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Thermal water
Thermal water

Thermal water

Europe’s most abundant thermal source originates in the Tamina gorge near Bad Ragaz and was discovered long ago in the early Middle Ages (1242). The Tamina is the source of the healing thermal water, which flows at a delightful 36.5°C (body temperature). In the sixteenth century, the physician and alchemist Paracelsus praised the healing effects of the water, which due to its low mineral content and a temperature of 36.5°C is regarded as a warm spring.

In the early days, the first spa guests were lowered into the gorge on ropes. Since 1840, a pipe four kilometres in length has brought the water to Bad Ragaz. This laid the foundation for the area to gain a worldwide reputation as a bathing and spa resort, attracting notable guests such as Rainer Maria Rilke, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Thomas Mann and Victor Hugo. Since 1872, Bad Ragaz has been recognised as one of the most prominent spa resorts in the world.

 

Tamina gorge – discovery and history

1242, hunters from the monastery Pfäfers discovered the 36.5°C spring. According to tradition, the monks of the nearby Benedictine monastery soon recognised the healing effects of the water. And so began the long history of Bad Pfäfers and later Bad Ragaz. In 1840, the warm thermal water was first routed in wooden pipelines from the Tamina gorge to Bad Ragaz. This pipeline had a length of 4,202 metres and a drop of 168 metres.

1242 Huntsmen discover the spring
Ab 1350 Wooden bath houses rest on beams over the Tamina
1630 Thermal water is funnelled 450 m in wooden channels to the outlet of the gorge – Old Bad Pfäfers is formed
1704-1718 Abbott Bonifaz Tschupp and Abbott Bonifaz of Gilgen establish the bath houses which are still partially preserved today
1840 Thermal water is funnelled in wooden channels to Ragaz
1858 The first railway reaches Ragaz
1868 The „Quellenhof“ hotel in Ragaz is built
1872 Europe’s first thermal water indoor pool was created
1936 Die Gemeinde Ragaz wird zum Kurort Bad Ragaz
1969 Ragaz parish becomes Bad Ragaz spa town
1970 The Valens rehabilitation clinic is opened
1983-1995 Bad Pfäfers is restored in three stages
2015 Thermal water is funnelled in a new channel to Ragaz
2017 Experience a spectacular multimedia production in the Tamina gorge. The Light Ragaz art project will breathe life into our source of being. Thanks to state-of-the-art projection technology, you will be transported into the mystical world of spring water and the power of the elements.

Therapeutic effects and spring analysis

Deep in the wild and romantic Tamina gorge beats the heart of the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz: the legendary spring from which thermal water has welled up at body temperature for many centuries. This water has inspired a unique combination of health and wellbeing.

Chemical properties of the thermal water

Based on its composition, the local Bad Ragaz spa water belongs to the main group of chloride-hydrogen carbonate-sulphate waters. In addition to these principal components, it also contains trace elements such as iron, fluoride and iodide ions, as well as sulphide sulphur. The spring is classified as an acratotherm or hot spring (< 1000 mg/l mineral content, temperature > 20°C) and has proved its worth in treating complaints of the locomotor system and diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Physical properties of the thermal water

Immersion in water in effect provides a transformed physical environment for the body. The physical properties of the water include the water pressure, buoyancy, water density and thermal conditions.

These bring about a whole host of positive effects pertaining to the heart, lungs, kidneys, circulation, motor system and even hormones. The most important effects on our body:

  • A reduction of vasoconstriction (narrowing of the blood vessels) in the legs (30%)
  • An increase in circulation (30%)
  • An improved use of the exchange surface of the lungs (pulmonary circulation and ventilation)
  • A reduction of blood pressure
  • An improvement of cardiac function (stroke volume and cardiac output increase by about 25%)

Time in the water reduces muscle tension and loosens connective tissue. Non-rheumatoid pain is alleviated and mobility in relation to the spine and extremities is improved.

Effects on the body

The warmth has positive effects on the locomotor system and our ability to relax. At this “comfort temperature“, the body neither has to produce heat nor release excess heat. Our body temperature therefore remains constant.

The water helps alleviate

  • Joint and spine conditions
  • Posture and movement disorders
  • Rehabilitation after operations of the locomotor system
  • Disorders of the vegetative-hormonal system

Spring analysis

Cations mg/l
Ammonium <0.01
Lithium 0.28
Natrium 28.40
Kalium 2.40
Magnesium 17.40
Calcium 55.10
Strontium 0.60
Manganese <0.005
Iron <0.005
Lead <0.005
Aluminium 0.02
Barium 0.17
Cadmium <0.001
Chrom (total) <0.005
Mercury <0.0001
Total cations 104.37
Anionen mg/l
Fluoride 1.42
Chloride 34.00
Bromide 0.284
Iodide 0.0008
Iodate 0.174
Nitrate <0.1
Bicarbonate 223.90
Sulfate 27.60
Hydrogen phosphate <0.0025
Hydrogen arsenate <0.01
Total anionen 287.38
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