Băile Herculane, Romania

Brutalist spa town with open air hotsprings!

Since the paleolithic period this place has been inhabited by humans. Through the ages it has been appreciated by the Romans who gave it it name Aqua Herculis. Past occupations by the Ottomans and Austrians established it as a spa town. In communist times the quaint town got it’s heart ripped out and it was replaced with the concrete monoliths to house thousands of working class heroes on there well deserved yearly week off. Meanwhile the contemporary Romanian state neglects not only all the historic architecture and bridges in the valley but even the commie monster hotels are falling to pieces. By now one can only hope for a massive earthquake to destroy all human infrastructure.

Throughout the valley there are countless of natural thermal springs just spilling unused water into the Cerna river. Sometimes from the derelict spa buildings others cracked up sidewalk nearby a drinking fountain. Still there is such an abundance that several hotels and guesthouses get thermal water piped directly into their pools. In at least four places one can bath for free in open air (concrete-) pools on to the riverside. Unfortunately this is as close to the real deal natural hot spring experience you get here. Some more or less trashed up, depending on prior use:

Next to the horrid Hotel Roman: Bazine termale

Further down the valley: Izvorul Scorillo and Izvorul La Gropan (not pictured)

Downtown next to the stone bridge: La Baltoaca

Băile Herculane, Romania: Some good dibs to be had. Pool setting not always inviting. Water quality is mostly good. Good area for mountain hikes, free outdoor pools are nice enough for a evenings relaxation. bert

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