Hercule’s Bath – Baile Herculane, Romania

According to the most reputable legends, Hercules stopped in the Cerna Valley in southwest Romania to bathe in the hot springs and take a much-needed vacation from his exploits.   During the Roman period in Dacia, Baile Herculane was a leisure spa town renowned throughout the Empire.  Today, vestiges of its 19th century glory days are still evident in the architecture and its reputation as a health spa hot spot in Eastern Europe.  Immersed in steep cliffs and forests with dilapidated baroque and art nouveau architecture, it begs to be compared to Baden-Baden, Germany.  Alas, it was more like the ghost of Baden-Baden, with incredible potential if it gets restored to its former splendor that lies just under the surface.

We were thrilled to notice that the road has recently been paved and some facades had been restored.  There is an obvious effort and no small sum of money being invested in Baile Herculane.  I can’t wait to visit again in ten years when it might truly be compared to Baden-Baden in every respect except, like everything else in Romania, in price.

South of the historic area (which is shown in the photo montage) is the main part of town, replete with private pensions, health spas and tourist amenities.  Baile Herculane is in a national park, so there is easy access (right out the back door of most pensions) to hiking trails.  We visited on a weekend this January – low season.  Our hostess at the pension said the town is hopping with tourists from as far away as China from April-October.

Click on the first image to view the photos in a self-paced slideshow.

 

6 thoughts on “Hercule’s Bath – Baile Herculane, Romania

    1. I’m sorry you weren’t able to see the pictures. Maybe the resolution is too high for your internet speed. I’m sorry about that, but thanks for commenting. Perhaps you will be able to visit it someday. The pictures certainly don’t do it justice.

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