Please find driving directions below the main text
Bank account of “National Trust Belgium” (NTAB)
BE17 0016 2443 2021
Thanks to its natural spring waters and mineral baths with healing and relaxing properties, which have helped visitors regain their sparkle since Roman times, when the area was called Aquae Spadanae (from Salus per Aqua), the picturesque town of Spa in the east of Wallonia has given its name to every spa in the world.
Although Spa already attracted many visitors in the Middle Ages, the city reached its peak in the 18th century, when, after a visit by Tsar Peter the Great in 1717, the springs in Spa became famous throughout Europe. Since then, royals and nobles from all over the continent came to stay every summer, creating a unique atmosphere. The Austrian Emperor Joseph II even called Spa the “Café de l’Europe”. Over the years, Spa also became a magnet for a long line of notable Britons, including the future King Charles II of England in exile, the Duke of Wellington and Winston Churchill.
Today Spa, together with 10 other prestigious balneological sites such as Bath, Vichy and Baden Baden, is recognized as one of the “Great Spa Towns of Europe”. In 2021, these resorts were officially inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The reason behind this inclusion is that these centers have made an important contribution to shaping culture and society in Europe over the last 300 years.
During our visit to Spa, we will visit the most famous springs commonly called “pouhons” and we will start with the most famous, the “Pouhon Pierre Le Grand”, where the tourist office is located.
There, our guides will also comment on the celebrated “Livre d’Or”, a painting depicting 92 famous people who entered the waters of Spa. During the subsequent guided city walk, we discover why this city, unknown before the 16th century, acquired international fame and wealth and why the allure of the facades of yesteryear around the ancient thermal baths is still very much alive in this dynamic thermal city.
After our lunch at the Auberge de l’Europe, a tourist train takes us to the most famous sources or “pouhons” such as the “Source Barisart” and the “Fontaine Géronstère”, located at an altitude of 300 to 450 meters in the woods in the neighborhood. At some we will have the opportunity to taste the celebrated mineral water.
Lunch: Café de l’Europe, Place Royale 4 : 3 courses incl. water and 1 glass of wine/beer/soft drink plus coffee or tea. Vegetarians please notify at registration.
If you have registered and paid for this event, let the organisers know, preferably by e-mail, and they will arrange for more detailed information and guidelines in the week preceding the outing.
-by car: from Brussels: take the E40 towards Liège and then the E42 to Spa. There are quite a number of free parking places in Spa without a limitation of stay.
-by train: from Brussels Central Station via Liège and Verviers: 2h20