This is the complete guide to get to know everything about the Thermal Hospital at Caldas da Rainha.
We will let you know and show what you need to know in order to visit:
- History and what to see
- The address
- Where to buy tickets
- Where to eat
- What to bring
- Where sleep
- Top five places to visit at the Thermal Hospital
- Caldas da Rainha Thermal Complex
- Caldas da Rainha Attractions
- Tours with visits to the Thermal Hospital
- Opening of the Thermal Hospital
- Composition of thermal waters
- Thermal Hospital Video
Are you ready?
Finally your trip to the Thermal Hospital begins here:
What so See
Welcome to what is considered the oldest thermal hospital in the world. The date of its foundation takes us to the date of the foundation of Caldas da Rainha - 1484.
From the will and the excellent sense of opportunity of Queen D. Leonor, who, according to legend, knew the waters of the city by chance when she would have seen people bathing, the Caldas da Rainha Thermal Hospital was born, at the end of the century XV.
A meritorious queen, D. Leonor immediately realized the healing benefits of the Waters, from which it is said that she enjoyed herself, and created a hospital care unit, thinking mainly of the most needy, based solely on thermal treatments.
Hence its uniqueness, we cannot forget that all this happened at the end of the 15th century, more than 500 years ago!
Located in Largo Rainha D. Leonor, among the Caldenses simply “Largo do Termal”, the Termal Hospital was completely renovated in the 18th century when D. João V passed through Caldas da Rainha to use the waters.
A new phase
Engineer Manuel da Maia was responsible for the work, he who would later be one of the workers in the reconstruction of Lisbon after the 1755 earthquake.
Later, in the 90s of the 19th century, the building underwent new renovations during the administration of Rodrigo Berquó, of which the addition of the third floor stands out.
Come and visit the oldest thermal hospital unit in the world and visit the queen's swimming pool, where D. Leonor was bathing.
The visit to the Thermal Hospital is ensured by the Museum of the Hospital and Caldas and can and should be combined with the visit to the museum but also to the rest of the thermal heritage: the Church of Nossa Senhora do Pópulo and the Ermida de S. Sebastião.
Some curiosities about the Hospital and its waters
- 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
The Thermal Hospital at Caldas da Rainha is located in the historic center of the city, very close to Parque D. Carlos I and Praça da Fruta, two of the most iconic and visited places.
Put the address on your GPS: Largo Rainha Dona Leonor, 2500-174 Caldas da Rainha, and you can park the car close to it. If you like, our tip is to try the “Parada” car park between the Thermal Hospital and the Bordalo Pinheiro Factory on Bordalo Pinheiro Street. Best of all, it's free!
If you wish, you can also park your car inside the park of the Cultural and Congress Center which is a ten minute walk from the monument. Parking here is paid, the first hour is free.
The Thermal Hospital at Caldas da Rainha is open from Tuesday to Sunday, with the following times:
- Tuesday to Saturday and Holidays: 10 am to 12:30 pm and from 2 pm to 5 pm
- Sundays: 9 am to 12 noon
- Closed on Monday
However, on Sundays we advise a previous contact with the Museum of Hospital and Caldas to ensure that it is not closed.
Where to Buy Tickets
In order to visit the space, you must go to the Hospital and Caldas Museum as it is there that you can buy your tickets. Before doing so, we leave you with information about their cost!
In addition to being able to buy your ticket to visit the spaces of the Hospital Termal, you can also buy tickets to the Museum and the Chapel of São Sebastião, which is located at the top of Praça da Fruta.
The fee to enter the Thermal Hospital is:
1.5 € per person
In order to obtain more information about the place, history or how to visit it, it is best to contact the entity that manages the space - Museu do Hospital e das Caldas:
Phone: 351 262 240 012
E-mail: [email protected]
Where to Eat
Caldas da Rainha is a city on the west coast with thirty thousand inhabitants just 45 minutes from Lisbon and ten minutes from the beach. Between the sea and the countryside, the cuisine of Caldas is a mixture of meat, fish and fresh seafood.
Here are some more tips on where you can have your meal:
Where to Sleep
When choosing the bed where you will spend the night you will always have the option between a city version or next to the beach in the heart of Foz do Arelho:
What to Bring
In addition to the desire to discover the thermal heritage of Caldas da Rainha, good mood is always an extra not to be overlooked!
The city enjoys what the inhabitants of Caldas define as their own microclimate that comes from the Montejunto mountain range, and which makes it a balanced climate. So, our autumn and winter are not very harsh, and spring and summer are not very hot. In the middle, we inform you that the wind in the late afternoon is almost always the norm, so we always advise something to wrap up
Top five places to visit at the Thermal Hospital
Behold, here is a way to conclude which spots you have to see inside the Thermal Hospital at Caldas da Rainha.
