A spa holiday in Partschins & Töll
Healing baths and excellent water in Parcines near Merano
A spa holiday in Partschins & Töll
A spa holiday in Partschins & Töll
A spa holiday in Partschins & Töll
A spa holiday in Partschins & Töll
A spa holiday in Partschins & Töll
A spa holiday in Partschins & Töll
A spa holiday in Partschins & Töll
A spa holiday in Partschins & Töll
A spa holiday in Partschins & Töll

A spa holiday in Partschins & Töll

Healing baths and excellent water in Parcines near Merano

1836. This was the year that saw the birth of Merano as a spa town. The personal physician of the Princess of Schwarzenberg, Dr. Josef Huber, lay the medical and scientific foundations for the spa town of Merano. He compiled the first climate-related calculations based on the observations of the city physician of the time. In 1837 his treatise on Merano’s climate and discussion of cures using whey, milk, grapes and mineral water was published in Vienna.

Merano’s health-promoting potential had already been discovered in much earlier days. As long ago as 1529, physicians had sent the children of King Ferdinand there to protect them from sweating sickness. In 1654 Archduke Ferdinand Karl travelled to Merano to cure “several disorders”. Baron Bartholomäus Stürmer succeeded in healing his hoarseness with a cure using unpressed grapes in 1827.

After Dr. Huber’s brochure had appeared in 1837, another physician also took action in 1840. Bernhard Mazegger opened the first guesthouse in Maia Alta near Merano, which was associated with a cold water sanatorium. In those days the milk and whey cure was practised in spring and the grape cure in autumn.

In 1846 the South Tyrolean physician, Dr. Franz Tappeiner, opened a practice in Merano. With two other doctors, he founded the whey sanatorium. He recognised the importance of the air in Merano and its use in healing a variety of diseases. However, his biggest project was establishing a high altitude trail overlooking the town: the Tappeinerweg Trail. The promenade between Via Monte S. Zeno, past the Powder Tower and down to the castle courtyard in the town, was completed in 1893. The section to Quarazze was only built at a later date (1928). Dr. Tappeiner did not live to see this.

After Empress Elisabeth of Austria had made her way to Merano too in the 1870s, the town suddenly became a popular health resort among the aristocracy and bourgeoisie from all over Europe. With the growing number of visitors, the amount of accommodation grew too. Splendid buildings and luxurious hotels were built in Merano. The Kurhaus and theatre were built for the many visitors to the resort.


Parcines - a strong rival for Merano?

Over the years, guests in the resort also visited the villages surrounding Merano, and many Merano residents spent their summer holidays in Parcines. Parcines was already considered to be a “hot tip” in those days, as evidenced by an article in “Der Burggraefler” newspaper dated 12 May 1893: “Parcines, almost 2 hours [on foot] from Merano, benefits from a particularly lovely location. This, and the moderate climate - of which many people prefer not to speak at length, since otherwise there might easily be the risk of the famous climatic health resorts in Merano and the neighbouring villages finding a strong rival - are probably the reason why in Parcines the majority of available apartments are usually occupied by summer vacationers from very distinguished Merano families. [...] What wonderful excursions can also be undertaken from Parcines: for example to Tel, Rablà, Bad Egart and Bad Oberhaus, Quadrat, Aschbach and more.”

According to the article, Parcines had the health potential to become a climatic spa resort. Two spas in particular contributed to this in no small measure:
Bad Egart in Töll/Tel and Bad Oberhaus above Partschins/Parcines. Whilst Bad Oberhaus, whose fresh drinking water was known well beyond the regional borders, was predominantly a popular summer vacation destination for Merano’s residents, Bad Egart was mainly sought out by spa guests wishing to care for their health in the healing mineral waters of the bathhouses.
Bad Egart in Töll near Partschins

Health spa of the Romans and Empress Sisi

Bad Egart, today a restaurant and museum, was not only used by the spa visitors as a health resort. The history of the oldest health resort in Tyrol goes back much further. It is suspected that the Romans themselves were aware of the healing power of the spring water. That is to say, the customs post at Tel along the Via Claudia Augusta was located very close to the health resort. It therefore seems likely that Roman officials and travellers frequented the health-promoting thermal baths. The name Egart was derived from the nymph Egeria. The water of Bad Egart can thus be considered to be a shrine to Egeria, a helper with “women’s complaints”.

