Internationalism in
the Great Spas was displayed in many ways:

  • Magnificent and luxurious architecture where all the international trends in architecture were able to blossom;
  • Buildings that belonged (and still belong) to international communities – from religious buildings to international hotels and villas catering to international visitors and residents (international papers were often available in the hotels too);
  • Parks and gardens where English and later Swedish designs were implemented and where international sports were played and international tournaments became part of the spa calendar;
  • The spas network contributed to a dense network of international railways;
  • The spoken language was commonly multi-lingual, essential for the quality of welcome and hospitality to a cosmopolitan clientele – and this was also true for guidebooks, publications and papers. Foreign money was routinely accepted and post offices were essential.

Resort actors shared a very early circulation of ideas, habits, medical innovations and architectural and as resorts, the Great Spas of Europe contributed substantially to the foundation of modern tourism. From the architect to garden designer, and from the casino to the music pavilion, the Great Spas of Europe became important vectors of transnational cultural transfer.

  • Vichy: The elegant spa ensemble, with radiating aisles fro the thermal baths to the casino.
  • Bad Kissingen: Horse racing was chatacteristic in the setting of many spas
  • Bad Ems Kursaal: Modelled on the Villa Farensina in Rome, it contains an assembly room, casino and theatre – socialising and entertainment were essential “diversions” wqhile taking the cure.