European Thermal Heritage Day 2020

European Thermal Heritage Day

Click on the European Thermal Heritage Day graphic, left, to watch a recording of the whole event.

EHTTA's third European Thermal Heritage Day, hosted by Baden-Baden took place online on 16th October 2020, on the theme of "Thermal Architecture"

Thermal Architecture” - Programme
Global moderator: Simone Zagrodnik, Executive Director, EHTTA

Opening speeches

Margret Mergen, Lord Mayor of Baden-Baden
José Manuel Baltar Blanco, EHTTA President
Prof. Dr. Claus Wolf, Head of State Office for Cultural Heritage Baden-Württemberg
Dr. Birgitta Ringbeck, Member of Board of Directors, European Institute of Cultural Routes and Chair of the Governing Board, Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (Council of Europe)
Christian Biever, President, European Institute of Cultural Routes (Council of Europe)

Presentations on Thermal Architecture in Europe

"Thermal Architecture" - Mario Crecente, Vice President, EHTTA Scientific Committee
"The outstanding architecture of the Great Spas of Europe" - Paul Simons, Secretary General of the Great Spas of Europe World Heritage Site Candidature
"Thermal Architecture of Baden-Baden" - Dr. Andreas Förderer, World Heritage and Tourism expert at Karlsruhe Chamber of Commerce
Roundtable “Managing Thermal Architecture and generating community support”, moderated by Prof. Dr. Jörg Haspel (President ICOMOS Germany)


Anke Matthys, GSE WHS Site Manager, Vichy (France)
Lucie Sochorková, GSE WHS Site Manager Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic)
Lisa Poetschki, Head of Department of World Heritage Nomination and Urban Design Baden-Baden (Germany)
Prof. Hans-Peter Mengele, Chairperson, Friends of the Lichtentaler Allee - Initiative World Cultural Heritage - e.V., Baden-Baden (Germany)
Anna Baker, Project Director, Cleveland Pools, Bath (UK)

Questions from the audience

Digital Walking Tour of the “Thermal Architecture” of Baden-Baden

Final discussion and closing summary

European Thermal Heritage Day: Background Information

The European Thermal Heritage Day is an annual event established by EHTTA's Scientific Committee in 2018 as a celebration of European thermal heritage and an opportunity to raise awareness of the subject that is at the heart of the Association and its objectives. It is regarded as an example of best practice by the European Institute of Cultural Routes, and won an award in 2019 for the concept.

EHTTA believes that thermal heritage represents a very particular European phenomenon, which includes natural, cultural, and intangible resources. The concept of thermal heritage is used to promote health and wellbeing, to create original tourism destinations, and to protect magnificent cultural landscapes. European Thermal Heritage Day highlights the importance of thermal heritage as a centuries-old Europe-wide tradition, and to gain recognition and awareness of issues that affect the future of this valuable heritage.

In 2018, the first European Thermal Heritage Day coincided with the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the Hotel Gellert in Budapest, and was a study of “Thermal Tourism and Spa Heritage in Europe”. Last year in Spa, the focus was on the word “Spa” as a concept that needs to be redefined. This year, the discussion will focus on “Thermal Architecture”.

In 2020, European Thermal Heritage Day will be hosted by the city of Baden-Baden in Germany, and will look at the subject of Thermal Architecture in all its forms. The thermal architecture of our spa towns includes magnificent bathing temples and imposing pump rooms or trinkhalle, as well as residential villas and buildings designed for leisure and entertainment, such as casinos, assembly rooms, theatres, concert halls and art galleries, all set around formal parks and gardens and within a wider "therapeutic landscape". As one of the "Great Spas of Europe", where the urban form of thermal towns has been studied in great depth, and with some magnificent examples of thermal architecture for delegates to visit, Baden-Baden is the perfect virtual location for this year's European Thermal Heritage Day.