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Embark on the journey, attend spa concerts and visit the casino along with the heroes from works by Mary Countess von Bothmer, Anneli Jordahl, George Sand, Mikhail Lermontov, Charles Clarke, Thomas Mann (of course!) and others.

'Mens sana in corpore sano': since ancient times, mental and physical wellbeing have been seen as connected. Accordingly, spas have never been exclusively concerned with bodily health. In the Enlightenment period, indeed, spa doctors drew up dietetic prescriptions for their patients which included sociability at the well and enjoyments spread across the day as part of the health regime. 

Over time, these enjoyments became increasingly detached from the actual healing powers of the waters. Resorts were re-designed to offer a host of activities, encounters and amusements - pleasure-grounds, built where healing waters ran.

The European Spa as a Transnational Public Space and Social Metaphor (2019-2022) is part of the HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) funding initiative of the European Union devoted to the topic Public Spaces: Culture and Integration in Europe. The HERA call defines public spaces as “open domains of human encounters and exchanges”, “connected with the exchanges of values and beliefs and with the formation and appropriations of institutions”. It invites humanities scholars to identify “how the relations between culture and [European] integration within the context of public space(s) have been modelled”.

ARTES participates in the HERA project The European Spa through its members Christian Noack (project leader) and Anna Cabanel (postdoctoral researcher).