Health spas

Attractions in Valle di Braies

An integral part of Valle di Braies are the health spas Bagni di Braies Vecchia and Bagni di Braies Nuova
Bagni di Braies Nuova
Bagni di Braies Nuova
History doesn’t tell us when the spring was first tapped, the first documentation dates back to 1690. From 1830 the spa then named Erlachbad tempted visitors from far and near to healing fun at the springs “Theresia” and “Jenny”.
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Here too, the waters cured many illnesses: The farmers believed to have been cured of their eye problems, the water healed many old and new open wounds and provided alleviation with many aches and pains. Stouter people benefited as much as the thin ones tending to vomiting blood. Later the spring became known as Möselbad. Additional buildings were added, new rooms and bathing huts. It wasn’t long before Bagni di Braies Nuova eclipsed the noble Braies Vecchia. Food was excellent and around 400 visitors came every year to spend several weeks to enjoy the woods, the lakes and the clean air.
The spas of Braies were always an expression of the Zeitgeist. Their rise, their fame and their decline were typical, not only for them but for many others in the alpine region. The First World War dealt them the first deathblow. Subsequently, in 1936, the hard working owners had to hand Bagni di Braies Nuova over to the Fascist rulers, and eventually the Catholic Church took it over as a summer residence.
Bagni di Braies Vecchia
Bagni di Braies Vecchia
The early history of the village is not fully known. What is known is that in 1490 a simple, hard working lumberjack and assistant forester serving the forester of Gorizia asked the Count of Gorizia for permission to create the building known as Braies Hirschbrunnen, to tend to the sick and the suffering.
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His wish was granted, and it is said that a year later, Paula Countess of Gorizia visited the spring, where she was miraculously cured of the most painful aches in her joints. The grateful countess subsequently built the small church “im Moos” near Villabassa. This and also other prevalent illnesses led to a rise of the spa culture at that time. It appears that the spa became a magnet for visitors, renowned far beyond the country borders. In 1501 Emperor Maximilian I. granted the spa comprehensive feudal rights, with the intention that the spa should become an oasis of peace and healing. This did, indeed, occur. The water had the power to warm, to unite, to heal. It was said that it removes common surplus sweat, eases the pains of the evil illness, heals wounds and is a long lasting remedy against broken bones. More than ever the water promised to contain miraculous properties.
In the following centuries Bagni di Braies Vecchia was much vaunted and praised. Alongside the actual spring, the “Hirschenbrunnen”, there was also the “eye spring” and the “drinking water spring”. The water emerges from the rocks at a temperature of 9° Celsius. In 1692 a chapel was built nearby. Over time more and more crutches accumulated there, left behind by patients who had been miraculously healed. Between 1830 and 1870 Bagni di Braies Vecchia was regularly visited by 600 - 1000 spa visitors a year. Strangely, the owners changed in quick succession during those years. The quality of the services provided did therefore not meet the requirements of the visitors. And so, at the end of the 19 century, the glorious days of Bagni di Braies Vecchia slowly came to an end. It was marginalised by more modern structures, by Bagni di Braies Nuova and the hotel Pragser Wildsee. In 1950 the story of Bagni di Braies Vecchia came to end and it disintegrated more and more.