Spa town

As a health resort municipalities or parts are identified, which was ( for example as part of a cure ) awarded because of their special suitability for a medical treatment, a corresponding predicate. Spas, where water treatments ( spa treatment or drinking cure ) are practiced, also referred to as beach resorts.

Characteristic of a spa is the presence of natural remedies of the soil, the water or the climate or the opportunity for physiotherapy after Kneipp.


Hot vapors, mineral and thermal waters for therapeutic purposes have been used already spread by the Romans and applied spas, including Aquae Sulis (now Bath), Aquae Arnementiae (now Buxton (Derbyshire ) ), Aquae Granni (now Aachen ), Aquae Mattiacorum (now Wiesbaden), Aquae (now Baden- Baden), Aquae Helveticae (now Baden AG), Aquae Cutiliae (today: Terme di Cotilia ).

1581 appeared the work balneologic Neuw water treasure of the botanist and physician Tabernaemontanus, who is therefore considered the founder German spa towns like Bad Schwalbach. 1632 published Johann Nopp in Aachen early balneotherapists rules in his work Aacher Chronick, which is a Kurtze, historical description of all gedenckwürdiger antiques and stories sampt added privileges and statutes.

The first modern bath or spa towns founded in the 18th century in England for the upper and middle classes. Significant influence on the British beach culture had the doctor Richard Russell (1687-1759), who worked intensively on the health benefits of sea water and one of the pioneers of thalassotherapy was. Examples from this period are Bath, Brighton, Buxton (Derbyshire ) and Harrogate. From the 19th century, this development also transferred to the European mainland. The Mecklenburg Baltic Sea resorts like Heiligendamm, the Bohemian spa towns of Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne, the Nassau resorts Wiesbaden and Bad Schwalbach or Austrian spa towns of Bad Ischl and Bad Gastein soon developed into a meeting place for high society. In Russia, the spa towns developed in the 19th century, famous example is Sochi. In Japan, hot springs (onsen ) were used for swimming in the earliest time after the opening of the country in the 19th century spa towns were in some places with these sources of Western-style furnishings that are now popular tourist destinations, such as Beppu.

Kinds of spas

In Germany, the following predicates are awarded:

  • Spa (eg seaside health resort, mineral spa, moor spa, peloid spa, thermal spa, Kneipp spa, North Sea spa )
  • Climatic health resort or Kneipp spa ( health resort )
  • Seaside resort or health resort
  • Place with medicinal spring spa, healing cave balneo, peloid balneo or brine balneo

Resorts, coastal resorts and tourist communities are not spas, but also nationally recognized.


In Germany the recognition takes place as a health resort (also called " Prädikatisierung " ) by the relevant ministry in the respective province. Recognition basis is regularly a law ( " spas Act") or ( in Bavaria, Lower Saxony, Saxony -Anhalt and Schleswig -Holstein) a regulation, possibly supplemented by decrees. Basis for approval exist in all German states. The recognition may refer to a community or a community member.

All area countries include the definitions - quality standards for Prädikatisierung of spas, resorts and mineral springs of the German Spas Association eV and the German Tourism Association eV implicitly or explicitly in the Prädikatisierung.

In most states, the state recognition as a spa or resort prerequisite for the recovery of tourist tax ( city tax) and tourist tax.

Health resort medicine

Spas are centers of excellence both in the field of medical and therapeutic care. So the spa doctors have in addition to the usual medical education in-depth knowledge of the local natural remedies ( typical local remedies ) and have relevant experience with these applications. The therapists specialize in the rule. So can usually achieve greater success in healing as the place of residence at the spa stays. In addition, the kurörtliche infrastructure is usually designed so that the guest does a lot for his health.