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“Sanus per aquam” – health through water

Many centuries ago, the Romans tapped the healing powers of the thermal springs as they settled along the Rhine River and on the slopes of the Black Forest.

 It was they who constructed the first baths in the south of Germany’s south-western mountain range. 

Today, the healing power of the baths comes not only from the thermal springs and mineral water. The Romans’ “silva nigra” (Black Forest) is now adorned with health temples that the Roman tourists never even dreamed of.

Tourists visiting the Black Forest today find elegant thermal baths and saunas with sun-beds, beauty and spa programmes together with massages and health applications drawn from all over the world. Only the names remain to remind guests of the Roman past: Caracalla Therme in Baden-Baden, Vita Classica in Bad Krozingen, Cassiopeia Therme in Badenweiler. The Seven Valley Springs in Bad Herrenalb or Palais Therme in Bad Wildbad are also a part of today’s spa temples in the Black Forest.

Thermal baths can strengthen the immune system, ease aches and pains and help to combat stress and nervous tension. The healing waters are used in modern thermal baths for various therapy cures, mostly as bathing cures but also as tonics. “Mens sana in corpore sano” as the Romans once said, or in English, “healthy body, healthy mind”. Although no longer to be taken at face value, excuse the pun, it is nevertheless true that appearance and well-being go hand in hand. “Beauty” has never enjoyed as much importance as we attach to it today, and the beauty treatments on offer are supplemented by balanced nutrition programmes, rich in vitamins.

Wellness has become a fashionable word, but in the Black Forest it is more than just a passing trend, it is a whole culture. The region is home to the “wellness stars” hotels and thermal baths of Germany. In the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, 54 hotels have fulfilled the strict classification criteria and 39 of those are situated in the Black Forest. Most of them are four star-establishments. In order to qualify for a single wellness star, the hotel needs to have at least a three star rating.

But that’s not all: the majority of thermal springs and medical spa resorts with wellness stars are to be found in the Black Forest holiday regions. More information about the qualification criteria and the hotels, thermal springs, and medical spa resorts distinguished with the wellness stars can be found at www.wellness-stars.de