English Français

The Great Spa Towns of Europe

The Great Spa Towns of Europe
This transnational property comprises 11 towns, located in seven European countries: Baden bei Wien (Austria); Spa (Belgium); Františkovy Lázně (Czechia); Karlovy Vary (Czechia); Mariánské Lázně (Czechia); Vichy (France); Bad Ems (Germany); Baden-Baden (Germany); Bad Kissingen (Germany); Montecatini Terme (Italy); and City of Bath (United Kingdom). All of these towns developed around natural mineral water springs. They bear witness to the international European spa culture that developed from the early 18th century to the 1930s, leading to the emergence of grand international resorts that impacted urban typology around ensembles of spa buildings such as the kurhaus and kursaal (buildings and rooms dedicated to therapy), pump rooms, drinking halls, colonnades and galleries designed to harness the natural mineral water resources and to allow their practical use for bathing and drinking. Related facilities include gardens, assembly rooms, casinos, theatres, hotels and villas, as well as spa-specific support infrastructure. These ensembles are all integrated into an overall urban context that includes a carefully managed recreational and therapeutic environment in a picturesque landscape. Together, these sites embody the significant interchange of human values and developments in medicine, science and balneology.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Les grandes villes d’eaux d’Europe

Ce bien transnational comprend 11 villes situées dans sept pays européens : Bad Ems (Allemagne) ; Baden-Baden (Allemagne) ; Bad Kissingen (Allemagne) ; Baden bei Wien (Autriche) ; Spa (Belgique) ; Vichy (France) ; Montecatini Terme (Italie) ; Ville de Bath (Royaume-Uni) ; Franzensbad (Tchéquie) ; Karlovy Vary (Tchéquie) ; et Marienbad (Tchéquie). Toutes ces villes se sont développées autour de sources d’eau minérale naturelles. Elles témoignent de la culture thermale européenne internationale qui s’est développée du début du XVIIIe siècle aux années 1930, conduisant à l’émergence de grandes stations internationales qui ont influencé la typologie urbaine autour d’ensembles de bâtiments thermaux tels que les kurhaus et les kursaal (bâtiments et salles dédiés à la cure), les salles de pompage, les halls des sources, les colonnades et les galeries, conçues pour exploiter les ressources naturelles en eau minérale et les utiliser pour les bains et les cures d’eau thermale. Les équipements comprennent des jardins, des salons de réunion, des casinos, des théâtres, des hôtels et villas, ainsi que les infrastructures de soutien spécifiques aux stations thermales. Ces ensembles sont tous intégrés dans un contexte urbain global caractérisé par un environnement thérapeutique et récréatif soigneusement géré dans un paysage pittoresque. Ces sites témoignent collectivement de l’échange d’idées et d’influences dans le cadre du développement de la médecine, des sciences et de la balnéothérapie.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

مدن المنتجعات الصحية الأوروبية الكبرى
يضم الموقع العابر للحدود الوطنية لمدن المنتجعات الصحية الأوروبية الكبرى 11 مدينة موزّعة في سبعة بلدان أوروبية، ألا وهي: بادن باي فين (النمسا)؛ سبا (بلجيكا)؛ فرانتشكوفي لازني (تشيكيا)؛ كارلوفي فاري (تشيكيا)؛ ماريانسكي لازني (تشيكيا)؛ فيشي (فرنسا)؛ باد إمس (ألمانيا)؛ بادن بادن (ألمانيا)؛ باد كيسينغن (ألمانيا)؛ مونتيكاتيني تيرمي (إيطاليا)؛ ومدينة باث (المملكة المتحدة). وتطوّرت هذه المدن كافة في محيط ينابيع المياه المعدنيّة الطبيعيّة، وتقف شاهداً على ثقافة المنتجعات الصحية الأوروبية الدولية التي تبلوَرت في الفترة الممتدة بين مطلع القرن الثامن عشر وثلاثينيات القرن التاسع عشر، وهو ما أدَّى إلى ظهور منتجعات دولية كبرى أثّرت في النماذج الحضرية لمجموعات مباني المنتجعات الصحيّة مثل كورهاوس وكورسال (المباني والغرف المخصصة للعلاج) وغرف المضخات وقاعات الشرب والأروقة والحجرات المصمّمة لتسخير موارد المياه المعدنية الطبيعيّة والاستفادة منها لأغراض الاستحمام والشرب. وتشمل المرافق ذات الصلة الحدائق وغرف التجميع والملاهي والمسارح والفنادق والقصور، ناهيك عن هياكل الدعم الأساسية الخاصة بالمنتجعات الصحية. وجرى دمج جميع هذه المباني في سياق حضري شامل يتضمن بيئة ترفيهية وعلاجية تُدار بعناية في أحضان مناظر طبيعية خلّابة. وتُجسّد هذه المواقع مجتمعةً شكلاً هاماً من أشكال تبادل القيم الإنسانية والتطورات التي طرأت على مجالات الطب والعلوم والتداوي بالاستحمام والمياه المعدنية.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

