For a long time people believed that the miraculous therapeutical nature of hot mineral springs was linked to the presence of water deities, turning spa towns into places of pilgrimage where visitors were always welcomed and comforted. This ancient sense of hospitality persists and evolves trough the history of European thermalism, setting the foundations for the development of modern tourism and the first public health systems, and it is still a main feauture in spa towns, always reinventing as healing well-being places for humanity.
The City Council of Ourense organized this second Café of Europe as part of the SOURCE project, gathering international experst who explored our relationship with water throughout history, an ancient element of cult but at the same time a tool for healing body and mind.
The Café served as a prelude for Termatalia, the International Exhibition of Thermal Tourism, Health and Wellness that every two years is held in Ourense (alternating with Latin America),acting a cooperation bridge between Europe and the rest of the world for the development of thermalism.www.termatalia.com
Water is synonym of spirituality in the Ancient Times, an element that connects the human and the divine. In Europe, water deities used to linked the old indigenous beliefs with the new foreigner ones, those which came with the Roman conquerors, transforming this cult and arising new meanings. All the historical baths that are spreaded across Europe are still witnesses of this transformation and therefore, its study, conservation and divulgation becomes a challenge for these cities; in order to throw some lights on the past so it could light our present.
Historian · Professor at the University of País Vasco (UPV/EHU)
An introduction to the indigenous god Revve Anabaraego as a paradigm of waters gods in Roman Hispania, key to understand water cults and how they contribute to civic and social construction. The cult of Revve appears in Ourense in the context of As Burgas hot springs, where several archaeological remains have revealed the town as an ancient pilgrimage destination linked to the hot springs.Download Presentation
Historian · Professor at the University of Alicante
Ancient History Professor - DIrector of the Archeological SIte of Fortuna (Spain)
A walk through the ancient cults of water from an anthropological point of view, drawing a continuum between the Greek/Latin deity of Apollo to the Catholic - and modern - idea of Virgin Mary, who is the patron Saint of many thermal towns in Spain. Although titles change from time to time, a link between healing and spirituality remains, sometimes unconscious, sometimes lost in oblivion.Download Presentation
Archaeologist · Member of the "Archeology, Antiquity and Territory" Studies Group (University of Vigo)
Responsible for the recent archeological works at the site of As Burgas, in Ourense, declared Asset of Cultural Interest in 2007, due to the central importance they have in the history of Ourense, defining it asas a thermal and historical town since Roman times.Download Presentation
PhD Geology - Professor at University of Vigo
What does it means a water being mineral? Beyond ancient beliefs, Science today explains the nature of hot springs, the magic of Nature developed through concepts of Geology and Chemistry. A scientific approach to As Burgas hot springs, in the belief that understanding the resource is the best way to protect and value itDownload Presentation
The site of Bath (UK) is a paradigm when talking about thermal heritage conservation and enhancement. Defined by the the development of 18th century Georgian architecture and the excavations of 1890 which revealed the Roman baths, today Bathis a moden spa city, the only one entirely considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Download Presentation
There are two cities in Europe that religion and history turned into pillars of the continent. Santiago de Compostela, at the western end , is the fi nal destination of several ways that since the Middle Ages spread all through European geography; and Rome, in the heart of Italy, connect with Canterbury through a huge diagonal known by their travellers as the Via Francigena. Thousands of pilgrims walk these roads every years, and their travels have already become a key part of our European cultural identity. Thermal cities take also part in this history of pilgrimages, as these are the place where wanderers stop to rest their body and minds, places of peace and serenity.
