Varberg - 200 years as resort
Read about life in Varberg’s health resort. How storms have devastated buildings and what has been in fashion in terms of health and water over the years. Today Varberg has the most Spa facilities in the country
THE HISTORY OF VARBERG AS A HEALTH RESORT
There has been a health resort tradition in Varberg since the 1800s. A large range of facilities and absolute proximity to the fresh, salty sea has led to the town becoming the municipality with the highest density of spas in the country. Over the years bathhouses have been built and equipped with the latest developments within water and health treatments. West Coast storms have always represented a challenge for the bathhouses.
SIX FEMALE BATH ATTENDANTS
Varberg’s first hot bathhouse was built in 1823 somewhere between the present customs house and the cold bathhouse. To start with the bathhouse only comprised 5 bathrooms, but as the number of guests increased, the building was extended and by 1860 it had no less than twelve bathrooms. The guests were served by six female bath attendants. The town was gaining an increasingly established reputation as a health resort. Esaias Tegnér was one of the guests who had come from a long way away.
STEAMBOAT TO VARBERG
1852 was an important year for Varberg. That was namely the year when steamer traffic started along the coast from Göteborg to Malmö. This increased the desire to travel to Varberg. The town’s authorities also realised that this pressure would mean that the seaside resort would need to be developed.
ULTRAMODERN MUD- AND SEAWEED BATH
A second hot bathhouse was opened in the summer of 1866. The facility represented the very pinnacle of modernity. It contained 20 rooms for treatments including mud- and seaweed baths, massage and sauna. The town’s first cold bathhouse was completed in the same year. It was destroyed in 1884 in a very severe storm that wreaked havoc along the entire west coast.
SWIMMING COSTUME ON
Varberg’s second cold bathhouse was finished in 1886. The new cold bathhouse was very similar to the previous one. The same style of architecture but naturally more modern. Swimming right out into the sea was permitted, but a swimming costume was compulsory. This cold bathhouse was not destined to last long either. It fell victim to the so-called "Christmas storm" of 1902, the worst storm to hit the West Coast in living memory.
TODAY’S COLD BATHHOUSE CONSTRUCTED
The third cold bathhouse was erected in 1903. This is still standing and should be able to withstand the most violent of storms.
FROM HEALTH RESORT TO SPA
All the elegant environments still remain from the old health resort, which over the years has been developed more and more into a facility to promote health. Societén Park, the Promenade along the sea front , the Hot and Cold Bathhouses. However, the Varberg of today with its health- and spa facilities has so much more to offer. Since the 1920’s Varberg has been a seaside- and health resort for everyone, and the old health resort concept is moving more and more over to the Spa concept, Salus per Aqua, which means health through water.