欧洲温泉疗养胜地
该跨境遗产地包括7个欧洲国家的11个城镇:巴登(奥地利)、斯帕(比利时)、弗朗齐谢克(捷克)、卡罗维发利(捷克)、玛丽安斯凯(捷克)、维希(法国)、巴特埃姆斯(德国)、巴登-巴登(德国)、巴特基辛根(德国)、蒙泰卡蒂尼泰尔梅(意大利)、巴斯(英国)。这些城镇都以天然矿物质水源而发展起来,是从18世纪初到20世纪30年代蓬勃的欧洲温泉疗养热潮的见证,这一热潮催生了一批大型国际化温泉度假村。温泉疗养馆、温泉大厅(专门用于理疗的房屋)、泵房、饮水厅、柱廊和地道等将天然矿泉水资源用于沐浴和饮用的温泉建筑群影响了温泉城镇的空间布局。其它相关设施还包括花园、集会厅、赌场、剧院、旅馆和别墅,以及特定的温泉配套基础设施。这些设施都融入市镇整体格局,造就一个个在如画的景观中精心管理的休闲和治疗环境。这些城镇体现了人类价值观与医学、科学和浴疗学发展的重要交流。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Великие курортные города Европы
Транснациональный объект Великие курортные города Европы включает 11 городов, расположенных в семи европейских странах: Баден под Веной (Австрия); Спа (Бельгия); Франтишкови Лазне (Чехия); Карловы Вары (Чехия); Марианские Лазне (Чехия); Виши (Франция); Бад-Эмс (Германия); Баден-Баден (Германия); Бад-Киссинген (Германия); Монтекатини-Терме (Италия); и город Бат (Соединенное Королевство). Все эти города развивались вокруг природных источников минеральной воды. Они свидетельствуют о международной европейской курортной культуре, которая развивалась с начала XVIII века до 1930-х годов, что привело к появлению крупных международных курортов, повлиявших на городскую типологию ансамблей курортных зданий, таких как курхаус и курзал (здания и комнаты, предназначенные для лечения), бюветы, питьевые залы, колоннады и галереи, предназначенные для использования природных ресурсов минеральных вод и их практического использования для купания и питья. К числу связанных с ними объектов относятся сады, залы заседаний, казино, театры, гостиницы и виллы, а также вспомогательная инфраструктура для спа-отдыха. Все эти ансамбли интегрированы в общий городской контекст, который включает в себя тщательно продуманную рекреационную и терапевтическую среду в живописном ландшафте. В совокупности эти объекты олицетворяют значительный обмен человеческими ценностями и достижениями в медицине, науке и бальнеологии.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Los grandes balnearios de Europa
Este sitio transnacional abarca los célebres balnearios situados en 11 ciudades de siete países europeos: Baden bei Wien (Austria); Spa (Bélgica); Františkovy Lázně, Karlovy Vary y Mariánské Lázně (Chequia); Vichy (Francia); Bad Ems, Baden-Baden y Bad Kissingen (Alemania); Montecatini Terme (Italia) y City of Bath (Reino Unido). El desarrollo de todas estas localidades se debió a la existencia de manantiales de aguas minerales en sus territorios, así como al auge que fueron cobrando las curas termales en Europa desde principios del siglo XVIII hasta el tercer decenio del siglo XX. Esto condujo a crear en ellas grandes centros balnearios destinados a un público internacional acomodado, que influyeron en su estructura urbana porque la vida ciudadana se organizó en torno a los edificios y estancias (“kurhaus” y “kursaal”, en alemán) dedicados a las terapias termales. Construidos con suntuosas columnatas, galerías y estancias, esos edificios fueron diseñados para fomentar la práctica de los baños y el consumo de aguas minerales naturales, y también para explotar su potencial económico. Las ciudades balnearias crearon también numerosos jardines, salas de congresos, casinos, teatros, hoteles, mansiones residenciales e infraestructuras específicamente destinadas a la conducción de las aguas termales. Todas esas construcciones se integraron en conjuntos urbanos de gran belleza paisajística, celosamente organizados para la administración de terapias y la realización de actividades recreativas. El conjunto de estos balnearios es representativo de la importancia del intercambio de valores humanos, así como de la evolución de la ciencia, la medicina y la balneoterapia.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

