The Preparations are Underway!

The Great Spas of Europe are not only a monument, but a holistic philosophy...

The "Great Spas of Europe" were nominated for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List in February 2020. Baden is one of eleven spa towns selected for this joint nomination.

European flagship project

The Great Spas of Europe is a serial transnational, property nominated for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It comprises eleven famous spas from seven nation states, representing a unique cultural phenomenon and an urban typology without historical parallel.

The Great Spas of Europe comprises the following eleven components, famous spas in seven nation states.

The pioneers of modern tourism

  • Baden bei Wien, Austria
  • Spa, Belgium
  • The Bohemian spa triangle, with Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary) – Franzensbad (Františkovy Vary) – Marienbad (Mariánské Lázne)
  • Vichy, France
  • Bad Ems - Baden-Baden - Bad Kissingen, Germany
  • Montecatini Terme, Italy
  • Bath, United Kingdom

Each of these eleven spas towns developed between 1700 and the 1930s around natural mineral and thermal springs, which served as a catalyst for an innovative model of spatial organisation dedicated to curative, therapeutic and social functions.

These modern resorts for health, leisure and sociability have created architectural prototypes and an urban typology that is unparalleled in history. They were pioneers of nascent modern tourism.

"Taking a cure", meant external and internal treatments were complemented by appropriate visitor facilities and spa-specific support infrastructure, integrated into an overall urban concept. This also includes a carefully designed recreational and therapeutic environment, which is set in a picturesque landscape.

The Great Spas of Europe represent the most significant developments in the traditional medical use of resources by physicians of the Enlightenment throughout Europe, including those that established Western diagnostic medicine.

As an ensemble of elite spa towns - in terms of scientific, political, social and cultural achievements - the Great Spas of Europe contributed to the transformation of European society by narrowing the gap between the social elite and a burgeoning middle class. Major political events took place in the spa towns, and their special, creative atmosphere inspired artists to create choice works of music, literature and painting of outstanding universal significance.

Through effective long-term management, including economic and medical progress, the growth of spa towns has been controlled and the original purpose and special atmosphere have been maintained. This sustainable function as trustworthy healing places for body, mind and soul has ensured the continuation of a living tradition with its outstanding contribution to European culture, behaviours and customs.

UNESCO World Heritage Site: Baden is prepared. The Local Management Plan

Under the organisational and academic leadership of Baden's World Heritage coordinator, City Councillor Hans Hornyik, Baden first of all compiled its contributions to the almost 1500-page nomination dossier and then, secondly, the City Council adopted a management plan for the future UNESCO World Heritage Site in Baden in December 2018. The contents can be found in the GSE Local Management Plan Baden bei Wien, the English version being binding.

Local Management Plan German Chapter 7.2. action plan (concept May 2019)

Local Management Plan English, official version June 2019 Final variant for transfer to ICOMOS Paris

Mayor Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Szirucsek thanked City Councillor Hans Hornyik for his extensive work: "Without our City Councillor for Culture, we would not be facing possible recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site today. We are fortunate to have a recognised World Heritage specialist in our ranks. This combination of professional expertise, untiring commitment and rootedness in the World Heritage community are invaluable for Baden. All I can say is that we are very well prepared."

Contact Great Spas of Europe Baden bei Wien:

Stadtrat Hans Hornyik
Weltkulturerbe Koordinator der Stadt Baden
Braitnerstraße 5
A-2500 Baden bei Wien
Mobil +43 676 81211489