Some timescales are beyond our human powers of imagination. Sure, we can form a visual image of life 100 years ago, and even the age of Napoleon or the era of the emperor Nero are familiar to us, thanks to literature and Hollywood – at least in theory.
The Celts already knew that in water lies power. Or rather: in water lie healing, purifying and other mysterious powers. To make the most efficient use of the wondrous effects of this liquid gold, in 1411 BC they constructed the first basin for spring water in the Bronze-Age Engadin – in St. Moritz, to be precise. Of course, they did not know that the water from the Mauritius springs was slightly acidic, contained iron and is rich in calcium, sodium and hydrogen carbonate ions. For them, it was enough that sick people became healthy here, that pains disappeared and suffering was alleviated. And that remains true to this day.
The mineral springs of St. Moritz, officially known as the “Mauritiusquelle” (“Mauritius springs”) since the late-19th Century, won fame well beyond the borders of Switzerland. In 1519, the Medici pope Leo X promised full absolution to all who made the pilgrimage to the church of the springs; in 1535 Paracelsus, the most famous physician of his day, visited the springs, declared them to be the finest in Europe and so made them world-famous. Visitors can still enjoy the healing effects of water close to where the Engadin’s tradition of bathing began: the nearby MTZ Heilbad St. Moritz offers invigorating baths and other forms of medical wellness.
Water rich in iron, sulphur, sodium and mineral salts bubbles up all around the Scuol-Tarasp region, too: at 20 different springs, no less. Some of these feed drinking water fountains; others supply medicinal thermal baths or feed the pools of the “Bogn Engiadina Scuol” thermal spa complex. You can find mineral baths of a very special kind in Samedan: Switzerland’s first “vertical mineral baths”, built up against the historical village church. The spa experience here extends across five storeys all the way up to the roof and an outdoor pool with a view of the surrounding mountains. The mineral-rich water is taken from the spa’s own source, directly below the building, from a depth of 35 m.
The Engadin’s spa tradition may have originated at the traditional healing springs, but it has since grown to incorporate an exceptional variety of related experiences. Where else can you lean back in an outdoor hot tub at 3,000 metres above sea level to enjoy the high-altitude sunshine? Or how about a family outing to the Bellavita pools & spa in Pontresina, or to the OVAVERVA pool & spa complex in St. Moritz?.
The region’s wellness hotels ((Link zu den Wellnesshotels der Region)) also offer non-residents blissful relaxation in an exclusive setting. Options include the Grand Hotel des Bains Kempinski St. Moritz, with 2,800 sq. m of wellness luxury; the Kulm Spa, with its elegant complex of pools and saunas; and the Palace Wellness at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, winner of a World Spa Award in 2016.
Pure relaxation for body, mind & soul are also guaranteed at the Kronenhof Spa in Pontresina, and at the Waldhaus Spa and the Arenas Resort Schweizerhof, both in Sils. Over in Zuoz, the Hotel Castell promises refreshing wellness with an oriental touch at the modern “alpine hammam”.