Mealhalda Termas de Luso, (Portugal)

October 7, 2019

During the 11th century Luso was linked to the Monastery of Vacariça, in the Serra do Buçaco, now a National Park, a place so isolated from the world that in 1628 the Discalced Carmelite monks chose it as an ideal place for absolute silence and meditation.

The thermal springs of Luso are situated within the parish of Mealhalda, some 90 km south of Oporto in Portugal.

Benedictine monks had settled here originally in the 6th century, The ruins of their hermitages, which the monks lined with cork to keep out the bitter cold can still be seen today among the rare trees they planted from around the world. The “Iron Duke”, Wellington famously spent a night in one of these cells before his victory over the French in 1810.

Logo Mealhalda Termas de Luso

Termas de Luso

 

In 1726, the 1st Inventory of Portuguese mineral waters, the “Aquilégio Medicinal” (written by Dr. Francisco da Fonseca Henriques, mentioned the existence of a “hot water spring, which has been named as the Bath ...” , and in the later 18th century, local physicians and monks started to write about the effectiveness of the waters for particular cures. However, it wasn’t until 1834, when monasteries were abolished in Portugal, that the village was separated from the monastery and started to thrive as a health and rehabilitation spa in its own right. By 1854, work had started on a new hydrotherapeutic facility, a complex of baths and treatment rooms, laid out in a circle around the spring.

New hotels and villas and a casino added to the attraction of the town. The Founders of the Society for the improvement of the Luso Baths, DrAntónio Augusto Costa Simões, Dr. AlexandreAssis León, Dr. Antonio Francisco Diniz and a local journalist who was tireless in his promotion and development of the town, Councilor Emídio Navarro, are all immortalised in a famous painting by Luciano Freire, which may be seen in the Casino.

Bottled water from Luso, said to be exceptionally pure, is sold around the country, and Águas do Luso is one of the largest mineral water companies in Portugal.

These days the Grande Hotel de Luso offers direct access to the thermal waters in the centre of the town, while the 19th century Manueline – Gothic style Palace Hotel do Bussaco, originally built on the site of the former Carmelite Monastery as a summer palace and hunting lodge for the Portugese royal family is a historic luxury hotel set in stunning ornamental gardens on the edge of the forest.

Termas de Luso Mineral Springs

  • Luso hot spring

Earliest known use of the springs:

1064

Hottest Spring:

26.6ºC

Chemical Elements:

Sodium Chloride,silica

Roman Name:

Balneum
The Thermal Baths were modernised in 1977, and in 2010 were supplemented by the Malo Clinic, a new medical centre. Spa treatments are used for the relief of various conditions, including cardiac, skin, respiratory and rheumatic diseases. Motor rehabilitation, weight control, the treatment of arteriosclerosis and renal diseases are particular specialities of the centre.