The healing properties of these thermal waters have been recognised for more than 2000 years, but the Romans were the ones who left the most important heritage associated with thermalism, visible in the stone remains that were part of the Roman Balneum built here in the first century of the Christian era. Since that time that the waters were a subject of much interest and became quite famous. In 1152, King Afonso Henriques, recognizing the growing importance of the village where such special waters sprang, conceded the 1st Foral to “Vila do Banho”, thus granting it the status of a municipality. It is the first King of Portugal who, in 1169, after breaking his leg in the Battle of Badajoz, recovered physically in “Caldas Lafonenses”, known today as the S. Pedro do Sul Spa and Hydrotherapy Centre, where he built the small chapel “Capela de S. Martinho” (St. Martin Chapel), which is still open to the public.
In the early years of the sixteenth century, it was King Manuel I who decided to develop “Caldas Lafonenses”, building the “Caldas de Lafões” Royal Hospital, and granting, in 1515, a new Foral to the place, thus increasing its competences and importance.
In the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries, S. Pedro do Sul Spa and Hydrotherapy Centre was revitalized and modernized. In 1884, the Municipality of S. Pedro do Sul decided to build modern Baths that would replace the tercentenary “Caldas de Lafões” Royal Hospital. Ten years later, in 1894, Queen Amélia went to the new Baths for the first time to find treatment for some physical problems that troubled her... That is why, one year later, the site became “Caldas da Rainha D. Amélia”.
It is in the twentieth century, with the 1910 Republic, that they became Termas de São Pedro do Sul (São Pedro do Sul Spa and Hydrotherapy Centre).
At the end of the century, in 1987, a new building, the Thermal Centre, was inaugurated, at the same time as the modernization of the existing Baths, already called the Queen Amelia Baths. The first decade of the twenty-first century; the beginning of the 3rd millennium of the S. Pedro do Sul Spa and Hydrotherapy Centre marks the biggest and most significant modernization and expansion of its entire history.
Within eight years, the new S. Pedro do Sul Spa and Hydrotherapy Centre was unrecognizable: more modern, with the latest thermal equipment, more attractive and with a team of highly qualified professional staff, with the contemporary creativity of the great designer José António Tenente, who designed all the professional clothing of the SPA staff, as well as its line of merchandising.
The arrival of S. Pedro do Sul Spa and Hydrotherapy Centre in an era of Medical & Wellness Tourism, with all the new requirements of a diversified public, demands an increasing sophistication in the products and services that it offers: a modern and professional management that pays attention to the new trends of this market segment and is also ready to respond to its enormous potential, creating an innovative cosmetic line, the first in Portugal, formulated with thermal water: AQVA - Termas de S. Pedro do Sul Dermocosméticos.