Natural inhalatorium

Natural inhalatorium

At Priessnitz Medical Spa plc., Jeseník, climatic conditions suitable for treatment comprise the source of natural healing, as certified by the Czech Ministry of Health. The stability of the extraordinary climate at Priessnitz Medical Spa Jeseník (PMSJ) has been under systematic and continuous monitoring by an automatic meteorological metering station at the spa resort. Measurements have shown, over the long-term, very low levels of air pollutants, whilst revealing steadily high levels of negatively charged ions (with a coefficient of unipolarity nearing 1.00), plus there is a higher concentration of lightweight atmospheric ions (LAI) in the air of the resort as well as the immediate surroundings. Important research, introduced in 2004, has resulted in evidence provided by a combination of geochemistry and atmospheric chemistry, i.e. biogenic trace elements transmitted in the spa complex and its surroundings from ​​the geosphere to the atmosphere, especially in areas of proven tectonic faults and fissures. They include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, bromine, lithium and other biogenically important elements, which boost immunity, stimulate the endocrine system and aid psychomotor conditions.

Evidence of the climatotherapeutical effect at Priessnitz Spa emerged through the cooperation of the PMSJ team with climatologists, natural science experts, hydrogeologists, geophysicists and physicians from a team made up of members from the Institute of Endocrinology Prague, Faculty of Science at Charles University Prague, faculties of Medicine and Physical Culture at Palacký University Olomouc, doctors from Masaryk University Brno and AQUA MINERA, a company from Brno.

Since a major tectonic fault, releasing a proven yield of biogenic elements into the atmosphere, runs across the plain below the central building of Priessnitz Sanatorium and a steep hillside in front of the Colonnade, located between the house of Vincenz Priessnitz and the spa house of Jubilejní vila, visitors actually find themselves in the middle of a completely natural “inhalation facility”, where they breathe highly specific biological air simply by inhabiting it and moving around.

The whole parterre of the inhalatorium is designed so as to utilise the ornamental features traversing the area to bolster the effect of treatment. Its meandering grassy path, with straight lines running through it, seeks to symbolize the importance of the tectonic fault and draw visitors' attention, in an interesting way, to this natural phenomenon. The area is conceived in a very colourful manner, using many types of vegetative, non-allergenic components. The composition of plants is not only a great aesthetic experience, but also potentiates therapeutic effects. The concentration and mix of planting completes these suitable elements of the therapeutic microclimate, whilst promoting biodiversity (shelters for insects - insect hotels, and boxes for hedgehogs and birds).

Biological diversity

Biodiversity represents the variety of life. There are many definitions for it, since it is a complex phenomenon. The World Wildlife Fund put it in 1989 as "the richness of life on Earth, millions of plants, animals and micro-organisms, including the genes they contain, and the complex ecosystems that make up the environment".

Loss of biodiversity could result in a decline in natural resources and threaten the diversity of ecosystems.

Maintaining and furthering the planting of trees, shrubs, perennials and other vegetation or the location of elements to promote biodiversity (shelters for insects and hedgehogs, birdhouses, etc.) could encourage life in an area, not only in the form of greenery alone, as planting could attract and provide habitable conditions for many animals.

Promoting biodiversity


In order to support saproxylic organisms, stumps and dying trees should be retained in the territory to some extent as a supply of dead wood. Saproxylic organisms are those bound to dying or dead wood or to creatures that are dependent on dead wood. As many as two-thirds of these are now considered endangered. The majority of saproxylic animals are invertebrates, especially insects, the class that taxonomically covers the order of beetles.


The area contains a large quantity of wildflowers and grasses. Making meadow grass communities more diverse significantly enhances the supply of food and shelter for insects, in this case specifically butterflies.


Protecting the population of orchids means ensuring unchanged conditions for such plants' growth and having in place the best method of site management - especially in terms of the times of mowing and their intensity, utilising areas and their shading, etc. The existence of the flower depends on symbiosis (mycotrophy) with microscopic fungi. Of harm to them is fertilization, mowing at the wrong time, and modification of the microclimate; this determined, for instance, by the extent of shading by trees or by the water regime.

The areas surrounding the musical pavilion comprise the habitat of Orchis mascula subs. signifera, a subspecies of early-purple orchid (Orchis mascula), a plant that is found almost everywhere in this country, especially in the east. It grows mainly on poor quality meadows and grazing land, also in open woods and bushes, and in the hills or mountains. It is a perennial herb, 25-50 cm high, with a straight stem, darkly spotted on the base as well as on basal leaves. The flowers are pale purple or pink, the lip at the base whitish to greenish, darkly spotted. It blooms from May to June. This orchid is a specially protected plant species (Act 114/92 Coll. on nature and landscape protection) and is also a listed species under the International Convention for the Protection of Endangered Species (CITES).


Such small wooden structures are usually filled with various kinds of natural materials. As the name suggests, they serve insects, mainly solitary species that use them as a safe haven for their eggs, from which the larvae hatch and then turn into adults after the pupal stage. These creatures seek out slits or pits in wood, plant stalks, walls, or soil in which to lay eggs. They are important helpers in natural gardens, preventing other insect species - those often perceived as pests - from reproducing beyond sustainable level.¨

Nowadays, when the slightest "flaws" on houses are immediately removed, filled with insulation and so on, cracks, crevices and other hiding places for insects once commonplace are fast disappearing. Additionally, gardens often do not provide unsightly, but highly useful shelters for insects, such as corners of hard-to-penetrate bushes, wood laid down and forgotten about, or heaps of stones. All of this makes building insect hotels so beneficial.


These are small structures made of wood with a long entrance corridor of about 60 cm long, which opens into a ventilated den. In size 40 x 40 cm, they should be located at a convenient, quiet site amidst shrubs, laid on the ground and covered with a mulching material or leaves. Hedgehog houses serve as winter shelters and for raising young hedgehogs or the offspring of other animals.


Nesting boxes are intended for birds that naturally nest in tree hollows in order to make up for lack of cavities in felled trees.


Shrubberies are particularly important as a source of food and shelter, mainly for birds and other wildlife.

Plants in the inhalatorium - layout

E Alcea rosea var. nigr
B, D Allium schoenoprasum
F Anemone sylvestris
J Centaurea montana ´Alba´
A, 5 Echinacea purpurea ´Magnus´
C Hyssopus officinalis ´Albus´
A, E Iris x barbata ´Basic Black´
C Iris x barbata nana ´Brighteyes´
E Levisticum officinale
B, E Melissa officinalis
D, E, 6 Mentha piperita ´Mitcham´
C, E, 7 Monarda ´Petite Delight´
D Muscari armeniacum
E, 8 Myrrhis odorata
C Narcissus poeticus
C, 9 Origanum vulgare ´Aureum´
A, E Paeonia lactiflora ´Rosa Klose´
A, E, J Phlox paniculata ´Pax´
B, F, H, J Primula veris ´Cabrillo´
E, F, J Pulmonaria angustifolia ´Blue Ensign´
B, D, E, 10 Salvia officinalis ´Icterina´
B, C, E, 11 Salvia officinalis ´Purpurascens´
C, 12 Thymus x citriodorus ´Silver Queen´
D, F, G, H, J Viola odorata ´Konigin Charlotte´

1 Viburnum x bodnantense ´Dawn´
2 Syringa vulgaris ´Sensation´
3 Philadelphus coronarius
4 Hamamelis mollis

13 Rosa ´Rote the Fairy´