Thermal Federation of Belgium

Thermal Federation of Belgium

The Thermal Federation of Belgium includes the thermal cities of Chaudfontaine and Spa and their lifeblood.

The Federation

Who are we?

The Thermal Federation of Belgium exists since the 1st of December 1953. It includes the thermal cities of Chaudfontaine and Spa and their lifeblood: tourism, medicine, hospitality, bottling and Thermalism.

The Presidency

The Presidency of the Thermal Federation of Belgium belongs alternately for periods of 5 years either to the city of Chaudfontaine, or to that of Spa. The power is today in the hands of Philippe Labalue, alderman of Health, Tourism and Thermalism in Chaudfontaine.

Our missions

Today, our main tasks are:

  1. Obtain official recognition of Thermalism in Belgium
  2. Promote synergy, development and defend common interests of the Belgian thermal stations, while continuing to grow the specificities of each of the centers.
  3.  Develop, promote and support the thermal activity and all touristic activities directly or indirectly related to the thermalism.
  4. Be Belgian player of the thermalism.
  5. Develop partnerships with the thermal centers in neighboring countries or even all over Europe.

Pour en savoir plus sur l’histoire et les membres de la Fédération Thermale de Belgique, rendez-vous dans les pages concernées :


The creation of the Thermal Federation of Belgium

The Thermal Federation of Belgium was established on the 1st of December 1953 by Arthur Haulot, General Commissioner for Tourism. At the time, it brought together three thermal cities:
Chaudfontaine, nicknamed by Victor Hugo “La Violette des stations thermales”;
Ostend desired as thermal city by Leopold II. He had drawn himself sketches of the Palais des Thermes, but died before seeing his wish materialize. This is Albert I and Queen Elizabeth who inaugurated the “Thermae Palace” in 1933;
Spa, Pearl of the Ardennes, whose reputation dates back to the fifteenth century.
At the same time, an unanimous decision was taken to accept as a counselor, the Belgian Society of Hydrology and medical climatology. The latter supports the thermal Federation. Two doctors of each station are mentioned on the list of the Founders of the Thermal Federation of Belgium.

Some important dates:
Since then, several key dates marked its evolution:
  • 1959 – The Minister of Health recognizes thermalism. In addition, “Thermal Days”, developed by the Society of Hydrology, emerge.
  • 1986 – The city of Ostend leaves the Thermal Federation. Its source is no longer operated and the “Thermae Palace” pool is closed.
  • Late 80 – INAMI implements budget cuts
  • 1991 – The repayment of thermal cures is suppressed, it is the beginning of social thermalism decline
  • Today – In Spa as well as in Chaudfontaine, thermalism is presented with a new face; modernity, advanced technology and comfort meeting today’s expectations.