History & Culture

Since ancient times people have been drawn to the hot healing mineral springs of Europe

The history of how they have used them for health and well-being has shaped a true thermal culture that is part of Europe’s history and identity: a complex phenomenon and a singular way to understand human health that involves landscape, architecture, art, urbanism and even social life.

European Spa Towns represent many different realities sharing but share one common denominator, the presence of THERMAL MINERAL WATERS, a precious limited resource gifted by Nature.

Without water no life will be possible: imagine for an instant the Earth out of blue, with no oceans, rivers, lakes or rainy clouds in the sky, how would it be?

Water is not only the basis of life. It is also a primal source of culture, having inspired myths, legends and beliefs all over the world, since long time ago.


The story of thermalism in Europe spans across time and space, in a journey that begins at the Ancient Greek and follows the steps of Celts, Gauls, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans across the continent; a diagonal route from East to West that even crosses oceans and extends overseas, under the influence of the metropolis.

Spa towns today are the result of this water’s odyssey, rooted in the memory of Europe and built upon a dialogue between cultures and civilizations.


Thermal Tourism and Spa Heritage in Europe. The case of EHTTA – 2018
SPA: A concept to be re-defined. 2019
Thermal Architecture – Mario Crecente Maseda, Paul Simons, Andreas Förderer
Thermal Heritage