Spa mineral water (Bukovička spa)

An old spring Knjaz Milos, beginning of the 20th century

Although people in Šumadija used to consume water from springs, wells, rivers, they always preferred the one from springs. They were two or three kilometers away from homes, so people used to carry it in buckets, bowls or other wooden or metal vessels, usually carrying them on a pole over the shoulder. They used it as drinking water, for cooking, washing and hygiene issues. The best known were the springs of the river Kubršnica and the springs on the mountain Venčac.  Bukulja is exceptionally rich in water courses where there are more than thirty springs of healthy drinking water.

However, this part became known for its springs of mineral water, which cured even Dositej Obradović (1811). Even at that time springs of mineral water were not rare in Bukovik . There was no difference in the quality of water from the springs in Banja and Bukovik, and there were also springs of mineral water in Garaši, Darosava, Progoreoci, Kruševica and Rudovci while in Arandjelovac there were numerous private wells where people could also collect mineral water.

 The oldest spring in the park of Bukovicka spa was established in 1839, three years after dr Emmerich Lindenmayer carried out the first qualitative analysis of the water from that spring. By purchasing the land (1848-1853) and by continual investments until the end of the 19th century, new springs were opened and they were used for drinking (as well as for bathing) and the park got the look of the best-designed spa parks in Europe.

At the end of the century, mineral water was distributed all over the country, and in 1904 it got the labels with the figures of the Duke Miloš and Prince Mihailo as its recognizable sign.

In the following years it received prestigious awards – in Brussels (1906) and at the Balkan Exhibition in London (1907). In the same year, a building “Knjaz Milos”, in which mineral water was manually bottled, was built above the spring.

During the 1920s and 1930s, another spring was opened in the park. It was called “Pobeda”, and new hydrological researches resulted in opening of a spring “Topla” which used to provide mineral water for the newly opened “Closed Bath”. The industrial exploitation of the mineral water “Knjaz Milos” began in 1964.