A spa is a location where mineral-rich spring water is used to give medicinal baths. Spa towns or spa resorts typically offer various health treatments, which are also known as balneotherapy. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are especially widespread in Europe and Japan. Day spas are also quite popular and offer various personal care treatments.
But did you know where the word Spa comes from? The term is derived from the name of the town of Spa, Belgium, whose name is known back from Roman times, when the location was called Aquae Spadanae, sometimes incorrectly connected to the Latin word Spargere meaning to scatter, sprinkle or moisten.
In 1326, Collin le Loup, an iron-master from Liège, Belgium, discovered the chalybeate springs of Spa. Around these springs, a famous health resort eventually grew and the term "spa" came to refer to any health resort located near natural springs. Today the city still has many water sources and health resorts and even its bottled mineral water that is famous all over the world.