Harkány is a town in Baranya county, Transdanubia . 25km south of Pécs, famous spa town in the foothills of the Villány Mountains. Harkány has been welcoming those wishing to relax and to be healed since 1824. It has 3400 residents, but it has far more inhabitants in the summer season. The gold of Baranya county, the medicinal water of Harkány, with its reputed beneficial effect, the two thousand year old wine-growing area, the Mediterranean-like atmosphere of Szársomlyó hill, and the River Drava are all draws for the visitor.
There are archeological evidence in the environs have revealed finds from the Hunnish, Avar and Roman ages. Written sources first mention it in 1323 with the name “Harkan”. The origin of the name can be traced back to the Hungarian bird name “harkály” (woodpecker) on the one hand, and to the old Hungarian dignitary name “horka” on the other. One of the first owner was, Pálffy György, the lieutenant general of Temesvár, the Gara-family. Later proprietors of the castle of Siklós were: the Batthányi-family and the Benyovszki-family. It was an inhabited area under the Turkish occupation of Hungary. Beside the Hungarian population German, Croatian, Serbian and Slovakian families have been settled here since the middle of the previous century.
Zsigmondy Promenade, Park Zsigmondy (Zsigmondy sétány, park), Zsigmondy sétány (Right south of the spa). The construction of the spa started in the mid 1820s, shortly after the accidental discovery of the sulphurous water. The first spa building was a classicist, the associated hotel with 28 rooms welcomed the guests. The landscaping of the area began soon. Walking ways designed, trees and shrubs were planted, statues were set up along the walking ways on about thirteen hectares. The first kars water wells (supplying the bath) were completed on the basis of a mining engineer Vilmos Zsigmond’s plans. The Park is,-located south of the spa,-named after him. – Harka Well (fountain) is located in the Park Zsigmondy among the the trees. The fountain was built in 2000, on Zsolnay’s porcelain. The precious fountain decorated the motifs of legend of Harkányi water. – ‘Country Apple’ (or Globus cruciger of Hungary) babbling fountain (Hu: Országalmás csobogó), is a small fountain-sculpture, a works of László Tamás and Vajda Kamerer, erected in 2000. Decorated by porcelain pictures around, made in the style of the initials of Codes. The sculpture was created using a variety of materials, and can be seen on it the coat of arms of Harkany City
Heart of Jesus Catholic Church (Jézus Szíve Katolikus Templom), Ady Endre utca 3. (Corner of Kossuth Lajos utca), A chapel built in 1906, neo-Romanesque and Gothic style, it was the forerunner of today’s Catholic Church. Consecrated in honor of Sacred Heart of Jesus. By the mid 1980s, it became necessary augmentation of the Roman Catholic chapel (capacity about 100 people) . The New church built in modern style according the plans of József Holczer, control by the parish priest of Máriagyűd, vicar Ferenc Hopp. The renovated,-in terms of square footage increased sixfold,- church consecration took place in October 1988. – Laszlo Morvai enamel works ‘Stages’can be see out on wall of the temple.
The curative effect of the water of Harkany was discovered in 1823 completely accidentally. The first two wells were bored by Vilmos Zsigmond in 1866 and in 1887. The first pool was opened in 1925. It is medically proven that the water and mud lends itself particularly well to the medication of rheumatic illnesses. Drinking cure is a potent remedy of catarrhal ailments.
The hot springs at Harkány unique in Europe bubble up from the ground from a depth of 50–70 metres, at an average temperature of 620C Its mineral content is more than 1000 miligrams per litre. The most valuable component from a medicinal point of view is a compound having bivalent sulphur, carbon sulphide (COS), which, as a gas, is in solution and under pressure in the water. When the water comes to the surface, the gas is released from under the pressure and immediately begins todecompose, it turns into hydrogen sulphide gas, which is responsible for the characteristic odour.
In a side-light, the precipitated tiny grains of elementary sulphur can be plainly observed in the ponds. Approximately 12 mg carbon sulphide can be found in 1 litre of water. By the way, this compound had not been known before, it was discovered here during the chemical analysis of the water in the 1860s. It is very actively absorbed both through the skin and via breathing: its absorption is 150 times as effective as that of tetravalent sulphuric compounds (sulphates).
In our bodies, the bivalent sulphuric atoms are important components of the organic molecules making up the articular cartilage. 90 per cent of patients complaining of a locomotor disorder, suffer from degenerative spinal and articular conditions. First of all, the joints bearing the greatest load: the glassy cartilage in the hips, knees, and ankles get damaged. The mechanical overload (as, for example, in case of an overweight body) is manifest in increased clinical symptoms, such as swelling, pain, difficulty of locomotion. The sulphur getting into the system – which is demonstrably well metabolized – has an important role in the re-composition of the organic compounds making up the cartilage. That is the chemical effect of the medicinal water. Beyond that, the buoyancy in the water, the hydrostatic pressure – through which the weight of the body decreases and the load on the joints is also less – the hydrodynamic effect, and the thermal effect also have roles in the healing power.
But sufferers from chronic gynaecological inflammations also get healed here. According to earlier studies, 30 per cent of sterile woman treated here got later pregnant.