Marcial Waters resort in Karelia

The balneological resort of Marcial Waters is located at a considerable distance from major cities among Karelian lakes and forests. It is the very first resort in Russia, founded personally by Tsar Peter I in 1719. The nearest city of Petrozavodsk is 55 kilometers away. 

Tsar Peter I traveled a lot in Europe and visited balneological resorts there. After returning from one of these trips, he ordered everyone to look for mineral water sources in Russia. In 1714, an employee of an iron-making plant, Ivan Rebrov, found a non-freezing spring in a swamp near the plant. He suffered from a heart disease. After drinking water, he felt relieved, and after a few days, the disease receded. He wrote about the source to his superiors and soon Peter I became aware of it. 

The tsar sent his doctors to the source to make an analysis of the water. It confirmed the high medicinal properties of water. After that, Peter I ordered the creation of the first balneological resort in Russia. 

Mineral water has a high content of iron ions, so it was called Marcial, in honor of the god Mars. The resort itself was named Marcial Waters. The wooden Church of the Apostle Peter, which was built personally by Peter I in 1721, has been preserved there. The temple is not like traditional Orthodox churches, it shows the features of the Catholic Church. Perhaps Tsar Peter I not only personally built it, but also personally designed it. The iconostasis of the church is also made in Western European traditions. A similar wooden church built by Peter I has been preserved on Big Zayatsky Island, in the Solovetsky archipelago. 

Near the church on the hillside there are drinking pump rooms. Vacationers at the resort come here to drink water. You can`t take it with you. As soon as the water leaves the source, iron ions are oxidized very quickly under the influence of oxygen. Thus, the water becomes undrinkable for 1-2 hours. 

Tsar Peter I came here 4 times in 1719, 1720, 1722, 1724. He loved this resort very much and said that the waters really brought him relief. After his death, other Russian tsars no longer visited the Marcial Waters resort, the wooden buildings fell into disrepair. The resort was forgotten for almost two centuries. 

In 1964, a sanatorium was built at the resort of Marcial Waters. Modern medical buildings are located on the basis of springs and healing mud of Lake Gabozero. It treats cardiovascular diseases, iron deficiency anemia, digestive and respiratory organs.