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Woman relaxing in spa in Hungary 1936
The statue of "A man breaking a walking crutch" in the spa town Piešťany (Slovakia) – a symbol of balneotherapy
Print of Spa, Belgium, 1895

A spa town is a resort town based on a mineral spa (a developed mineral spring). Patrons visit spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word spa is derived from the name of Spa, a town in Belgium.

Thomas Guidott set up a medical practice in the English town of Bath in 1668. He became interested in the curative properties of the hot mineral waters there and in 1676 wrote A discourse of Bathe, and the hot waters there. Also, Some Enquiries into the Nature of the water. This brought the purported health-giving properties of the 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 geothermal baths.[2]

Contents

ArgentinaEdit

AustraliaEdit

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 'Spa Country' and the 'Spa Centre of Australia'.[3]

BelgiumEdit

Bosnia and HerzegovinaEdit

BrazilEdit

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

BulgariaEdit

 
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 more than 500 mineral springs, including the hottest spring in the Balkans at Sapareva Banya - 103 °C. Other famous spa towns include Sandanski, Hisarya, Bankya, Devin, Kyustendil, Varshets, Velingard.

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

CanadaEdit

See: List of spa towns in Canada

Harrison Hot Springs is one of the oldest among 18 in British Columbia; there are also two in Alberta and one in Ontario.

CroatiaEdit

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 RepublicEdit

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.

FranceEdit

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.

GermanyEdit

GreeceEdit

See: List of spa towns in Greece

The most famous spa towns in Greece are Aidipsos and Loutraki.

HungaryEdit

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.

IndonesiaEdit

ItalyEdit

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.

LuxembourgEdit

LithuaniaEdit

  • Druskininkai - is known for mineral springs. The name comes from Lithuanian word druska - salt.
  • Birštonas - is known for mineral springs and curative mud applications.

NetherlandsEdit

  • Bad Nieuweschans in the North on the border with Germany, with "Bad" implying a spa town.
  • Valkenburg near Maastricht, which wants to be a "city of wellness".

New ZealandEdit

PolandEdit

See: List of spa towns in Poland

Most spa towns in Poland are located in the Lesser Poland and Lower Silesian Voivodeships. Some of them have an affix "Zdrój" in their name (written with hyphen or separately), meaning "water spring", to denote their spa status, but this is not a general rule (e.g. Ciechocinek and Inowrocław are spa towns, but do not use the affix).

PortugalEdit

 
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:

RomaniaEdit

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.

SerbiaEdit

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, Sokobanja and Niška Banja. The hottest spring in Serbia is at Vranjska Banja (96°C)[4]

In Serbia, the word Banja implies a spa town.

SlovakiaEdit

 
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:

SloveniaEdit

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

SpainEdit

SwitzerlandEdit

TaiwanEdit

 
Wulai Hot Spring Street in Wulai, New Taipei, Taiwan.

Taiwan is home to a number of towns and cities with tourism infrastructure centered on hot springs. These include:

UkraineEdit

United KingdomEdit

Some but not all UK 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 StatesEdit

Other countriesEdit

See: List of spa towns

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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 24 October 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  3. ^ https://www.hepburn.vic.gov.au/victorian-mineral-water-committee-strategic-master-plan/ Victorian Mineral Water Committee Tourism information
  4. ^ "Reservoir Capital Corp.: 20MW Potential Estimated for the Vranjska Banja Geothermal Project". Retrieved 3 February 2012.

External linksEdit