The beginning of the Balneological Society in Poland dated back to 1858 when Professor Josef Dietel, the director of the Jagiellonian University, established the Balneological Commission in Krakow. The commission was mainly preoccupied with scientific, technical and economical problems faced by Polish spas under the Austrian occupation.

Soon the commission exercised significant influence on the work of many Polish spas. The National Spa Company had an influential role as well. At the same time, balneological departments were established at Medical Societies in other partitions (1876- Poznan, 1870- Warszawa)

Many balneologists throughout Poland tried to integrate spa medicine from all the occupied territories. As a result of this effort, the Polish Balneological Society was established in Krakow on January 15, 1905 with Professor Ludomil Korczynski as the first president. In the same year, the society started to publish the scientific yearly “The Memoirs of the Polish Balneological Society.” They were published under this title until 1935 and for the next four years, they were issued as “Acta Balneologica.”

After WW II, the Polish Balneological Society was reactivated by Prof. Jozef Jankowiak in 1954. The first meeting of the society took place in the same year in Inowroclaw whereby the statutes and bylaws were agreed upon.

In 1945, the publishing of the quarterly “The Polish Balneology Journal” was started with Prof. Jankowiak as its editor-in-chief for many years.

The Balneological Society led a dynamic cooperation with many similar international societies. Prof. Jozef Jankowiak who was the director of the Balneoclimatology Institute and president of the Polish Association of Balneology, Bioclimatology and Physical Medicine for many years, facilitated this international cooperation.

The current president of the Association is Prof. Irena Ponikowska, who is the chairman of the balneological department at Medical University of Bydgoszcz Academy and Consultant to the Minister of Health on Health Resort Medicine. From the last Polish Congress of Balneology held in Sopot on Sept 2001, the Association has decided to shorten its name to the Polish Association of Balneology and Physical Medicine, although bioclimatology continues to have an active role in the Association. The Polish Balneology Journal is published in Ciechocinek spa with Prof. dr Kulinski as editor-in-chief.

The presidents of the Polish Association of Balneology, Bioclimatology and Physical Medicine are as follows:

  • prof. dr hab. Ludomil Korczynski. 1905-1907.
  • inz. Jan hrabia Potocki. 1907-1909.
  • prof. dr hab. Stanislaw Parenski. 1910-1913.
  • dr Maksymilian Cercha. 1914-1923.
  • prof. dr hab. Ludomil Korczynski. 1924-1939.
  • prof. dr hab. Antoni Sabatowski. 1954-1956.
  • prof. dr hab. Jozef Jankowiak. 1956-1976.
  • dr Zdzislaw Szamborski. 1976-1978.
  • prof. dr hab. Gerard Straburzynski. 1973-1993.
  • dr Eugeniusz Gawlak. 1993-1997.
  • prof. dr hab. Irena Ponikowska. od 1997.

The Polish Association of Balneology and Physical Medicine would like to thank Barbara Maliszewska from Nicolas Copernicus University in Torun for her translation of the text.