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Tourism-Modern life Types of tourism Therapeutic - Spa Tourism East Macedonia and Thrace Prefecture of Xanthi

Sulfurous rocks of Thermes Baths
(Photo: Nikolaos Th. Kokkas)
The old hamam (bath) of Thermes, Xanthi prefecture
(Photo: Nikolaos Th. Kokkas)

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East Macedonia and Thrace
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15/11/2006
Healing Baths of Thermes

Nikolaos Kokkas

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Healing Baths of Thermes are located 40 kilometers away from Xanthi. The Healing Baths are in a small settlement where hot waters are everywhere springing. At the central square, where the community hall is located, we meet the community hydrotherapy clinic with four tabs and a refuse dump with a dome. Personal showers were added to the private baths in 1998. There are toilets also. Water?s temperature at the oxycarbonic springs of Thermes is about 40 to 53 degrees celsious. At the animals? spring, towards Medousa, water?s temperature is 51 degrees celsious and only brave ones enter it. Healing baths are especially recommended to those with articulation and skin problems or chronic gastritis. Thermes Healing Baths? hostels were recently renovated providing comfortable residence. Hostels have 29 two bedroom rooms with fridge and tv. There are four hamams (baths) for individual or team use (5 to 10 people). During the summer many people are visiting Thermes Healing Baths. For this reason, someone should book a room before visiting.
At the taverns of the area you can eat delicious cooked hot lamp or soutzoukakia (meatballs) along with other roasted meat, while you will find warm hospitality at the hostels. Community hostels, four six bedroom rooms, were built in 1998 and they are clean and economic with private bathroom. There also 44 other double bedroom rooms built in 1974. Near the old hamam (bath) of the Thermes community, there is an older hamam that was reconstructed by the Bulgarians in 1941 but was open only till 1928. By the hamam there is the muslim tekes (smoking room) of Boudala Hotza.
The upper, middle and down areas of Thermes along with the Bath settlement are part of the community of Thermes. Thermes is a beautiful village with 193 inhabitants (2001 census). The middle area of Thermes is located at 475 m. altimeter and it has 83 inhabitants. The upper area of Thermes is the biggest settlement of the whole area. It is built along the mountainous part of the Kompsatos river at 500 m. altitude. At the center of the settlement there is a mosque (tzami), next to the school. In 2001, 428 inhabitants were recorded living at the village. Across the Baths, there is the church of saints Ioakim and Anny.
While leaving the Healing Baths and moving towards the settlement of the down area of Thermes, we meet a road sign referring to the inscription on the rock of Mithra. It is an embossed portrayal of Mithras god on a rock, one of the most important monuments of Thrace dated in the third after Chirst century and witnessing the spread of the Mithrian religion around the mountainous Rhodope in the last years of the Roman empire. The portrayal of the Mithra god with his followers, Kafstis at the right and Kaftopatis at the left, is showing him sacrificing a bull. Under the portrayal, there is a snake waiting to drink the bull?s blood and other smaller representations. It is believed that they are corresponding to the stages of initiation of the followers of Mithra or to the god?s benefactions.