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Eleven European spa towns honoured by UNESCO

Eleven spa towns in Europe are celebrating their collective addition to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Bad Kissingen in Germany is one of them, and the news was welcomed there.

“Great, this is something special,” said local resident Daniela Flint.

“I think this is great for the city and all the work done in recent years,” said another resident, Bruno Heinen.

Cities from Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, UK and Czech Republic have come together to achieve joint recognition from UNESCO.

Tsar Peter the Great laid the foundation for aristocratic fashion

It was the Romans who first introduced the Europeans to balneotherapy: the English city of Bath dates back to the first century AD.

But it was the visit of the Russian Tsar Peter the Great to the Belgian city of Spa in the 18th century that caused a new fashion and a new word in English vocabulary – “resort” cities arose across the continent to satisfy aristocratic interest in them. their purported health benefits.

The resort towns may no longer attract princes and princesses, but they are popular with tourists. In Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic, drinking water is said to have medicinal value.

“I drink water because it needs to be healthy,” says Czech tourist Marseille. “Not very tasty, but healthy!”

The prospect of an increase in the number of tourists does not make everyone happy

The World Heritage mark is likely to boost tourism for eleven people, and the prospect is not to everyone’s liking.

“If more and more tourists come,” says Wiebke, a resident of Baden-Baden. “More and more apartments will be used for Airbnb, so there will be fewer residents like me. up here. The more tourists there are, the more people there are in the city. So yes, I would say there are good and bad sides. “

UNESCO announced that the cities have been awarded World Heritage status “for their exceptional testimony to the European spa phenomenon.”

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