A spa town, also known as a spa, is a kind of town located around a mineral spring that has been developed for tourist activities and to provide a clean hygienic area for health care. People come to spa towns with the purpose of taking the water for good health and rejuvenation.
Bath, Somerset – United Kingdom
Bath is a city in the ceremonial county of Somerset in the south west of England. It is situated 97 miles (156 km) west of London and 13 miles (21 km) south-east of Bristol. The population of the city is 83,992. It was granted city status by Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1590, and was made a county borough in 1889 which gave it administrative independence from its county, Somerset. The city became part of Avon when that countyunitary authorityBath and North East Somerset was created in 1974. Since 1996, when Avon was abolished, Bath has been the principal centre of the of Bath and North East Somerset.
The City of Bath was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1987. The city has a variety of theatres, museums, and other cultural and sporting venues, which have helped to make it a major centre for tourism, with over one million staying visitors and 3.8 million day visitors to the city each year. The city has two universities and several schools and colleges. There is a large service sector, and growing information and communication technologies and creative industries, providing employment for the population of Bath and the surrounding area.
Marianske Lazne – Czech Republic
Marianske Lazne is a spa town in the Carlsbad Region of the Czech Republic. The town, surrounded by green mountains, is an exquisite mosaic of parks and noble houses. Most of its buildings come from the town’s Golden Era in the second half of the 19th century, when many celebrities and top European rulers came to enjoy the curative carbon dioxide springs.
By the early 20th century, approximately 1,000,000 bottles of mineral water were exported annually from Marienbad. The water from the Cross Spring (Kreuzquelle, K?ížový pramen) was evaporated and the final product was sold as a laxative under the name of sal teplensis. The modern spa town was founded by the Tepl abbots, namely Karl Kaspar Reitenberger, who also bought some of the surrounding forests to protect them. Under the guidance of gardener Václav Skalník, architect Ji?í Fischer, and builder Anton Turner the inhospitable marshland valley was changed into a park-like countryside with colonnades, neoclassical buildings and pavilons around the springs.
Kusatsu spa in Japan
People of Kusatsu in Gunma Prefecture are proud to have one of the most prolific outpourings of hot water of all hot springs in Japan. Spa water gushes up from a number of wells in the town and the combined output for the whole town is about 37,000 liters (9,772 gallons) per minute. The springs produce sulfurous spa waters with high acidity that are said to be effective against neuralgia and skin diseases. Records show that men in power visited the town to bathe in the hot waters in as early as the 13th century, and that the spa itself was already well-known at that time. Today the town is part of the Joshin’etsu Kogen National Park and is constantly busy with many visitors. People come in the summer to escape the heat, in the fall for the autumn leaves, and in the winter for the skiing.
There are at least 18 public baths in the town, which are open round the clock to everyone without charge. At some of the public baths the traditional way of controlling the water temperature, known as “yumomi”, is still practiced. Yumomi adjusts the temperature by mixing the cold air of the highlands into the hot water with vigorous movements of the wooden boards. Several women standing at the edge of the bath tub and stirring the water in the bath with a wooden board to cool the water. The raw spring water is too hot to bathe in, but adding cold water decreases the medical efficacy of the spa water. Therefore, in recent years Yumomi has been performed as an entertainment show and become a popular tourist attraction for the visitors staying in Kusatsu.
Bagni Di Tivoli in Italy
Tivoli is an amazing Ancient Roman spa town where the rich came to relax and during the Renaissance the nobility came to play during the hot Roman summers. The sulfur water is supplied to the Spa town of Bagni di Tivoli from the Tiburtini Hills which is host to a vast number of natural springs. Visiting the magnificent Renaissance palace Villa D’Este, you can get a feel how these nobility lived as you walk through the most elaborate gardens made almost entirely out of fountains that are carved in all different shapes and sizes.
These create the most glorious amount of shade and atmosphere as you walk though this masterpiece of a garden listening to the trickle of water.
Saratoga Springs in New York
Saratoga Springs is a city in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The population was 26,186 at the 2000 census. The name reflects the presence of mineral springs in the area. While the word “Saratoga” is known to be a corruption of a Native American place name, authorities disagree on what the exact word was, and hence what it meant. The city is near the center of Saratoga County in upstate New York.
