Great Spas of Europe is a group of eleven spa towns across seven countries that has been nominated to UNESCO for inscription on the World Heritage List as a transnational serial ‘property’.
The property – eleven places developed around mineral springs – provides exceptional testimony to a complex, and unprecedented urban typology and cultural movement – the spa town. The Great Spas of Europe marks the greatest development of this phenomenom.
Natural mineral water is the catalyst for this innovative model of spatial organisation, architectural prototypes, landscape design and holistic attitudes to health and leisure. The spa town is the only European settlement type to be in cultural competition with the great metropolises.
Spa buildings such as pump rooms, drinking halls, treatment facilities and colonnades directly harness the resource of natural spring water. Assembly rooms, casinos, theatres, hotels and villas, parades and gardens followed.
Integrated into a coherent whole the property inspired great intellectual, artistic, social and political endeavour, contributing to the transformation of European society. Its sustained function as a series of curative venues for body, mind and spirit ensures a continued contribution to European culture, behaviour, health and customs.
The Great Spas of Europe is a transnational serial property that has been nominated for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It comprises eleven exceptional spa towns across seven countries, which represent a unique cultural phenomenon and an urban typology without earlier parallel. The proposal for justification of Outstanding Universal Value includes UNESCO criteria ii, iii, iv and vi.