Following the inscription on UNESCO’s world heritage list in 2021, the 11 Great Spa Towns of Europe have made their partnership official. The Great Spa Towns of Europe Association was launched in April this year, following over a decade of unofficial partnerships. The new not-for-profit association is run by representatives from each town and will manage the historic spas from now on.
Lord Mayor Margret Mergen of Baden-Baden, chair of the Mayors Steering Group for the spa towns, said: “It is a great pleasure to have reached today’s landmark following so many years of close cooperation between our eleven spa towns, spread across seven European countries. Having achieved inscription on the World Heritage List this is an important milestone as our organisation matures to take on the challenges of protection, presentation and management of these globally important places.”
Spa towns have been highly popular across Europe since the 18th century, although many of the places on the list have much longer histories, reaching back to the Romans and earlier. Baden-Baden was visited by Caracalla nearly two millennia ago and has been a common destination for European royalty ever since.
Paul Simons, Secretary General of the project added: “On achieving World Heritage status UNESCO has made it abundantly clear that the Great Spa Towns of Europe have a major responsibility to protect the thermal heritage of Europe and promote its continuing use for the health and well-being of all, including future generations.”
The eleven spa towns possess important architecture, parks, gardens, and landscapes which the Association is keen to maintain to the highest standards. As heritage attractions, they are hubs for local culture, and continue to provide the traditions of well-being and leisure that they became famous for.
Baden bei Wien (Austria)
Františkovy Lázně; Karlovy Vary; Mariánské Lázně (Czechia)