Hospital Termal Caldas
The Hospital Termal Rainha D. Leonor, now Termas das Caldas da Rainha is located in Largo Rainha D. Leonor, in the parish of Nossa Senhora do Pópulo, city and county of Caldas da Rainha, District of Leiria, Portugal. It is considered the oldest thermal hospital in operation in the world.
The history of the thermal hospital is linked to the history of the village. According to the legend, when in transit from Óbidos to Batalha, in 1484, Queen D. Leonor (1481-1525), wife of João II of Portugal (1481-1495), and her entourage, passed through a place where several people bathed in hot, strong smelling waters. The queen asked them why they did it, since the habit of bathing was unusual at the time, and she was told that they were sick and that those waters had healing powers. The queen wanted to prove it and, since she also had an illness, she bathed in those waters, achieving a cure. For this reason, in the following year (1485) she had a hospital built in that place for all those who wanted to be treated.
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