Congratulations to the members of EHTTA which have been proposed for the serial transnational World Heritage nomination for the “Great Spas of Europe”! Since the idea was first proposed in 2010, the members of the International Steering Group, and the International Working Group for the Great Spas of Europe project have been working hard to determine the criteria for the nomination, and to decide which spas should go forward to the next step of the UNESCO World Heritage nomination process.
The “Great Spas of Europe” are those which were at their most internationally famous, and which were culturally, medically and technically of European importance from the 18th century to the early 20th century, and which still continue as important spa towns today.
Studies which have been made by the International Steering Group of the Great Spas of Europe during the last five years have shown how important Europe’s spa towns have been in the development of health systems, communications systems, and of course the tourist industry. They have also highlighted the development and design of the “therapeutic landscape” in spa towns as part of the traditional cure – a tradition which continues to this day in many spa towns.
The EHTTA members which will go forward to the proposed serial nomination include Baden-Baden, Bath, Karlovy Vary, Montecatini Terme, Spa and Vichy. They are joined by Bad Ems, Bad Kissingen, Baden bei Wien, Františkovy Lázně, and Mariánské Lázně. We look forward to hearing more news about the nomination process as it progresses, although the results of the application will not be known until 2018 at the earliest.
Editors’ note: UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, is responsible for the World Heritage List which now contains over 1000 sites globally, each of which has demonstrated, under the criteria contained in the World Heritage Convention, that they demonstrate qualities and attributes of Outstanding Universal Value.