Bad Egart is first mentioned in the records in 1430. The oldest spa bath in Tyrol has three springs that are registered with the Office of Water Resources in the province of South Tyrol. The Roman Spring supplied the bathing water. According to an analysis carried out in 1822, the spring water contained sulphate, iron vitriol, carbon dioxide, sulphate of magnesia and calcium sulphate. The Roman spring is also known as the “Nymph Egeria” Spring.
The water of the “Iron Spring” was once drunk by the spa guests as a cure.
The fresh, lively “Birch Water” mineral spring is found in a birch forest.

The water of Bad Egart was recommended for no fewer than 29 (!) different conditions. According to the description by Dr. Franz Feyrtag de Festis, among other disorders, virulent skin rashes, disorders of the spleen, dehydration of the liver, rheumatic disorders, weak nerves and stomach complaints, gout of the foot, urinary disorders and women’s complaints could all be healed.

The bathhouse was rebuilt in 1730 by Joseph Joachim von Wolfenthal zu Spauregg und Gaudententurm. After its heyday in the 18th century, the spa fell into disrepair. 94 years later, in 1824, a public limited company was convened in Merano under the leadership of the district physician, Dr. Alois von Gasteiger. It built the present-day building. This is still commemorated today by the inscription on the marble archway at the main entrance to the house: “Dedicated as a sanatorium for the sick in 1824.” As was customary for the time, visitors to the bathing house brought their own bed linen, pillows, towels and so on with them. The rooms were furnished with a table and chairs, and they slept in box beds filled with fresh straw mattresses.

In 1906 Bad Egart enjoyed another heyday, when the railway line was opened in the Val Venosta Valley. The owner at the time made available the land on which the railway station was built at no cost. Visitors were now able to travel in comfort to Parcines by train.
The spa ceased to operate in 1956.

A prominent visit to Bad Egart
According to oral tradition, Empress Elisabeth “Sissi”, is believed to have visited Bad Egart for a bathing cure during a stay at the spa in Merano.
Likewise, Archduke Ferdinand, who later became Crown Prince, is supposed to have visited the spa on the occasion of the opening of the Val Venosta Valley Railway in 1907. The most famous Parcines native, Peter Mitterhofer, who invented the typewriter, appeared in Bad Egart as a singer, minstrel, musician and ventriloquist.

Present-day restaurant and museum
Nowadays Bad Egart is a restaurant and houses the Royal and Imperial Museum. The “Roman Spring” grotto is open to the public inside the museum. It is also still possible to see the tubs that were used for bathing in the Middle Ages, a soapstone oven in which the bathing water was warmed, and a variety of bathtubs that were once used by guests in the spa courtyard. The chapel belonging to the spa, which dates from around 1730, is dedicated to St. Mary and can also be visited.
Bad Egart Collection
Bad Egart Collection
A real paradise for fans of the Habsburg Monarchy with a fantastic collection of antiques and other interesting items! Bad Egart is South Tyrol’s oldest spa ...
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Tel/Töll
Restaurant Onkel Taa- Bad Egart
Bad Egart has been a restaurant since 1430 and is the oldest healing bath in Tyrol. The Platino family has transformed the restaurant into a treasure ...
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Bad Egart
Health spa of the Romans and Empress Sisi
Bad Egart
Historic documents
One much-visited and popular summer vacation destination for Merano residents was Bad Oberhaus overlooking Parcines.
The healing baths and excellent drinking water tempted many guests to the heart of the Texel Group. Hof Oberhaus was first mentioned in the records in 1357.
The spa itself enjoyed its heyday in the 17th century. It was at this time that it was visited by well-to-do townspeople and aristocrats. Clergymen also went to the mountain farm. As a result, in 1697 a chapel was built and dedicated to the physician saints Kosmas and Damian.

Bad Oberhaus consisted of two simple wooden chalets and a chapel above the buildings. The bathing rooms comprised five cabins with 2 baths in each. There were 6 small rooms for guests on the upper floor. Opposite was a walled-in boiler where the blends for herbal bathing were brewed (camomile, caraway, lavender, thyme and other healing alpine herbs were traditional). In the inn, there was dancing to music and the day guests, who paused for a rest here after a long hike, played traditional local card games such as Perlaggen, and Stossbuddeln (table skittles). Bad Oberhaus was a simple farmhouse, however great emphasis was placed on “purity”, “neatness” and a “sense of order”. The guests were expected to bring their own bedding with them.

