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Red Corner: Baltic Spas
I'm not sure how I got on the theme of bathhouses and saunas this week, but the fact is that such methods of relaxation have a long history in the former communist lands and today remain extraordinarily popular throughout this part of the world.
The sanatorium (more commonly referred to as a spa today) was a favorite during communist times. Unions and factories often sent their workers here on paid holidays to relax and reenergize. The sick and infirm also came to rid their bodies of everything from digestive problems to insomnia-thanks to the area's abundant supply of mineral-rich, natural hot springs famed for their miraculous curative powers.
One of the more popular regions in which to spa are the Baltics. With a long and rich tradition of aristocratic sanatorium dating back to the 1800s, (Tchaikovsky regularly visited spas in Haapsalu, Estonia) the Baltics are an attractive draw for those seeking the miracle waters.
Check out the following article for a nice history of the Baltic spa tradition, as well as an extensive list of the more popular ones still operating today. Those of you who are doctors can chuckle over the long list of ailments which can supposedly be treated at the facilities.