History of Baths and Spas

Articles Module

History of Baths and Spas

For as long as there have been towns and cities, public baths have been available to provide people with a place to get clean, relax and enjoy other health benefits.

Public baths were not just about staying clean, though. These spaces allowed people to socialize and stay connected with others in their community. Here we take a look at how public baths have changed over the centuries.

Ancient Baths and Spas

While all ancient cultures had a way to keep clean, some scholars say that what we think of as public baths started in Ancient Greece around the sixth century B.C.E. These public spaces were often located near — and eventually in — gymnasiums and provided men and women with basins to clean themselves.

Later on, public bathing in Ancient Greece took on a more spa-like atmosphere, with hot water, cleansing sands, vapor baths, cold plunge pools and aromatherapy massages.

The Ancient Romans expanded public baths on a grand scale, with them becoming something like a cross between a water park and a theme park. In the Roman baths you might find pools, gardens, game rooms, theaters and libraries.

Some public baths could handle 3,000 bathers a day. And because the Roman Empire stretched so far throughout Western Europe, there is still an old Roman public bath site in — appropriately named — Bath, England.

19th Century Baths and Spas

In the early 1800s, public baths saw a resurgence in Europe, with the first one opened in Liverpool, UK, in 1829. Some of these public baths provided people who didn’t have access to bathing facilities in their own home with a way to stay clean. A few decades later, local governments started building public swimming baths for all their residents.

By the mid-1800s hot water baths started to show up in Europe. These were based on Roman-style public baths that still existed in what would later be known as Turkey — which gave them the name of Turkish baths. These quickly spread throughout the British empire and later to the United States.

Modern Day Baths and Spas

Many public baths in the United States gave way to private spas, which are found in every state and major city today. In Europe and the United States, though, there still remains a vibrant public bath atmosphere built around natural hot springs.

Early on, the mineral-rich water of these thermal baths — or hot springs — was marketed for their healing properties, but they remain popular today because of the relaxing benefits of naturally hot water.

In Europe, thermal baths can be found in many countries, including Austria, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland and France. In Bad Gleichenberg, Austria, use of the thermal bath dates back to Roman times. In Western Europe, the Finns still enjoy public bathing in the tradition of the Roman Empire, with it being as much of a social event as a way to stay healthy.

In the United States, hot springs in places like Colorado, California and Nevada draw people there to soak away their ailments and stress. Some places offer hot water soaking in natural areas, while other locations pump the hot water from the springs into pools or hot tubs.

Even if you can’t make it to a natural hot spring or public bath, you can still experience the healing and relaxing powers of a hot soak by booking your next spa day.

Hours Of Operation

We are open most mornings and evenings for you!


9:00 AM-8:00 PM


9:00 AM-8:00 PM


9:00 AM-8:00 PM


9:00 AM-8:00 PM


9:00 AM-5:00 PM


9:00 AM-3:00 PM



Visit us today!

We are located in Plains, PA


  • "Anderson Salon is the best at what they do and make you feel right at home."
    John Doe / San Diego
  • "Anderson Salon is the best at what they do and make you feel right at home."
    Jane Doe / Santa Monica
  • History of Baths and Spas

    Image of a woman relaxing in a large bathtub. For as long as there have been towns and cities, public baths have been available to provide people with a place to get clean, relax and enjoy other health benefits. Public baths were not just about staying clean, though. These spaces allowed people to ...

    Read More
  • The History of Cosmetics

    Black and white image of a woman from earlier in history. Cosmetics have been used for at least 6,000 years to cover up blemishes, enhance beauty and as an extension of the personality. Some evidence even suggests that natural pigments may have been used as makeup over 100,000 years ago. Ancient Times ...

    Read More
  • What to do if You Break a Nail

    Image of an upset woman who broke her nail. If you have nails, no matter how short or long, they have broken. It is an unavoidable reality for us all. So how do you treat a broken nail. We’ll provide you with some valuable tips that will help you deal with a break, but first let’s look at why nails ...

    Read More
  • Tools of the Nail Trade

    Image of hands next to nail tools. If you’ve sat in a chair at a nail salon for a manicure and pedicure, you will notice your nail technician is armed with a box or tray full of tools. What’s that whatchamacallit, doohickey, doodad, thingamabob, thingamajig? You know what they do—or at least you ...

    Read More
  • Treating a Scalp Sunburn

    Image of a man's chest with a tank top, sunburn. Spending time outdoors, especially if you are active, can be part of a healthy lifestyle. But if you are outside when the sun is out, you need to protect your skin, and that also means the skin on the top of your head. Too much exposure to the sun, ...

    Read More
  • How to Properly Wash Your Face

    Image of a woman washing her face. Most people establish their face washing habits when they’re teens, and then never give it another thought. But maybe it’s time to reexamine this basic beauty ritual. The way you wash your face can make a difference in your skin’s health and appearance. Here ...

    Read More
  • Protecting Your Skin in Winter

    Image of a girl in the snow wearing a scarf, mittens, and a beanie. If you live in a place that gets cold during the winter, then it’s not just the winter blues that you need to beat. When the temperatures drop, your skin can become dry and cracked. Cold winter air also tends to be drier, which sucks ...

    Read More
  • How to Care for Wet Hair

    Image of a comb brushing through wet hair. Sometimes we want to dry our hair as quickly as possible and get on to the next thing. But after washing your hair, it’s time to exercise patience; wet hair is vulnerable to damage. Here’s how to best care for your hair when it’s wet. Towels Most women ...

    Read More
  • How to Blow Dry Your Hair

    Image of a hand holding a hair dryer. The process seems simple enough – use a blow dryer to take your hair from wet to dry – but these blow drying tips will keep your hair healthier and looking its best. Preparing your hair A good blow dry starts with a good wash and conditioning. Dry or damaged ...

    Read More
  • Best Brush for Your Hair Type

    Image of different hair brushes. Most women give more thought to their shampoo than to that most humble and underestimated styling tool, the hairbrush. But this basic piece of equipment can make a big difference – for good or bad – in the way your hair looks and feels. Let’s examine some of the ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

No form settings found. Please configure it.