The bathing water (rich in bound iron, gypsum, alum and mineral clay), was transported there in wooden pipes from a fresh mountain spring. The drinking water (bitter taste, extremely cold and clear; rich in carbonic iron, magnesium, sodium chloride and “wonder salt”) bubbled out from a rock below the building and was also used for bathing. In addition there was also “fever water” (rich in sodium chloride, gypsum and free sulphuric acid), which was also a drinking water used for drinking cures. Patients suffering from malaria often sought out the healing spa at Oberhaus. Before the draining of the Adige marshes, many people suffered from ague, which could be treated using the “fever water”.
All of the springs had a temperature of 6.2 ºC and helped with rheumatism and convalescence.

“On nice days it would not occur to anybody to sit at home when there are enough excursions, big and small, to thoroughly enjoy the summer vacation, for example to Oberhaus. This lovely mountain village lies north-east of Parcines, in the fragrance of the conifers with a health resort, whose water rises up a few fathoms above the building and carries bound iron, gypsum and alum. A short distance below the building another spring bubbles up, clear as crystal and cold as ice in summer. This contains carbonic iron, magnesia, sodium chloride and “wonder salt” and is used as a drinking cure for ague, anaemia and against weak nerves and stomach complaints with great success. A chapel also meets the needs of pious guests.” (Article in the “Meraner Zeitung” newspaper, 1877)

The fact that the drinking water drawn from the in-house spring had a good reputation is attested to by an entry in the “new guide to Merano and surroundings” by Fridolin Plant (1879): “From Parcines a very steep footpath, which if need be can also be used as a bridle way, leads to Bad Oberhaus, which is renowned for its excellent drinking water and is situated in a wildly romantic location.”

The spa continued to operate until a landslip in 1917. The chapel was destroyed in the process. One of the two bells still chimes in faraway Cameroon in Africa. The second bell hung from 1933 to 1982 in the small mountain church near the Lodner Hut in the Zieltal Valley, until it was replaced by a new casting after the body of the bell cracked. Today there is a wayside shrine on the site of the former chapel.
The inn continued to be run until 1959 by Alfons and Irma Villotti and was a popular meeting place with a bowling alley. The healing springs of Oberhaus still exist today.

Since 2003 Hof Oberhaus has been in private ownership. The building can only be reached on foot as there is no access road.
Bad Oberhaus in Partschins
Spa in the mountains
Bad Oberhaus
Historic documents
Explore the historical healing baths on foot
Family
Hiking, easy, Path suitable for baby carriages, Winter hikes
Family "Kul-Tour" - round trip

Culture round trip

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Round Trip
Hiking, easy, Winter hikes
Round Trip "Bad Egart"
Round trip for the whole family, dedicatet to water! Suitable for children and buggies! Tour Start Töll/Tel Railway Station – Aschbach/Riolagundo ...
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The historic mountain farms of Partschins/Parcines
Hiking, all hiking routes, difficult
The historic mountain farms of Partschins/Parcines
Wonderful four-hour difficult mountain hike to the lonely mountain farms of the Vertigner and Tablander hamlets. Tabland and Vertigen are two small ...
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The glory days of the spa baths in Parcines are long gone. Only a few silent witnesses still remind us today of days gone by, in which visitors from near and far travelled to Parcines to, with the help of a bath, cure themselves of a wide variety of diseases.

Now, more than ever, Parcines is known for its clean, germ-free water and excellent air quality. However, today the water - that precious commodity - is no longer used for healing baths, but instead rushes with impressive force from a height of 97 metres over Parcines falls. A special microclimate prevails here, which demonstrably offers added value for health and wellbeing. The particle concentrations measured in the vicinity of the waterfall, which are close to the most outstanding clean air areas in the world, and the clean water of the Zielbach stream, are ideally suited to health promotion and sickness prevention.

The natural healing power of Parcines Waterfall is complemented by the unique offerings of the “Gsund bleibm! Salute! Take care!” health project.
Wholly in the spirit of “health from nature - available without prescription and free from side effects” - for prevention, slowing down, regeneration and recuperation.


Our special thanks go to Mr. Heini Frei, the tireless chronicler of Partschins/Parcines, for reviewing the historical material of the Parcines village chroniclers and providing uns with unattainable documents and photos!
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