Saturday, 27 October 2012
The small town in the Hautes Alpes departmetn in France now known as Monêtier les Bains was known to the Romans as Stabatio and even then was renowned for the healing properties of its spa. Stabatio became Monasterium, then Monêtier de Briançon during the Middle Ages, then finally Monêtier les Bains in the 19th century.
A pharmacist from Paris wrote of the area, "An abundant vegetation covers the entire valley, the animals are full of vigour, men acquire strength, size and shapes that contrast sharply with the sickly appearance of those who live several neighbouring countries."
The naturally warm springs with their healing properties were ignored for decades in favour of winter sports but more recently they have been rediscovered. The baths pictured on the postcard were opened in 1999. They were considered something of a pilot study for the more recent opening of "Les Grands Bains".
The waters are reputed to have properties that are helpful for gastric, rheumatic and skin problems, but I'd still prefer not to be surrounded by snow while taking the "cure".
A post for Sepia Saturday. A click on the button will take you to the Sepia Saturday blog.