Hot Springs in Caldas da Rainha

The Past, Present and Future

Hospital Termal, Caldas da Rainha, placa toponímica, Gocaldas, o teu Guia Turístico Local

Hot Springs in Caldas da Rainha, a Treasure to discover

Everything seems to have started in the year 1484, when Queen D. Leonor passed through that place they called Caldas de Óbidos, en route to Batalha.

A year later, the Thermal Hospital and what would become the thermal spa of Caldas da Rainha opened to public!

The story tells that Queen Dona Leonor saw a group of people bathing in swampy waters, with a very characteristic smell (sulfur). To the question of why they were bathing there, people answered that those waters served to cure various disease.

History of the Hot Springs in Caldas da Rainha says that the Queen suffered from a disease and that when she bathed in those waters, the disease stopped tormenting her, leading her to create what is considered the oldest Thermal Hospital in the world!

After the construction of the Thermal Hospital in 1485, King D. João V already in the XVIII century ordered the original structures to be demolished and decided to have a new building built. Why? Because King D. João V suffered from several diseases and his majesty’s advisers told him that the waters of Caldas da Rainha were the most recommended for the cure of convulsions, head complaints and even the paralysis that affected the King.

Visitar Caldas da Rainha, Hospital Termal, Gocaldas, o teu Guia Turístico Local

The King ended up coming to the hot springs in Caldas da Rainha 13 times, and there are no records that the treatments he did with the waters brought him any added value.

In the XIX Century Rodrigo Berquó, one of the great administrators of the Termal Hospital ended up increasing one more floor to the Termal Hospital and started to design what today are the Park Pavillions, a struture mented to be a new hospital but never become one.

That same building was used for secondary school, army headquarters, police and library, but today those who are the famous “Pavilões do Parque” (so called by the Park Pavillions) are closed to the public and will be transformed into a 5-star hotel.

The Thermal Hospital, the Nossa Senhora do Populo Church, the Hospital and Caldas Museum (former Caza Real), Parque D. Carlos I, Mata Rainha Dona Leonor) and the new spa (former convalescence house) are part of the thermal complex. ).

Therapeutic Treatments Associated with the Hot Springs

Here you can find some details about the thermal waters of Caldas da Rainha and a list of treatments that were carried out before the Thermal Hospital closed:

  • Nasal Shower or Nasal Irrigation
  • Vichy Shower
  • Pharyngeal spraying
  • Individual Nebulization
  • Simple and Sonic Aerosols
  • Simple Immersion and Bubble Baths
  • Maniluvio Shower
  • Pediluvium Shower

As Termas de Caldas da Rainha, Hospital Termal, banheiras

Composition of the Thermal Waters of Caldas da Rainha

  • Total Mineralization: Hypersaline
  • Ionic Composition: Sulfurous, Sodium Chloride
  • PH of Water: 6.7
  • Water Temperature: 35 <

Caldas da Rainha Thermal waters benefits

Well, these waters are beneficial for some treatments such as:

  • Gout
  • Asthma
  • Rheumatism

How to visit the Hot Springs

Although the Thermal Hospital is closed for any thermal treatment, today it is possible to visit some of the spaces that are part of the thermal heritage, among them:

  • Thermal Hospital
  • Church of Nossa Senhora do Populo
  • Hospital and Caldas Museum
  • Parque D. Carlos I
  • Mata Rainha Dona Leonor

To visit the first 3 spaces, you must request tickets at the ticket office of the Hospital and Caldas Museum, but Parque D. Carlos I and Mata Rainha Dona Leonor are open spaces that you can visit without appointment and without cost.

As Termas de Caldas da Rainha, Museu do Hospital e das Caldas

Hot Springs Location

The thermal complex in the city of Caldas da Rainha is located in the historic center. If you come by car you can park next to the D. Carlos I park. However, at the top of the park there is a free car park that can be useful. Pay attention because you can walk the whole historic center very well without a car.

Thermal Hospital Schedule

According to what has already been written, the thermal complex is formed by a set of structures that obey different schedules.

Museum of Hospital and Caldas:
Tuesday to Saturday and Holidays: 10 am to 12.30 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm
Sundays: 9.00 am to 12.00 pm
Closed on Monday
Nossa Senhora do Populo Church:
Tuesday to Saturday: 14.00H to 17.00H
Closed on Monday and public holidays
(Whenever closed, the Museum ensures a visit to the Church of Nossa Senhora do Pópulo)
Thermal Hospital (Rainha’s pool):
Visits take place within Museum hours and are accompanied by the Museum, or you can book a tour directly with us.

Prices for Visiting the Thermal Complex

As entradas para o Museu do Hospital e das Caldas e o Hospital Termal têm preços diferentes:

Hospital and Caldas Museum:
Normal Ticket: 3.00 € / person
Retirees, Youth Card, Groups (+5 elements): 1.50 € / person
Children under 14: Free ticket
Thermal Hospital (Rainha’s pool):
General Ticket: 1.50 € / person
Children under 14: Free ticket

Antiga Piscina da Rainha em Caldas da Rainha, Hospital Termal

Curious Facts About the Hot Springs

  • the place of Caldas da Rainha started with 30 inhabitants who were granted advantages such as the exemption of several taxes
  • The architect of the Nossa Senhora do Populo Church was Mateus Fernandes, responsible for the imperfect chapels of the monastery of Batalha
  • Queen Dona Leonor was patron of Gil Vicente, who presented the Auto de São Martinho for the first time at the Nossa Senhora do Populo Church
  • The new building of the Thermal Hospital, built by King D. João V was the architect Manuel da Maia, responsible for the reconstruction of the city of Lisbon after the 1755 earthquake
  • You can still visit the “swimming pool” where Queen Dona Leonor bathed
  • Some of the hot springs are found under the Thermal Hospital
  • The water runs at 35 degrees centigrade

Other places to visit

The city of Caldas da Rainha is not limited to the theme of thermalism. We advise you to visit Praça da Fruta, the only one of its kind operating 365 days a year, where you can find a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruits from the region.

Or, traditional cheeses, chorizo and bread, without forgetting thec local pastry Cavacas and Beijinhos das Caldas (dry cakes).

Among many other things, the city is also nicknamed “the capital of musuems because the high number of them in the city”! Here’s the list so you don’t get lost:

  • José Malhoa Museum
  • Ceramics Museum
  • Hospital and Caldas Museum
  • Arts Center (Leopoldo de Almeida and Barata Feyo Museum)
  • Bernardo Museum and Bernardo House
  • Cycling Museum

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