Le fonti termali della Valdigne

Over the past centuries, in Courmayeur and Pré-Saint-Didier were discovered numerous mineral and curative water springs. In Courmayeur there were five: the Vittoria, Margherita, Regina, John the Baptist and the La Saxe Spring. In 1883 Michele Tavernier had a thermal spa built for the exploitation of the John the Baptist Spring. The building, still in existence, was closed down in 1923. In 1835, in La Saxe, they constructed a building which was restored and modernized towards the end of the century. Today, though, it can only be admired in the prints of the time, since it was demolished during the works for the widening of state road 26; the source is anyway still in existence and can be found in the new establishment of Grivel. Also the mineral waters of the Vittoria Spring in Dolonne still exist, as well as the building where for a short period the bottling and sale to the public was attempted. The waters of Pré Saint Didier instead, were apparently known even back in the times of the Romans. The documented story of this source dates back to 1752, when it was observed how hot water jets sprang in the gorge dug by La Thuile Torrent. Initially, considered the uneasy accessibility to the zone, they simply dug holes for the baths in the very cavern were the water sprang, until, in 1770, on the right bank of the torrent, they constructed a small building with 18 tubs. The water was convoyed in wooden tubes and, in order to make the place accessible, they built a stone, arch-shaped bridge, through which even today it is still possible to reach the building, by now in ruins. In 1834, in order to satisfy a larger number of guests and thanks to the thermal art progress, a new spa was inaugurated. It was then widened in 1888 with an improvement of the services and the building of an annex that used to house the ball room, halls for the reading and games and was identified as “Casinò delle Terme” (‘Thermal Spa Casino’). Along the drive to the gorge you can still admire both the thermal baths, made up of a central oblong body which ends up at the two opposite sides with double height towers, animated by small open galleries, and the Casino, which represents a pleasant surprise thanks to the singular chromatic decoration of the façade. The two buildings, survived to the attacks of time, are witnesses of a golden time for tourism in Pré-Saint-Didier. www.termedipre.it
e-mail: info@termedipre.it

 
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