Christian Noack visits the Balneological Library in Bad Wildungen
News from Oct 14, 2020
Between 6 and 10 October 2020, Christian Noack conducted research at one of our Associated Partners, the balneological library in the spa town of Bad Wildungen, in the mountainous north of the German state of Hessen. In the past, Noack was surprised to find out, the small spa town was even linked to Amsterdam Central Station by a direct fast train – due to the fact that members of the Dutch royal house travelled there for taking the waters. Luckily it rained incessantly during the week of Noack's stay, otherwise taking hikes into the wonderful landscape around the spa would have been a tempting alternative.
Located in a 16th century townhouse near Bad Wildungen’s castle, the balneological library offers a broad range of spa literature, collected by Germany’s national and Hessen’s regional Spa town associations (“Kur- und Heilbäderverband”). While much of the publications gathered here are medical (stretching far beyond the sub-disciplines of balneology or thalassotherapy), there is also a broad array of materials dealing with spa administration and the promotion of cures and vacation in Germany’s Heilbäder. Hosting journals in the field from the late 19th to the early 21st century, the balenological library is a true treasure trove, but one that literally has to be discovered, as there are (as of yet) no catalogues.
Against this backdrop, Noack’s visit was much of a reconnaissance trip, to be follow by further research in later phases of the project. “The European Spa” project would like to thank director Bernhard Weller and his team for the warm welcome and hospitality offered to its members.