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Spa culture in Sweden was dependent on complex processes of cultural transfer, influenced by medical networks, overseas travel, and international guests. Nevertheless, Swedish spas soon developed a national character, inspired by chemist Urban Hiärne and physician Carl Linnaeus, tying it close to nature.

Event details of A Paradise on Earth. Utopian Aspects of Swedish Spas and Watering Places 1680–1880.
Date 5 November 2021
Time 16:00 -18:00

The spa was presented as a utopian society allowing unconventional interaction between the sexes and between different social classes. Spa guests could experiment with ideas connected to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, not only with notions of nature, reason, utility, health, happiness, science, medicine, sensibility and the five senses but also with ideas of liberty, equality and fraternity – even the rights of women – at least for a couple of weeks during the short Swedish summer. Spa culture was supposedly a part of the healthy country life, sometimes even religiously motivated by references to a paradise on earth.

Thank you for joining us for the ‘European Spa’ / ‘Global Travel Cultures’ online seminars!

The following European Spas online seminar will take place on

26 November: 16.00-18.00 CET

Sabine L. Schmidt (Offenbach) presents on “Spa music – bandstands as functional sculptures”


The European Spa // HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area)

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Please send a message to to obtain the Zoomlink for this Seminar.