  • English
  • French
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
Spa Colonnade - Mariánské Lázně © Ceská centrála cestovního ruchu – CzechTourism
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Great Spas of Europe bear an exceptional testimony to the European spa phenomenon, which gained its highest expression from around 1700 to the 1930s. This transnational serial property comprises eleven spa towns located in seven countries: Baden bei Wien (Austria); Spa (Belgium); Karlovy Vary, Františkovy Lázně and Mariánské Lázně (Czechia); Vichy (France); Bad Ems, Baden-Baden and Bad Kissingen (Germany); Montecatini Terme (Italy); and City of Bath (United Kingdom). The series captures the most fashionable, dynamic and international spa towns among the many hundreds that contributed to the European spa phenomenon.

Whilst each spa town is different, all the towns developed around mineral water sources, which were the catalyst for a model of spatial organisation dedicated to curative, therapeutic, recreational and social functions. Ensembles of spa buildings include baths, pump rooms, drinking halls, treatment facilities and colonnades designed to harness the water resources and to allow its practical use for bathing and drinking. ‘Taking the cure’, externally and internally, was complemented by exercise and social activities requiring visitor facilities such as assembly rooms, casinos, theatres, hotels, villas and related infrastructures (from water piping systems and salts production to railways and funiculars). All are integrated into an overall urban context that includes a carefully managed recreational and therapeutic environment of parks, gardens, promenades, sports facilities and woodlands. Buildings and spaces connect visually and physically with their surrounding landscapes, which are used regularly for exercise as a contribution to the therapy of the cure, and for relaxation and enjoyment.

Criterion (ii): The Great Spas of Europe exhibits an important interchange of innovative ideas that influenced the development of medicine, balneology and leisure activities from around 1700 to the 1930s. This interchange is tangibly expressed through an urban typology centred on natural mineral springs and devoted to health and leisure. Those ideas influenced the popularity and development of spa towns and balneology throughout Europe and in other parts of the world.

The Great Spas of Europe became centres of experimentation which stayed abreast of their competitors by adapting to the changing tastes, sensitivities and requirements of visitors. Other than physicians, the principal agents of transmission were the architects, designers and gardeners who created the built and ‘natural’ environments framing spa life. As a result, the property displays important examples of spa architecture such as the ‘kurhaus’ and ‘kursaal’, pump rooms, drinking halls (‘trinkhalle’), colonnades and galleries designed to harness the natural mineral water resource and to allow its practical use for bathing and drinking.

Criterion (iii): The Great Spas of Europe bears exceptional testimony to the European spa phenomenon, which has its roots in antiquity, but gained its highest expression from around 1700 to the 1930s. ‘Taking the cure’, either externally (by bathing) or internally (by drinking, and inhaling) involved a highly structured and timed daily regime and a combination of medical aspects and leisure, including entertainment and social activities (e.g. gambling, theatre, music, dancing) as well as taking physical exercise within an outdoor therapeutic spa landscape.

These parameters directly influenced the spatial layout of spa towns and the form and function of spa buildings or ‘spa architecture’. Urban parks and promenades allowed people taking the cure “to see and be seen” by others.

