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 Krynica-Zdrój had existed even before 1547, which is proved by the privilege of giving a village administrator`s office to this town for Danko from Miastko (nowadays Tylicz). The later development of the town is tightly connected with  the discovery of the curative properties of the mineral springs in the 17th c. "Mały Domek" ("A Small House"), which since 1804  contained the first balneotherapy institution, was a start for this health resort. In 1807 Krynica-Zdrój was officially called a balneotherapeutic health resort, and since then the first doctor started receiving patients there.  The Great Era of Krynica-Zdrój as a health resort was started by Józef Dietl`s activity in 1856 - a professor at the Jagiellonian University who was concerned as the father of the Polish balneology. Since 1858 peat baths were used here and the followers of Józef Dietl`s activity contributed to the technical development of the spa. During that period lots of objects were built, such as: Stare Łazienki Mineralne (the Old Mineral Baths), Stare Łazienki Borowinowe (the Old Peat Baths), Dom Zdrojowy (the Spa House), the Main Wooden Pump-room with a Promenade, numerous boarding houses and a larch theatre. The building of a railway to Muszyna in 1876, which was extended to Krynica-Zdrój in 1911, also contributed to the development of the spa. At the end of the 19th c.  Krynica-Zdrój was a fashionable and elite meeting and resting place of many famous Poles, such as Matejko, Grottger, Sienkiewicz and Kraszewski. During the interwar period it was also a resting place for Solski, Modrzejewska, Rejmont, Tuwim, Gałczyński and Kiepura. Festivals that are currently organized are named after Kiepura and refer to his frequent visits in Krynica-Zdrój. Solski and Modrzejewska had performed on the stage in the larch theatre, which unfortunately burned down in 1943. Krynica-Zdrój is famous for an activity of a painter of primitivism - Nikifor, also called Krynicki.

 After the I World War, the Polish authorities took possession of the spa. At that time, a few buildings were restored and a lot of new ones were built, such as Nowe Łazienki Mineralne (the New Mineral Baths), a boarding-house "Lwigród", and Nowy Dom Zdrojowy (the New Spa House). A hostel on the Jaworzyna Mountain was also built during that time, as well as a cable railway to the Parkowa Mountain, a winter stadium and a tobbogan-run. Krynica-Zdrój became a centre of winter sports. Two sports events took place there, namely, the Europe Championship in lugeing and the World Championship in the ice hockey. In 1919, 10 000 people came to Krynica either for a treatment or for a vocation, and in 1938 this number increased to 40 000 a year. The development of the health resort was interrupted by II World war and the period of occupation. After the war, the resort was extended, new sanatoria of the trade were built, as well as an impressive physiotherapeutic institution, the Main Pump-room with a concert hall, tennis courts and football pitches. Krynica-Zdrój became the biggest health resort in the set of Krynica-Poprad health resorts.

 In the recent years, the sports and recreation infrastructure has been strongly developed. The cable-car (Gondola) railway to the Jaworzyna Mountain together with the set of ski runs, as well as the building of the sports-show hall on the basis of the artificial skating rink is definitely the biggest investment of the southern Poland.