Every year at Historic Thermal Towns we celebrate the United Nations World Water Day on 22nd March. It’s a time when our water sources, at the centre of each of our thermal spa towns and thermal regions are celebrated and promoted with talks, tours, concerts and events. Some of the highlights this year include:
- Baden bei Wien, Austria – guided tours to explore the sources of “yellow gold” and fantastic bathing stories and tell you about the bathing culture, as well as the launch of some new tourism products.
- Budapest in Hungary is launching online quizzes and surveys on the 22nd and then putting on free guided tours with a prize draw to the famous baths – Széchenyi, Gellért, Rudas, and Lukács as well as mineral water tasting tours. In all nearly 200 people will be able to take part on these tours.
- Caldas da Rainha, Portugal, is holding a special concert and will be opening restored historic fountains.
- Ourense, Spain is running two main activities. Popular free water yoga lessons held Tues to Sun at the just-reopened thermal spaces of Outariz and Burga de Canedo. Also on March 22nd, local tourist guides will be offering three free tours around the hot springs of As Burgas, explaining the importance of water sources (and underground waters) in the history of Ourense.
- In São Pedro do Sul, in Portugal, there’s a whole day of free activities that includes a guided walk, films about the water origin and its importance and, a guided tour to the natural spring and geothermal system and a thermal experience.
- One of our newest members, Varaždinske Toplice has organised a concert at the archeological site AQUAE IASAE in the old Roman Basilicum. First Ode to Joy (written in Baden bei Wien) will be played by brass section from Music School Varazdin and afterwards jazz duo- guitar and saxophone- will play jazz classics.
- Wiesbaden, Germany – World Water Day talks and tours kick off a whole year of celebrating a Year of Water. A new statue of a spear, representing the founding myth of Wiesbaden will also be unveiled on World Water Day.
The United Nation’s theme for World Water Day this year is “Groundwater, making the invisible visible”. Almost all of the liquid fresh water in the world is groundwater. It is everywhere but in many places it is overexploited, leading to ground shrinkage, and water shortage and insecurity for local communities.
Mr José Manuel Baltar Blanco, President of EHTTA said:
“While we celebrate our thermal water springs it is difficult not to be reminded millions of people do not have good access to clean stable water sources, for drinking, sanitation, food production and industrial processes. We are also mindful of the thousands of people in the Ukraine and other areas affected by war and conflict that cannot access clean water.
However we can’t be complacent about our water sources, and we need to keep discussing the sustainable use of thermal water resources and thermal energy from our water sources so that we innovate to ensure that our thermal towns and regions are attractive sustainable destinations.”
See Mr Baltar’s World Water Day message here: https://youtu.be/L-GHC099jPs
A short survey is available to complete this year (What’Spa). It was developed to find out what local people think about their spa town in the past, present and future, as well as what thermal water means to them. It has been created in Microsoft Forms in all the languages of the Association, and can be taken in about 5 minutes by people of all ages. https://historicthermaltowns.eu/world-water-day/
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For further information please contact:
Simone Zagrodnik, EHTTA Executive Director: firstname.lastname@example.org