Region of Galicia - Spain
Galicia has a long historical tradition of operating spas and has preserved many vestiges of the exploitation of springs during the Roman empire (for example: Termas de Lugo, Caldas de Reis and Caldelas de Tui.). After falling into disuse and ruin as a result of the conflict between these activities and Catholic morals, the 18th century saw a resurgence of spas in Galicia. The first manuscripts on the area’s hot springs were also published during this period.
The popular tradition of taking the waters, which goes back to Roman times, has survived in Galicia. The first ‘modern’ spas appeared in the 19th century and Galicia’s thermal industry flourished in the second half of the century. During the belle époque, thermal baths became fashionable and élite facilities such as La Toja and Mondariz came to prominence. In the late 19th century, thermal towns undertook projects that required more complex forms of society and greater investment of capital. Examples include A Toxa and Mondariz.
Over time, the quality and variety of their medicinal waters, the location and transport infrastructure, and advances in medicine and hygiene made Galicia’s spas a means of forging a positive image of Galicia abroad.
In 1826, it became mandatory for spas to have a medical director to oversee therapies. Spas with proper sanitary conditions were also recognised. At that time, Spain had 30 official spas, 5 of which were in Galicia: Caldas de Cuntis, Caldelas de Tui, Cortegada and the two at Caldas de Reis.
Beginning in 1875, hotels were built and leisure activities attracted more well-to-do clients. With time, patients became bathers, healing spaces became places of recreation, and traditional techniques were combined with other, more modern and sophisticated, methods.
Founding date of Galician spas:
Balneario de Carballo A Coruña 1716
Balneario de Arteixo A Coruña 1760
Balneario de Nosa Señora dos Ánxeles A Coruña c. 1923
Balneario de Guitiriz Lugo 1908
Balneario de Lugo Termas Romanas Lugo 1847-1905
Balneario de O Incio Lugo 1897
Balneario de Cortegada Ourense c.1818
Balneario de Caldas de Partovia Ourense c. 1840
Balnearios de Sousas y Caldeliñas (Verín) Ourense c.1859
Balneario de Molgas Ourense 1876
Balneario de Requeixo (Vilaza) Ourense c.1900
Balneario de Cabreiroá Ourense 1908
Gran Balneario de Carballiño Ourense 1900
Balneario Hotel Dávila (Caldas de Reis) Pontevedra 1780
Balneario Acuña (Caldas de Reis) Pontevedra 1813
Termas de Cuntis (La Virgen) Pontevedra 1881
Balneario de Caldelas de Tui Pontevedra 1890
Balneario de Mondariz Pontevedra 1898
Gran Hotel La Toja Pontevedra 1907