We return to an important point: Tickets must be purchased at the Museu do Hospital e das Caldas.
#Spot 1: Noble Sallon
The Nobel Sallon is located on the first floor of the main building of the thermal complex, and it was here that every 15th of May (local holiday) the administrator of the Thermal Hospital and the Mayor of the City gave the “starting shot” for one more new bathing season.
Here you will have the opportunity to see the painting of Queen D. Leonor painted in the 17th century by the painter Domingos Lopes.
#Spot 2: Foutain
After ordered the construction of a new Thermal Hospital in the 18th century by King D. João V, it offers a fountain from which to drink the waters that flowed from the hot springs.
In the last century in Caldas da Rainha there was still bottled water from the thermal waters. However, today is just one example of how there would be different forms of treatment based on water.
#Spot 3: Queen´s Pool
This is perhaps the most emblematic location of the Thermal Hospital at Caldas da Rainha. It is said that this pool is the only space that will have been preserved from the original building.
Here you can see the hot springs flowing as well the walls iin some bad shape caused by sulfur. Undoubtedly a different place loaded with an atmosphere that transports us to the foundation of the Thermal Hospital.
#Spot 6: Queen´s D. Leonor Wood
With about 17 hectares, the queen forest D. Leonor was planted to protect the existing thermal water sources- Nowadays it is the ideal place for walking or doing sports.
Also known as the “enchanted forest”, it is home to the Caldas Sport Club stadium. Entry to the woods - is free.
Caldas da Rainha Thermal Complex
#Spot 1: New Spa
This XIX century building on the left side of the Thermal Hospital was built to support the main building. In the XIX century, the village of Caldas da Rainha became a national tourist center and the influx of spas grew, and with this the obligation to build new support structures.
This structure is not visitable.
#Spot 3: Parque D. Carlos I
Parque D. Carlos I was designed to be a leisure area to be enjoyed by those who were in the period of convalescence of the treatments carried out at the Thermal Hospital.
In addition to an artificial lake where today it is still possible to rent small boats to be able to row, this romantic style park features flora from all over the world.
Here you also have the opportunity to visit the José Malhoa Museum, dedicated to this great naturalist painter.
Entry to this space is free, and you must respect the times when the religious service is being provided.
#Spot 4: Caza Real
In the past, it was here that the nobility rested when they came to the thermal baths of Caldas da Rainha. Nowadays Caza Real is transformed into a museum, the Hospital and Caldas Museum.
Entrance fees to the museum cost three euros per person. The museum is closed on Sunday afternoons and Mondays.
Caldas da Rainha Attractions
In addition to the Thermal Hospital at Caldas da Rainha, you can visit the remaining “thermal complex” of the city that passes through the Nossa Senhora do Populo Church, the São Sebastião Chapel or the D. Carlos I Park.
However, there are other spaces that await your visit! Places like Praça da Fruta, known for being the only street market that works every day of the year in Portugal, the network of museums, or the Óbidos Lagoon.
Opening of the Thermal Hospital
The Thermal Hospital at Caldas da Rainha could become an anchor in a new development of the city, catapulting areas such as tourism and other areas related to services.
At this moment I am looking to requalify the thermal complex, it is already possible to make appointments and perform some treatments in the so-called Balneário Novo.
In this first phase it is possible to do treatments linked to inhalation.
According to the City Council, which is the managing entity, it is expected that in 2022 the thermal complex will be operating at 100%.
Composition of thermal waters
Since the end of the 19th century, the thermal waters of Caldas da Rainha have been much sought after by people of the people such as the bourgeoisie and the monarchy.
The waters that run more at least 35 degrees centigrade make it an extra to all this movement.
Characteristics of the thermal waters of Caldas da Rainha:
Total Mineralization: Hypersaline
Ionic Composition: Sulfurous, Sodium Chloride
PH of Water: 6.7
Tours with visits to the Thermal Hospital
GoCaldas makes tours in Caldas da Rainha! Finally you will be able to visit all the thermal heritage of the city with the Thermal Hospital highlighted. In addition, you will get to know unique and special places such as Piscina da Rainha, the only place that dates back to its foundation.
Then you will have the opportunity to visit the church of Nossa Senhora do Populo, Céu de Vidro, the Park Pavilions and the romantic Parque D. Carlos I on a two-hour tour between several breaks to rest and taste the typical sweets of Caldas da Rainha - the Cavacas.
So if you want to know more details about how to book or the prices access our page below.
Tv Channel RTP2 "Guided Tour" Program on the Thermal Hospital
The importance of the Thermal Hospital as the oldest in the world led to the presence of the RTP2 program: Guided Tour. You will have the opportunity to see in full color the legacy that Queen Dona Leonor left us in 1485. So click on play and let yourself go!