Integrity

The eleven component parts that comprise the serial property represent the most exceptional examples of European spa towns. All component parts share a set of determining characteristics formed during the most significant “culture-creating” phase of their history and development, the heyday period from around 1700 to the 1930s. Each and every one continues to function for the purpose for which it was originally developed.

The series illustrates the main stages of the development of the spa phenomenon, starting with the most influential spa towns in the 18th century, to the development of model spa towns in the 19th century, to towns that are testimony to the last stages of the phenomenon in the early 20th century.

Boundaries are determined in relation to the mapping of the attributes that convey Outstanding Universal Value, namely: the most important spa structures and buildings used for thermal-related activities; the social facilities and buildings for leisure and pleasure; accommodation facilities; related spa infrastructure; and the surrounding therapeutic and recreational spa landscape. Buffer zones are drawn both for the protection of spring catchments and important setting.

All component parts and their constituent elements are generally in good condition. Elements requiring conservation either have works already planned, or are awaiting alternative uses, with their current state of conservation maintained. Upgrades and redevelopments made to keep pace with standards of services, hygiene and new spa technology, can create tensions with their conservation as historic buildings, and need to be carefully addressed. Challenges in the adaptive reuse and technical upgrading of industrial structures pose similar challenges.

Authenticity

The property meets the conditions of authenticity in terms of form and design, materials and substance, use and function, traditions, and location and setting.

All component parts express the Outstanding Universal Value of the property through a variety of common and highly authentic attributes: mineral springs, of great diversity, which maintain their natural physical qualities, including substance, location and setting; a distinct and highly legible spatial layout and a well-maintained location and setting that combine to retain an enduring spirit and feeling; spa architecture, that remains authentic in form and design, original materials and substance, even though some buildings have experienced change of use; the spa therapeutic landscape, which retains its form, design and function, and continues to be used for the purpose for which it was designed; spa infrastructure, much of which is either original or evolved on original principles and remains in use; continuing spa use and function despite the need to meet today’s standards.

The veracity and credible expression of attributes embodied in structures that date from around 1700 to the 1930s, the principal period of contribution to Outstanding Universal Value, is further evidenced during substantial and sustained conservation works that are informed by expansive archival collections of plans, documents, publications and photographs held at each component part.

Protection and management requirements

Responsibility for the protection and management of each of the eleven component parts of the property rests with the national/regional government (in the case of Germany, with the government of the Länder, and local authorities of that State Party). Each component is protected through legislation and spatial planning regulations applicable in its State Party or individual province, as well as by a significant degree of public/charitable ownership of key buildings and landscapes. Each component part has a property manager or coordinator and a Local Management Plan in place conforming to the overall Property Management Plan.

An overall management system for the whole property has been established, with a Property Management Plan and Action Plan agreed by all stakeholders. An Inter-Governmental Committee, made up of national World Heritage Focal Points and/or a representative of the highest monument or heritage protection authority, keeps track of matters relating to the property. A Great Spas Management Board (GSMB), made up of the Mayors of the eleven components, is responsible for the operational coordination and overall management of the property in close consultation with the Inter-Governmental Committee. The Board sets and manages the budget for the overall management functions, monitors and reviews the Action Plan, approves and publishes an Annual Report, employs the Secretariat, and directs other activities for the property as a whole.

The Site Managers Group includes site managers for each component part, the Secretariat, and any specialist advisors. The Site Managers Group is essentially an expert group for debate and exchanges of experience and to advise the GSMB on relevant management issues. The international structure is supported and serviced by a Secretariat jointly funded by all the component parts.

An important concern will be to continue to develop cooperation and collaboration between the individual component parts and to ensure that the property as a whole is effectively managed and the overall management system is adequately resourced. Development pressures may be an issue since these are living cities which will need to continue to adapt and change to maintain their role as spa towns. Managing tourism so that it is truly sustainable may also become a challenge. A management approach at the landscape level, which considers the relationship between each component part, the buffer zone, and the broader setting is also needed to maintain views to, and from, the picturesque wider landscape.