»Wellness in 16th cent. Tyrol«

The Bath of Philippine Welser


Even if the term ‘wellness’ was unknown in sixteenth-century Tyrol, people in Ambras Castle knew how to reconcile care of the body and well-being. 

Just as in modern sauna areas, the Ambras bathing facilities, culturally and historically unique, contain a sweat bath, an unusually large bathing pool, and a room for changing and resting.

A conduit for water transported the hot water from the heating room into the tub, whereas the cold water was directly brought in via the water pipes from the ‘Keuchengarten’. Hot stones were placed on the floor of the bathing pool to keep the water as warm as possible. The bathers used footstools or seating steps, by which it was also possible to enter the bathing pool. 

Here the bathers had their hair washed, were shaved, and underwent cupping therapy.

The utensils that were used, such as combs and cosmetics, were not stored in the bathing area but were kept by the barber or were taken back to the living areas. 

Inventories and receipts give us a good picture of the original equipment: a waterspout fountain, decorated with paintings of animals, stood on a marble shelf in front of the window of the baths.  In addition, there were numerous copper tubs and brass basins, ‘Lassköpfe’ (bowls for letting of fluids) including a barrel for bloodletting, furthermore a leaching bowl with sieve and scoops of brass.