Until last year, apart from a pretty dreary port on the Berounka River and a great view of the Zbraslav church steeple, the lackluster Prague suburb Radotín had little to recommend it. In fact not long ago, its only distinguishing feature was a big wastewater treatment plant near the riverfront.
But then they added a Finnish sauna to the mix.
At the newly built Kijukiju sauna, located on the Biotop Radotín, you can bask in the warmth of lava rocks, breathing in the smell of the spruce benches and enjoying a view of the Cukrák television tower. Afterward, you can lay back in a comfy wooden lounger and leaf through a book of poetry from the adjacent library. It’s prettiest at night, when the lawn is lit up with lanterns.
There is something very “zen” about the minimalistic wooden building, set in the middle of a flat lawn, its big windows looking out over a huge, flat artificial pond, also known as the Radotín biotope.
And what exactly is that?
According to Wikipedia, it is an area of uniform environmental conditions providing a living place for a specific assemblage of plants and animals. In the case of Radotín, it is a brilliant brownfield reclamation project, consisting of a “natural” swimming pool, whose water is continuously filtered through a dense network of water weeds, pebbles and sand in a separate “cleansing” pool, before returning to the original pool, clean and chemical-free.
This elegant project replaced the ugly cement structures of the derelict wastewater treatment plant turned garbage dump and refuge for the homeless. In 2009, the folks at Prague 16 Town hall tore down the ugly cement structures and built this pretty swimming hole in its place.
Their efforts have been duly rewarded. Opening day, last June 26, brought 1,500 visitors, and the crowds didn’t let up until closing day in September – and that was before the bathrooms and showers were finished.
This year, the Koupaliště Radotín, in addition to a 1,116 square meter pool, has added facilities, as well as a changing room, a buffet, and a playground. To get there, you can take the train from Hlavní nádraží or a bus from Smíchovské nádraží or drive and leave your car in the adjacent parking lot.
Wait until summer to visit the natural pool or take the plunge now after a nice steam.
Weekdays: 10:00 to 20:00
Weekends: 9:00 to 20:00
Adult: 150,00 Kč
Child to 10 years: 80,00 Kč
Family: 300,00 Kč
Entire sauna rental, 1 hour: 2,000,00 Kč
Read Float On, Bliss Out at New River Sauna for more on Prague’s sauna offerings.