Spa town

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The statue of "A man breaking a walking crutch" in the spa town Piešťany (Slovakia) - a very eloquent symbol of spa towns and balneotherapy.
Print of Spa, Belgium, 1895
This article is about a town frequented for health reasons. For other uses, see Spa (disambiguation).

A spa town (also called a bathing-place or simply a spa) is a specialized resort town situated around a mineral spa (a developed mineral spring). Patrons visited spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word comes from the Belgian town Spa.

Thomas Guidott set up practice in the English town of Bath, Somerset in 1668. He became interested in the curative properties of the waters and he wrote A discourse of Bathe, and the hot waters there. Also, Some Enquiries into the Nature of the water in 1676. This brought the health-giving properties of the hot mineral waters to the attention of the aristocracy, who started to partake in them soon after.[1]

The term spa is used for towns or resorts offering hydrotherapy which can include cold water or mineral water treatments and hot thermal baths.[2]

Argentina[edit]

Termas de Rio Hondo

Australia[edit]

Most of the mineral springs in Australia are in the Central Highlands of Victoria, although there are a few springs in South Australia, Moree, New South Wales and Queensland. Most are within 30 km of Daylesford, Victoria: the Daylesford and Hepburn Springs call themselves the 'Spa Centre of Australia'.[3]

Belgium[edit]

Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

See: List of spa towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Banja Vrućica, Teslić

Brazil[edit]

Brazil counts with a growing number of spa towns. The traditional ones are: Águas de Lindoia, Serra Negra, Águas de São Pedro, Poços de Caldas, Caldas Novas, Araxá, and São Lourenço.

Bulgaria[edit]

The Roman walls of Hisarya. Many spa towns in Bulgaria have existed since the Roman Empire.

See: List of spa towns in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is known for its over 500 mineral springs including the hottest spring in the Balkans in Sapareva Banya - 103°C. Other famous spa towns include Sandanski, Hisarya, Bankya, Devin, Kyustendil, Varshets, Velingard.

In Bulgarian language the word for a spa is баня (transliterated banya).

Canada[edit]

See: List of spa towns in Canada

Harrison Hot Springs is one of the oldest among 18 in British Columbia, along with 2 in Alberta and one in Ontario.

Croatia[edit]

See: List of spa towns in Croatia

In Croatia, the word Toplice implies a spa town. The most famous spa towns in Croatia are Daruvar, Šibenik and Sisak.

Czech Republic[edit]

See: Spa towns in the Czech Republic

In the Czech Language, the word Lázně implies a spa town. The most famous spa towns in Czech Republic are Karlovy Vary, Teplice, Františkovy Lázně and Mariánské Lázně.

France[edit]

See: List of spa towns in France

In France, the words bains, thermes, and eaux in city names often imply a spa town. There are more than 50 spa towns in France, including Vichy, Aix-les-Bains, Bagnoles-de-l'Orne, Dax, and Enghien-les-Bains among the best known.

Germany[edit]

Binz on Rugia Island, Germany

See: List of spa towns in Germany

In Germany, the word Bad implies a spa town. Among the many famous spa towns in Germany are Baden-Baden, Bad Brückenau, Bad Ems, Bad Homburg, Bad Honnef, Bad Kissingen, Bad Mergentheim, Bad Muskau, Bad Pyrmont, Bad Reichenhall, Bad Saarow, Bad Schandau, Bad Segeberg, Bad Soden, Bad Tölz, Bad Wildbad, Bad Wildstein, Berchtesgaden, Binz, Freudenstadt, Heiligendamm, Heringsdorf, Kampen, Königstein, Radebeul, Schwangau, St. Blasien, Titisee, Tegernsee, Travemünde and Zingst. Wiesbaden is the largest spa town in Germany.

Hungary[edit]

See: List of spa towns in Hungary

In Hungary, the word fürdő or the more archaic füred ("bath"), fürdőváros ("spa town") or fürdőhely ("bathing place") implies a spa town. Hungary is rich in thermal waters with health benefits, and many spa towns are popular tourist destinations. Budapest has several spas, including Turkish style spas dating back to the 16th century. Eger also has a Turkish spa. Other famous spas include the ones at Hévíz, Harkány, Bük, Hajdúszoboszló, Gyula, Bogács, Bükkszék, Zalakaros, the Cave Bath at Miskolctapolca and the Zsóry-fürdő at Mezőkövesd.

Italy[edit]

Salsomaggiore Terme, in Northern Italy.

See: List of spa towns in Italy

In Italy spa towns, called città termale (from Latin thermae), are very numerous all over the country because of the intense geological activity of the territory. These places were known and used since the Roman age.

Luxembourg[edit]


Netherlands[edit]

  • Valkenburg near Maastricht, which wants to be a "city of wellness".

Poland[edit]

Most spa town in Poland are located in Lower Silesian Voivodeship.

See: List of spa towns in Poland

Portugal[edit]

A waterfall in Caldas de Monchique, Algarve (south region of Portugal).

Portugal is well known by famous spa towns throughout of the country.

Due to its high quality as well as the landscape where are located, the most important ones are:

Romania[edit]

See: List of spa towns in Romania

In Romania, the word Băile implies a spa town. The most famous spa towns in Romania are Băile Herculane, Băile Felix, Mangalia, Covasna, Călimănești & Borsec.

Serbia[edit]

See: List of spa towns in Serbia

Serbia is known for its many spa cities. Some of the best known springs are the Vrnjačka Banja, Bukovička Banja, Vrujci and Niška Banja. The hottest spring in Serbia is at Vranjska Banja (96°C)[4]

In Serbia, the word Banja implies a spa town.

Slovakia[edit]

Entrance to the spa in Turčianske Teplice (Slovakia).

See: Spa towns in Slovakia

Slovakia is well known by its spa towns. The most famous is Piešťany. The most important spa towns in Slovakia are:

Slovenia[edit]

Spa towns in Slovenia include Rogaška Slatina, Radenci, Čatež ob Savi, Dobrna, and Moravske Toplice. They offer accommodation in hotels, apartments, bungalows, and camp sites. The words terme or toplice in Slovenian language imply a spa town.

Switzerland[edit]

New Zealand[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

See: List of spa towns in the United Kingdom

Some but not all British spa towns contain "Spa", "Wells", or "Bath" in their names, e.g., Matlock Bath. Some towns are designated Spa Heritage Towns. Two out of three of the English towns granted the title "Royal", Royal Leamington Spa and Royal Tunbridge Wells, are spa towns.

United States[edit]

Other countries[edit]

See: List of spa towns

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Burns, D. Thorburn (1981). "Thomas Guidott (1638–1705): Physician and Chymist, contributor to the analysis of mineral waters". Analytical Proceedings including Analytical Communications: Royal Society of Chemistry 18 (1): 2–6. doi:10.1039/AP9811800002. Retrieved 10 December 2007. 
  2. ^ "Healing Waters; Investigative Files (Skeptical Briefs June 2005)". Archived from the original on 2007-10-24. Retrieved 2008-02-03. 
  3. ^ http://www.mineralwater.vic.gov.au/quicksite/?id=tourism#activities Victorian Mineral Water Committee Tourism information
  4. ^ "Reservoir Capital Corp.: 20MW Potential Estimated for the Vranjska Banja Geothermal Project". Retrieved 3 February 2012. 

External links[edit]