When Bad is good ? Austrian spas


Hofgastein Spa Wellness complex in the Gastein Valley in the Salzburgerland area

Bad! well in English bad means the opposite of good. You normally wouldn’t want to have everything go bad. But in Austria bad means "spa". And a spa is a good thing. It sure is a funny thing the translation of one language into another. Bad Gastein is a rather small town in Austria. There are not quite 6,000 people living there in the hills almost 3200 feet above sea level. It is located in the state of Salzburg along the north rim of the national park, Hohe Tauern. There are many Bad Gastein hotels nestled into the steep mountainous slopes.

This town was originally a gold mine and was also along the trade route that crossed the Central Eastern Alps from Italy. Some time in the nineteenth century the natural hot springs brought in the noble visitors and thus a spa town was created. It was all the rage to be spending time soaking with the rich and famous in these green hills. Even the monarchs would come for a dip. The Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary spent time there. as well as Wilhelm I, German Emperor visited, in more modern time the Shah of Persia  visited.

In the recent past the town has fallen off the spa radar. Since the 1960s it lost it’s luster and notoriety and have left many of the hotels empty. But that is going to change if they can build up the reputation once again. If they bring in the history of the healing tunnel and all who visited over the many years then they should have a good chance. The waters have been studied in pursuit of the secrets of its healing powers since the discovery of Radon, a believed secret ingredient, was made by Marie Curie and Heinrich Mache. They believed that Radon helped with arthritis but later studies show that there really doesn’t seem to much difference between spa treatments with or without radon, the key was spa and immersion in warm water, and heated treated rooms.

This article was copied from the from this linking blog,  the Gastein valley is about 30 minutes away from Kaprun and Zell am See by car, taxi or train. There are two fantastic thermal spas in the valley, the first being at Hofgastein and  further up the valley is the spa town of Bad Gastein ( previously called Badgastein) both are well  worth a visit. Whether it be after a long strenuous walk, a day skiing, going for a pamper, or something to do on a wet day, you will have a fantastic time.


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