Bathing in Baden during the imperial period and afterwards

"On the use of sulphur baths and the sulphur drinking cure in Baden bei Wien" from the medical letters of the spa doctor Dr. Josef Hoffmann, 1905

Sulphur water as bathing, drinking and inhalation cure

Drinking cure: The sulphur water drunk eases the chest aggravated by the mucus; serves the liver/stomach/’cold and liquid’ intestines/ helps the women/brings back the lost memory. The drinking cure removes gases from the stomach. With the internal use of sulphur water - after the removal of smelly gases - a comfortable voiding and a satisfaction is achieved. Next to the Pump Rooms a rinsing room was created - for nasal irrigation and gargling with the thermal water.

Did you know? There are 14 baths with different natural temperatures. Every day the bath is drained and cleaned twice. The sulphur water works best in the months June/July/August and September

Bathing Apparel

In bathing dresses, one sits on the ridges in the pool, within the pool, there are also some steps and benches arranged on which one can climb and also sit up to the neck in the bath. The young people and the small people wear wooden slippers. It was recommended to the ladies to remove their jewellery before the bath, because metal suffers in the sulphur water and turns black, gold remains untouched. For this reason, all the bolts and bars on the doors were made of wood.

Treatment method

Before the bath a bowl of milk or a light coffee with a bread roll is recommended, after the bath is time for the electrical appointment. The baths should be taken in rapid succession. As far as sweating is concerned: first the effect of the thermal bath, then the patients can be dried off with warm towels, then they are wrapped in a pile of warm woollen clothes and have to sweat in bed. It was found that the effect of alternating baths of different temperatures had positive thermal stimuli on the blood circulation and the nervous system.

Effect of sulphur

The sulphur baths accelerate the blood circulation in the veins. They cause a reduction in the swollen bronchial glands. The sulphur water has a positive effect on patients with air hunger and severe shortness of breath. By inhalation the mucus from the bronchial tubes is expectorated more easily.

Applications of the sulphur water

  • in the event of blockage in the flow area of the portal vein
  • for the production of an undisturbed bile flow
  • for intestinal disinfection
  • with a cirrhotic kidney

The spa physician cared for the patients to the extent that he bathed together with them. He undertook not to let the patients out of his sight.

One patient bathed 59 times without interruption, he went on to lead a comfortable life and remained a loyal follower of the spa town of Baden for more than a decade.