelak and Kopaonik hotels become anxious to taste various flavors that make the Lukovske kolibe Inn widely famous. There at the traditional inn guests may take the water-mouthing roasted lamb and beef, famous pie, cabbage, slowly cooked beans, uniquely tasty kaymak, cheese and homemade cookies and cakes…. By its amenities the Kopaonik Hotel in Lukovska Bana Spa provides excellent conditions for relaxation, animation, recreation but also healing of various diseases /rheumatism, stages after sport injuries and breaks and interventions on bones and junctions system. Here there are conveniences for various business meetings and events in several meeting halls for up to 100 persons, in quiet surrounding and pleasant ambiance. Guests staying at the Jelak and Kopaonik Hotels in Lukovska Banja Spa are provided with 24hours medical surveillance by the team of skilled medical experts.  Guests may perform the full laboratory analysis, the US examination of abdomen and EKG. The Open and semi-open pools of the Jelak Hotel in Lukovska Banja Spa come with thermal water of the temperature of 33-35⁰C, super-jets and whirl-pool works throughout the year. Pools are suitable for recreation, relaxation and enjoyment, especially during chilly and snowy days, then swimming is especially pleasant.

The tiny church dedicated to Saint Mina, known also by locals as the Mrksina crkva /the Church of Mrksa/ is located on the slopes of the Kopaonik Mountain, in the vicinity of the Lukovska Banja Spa /5,5 km away/, in the center of the Stavna village. The Church of Saint Mina has been built from crashed ashlar stone and enchants every visitor by its state of preservation and complexity of frescoes that depict scenes from the life of Saint Mina, that are rarely painted in the Serbian churches and monasteries. The Church of Saint Mina is one nave church with circular apse and the altar, bearing the inscription above the entrance which testifies that the church was reconstructed and consecrated in 1645-1647. It is known that the Church of Saint Mina was erected by Kir Andrija who was buried with his wife in the double grave north of the church. It is also apparent that distant painters of the Epirus origin had painted frescoes of the church either in 1633 or in 1636, by their names written on frescoes so to be mentioned in prayers on liturgies. The tradition has it that during the reign of King Milutin the ancestors of the present inhabitants of the Lukovska Banja Spa when settled here have transferred their patron saint feast of Saint Mina and then have built the church. Here passed the Roman road to Tsarigrad, and there were some twenty mines in the close vicinity. Thanks to thermal springs, doctors say, this place was used for rehabilitation of the Roman legionnaires.  The tradition also has it that the Serbian king Milutin possessed his summer residence nearby here and had often visited it for bathing and hunting. Selection of Saint Mina for the church patron implies that its donor highly respected this saint from the order of warriors, highly venerated and celebrated in the Serbian calendar as the Holy King Stefan Decanski. The Turks destroyed the Church of Saint Mina in their first campaign after the Kosovo Battle, so its reconstruction was performed 37 years after this important historical event. Turks again had destroyed the church. The interior of the Church of Saint Mina was completely fresco painted but painting vanished – partially or in some parts completely damaged in fires. The Church of Saint Mina is monument of culture of high importance and under protection of Republic of Serbia since 1949.

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