On the ocassion of the EHTTA General Assembly held in the Portuguese spa town Caldas da Rainha on May 16-18, 2017, this European non-profit association, European Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, welcomed its first overseas member, Poços de Caldas, in Brazil.
Acknowledging the influence of European spa culture beyond its continental boundaries, the European Route of Historic Thermal Towns of the Council of Europe has make a step forward on its international relations by welcoming the entrance of the Brazilian town of Poços de Caldas as new member.
Poços de Caldas, a town designed under the guidelines of European spa architecture styles, has the honour to hold one of the very first thermal establishment of South America. Graced with plenty of hot springs still gushing hot waters nowadays, one of its main attraction is the spa “Thermas Antônio Carlos”, built in 1931, and whose imposing neoclassical architecture evokes the old days where the Portuguese Royal family and the Brazilian aristocracy came here to sample the sulphurous waters.
Poços de Caldas is named after Caldas da Rainha, in Portugal, whom is today twined, and its was precisely in Caldas where the last General Assembly of EHTTA, in May 2017, took place. Representatives from over 11 countries part of EHTTA attend the meeting, the first General Assembly of the network in 2017.
EHTTA General Assembly in Caldas covered a 3-days-agenda that started with the celebrations of Café of Europe, entitled “Crossroads of Culture Routes”, where participants had the opportunity to discover about other routes operating in Portugal, namely the Transromanica Route (represented by Mrs. Rosário Machado), the European Ceramics Route (with Oriol Clavo Vergés) and The Way of Santiago (Laura Dopeso González). The programme included also an special conference of the design of urban and tourist itineraries through Caldas da Rainha since the 18th Century, showing how thermal towns in Europe have often been pioneers in the development of modern tourism. The meeting also included a day devoted to study visits in the area. EHTTA representatives discover the facilities of Caldas’ thermal hospital “Hospital da Rainha”, one of the oldest spa building in the world (16th Century), the coastal walkways of Foz do Arelho and the Thalasso Spa in Nazaré.