If Mondorf Domaine Thermal is today considered as the reference for thermal cures and as a health centre in Luxembourg and the Greater Region, its origins mark back to the 1840s. The village had certainly been through all sorts of adventures prior to that date, particularly because of its strategic location on the German and French borders along the banks of the Moselle. Its real development however is due to a rather fortunate concourse of circumstances.
Under Dutch rule, the country and the region had to deal with a large number of taxes, including an exorbitant tax on salt. This tax was so high that Luxembourg farmers were unable to salt their meat, which led to a situation of scarcity and famine.
To bypass the Batavian monopoly and tackle this major problem efficiently, the Société pour la Recherche des Ressources Naturelles [Society for the Research of Natural Resources] was set up and tasked with prospecting the Luxembourg subsoil in search of rock salt.
After initial unsuccessful drilling, a survey was undertaken at the suggestion of the notary of Mondorf at the time, Maître J.P. Ledure, at the foot of the Mondorf Galgenbierg, from which a trickle of reddish, saline water would ooze out. Reaching a depth of more than 700 metres, this did not hit the expected rock salt, but it did manage to strike a significant, warm, and highly mineralized spring in 1841. It gave Maître Ledure the idea of a spa resort. A Société des Bains de Mondorf was soon established. The first people to take the waters arrived in Mondorf as early as 1847, under the auspices of Doctor Nicolas Schmit.
Amélie Ledure, the first curist
Maître Ledure daughter Amélie, then in her twenties, was in fact the first person to take the waters of what was to become the Domaine Thermal of Mondorf-les-Bains. Mondorf attracted an international clientele as time went by, until the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 put an end to this dazzling boom temporarily.
In 1879, the town of Mondorf adopted the official name of Mondorf-les-Bains and then one thing led to another. The thermal spa resort was nationalized and became successful again. The Luxembourgish State acquired ownership of the establishment which became successful again. Investments were well underway. The Kind spring pavilion was built, the Pergola, the festival hall, the Orangerie and the country's first indoor swimming pool followed.
In 1886, Edouard François André was tasked with the design of the thermal park to provide an additional area of calm and relaxation for people taking the waters.
ups and downs
A huge event contributed to the fame of Mondorf-les-Bains in 1918. This event had no direct link with thermal cures but would help promote Mondorf in a spectacular way. It was aviation week, which brought together all the European pioneers of the discipline in Luxembourg. More than 100,000 visitors came to discover the thermal centre at the same time. To commemorate this event, the aviation museum was installed in the former buildings of the Kind spring. The success of the thermal baths at the time heralded a bright future for the thermal centre of Mondorf. Then came the economic crisis of the 1930s and the uncertainties caused by the two World Wars in the first half of the 20th century.
The development of a physical rehabilitation centre and a section for physiotherapy was undertaken on the facilities of the former thermal centre from 1950 to 1958. The Mondorf-les-Bains outdoor swimming pool completed the city's leisure offer.
The legislation to authorize the government to build a new thermal centre in Mondorf was passed in 1979 and work and drilling of the new Michel Lucius thermal spring got underway. The centennial of the thermal centre was celebrated in 1986 in the presence of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.
friday, 29th april 1988, 2.30 pm
After nearly ten years of works, the then chairman of the board of directors of the thermal and health centre, Mr. Marcel Reimen, inaugurated the facilities of the new Domaine Thermal of Mondorf-les-Bains, in the form we know today. 7000 people attended the public opening on 1 May 1988. The Wellness & Fitness areas constituted an important innovation. The accommodation and catering offer was expanded considerably. Nowhere else in the Grand-Duchy is such a multitude of possibilities for fitness, well-being and thermal cures on offer. Guests would flock from all over, as MONDORF Domaine Thermal experienced a spectacular renaissance. The thermal swimming pool acted as a magnet from the outset, conferring a unique character that is highly prized by the public at the entire domain.
fitness gains in popularity
In the beginning of the 1990s, the thermal centre could boast 5700 curists -- a record. Already at that time, the rationale was to expand the centre's areas of expertise so as to offer innovative services in Wellness & Fitness, as well as in the hotel and catering business. Fitness and individual or group indoor sports were beginning to gain in popularity, following the wave of aerobics and the American stars who were taking part in them. The phenomenon would also affect Europe and Luxembourg and was now trending towards a practice geared more towards health and well-being than pure performance.
Under the presidency of Affi Scherer, a number of works of art came to adorn the thermal park and its surroundings. Paintings by Moritz Ney, Gast Michels, Nico Thurm and Fernand Roda would decorate the corridors of the buildings.
Built in 1925 in the "Beaux Arts" style, the former thermal baths were completely renovated in 2001 under the auspices of architects Nico Steinmetz and Arnaud de Meyer and would now house the Brasserie Maus Kätti, numerous rooms and lounges for conferences and seminars, as well as the management and administrative offices of the thermal centre.
from the 2000s to the present
Fittings and renovations are carried out here and there, so as to ensure that we can always offer a high standard of infrastructure to our guests and clients. At the same time, the interest in a healthy lifestyle and thermal baths seems to be getting increasingly rooted in the mores of society, emerging as a priority for the authorities and the population alike.
The most noteworthy of the works undertaken were those in 2002 which led to the renovation of the Orangerie and the creation of the French garden in the vicinity of the building. The complex now offered open, light drenched, harmonious and refined interior and exterior spaces, equipped with the most modern facilities for hosting banquets and receptions.
Terraces around the thermal swimming pool would be created in 2011 to offer visitors moments of relaxation in the open air and to help give Domaine Thermal a beach and "dolce vita" feel.
The Mondorf Parc Hôtel & Spa****SUPERIOR would be completely renovated in 2015 to boast 108 rooms and suites furnished in a modern, comfortable and contemporary style. The outdoor wellness areas were completely redesigned to celebrate a remarkable renaissance, featuring 12 saunas in the sauna area in an idyllic green setting, and conferring the unique feeling of relaxation in the very heart of the thermal park.
The new Roseraie of the thermal park was inaugurated on 16 June 2016 in the presence of numerous personalities, including Mrs Florence André, granddaughter of Edouard François André, who founded the thermal park in 1886.
The restaurant 36° with a new self-service kitchen concept, focusing mainly on health arrived in 2018 to replace the Club Lounge, and the Mondorf Parc Hôtel & Spa **** earned ****SUPERIOR classification.
In January 2020, the Brasserie Maus Kätti reopened its doors after a few months of refurbishments. In addition to a brasserie-style cuisine, combining flavour with a balanced diet, the new maturing cellar in the brasserie offers meat that is matured to perfection.
In February 2020, Mondorf Parc Hôtel & Spa**** SUPERIOR was awarded the GOLD level Ecolabel label for its ecological management and environment friendly practices such as selective waste sorting, energy conservation, and the use of organic and/or local products.
the future of the domaine thermal is being built today
In 2020, the Chamber of Deputies gave the green light for the extension and renovation of the Domaine Thermal in Mondorf. Nothing now stands in the way of a €135 million investment for the modernization and compliance of the facilities. Supported by the Luxembourg State, but also by the National Health Fund and the Domaine Thermal itself, this investment constitutes an essential step in the development of the Thermal Centre, whose prime mission is to provide quality wellness services and health care to its clientele and to those taking the waters.