Liisa Suvikumpu: Suomalaiset kylpylät. Kotimaisen kylpyläkulttuurin historiaa [Finnish spas. The history of Finnish spa culture]

28 May 2014 | Mini reviews, Reviews

kylpylatSuomalaiset kylpylät. Kotimaisen kylpyläkulttuurin historiaa
[Finnish spas. The history of Finnish spa culture]
Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2013. 240 pp., ill.
ISBN 978-952-222-239-8
€45, hardback

The Finnish sauna fulfils some of the same functions as the spa, but the latter is more public. In Finland there have been various kinds of spas that employ the health-giving effects of water, and they have mostly been based on European models. The historian Liisa Suvikumpu presents the story of some twenty Finnish spas from a cultural-historical perspective. Their heyday lasted from the nineteenth century to World War II. At these establishments it was possible to enjoy the benefits of bathing and mineral water: they were accompanied by relaxation therapy, rest, exercise and a healthy diet , but also entertainment and socialising. The spas in various parts of Finland were keenly patronised by Russian visitors before the Russian Revolution of 1917. Some of Finland’s most renowned architects designed the buildings, and the premises often included pavilions, kiosks, a restaurant and a park. With its lively text and versatile illustrations this book would make also an excellent present.

Translated by David McDuff

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