History of Lappeenranta Spa
In the early 19th century, spas sprang up in Finland at an accelerating pace. Water was believed to help with common ailments, and bathing became popular alongside drinking water. In 1870, the Lappeenranta Spa was born when two springs of clear water were discovered on the shores of the city's bay. The Lappeenranta Spa Company was founded around the springs.
Lappeenranta Spa was as a summer resort for Russian aristocrats. The visit of the emperor in 1885 brought fame to Lappeenranta and Lappeenranta Spa, and the new railway line provided easy access to the city by train. In addition to the traditional water cure, spa guests were offered medicinal baths, steam baths, coniferous baths and massages. At the end of the century, clay baths were added to the range of treatments.
In 1912, a new spa building designed by Gustaf Strengell was completed. At that time, the spa offered its guests full baths, electric and aromatic baths, affusion showers and wraps, and a turpentine steam room. In addition to the baths, meals were served and the Casino next to the spa entertained visitors with music and other entertainment.
Gradually, the spa became loss-making. The First World War and the independence of Finland caused financial difficulties for the spa due to the disappearance of Russian spa guests. Eventually, the spa was taken over by the city of Lappeenranta in 1917. During the war, the spa served as an evacuation centre for about 1,400 fallen heroes.
Lappeenranta Spa began a new boom after the wars. The clientele changed from Russian summer tourists to sick people and people seeking treatment for themselves. In the 1970s the spa finally started to operate all year round and in the 1980s veterans of our wars started to visit the spa. After years of change, the renovated spa has sought to preserve the history of the spa.