Bad Ragaz in Switzerland is home to the worldwide known Tamina spring which can be visited through the Tamina Gorge. Every three years an outdoor art exposition is held called Bad RagARTz. I visited Bad Ragaz while staying at the modern luxury wellness resort Grand Resort Bad Ragaz which uses the Tamina spring water in present time. Bad Ragaz is a nice and quiet place to unwind, and I show you why.
Tamina spring (gorge)
Let’s go back a few centuries to the mid-13th century. It was then when the spring was discovered after monks saw steam coming out of the rocks. It directly became a spot for healing the ill but it would not be until the mid-19th century that the bath houses moved to the place where Grand Resorts is located now. In the early days sick people were lowered with ropes about 40 meters into the gorge where they then would be continuously in the water for up to a week. Close your eyes and imagine how someone must have looked like after spending 7 days in the water 🙂 In the 14th and 15th century the first wooden bath houses, accessible with wooden stairs, were built at the spot of the spring. How everything was done in the early days you can see in the following painting.
Over time the spring expanded and got known throughout Europe. By the year 1700 it had expanded beyond capacity and a new bathing house a bit down the gorge was built to accommodate all the visitors. This bathhouse now houses a museum with a restaurant and is called the old Pfäfers bathhouse. This new bathing house build of stone had a large place for the guests and a chapel in the middle seperating the guesthouses. It could accommodate around 200-300 persons and 200 daily visitors. There were even private baths for the wealthy and good rules were in place for visitors of which a funny one is they had to put their firearms away before bathing.
Today you can visit the Tamina gorge and the cave where you can see the water flowing from the spring. Also the old guesthouse and chapel can be visited where you can have a nice lunch. Now in autumn they served very fine dishes of wild deer; delicious. The old bathhouse was demolished unfortunately.
It was one and a half century later that also this bathhouse got to small and a road and canal was constructed through the Tamina gorge. The water kept flowing at various yields but always at the same temperature of 36.5 degrees Celsius. Finally in 1840 the new place was opened outside of the gorge which is now the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz. Here the guests can enjoy the private wellness facilities but there is, as per law that water is available for all, also a public bathhouse. One thing is sure, it’s much more luxury today!
Every three years Bad Ragaz is home to the outdoor art exposition called Bad RagARTz. Interesting to know is that the budget for the festival is 1.6 million CHF and the admission price to see it is zero CHF. The art in the area can be seen by anyone at any time in the open air from May to November. During my visit in September 2015 I had the opportunity the admire the various works of art in Bad Ragaz. It’s really interesting to see art from around the world in a setting like this. Unique and the largest sculpture park in Europe. It runs until 1 November 2015 and I for sure can recommend a visit if you have the possibility to do so.
With the leading wellness at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz and the Bad RagARTz I had a pleasant three-day stay. Even the fact that the art exposition is only every three years; the region is beautiful to visit. The Tamina spring (gorge) visit is a unique experience and learn how people enjoyed the thermal water since centuries ago. A perfect stay, perfect place to unwind and a lot of new impressions are guaranteed.
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Gallery Tamina Gorge & Bad RagARTz
Click an image for a full screen gallery of more photos taken during this trip. If you like to use any photo for commercial, private or editorial use please contact first for permission and/or pricing.