Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums

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A year before the fall of the iron curtain I was in then communist Hungary. Visited a few sanatoriums there. They had a certain hard to define charm I’ll never forget - most of them had some weird cross-over between Habsburg Baroque and brutalist soviet concrete architecture.

Hévíz certainly stood out. I always fondly remember floating with an inner tube of a truck tire on a warm, slightly radioactive pond.


Holiday Ro-oo-ooo-oo-oad


Is that first one a tanning bed or an iron lung?


I love that kind of books, and I love to steal from them (some call that “searching for inspiration”) for drawings or comics.


I found a caption on instagram : “A patient entering a hyperbaric chamber at Rodnik”

I think it’s a different contraption : to be effective your head have to be outside of an iron lung in order to create a difference of pressure and make you artificially breath.


Cut & Paste into any 60’s spy flick.


Hyperbaric means higher (than sea level) pressure. An iron lung (which, as you describe, works by creating a lower pressure around the patient’s body) may be described as a hypobaric chamber, though that particular term appears to be reserved for devices that also fully enclose the subject.


So the idea is to get stuffed into a sci-fi looking coffin and be at the mercy of someone to let you get back out of it. No. No I just don’t see the appeal in something like that at all. Perhaps useful for enhanced interrogations but to voluntarily just pop in for a quick toasting…No!


Now remembering the 1970s (?) era health spa scenes in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Water therapy, mud baths, and signs offering liver treatments.


I want one of those for my DIY submarine! :slight_smile:

Someone doesn’t know how to relax! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Seriously though, these places looks super neat.
I’ll gladly suffer a few quack treatments if i get to visit such a place.
Sign me up for the adventure alone!


Damn, soviet santorums. I bet those are bad.

It reminds me of the song… I don’t want to go for a holiday in the sun, I want a holiday in the soviet santorum.

I never knew what they were singing about back then because it was before the internet. Now I don’t care because I’ve seen much worse because it is after the internet.


This article is heart breaking, so sad and unfair.
I’m so glad the polio vaccine was invented.


This is not what I pictured when I read Solzhenitsyn’s “The Cancer Ward.”

(good book though.)

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I remember in the 50s a couple of children in the Hood River valley splashed some insecticide on themselves. It was a nerve toxin, and even placing them in iron lungs the doctors weren’t able to save them. To me, the Iron Lung represents tragedy and heart break–and the reason Big Chem needs to be kept accountable.

Ha! True enough when it comes to things like that. I gotta be sedated to go through a damned MRI. Never had a problem at all until about 15 years ago. The local hospital had one of those traveling MRI’s on an 18 wheeler, very snug and had to go in head first. As I was heading into the thing the attendant says, “Hope you’re not claustrophobic. I couldn’t be in that thing for 5 minutes let alone an hour”. That did it…I was outta there in a flash.


BUT just think how refreshed you’d be when you get back to work? You not be taking life for granted, no? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I kid. This reminds me of the bit in the show Future Man where Wolf kidnaps people and makes them think they are going to die, but really he makes them gourmet food and they taste it right when they realize they aren’t going to die so each bite tastes like a new lease on life. Or the show, I forget which one, where they bury people alive in coffins as a relaxation spa because when they get dug up they don’t take life for granted anymore…just my dark humor tickle spot. lol. :clown_face:


Not Refreshed, Reincarnated. I’d be a gone from this trip.


I’m from the former Eastern bloc… some of those sanatoriums are now converted to “wellness” facilities. Hungary have at least two dozen natural hot springs (including Heviz) and most of them was developed into resorts during the Habsburg era. From around 1950 these became available for everyone for a minimal fee (not that I condone communism!). The hot springs are so productive that the pools/ponds are flow-through. Large hot/warm therapeutic pools are integral part of the culture, some even have floating chessboards to play chess while you soak. Your doctor can even prescribe massage/warm water aerobics/mud bath etc. if you have chronic muscle/joint/back/neck pain. Greatly improves the quality of life for the elderly.