Felsentherme Bad Gastein, the mother of all Thermal Spas, has been welcoming its guests for more than 50 years! Over half a century ago, on September 28, 1968, our Felsenbad opened as the first public thermal bath in Austria. This marked a historic milestone in history. The thermal water, the true Tauern gold, thus became accessible to the public.

The opening of our Felsenbad was a decisive step in the modernisation of the world health resort Bad Gastein. Finally, the requirements of a world health resort at the time, namely, to combine spa and sport, were met. As early as March 22, 1968, the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten reported on how swimming in the unique Gastein thermal water made the spa treatment more attractive and effective than lying in a bathtub. This internationally acclaimed building attracted 450 visitors on its first public bathing day and recorded the impressive number of 120,000 guests in the first seven months. Thus, Felsentherme Bad Gastein had a promising start and has since delighted countless guests with a unique thermal experience.

More than 50 years of Thermal Spa history -
From Thermal Bath to Thermal Spa

The 1960s were characterised by the so-called “Sommerfrische”, a summer retreat. Growing prosperity and increasing motorisation brought more and more guests to the region, while at the same time the demands and expectations of a vacation increased. New facilities were needed, and the call for a prestigious indoor pool grew louder and louder. The plans by architect Gerhard Garstenauer came at just the right time. In 1966, the municipality decided to invest in Austria's first thermal bath.

1968 – 1978: A milestone in the modernisation process

On September 28, 1968, after only 14 months of construction, the grand opening of our "Felsenbad" complex took place. This marked a new beginning. The project by architect Gerhard Garstenauer and Mayor Anton Kerschbaumer gave the traditional yet antiquated 19th century health spa business a new lease of life and contemporary tourism. In the first seven months after opening, around 120,000 guests visited our Felsenbad.

1969 – 1988: New attractions in rocky surroundings

Hardly any structural changes were necessary in the first ten years. But in 1983, the municipality decided to add another rocky attraction: A rock grotto with a thermal waterfall was opened, offering a wonderful retreat for relaxation. In 1988, the municipality celebrated the 20th anniversary of our Felsenbad with many guests and an extensive program.

1989 – 1998: Modernisation for even more comfort

The sauna facility was converted into a modern sauna area in the 1990s, which delighted even experienced sauna-session enthusiasts. The therapy and recreation areas have also been modernised. Further quality improvements were made in 1998 with the construction of the panorama lift, a redesigned entrance area and renovated changing rooms and sanitary facilities.

1999 – 2008: Innovation and change for the future

In 2002, the panoramic footbridge between our Felsentherme Thermal Spa, the railroad station, the Stubnerkogel valley station and the Hotel Wetzlgut was built to provide a direct connection to the thermal spa. The province of Salzburg approved the Gastein spa concept, which also included the conversion of the Felsenbad into a "Felsentherme". The investment sum amounted to around 9 million euros. The symbolic groundbreaking ceremony took place on September 23, 2003 with Govenor LH Franz Schausberger, State Health Officer Gabi Burgstaller and Mayor Manfred Gruber. The grand opening celebration took place on October 12, 2004, at which representatives from politics and business celebrated the start of a new era.

2009 – 2018: Modernisation for maximum comfort and efficiency

In 2012, Felsentherme Bad Gastein faced an economic turning point as competition in the thermal spa industry increased. Further investments were necessary to meet the increasing demands of spa guests. In total, the municipality and the spa fund invested almost three million euros in the restructuring of the spa. 2017 was a particularly successful year, in which Felsentherme Bad Gastein was once again on a solid financial footing.

The extensive general renovation was carried out in three stages from 2014 to 2017. The project comprised the redesign and renovation of the exterior façade, the entrance area, the reception hall, the cash desk area and the wardrobe area. A new connecting corridor from the restaurant to the sauna area was built. In addition, the Graukogel sauna, one of the highest thermal saunas in Austria, was built with shower facilities in the outdoor sauna area. Further improvements included a new lighting concept and the underwater music system in the Silent Spa.

The second construction phase was implemented in 2015, including the replacement of the entire IT system, including the access system, as well as façade and concrete renovations and pool waterproofing. The third stage involved the implementation of Siemens' energy efficiency model, including the energy-efficient triple glazing of the south-facing façade and the general refurbishment of the over 100-year-old sports pool into a modern stainless-steel pool with lane markings, underwater lighting and a roller cover. These measures impressively demonstrated how Felsentherme Bad Gastein has been continuously modernised to ensure the highest level of comfort and efficiency for its guests.

BUILT DEEP INTO THE ROCK – The birth of our Felsentherme

Architect Gerhard Garstenauer made a virtue of the lack of space and had the room for the Silent Spa and parts of the building blasted out of the mountain. This visionary idea characterises the entire complex and gives guests the incomparable feeling of swimming directly at the thermal springs.

The integration of the exposed rocks into the bath was a central part of Garstenauer's plan. This gave the complex its unique atmosphere and reinforced the impression of being one with nature. However, it was not easy at first to open a "quarry" at this exposed location and remove 10,000 m3 of hard rock. 

Entering a new era

The dawn of a new era began in July 1967 with the symbolic ground-breaking ceremony. The vision of Gerhard Garstenauer and Mayor Anton Kerschbaumer was to counter the steady decline of the classy spa health resort, renew the traditional spa business and focus on the rapidly growing tourism. So that our guests could also walk around the hall, a gallery was anchored in the rock face at the level of the upper floor, which can still be reached today via a staircase. After just 14 months of construction, the Felsenbad was opened as Austria's first public thermal spa with sauna facilities, massage as well as cosmetic areas and relaxation rooms. Felsentherme Bad Gastein was born and cemented its place in the history of the Austrian thermal spa landscape.