Saturday will see UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee discuss proposals for new additions to its heritage list.
Czech spa towns are teaming up with other eight European counterparts.
Spas were a huge European phenomenon from the 18th century to the early 20th century. The Bader Lexicon of 1854 lists 652 major European spas, but only a handful of the grandest spas now survive in an authentic form.
Each used natural mineral waters to treat pain and disease in the days before industrial medication and they are testimony to the development of medicine.
The towns have unique urban forms and significant architectural ensembles including special spa buildings and visitor facilities such as spa houses, colonnades, churches, theatres, casino houses, dedicated hotels and boarding houses. The combination of the fabric of the towns with their parks and green spaces and surrounding ‘therapeutic landscape’ is very important.
Four Czech spa towns — the western triangle of Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně, together with the east Moravian spa resort of Luhačovice — have teamed up with around half a dozen major European spa resorts in a bid to obtain the prestigious UNESCO recognition quicker.
The 11 candidate spas are:
- Baden bei Wien (Austria)
- Spa (Belgium)
- Karlovy Vary, Frantiskovy Lazne and Marianske Lazne (Czech Republic)
- Vichy (France)
- Bad Ems, Baden-Baden and Bad Kissingen (Germany)
- Montecatini Terme (Italy)
- City of Bath (UK)
The latest news and further information can be found on the Great Spas of Europe website.