We spent our morning at the special Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme here in Wiesbaden. It is a marvelous, refurbished ancient bathing establishment. This one has an outstanding circuit of water and heat treatments. I think the Germans are probably the best in the world in understanding the physiology of contrast therapy (hot and cold) and its health benefits. The circuit begins with a shower and then a session in the first sauna, which is moderately hot. After that, guests proceed from one heat experience to another. In all, there are 13 baths and rooms of various temperatures.
By the way, in Germany they would laugh at you if you wore a swimsuit into the sauna. Everyone is totally naked, and, yes, it is mixed company, which means all men and women are going through the saunas, steams, and pools with no clothes on. It takes a few minutes to get used to, but soon it feels quite natural. (I was glad, however, that we didn’t run into anyone we knew.)
From a sauna to a cold shower, then a hotter sauna, followed by a cold pool, on to inhalation rooms, resting areas, steams, more saunas, more rest…You get the idea. The average amount of time a person spends here is four hours. We only spent three but felt great after.
To view all the different rooms in Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme’s circuit, click “Sauna Landscape” on the property’s website. You will see authentic names such as frigidarium, lumenarium, Russian steam, tepidarium, etc. It’s a good lesson in spa history.
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