Men's Water of Kladanj - Gastro Obscura

Men's Water of Kladanj

Pauc, Bosnia and Herzegovina

A wellspring of natural Viagra found in Bosnia. 


Even at its heyday in the mid-1960s, so-called Men’s Water (Muška Voda) of Kladanj was a strange campy attraction. The Balkans, like many other mountainous regions of Europe, have an abundance of natural mineral springs. Depending on the particular mineral content, water from many of such springs can have certain health benefits, and waters from various locations are recommended as potentially helpful for a wide range of ailments.

Enter Men’s Water of Kladanj, a supposed natural Viagra welling forth from the earth.

Kladaj is a town in east Bosnia, on the slopes of Konjuh mountain. The legend of the amazing powers of the water from the local spring starts with the famous Ottoman 17th-century traveler and writer Evliya Çelebi who described the Kladanj spring as a fountain of youth.

In the 1960s a small mountain resort was built near the source and the water was bottled and marketed. Unlike most other brands of mineral water, which were sold in large 1l bottles, this one was sold in half-liter square-shaped bottles, more akin to hard liquors, probably to emphasize its ‘potency’.

As a marketing ploy, the water was even sold bundled with folk music records. While scientific research did confirm an overall beneficial effect in regulating blood pressure, blood sugar level, and intestinal flora, it never confirmed any effectiveness of the water as a cure for impotence.

However, locals claim that the large number of children in an average family in the region is proof enough of water’s magical properties.

Know Before You Go

Car is the best option to get to the Muška Voda well. Roads are small and gravel laden, but are currently under construction and are expected to soon be fully operable. Another option is to go to Kladanj (there are buses between Sarajevo and Tuzla leaving more or less every hour) and ask one of the locals to drive you there. There are persons at the main square in the city that might want to help you. A good portion of the younger populace speaks English, while the older generations speak Russian and possibly a little bit of German.

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June 2, 2010

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