Which Ancient Civilization Invented Spas?

Spas have been a popular method of relaxation and rejuvenation for centuries. The origins of spas can be traced back to ancient civilizations that discovered the therapeutic benefits of water and its healing properties.

Among these civilizations, several claim to have invented spas. In this article, we will explore which ancient civilization truly deserves credit for inventing spas.

Ancient Greece

The ancient Greeks were known for their appreciation of the human body and the importance of physical health. They believed in the healing powers of water and developed elaborate bathhouses known as thermae.

These bathhouses included hot and cold baths, saunas, massage rooms, and exercise areas. The Greeks also introduced the concept of communal bathing, where people would socialize while relaxing in the baths.

Ancient Rome

The Romans were heavily influenced by Greek culture and adopted their bathing practices. However, they took it a step further by creating larger and more extravagant bathhouses called thermae.

These bathhouses were not just places to bathe but also served as social hubs where people could gather to discuss politics and business. The Romans also introduced new innovations such as heated floors, hypocaust systems, and aqueducts that provided a constant supply of fresh water.

Ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians are often credited with inventing spas due to their use of natural hot springs for medicinal purposes. They believed that these springs had healing properties that could cure various ailments such as rheumatism and skin diseases. The Egyptians also used aromatic oils and perfumes during their bathing rituals to enhance relaxation.

Ancient China

The Chinese have a long history of using hot springs for therapeutic purposes. They believed that soaking in hot water could improve blood circulation, relieve pain, and promote overall well-being. The Chinese also developed various massage techniques such as acupressure and reflexology that are still used in modern-day spas.


While all of these ancient civilizations played a significant role in the development of spas, it is difficult to pinpoint which one truly invented them. Each civilization had its unique approach to bathing and healing, and their contributions have influenced modern-day spa practices.

Today, spas continue to evolve, incorporating new technologies such as hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, and light therapy. Whether you prefer a traditional Roman-style bath or a modern-day spa treatment, the benefits of relaxation and rejuvenation remain the same.