Province of Ourense - Spain

Introduction

The Province of Ourense has a very long tradition in Thermalism. The origin of the use of its mineral springs could be identified even in the Pre-Roman times, if we consider the presence of ancient native divinities (e.g. Revve in Ourense's Burgas) associated to these waters. But, obviously, the first exploitation of most of them was in the Roman age.
Since Antiquity, this province has had very interesting examples about its thermal culture. In this way, it can be observed that Roman cities founded because their thermal waters (Ourense, Verín, Baños de Molgas); architectonic remains (As Burgas; Baños de Molgas; Riocaldo; Bande) linked to Roman Roads (via XVIII and a Roman Road to connect Bande with Lugo); ancient and modern toponymy related to these waters (Aquae Querquennae = Baños de Bande; Aquae Originae= Riocaldo); or archaeological objects associated to them (votive epigraphy to Nymphs; coins or ceramic, among other example).
The value of the mineral waters doesn't disappear after Roman times. The medieval documentation describes the references to these waters and their use (for example, in Aguas de Melon; Prexigueiro; or Baños de Molgas which is said to have been visited by Kings in the Medieval period), and their tradition was strongly conserved until nowadays.
We have a more complete description of the thermal springs of the Ourense province from the XVIth century, but more specifically since XVIIth century (Limón Montero 1697). For example, the main springs of Ourense city (one of the most significant examples of "Roman thermal city"), were readapted by monumental architecture already in the XVIth century.
After this century, the written mentions about the healing waters of this province increase, and their quality
and quantity were really valorised in the Iberian Peninsula, even exporting their mineral waters to other areas of Spain (for example, from Bembibre spa) in the XIXth century, but also in the case of Cabreiroa's mineral water, which is in a lot of countries from the beginning of XXth century until today.
The quality and appreciation of these mineral springs was reinforced by Royal Mandate in 1816, which
established the medical control and supervision of the main springs of Spain to improve the hygienic and
comfort in their use and exploitation. Consequently, new hotels and spas were built and these establishments became places of recreation where it was included new leisure areas, improving their installation, combining tradition and modernity.
In the province of Ourense, the main modern spas were founded in the XIXth century:
- Balneario de Cortegada 1818 (one of the first 31 springs of Spain considered officially as thermal spa in 1816)
- Balneario de Partovia, 1840
- Balneario de Sousas and Caldeliñas 1859
- Baños de Molgas, 1876
- Balneario de Requeixo, Vilaza, 1900
- Gran Balneario de Carballiño, 1900
- Balneario de Cabreiroá, 1908

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