Sea bathing: a cure for many ills
Many of us think that thalassotherapy, or seawater therapy, originated somewhere on the Atlantic seaboard. We’re forgetting that as far back as the Age of Antiquity, the Greeks and Romans regarded the sea – the Mediterranean, of course – as one of their most important resources for therapeutic treatments. Hippocrates mentions it in his Medical Treatises. After being cured by seawater treatments, Plato was even more categorical, stating that “the sea can cure all men’s ills”.
It can thus be said that thalassotherapy did originate in the Mediterranean. Whilst it’s true that the very first thalassotherapy institute in modern times was built in 1899 in Roscoff, Brittany, Monaco followed suit in 1908 by creating a thermal centre inaugurated by Prince Albert I.
Extensively renovated in 1928, the Monte-Carlo thermal centre was highly appreciated throughout Europe until it was bombed and destroyed during the Second World War.
The present-day Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo
Forty years later, at the initiative of Prince Rainier III, the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo rose from the ashes on the original 1908 site facing the Port of Monaco. The establishment was inaugurated in 1995 and benefits from direct access to and from the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo and the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, Monaco’s two most famous palatial hotels. Thanks to its prime location in the heart of Monte-Carlo’s art and culture community and the exceptional French Riviera climate, the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo has become a highly renowned therapeutic centre.
For over 25 years, the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo have been fostering a century-old tradition in its modern form: bathing in sea water for therapeutic purposes. This facility welcomes prestigious visitors from all over Europe. Moreover, the name Monte-Carlo SBM, who owns the establishment, still legally bears its original name: “Société des Bains de Mer et du Cercle des Etrangers à Monaco” [Company of Sea Bathing and the Foreigners' Club in Monaco].