European Thermal Heritage Day 2021

European Thermal Heritage Day 2021

EHTTA’s 4th European Thermal Heritage Day, hosted by Wiesbaden took place on the 21st October online from the Christian Zais Saal, Kurhaus Wiesbaden. The first of a series of annual events on the “Therapeutic Landscape”, this first event was on the subject of “Thermal Urbanism”.

European Thermal Heritage Day 2021 examined the subject of “Thermal Urbanism” in the context of the “Therapeutic Landscape”. This is the idea that thermal towns, with their surrounding landscape were created to enhance physical and mental health of their visitors, involving inhabitants and guests in a sustainable process that we still enjoy today, hundreds of years later. These spaces are particularly valuable as people look for healthy destinations and healing spaces after the pandemic. Wiesbaden in Germany, as the host of European Thermal Heritage Day 2021, is a great example of the concept of “thermal urbanism”..

This is the first of a series of three annual events, looking at the development of the Therapeutic Landscape – in 2022 the subject will be “Parks and Gardens”, and the following year, “Thermal Towns”.

Each spa town relies on its natural setting and the surrounding landscape which has been used and managed as a part of the ‘spa offer’ or attractiveness of the place since the 16th century, in other words the ‘therapeutic’ or spa landscape which is unique to spa towns. This has led to a specific historic urban landscape of transition which moves from the formal gardens in the centre of the spa town, formed around the principal public buildings to the wider ‘English’ style parkland of trees, shrubs and lawns, to the meadows and walks beyond leading into the hills and ‘wild’ landscape setting of the spa town.

The ‘natural’ landscape surrounding the spa towns is often less “natural” than it might appear, as it is a deliberately managed and planted forest to create the concept of ‘wilderness’ with prospects, viewpoints and ‘hidden surprises’ and features. This landscape was purposefully developed with health in mind, the development of which became a collaboration between the spa town authorities, private landowners, and the doctors practising in the town who prescribed walking and riding as part of the ‘cure’.

Therapeutic Landscapes: "Thermal Urbanism” Programme


Global moderator: Simone Zagrodnik, Executive Director, EHTTA

10.00 h Opening speeches

Dr. Oliver Franz, Mayor of Wiesbaden
José Manuel Baltar Blanco, EHTTA President
Stefano Dominioni, Executive Secretary, European Institute of Cultural Routes (Council of Europe)
Klaus-Peter WillschMember of Parliament, Deutscher Bundestag, Berlin

11.00 h Presentations from a panel of experts

“Thermal Urbanism from Wiesbaden to Saratoga Springs” – Mario Crecente, Vice President, EHTTA Scientific Committee.
“Thermal Urbanism in the Great Spas of Europe” – Paul Simons, Secretary General of the Great Spa Towns of Europe UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Thermal Urbanism in Wiesbaden” – Dr. Thomas Weichel, Office of Identity – Commitment – Citizen Participation of the City of Wiesbaden.

12.30 h Questions and discussion

13.30 h Digital Wiesbaden-Tour “One day in Wiesbaden”