Before racing began in Saratoga, the area’s natural mineral springs had been attracting summertime visitors for many decades. These springs were believed to have healing powers. The Lincoln Baths was one such place people would go to be treated with the waters. The bath house has since been transformed into an office building, but still exists and can be visited to this day. The spa treatments also are being continued in a new bath house in the Spa State Park called the Roosevelt Baths. Springs can be found all over town. Most of the springs are covered by small pavilions and marked by plaques; others, however, are less conspicuous, sometimes just a spigot in a rock. The springs are famous for their varied and distinct tastes: some are clear freshwater, others are saltier, and some taste strongly of a certain mineral such as sodium bicarbonate or sodium chloride. There is a sulfur odor but mineral analysis of the water consistently shows almost no presence of dissolved sulfur, because the sulfur is in the form of the gas H2S, which degasses from the water very quickly. Visitors are welcome to bottle the spring water for personal consumption.
Heviz in Hungary
Heviz Spa and the Szent Andras Hospital, Hévíz (St. Andrew’s State Hospital for Rheumatology and Rehabilitation) is a spa in Hungary. It is located in Hévíz, on the shores of the lake of the same name.
The machinery of the hospital and the treatments were made up to date. By 1968 it has become Hungary’s most modern winter bath. For the reconstruction of the bath in the 1970s Austrian larch was used. 1986 3 March central buildings of the bath (in the lake) burnt down. In September 1989 the reconstruction of the destroyed parts was finished. The new set of buildings was more attractive and up to date than the previous one. To day the area of the Institution is 620,000 square metres. The plans of further reconstruction of the park and buildings were completed between 2000 and 2002.
The very much sophisticated complex balneotherapy of Hévíz and the spa are part of the world’s cultural heritage.
Baden Baden in Germany
Baden-Baden is a town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located on the western foothills of the Black Forest, on the banks of the Oos River, in the region of Karlsruhe.
Baden-Baden is the most picturesque of all the German bathing towns. The city offers many options for sports enthusiasts. Golf and tennis are both popular in the area. Horse racing fans enjoy the international racing season each August at nearby Iffezheim. The countryside is ideal for hiking and mountain climbing. In the winter Baden-Baden is a skiing destination.
The springs of Baden-Baden have been known for more than 2,000 years, and their composition resembles that of the Roman baths of the 3rd century. The water at the baths of “Caracalla-Therme” spa is rich in sodium chloride, and comes from artesian wells 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) under the Florentiner Mountain.
Hot Springs in Arkansas
Hot Springs is the 10th most populous city in the U.S. state of Arkansas, the county seat of Garland County, and the principal city of the Hot Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area encompassing all of Garland County. According to 2008 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 39,467.
Hot Springs is traditionally best known for the natural spring water that gives it its name, flowing out of the ground at a temperature of 147 degrees Fahrenheit (64 degrees C). Hot Springs National Park is the oldest federal reserve in the USA, and the tourist trade brought by the famous springs make it a very successful spa town.
The city takes its name from the natural thermal water that flows from 47 springs on the western slope of Hot Springs Mountain in the historic downtown district of the city. About a million gallons of 143-degree water flow from the springs each day. The rate of flow is not affected by fluctuations in the rainfall in the area. Studies by National Park Service scientists have determined through carbon dating that the water that reaches the surface in Hot Springs fell as rainfall in an as-yet undetermined watershed 4,000 years earlier. The water percolates very slowly down through the earth’s surface until it reaches superheated areas deep in the crust and then rushes rapidly to the surface to emerge from the 47 hot springs.
Royal Leamington Spa in the United Kingdom
Royal Leamington Spa, commonly known as Leamington Spa and Leamington or “Leam” to locals, is a spa town in central Warwickshire, England. Formerly known as Leamington Priors, its expansion began following the popularisation of the medicinal qualities of its water by Dr Kerr in 1784, and by Dr Lambe around 1797. During the 19th century, the town experienced one of the most rapid expansions in England.
The 2001 census reported a population of 45,114 making it the third largest town in the county after Nuneaton and Rugby. It is named after the River Leam which flows through the town. Tourism was initially driven by the spring waters.
Montecatini in Italy
Montecatini Thermal Center is located in Valdinievole, in a pleasant and green area at the foot of the hill, where the historical medieval village of Montecatini Alto rises. It is connected with the city through a funicular.
The thermal baths of Montecatini are known since the XIV century but they achieved their highest international fame in the last years of last century. Besides the efficient and rich thermal equipment, divided into different establishments, the place boasts of an elegant and refined look: the numerous liberty-style buildings, the broad parks, the wooded alleys remind of many famous thermal resorts from the other side of the Alps. Numerous high-level manifestations, congress structures and additional equipment like the golf course and the hippodrome besides the pleasant geographic position with respect to the most important art centers of Europe, make of Montecatini not only a very interesting thermal resort, but also a holiday station.