The origins of Piešťany (80 kilometres north of Bratislava) as a spa town go back to the Stone Age, when a mammoth-hunting culture is believed to have settled beside the thermal springs, but the first records of the thermal springs, which bring water and mud packed with minerals and sulphur to the surface, are from 1545.
The spa business really took off in the early 19th century, when the town owner developed a walled-in spa park on the island, already separated from the mainland by a narrow branch of the Váh. The spa grew steadily in size and popularity through the subsequent two centuries, with numerous hotels springing up to support it. Piešťany is now the most visited spa in Slovakia.
The center of Piešťany was declared a memorial zone in 1991 and contains a number of interesting buildings, such as the Johanite Monastery ruins from the 14th century (Detvianska 9), the Kurhotel, which is the oldest building in Piešťany and today serves as the headquarters of the Piešťany spa (Winterova 29), the Napoleón I, II and III spa buildings built from 1822 to 1862 (Kúpeľný ostrov - K7), and the Sv. Štefan Roman-Catholic church from 1832. There is also a public golf course and swimming pools for the sport-minded