Ilmenau spa and its cold water therapy
Take a walk in the footsteps of turn-of-the-century patrons of Ilmenau's hydros and baths, discover the promenades, provided as they are with frequent resting places and memorials. They join Ilmenau to its lovely setting in the Thüringer Wald, making of them a seamless whole.
It was at the end of the 19th century that the promenades were created with their resting places, for the intention was to make of Ilmenau an official place of convalescence.
As the treatment establishments were mainly to be found along the Ilm in the direction of Manebach, where cool water flowed from the hills, the gentle paths for the guests were mainly in the south-west part of Ilmenau. They skirt or meander through the adjoining woods and past grottos formed in stone, little bowers with a seat, or tablets and monuments. These are mainly reminders of citizens who had earned the gratitude of the town for their concern in encouraging the spa development. Others were erected in honour of patients who had contributed financially to the care and beautification of grounds and surroundings.
The first World War put an end to Ilmenau's life as a spa and therapy centre. The promenades were long forgotten and some of the grottos fell into decay or even disappeared. In recent years, interest has been revived and the various sites and springs have been lovingly restored.