Abtenau healing water

A real fountain of youth

Abtenau healing water

The deep Lammertal, the numerous caves in the Tennengebirge, countless streams, rivers and lakes: the abundance and primal power of water can be seen and experienced at every turn in Abtenau.

In 1863, a thirsty hunter discovered the two Abtenau springs. The Waidmann was quite surprised at the salty, bitter taste. It quickly became clear that this was a very special water.

It is an inconspicuous crack in the rock, almost five kilometers from the center of Abtenau, from which the Rupertus and Anna springs bubble. Their water is particularly rich in sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfate.

The people in Lammertal already knew about its healing effects over 100 years ago. In 1871, what was then known as the “Zwieselbad” was built around the spring, with the healing water being used primarily for inhalations, drinking cures and baths.

From 1930 onwards, the healing water was even bottled, labeled and sold and could therefore also be used for drinking treatments outside of Abtenau.
But then the Abtenauer Bad became increasingly forgotten. As part of a clinical study by the Institute for Ecomedicine at the Paracelsus Medical Private University Salzburg The Tennengau health treasure is now being brought back to life.

The results of this study show that the sodium-calcium-chloride-sulfate mineral spring acts like a real fountain of youth. The combination of exercise on the mountain and bathing in Abtenau's healing water strengthens the immune system and sustainably increases physical and mental performance.

Abtenau therefore offers the best conditions for a health holiday with a long-term effect.

Bathing like it was in 1890

Abtenau wants to use the old healing spring for tourism and enter health tourism. It shouldn't be one of the many wellness offers, but a real health offer. The primary goal is to convince people that they are doing something good for their health when they vacation in Abtenau. “They shouldn’t come until they’re already sick.”

Unfortunately, the town currently does not have adequate infrastructure for bathing in Abtenau's healing water, although a holistic and sustainable concept for a fountain of youth competence center is already being planned.

The healing water from the Rupertus Spring should be piped into the town center and thus made more usable for tourism.

A new healing water fountain will be built in the town center so that in the future the special water can not only be drawn from away from the center.

From 2022, a Fountain of Youth holiday in Abtenau should be possible for everyone!

The healing power of water
A study with the PMU (Paracelsus Medical Private University) proves the health benefits.

140 older people between the ages of 65 and 85 completed a week-long program with specific mountain hikes and then bathed in the water of the Abtenau spring, says the scientific director of the PMU study, Arnulf Hartl.

“We discovered that a combination of exercise and daily bathing in Abtenau’s healing water strengthens the human immune system and improves the sense of balance, which is particularly important in old age,” says Hartl.

Fountain of youth hike

The healing water, in combination with exercise in the fresh air, has a positive effect on the immune system.

This can be experienced on a guided “Fountain of Youth hike”. During a slightly demanding hike you can learn a lot of interesting facts about the healing springs, their history and effects. The final point of the hike is the healing springs in the Hallseiten district of Abtenau, where the water is tasted and bottled in small bottles. The Hike takes place in the summer, as part of the weekly hiking program instead.


Im summer 1863 Head forester Hermann Ringel and some assistants were busy with surveying work at the foot of the “Zwieselalm”. They came to a spring, the water tasted salty and bitter. He suspected a healing spring and informed the Duke of Baden's valet, a certain Mr. Heuss, about it. He believed in economic use and requested that the water be examined. He took out a loan and acquired the meadows and forests including the barn from “Oberschwaighof”. 

Already 1871 A hotel with bathrooms, the so-called “Zwieselbad” previously “Handelhof”, was built. The healing water of both the St. Rupertus spring and the Annen spring is particularly suitable for inhalations, drinking cures and baths (sodium, calcium, chloride and sulfate mineral springs - the first balneological report from April 7, 1893 provided information about the healing effects). The first successes were confirmed as early as 1891. The quality was rated even higher than that of the Karlovy Vary springs. However, due to the high capital investment, there was no economic success and the property was auctioned off. Since the predicted number of visitors did not materialize, there were several changes of ownership. 



1913 Peter Robert Badrutt, pioneer of the development of St. Moritz, took over the property. He arranged for the house to be adapted to the most modern standards (52 rooms, electric lighting, central heating, tennis court, telephone connection, 6 bathing cabins).

1926 The “German Railway Workers’ Union” acquired the property, and the result was a considerable economic boom.

Ab 1930 The healing water was also bottled and sold. 

1956 “Kurhaus Abtenau – Bad – Ges.mbH” took over ownership, and in 1963 it passed to the “Salzburger Jugendferienwerk”.

1965 A drilling for salt was carried out on behalf of the saltworks. Since the result was negative, work was stopped after almost 700 m. However, the geologist involved suspected thermal water at a depth of around 1.000 m.

Already 1967 The owners negotiated with the community about building a drinking fountain or drinking room in the town center.

The development plan from the year 1973 envisages a health resort in the center.

With purchase contract dated 16.12.1997 The community of Abtenau acquired both healing springs (daily release 148 m³, officially recognized as a healing resource in 1961).