Ph.D in Art History · Chief of the Exhibitions Department of Xacobeo
One of the most precious record for the Saint Jacques Pilgrimages in the Middle Ages is the Codex Calixtinus, written in the 12th Century, where references of water are spread all across.Here, water is full of symbolism and significances; a key element for survival, a method of transportation and a tool for purification and devotion. Ancient travel books include several references to spas within the ways to Santiago, as they were beloved stop places for pilgrims to rest.Download Presentation
President of the European Association of the Via Francígena
The Via Francigena is an ancient pathway of pilgrimage connecting Canterbury (UK) with Rome (Italy): a diagonal across the Europe and a way of cultures, a path of history still alive today. An European Cultural Route, the Via is a referent for of sustainable tourism, a network system that enhances the development of territories. Spa tradition is visible within the route, developed as an important element within the modern pilgrimages, adding further value.Download Presentation
Responsible for the ECR Analysis Unit of the Spanish Government
These two pilgrimages routes serve as an outstanding example of the goals and aims behind the European Cultural Routes Programme of the Council of Europe. Created in 1987, the ECR act as element for the preservation of cultural heritage and the dialogue between heritage and society as a basis for sustainable development and identity construction.
Physician specialized in Medical Hydrology and Sports Traumatology · Medical Director of Archena Spa
Archena is well known for their thermal muds, and new exclusive techniques are developed here every day. The paths for future thermalism must walk towards an integral concept of healthcare, linking water-related therapies with other areas as nutrition or psychology, breaking the gap between sickness treatment and wellness. An open call for the medical community to share and evaluate it progresses in hydrotherapy was launched, for this discipline gain further relevance in the health industry.Download Presentation
Manager Director of Alange Spa · President of the Spa Association of Extremadura (Spain)
Aqua, Salus, Traditio, Tranquilitas. Four latin words to sum up all philosophy trends behinds balneology, yesterday and today. Thermalism should look into the future without losing its bearings; the mineral water as a its raison d'etre and wellness and health as it mission. Alange Spa keeps itself as a benchmark in Spanish thermal panorama by preserving a tradition as an ancient place of peace and quietness where health comes through the water, the element privoding true exclusivity and value.Download Presentation
Pedras Salgada Spa & Nature Park (Portugal) Manager
A former holiday spa destination for Royalty, the site of Pedras Salgadas has reinvented itself approaching well-being from a green point of view. The classic buildings are combined with with eco-lodges and tree huts completely integrated in the lush spa park, and thermal experiences mix water and vegetation, relax and outdoors sports ; all based upon eco-awareness and a deeper contact with nature.Download Presentation
Tesal Group CEO · Physician specialized in Medical Hydrotherapy · Spa Manager
21st century thermalism should be built upon healthcare but also tourism and leisure. Both realities have been redefined today, since medicine is now focused on prevention and tourism is addressing experiences and emotion, rather that the simple discovery of new places. New concepts as thermoludism or active ageing are arising and increasing popularity, and target public are becoming more diverse.Download Presentation
Director of the Spa and House of Spirituality of El Molinar Baths · Pallotine father
Humanity as whole measure its happiness on health, if this lacks, everything else doesnt matter. Does spirituality has something to do with health?A wider concept of health may goes beyond the simple absence of condition and illness: health is to live well, and both mind and body need to be taken care of. Spas, as places for health, must be places of peace and quietness where to feel comfortable, and staffs personal treatment and attention is key to achieve this.
Architector · Illustrator · Urban Sketcher
Architect and educator born and based in Málaga, Spain. He also works as a freelance illustrator and has carried out sketching workshops in different universities, schools of art and symposiums.
In his books he captures the architecture and life of the places he travels to but also everydays activity in his own environment; they have been exhibited at different events in Canada, France, Italy and Spain.
He is the founder of an active local community of sketchers and the correspondent of his city for urbansketchers artists. Urban Sketchers (USk) is a non-profit-making association which highlight the artistic, narrative and educational value of the "in situ" drawing, which promotes and creates links between drawers all over the world, whether at home or traveling.
Video & Photo Artist
Loiez Déniel lives and works in Auvergne (and sometimes Istanbul). Video maker photographer artist, independent researcher in multimedia integration solutions and operational poetry, he is also president of the International Video Art Festival VIDEOFORMES.