BBC Travel Dives Deep into Bled & Arnold Rikli

By , 15 Aug 2019, 18:25 PM Travel
Arnold Rikli and a postcard of Lake Bled in the 1890s Arnold Rikli and a postcard of Lake Bled in the 1890s Wikimedia, public domain

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The BBC Travel website has a long and interesting article that takes a deep dive into the story of the Swiss healer Arnold Rikli, whose work in Bled drew health tourists from all over Europe more than 150 years ago.

Related: How to spend from 4 to 48 hours in Bled…

So while the author, Mahima A Jain, does go up Mala Osojnica for sunrise, this is a story about Bled that doesn’t mention the church on the island or kremsnita, and touches on the Castle only to note it has an exhibition in Rikli.

As the article says:

Riki was the founder of a naturopathic and hydropathic healing regimen, a form of alternative medicine that avoided pharmaceuticals, and instead relied on the four elements of nature – sun, water, air and earth – for treating illness.

The regimen was one of physical activity, from early morning hikes to sunbathing, exercises in the fresh air to the use of cold, warm and steam baths to purify and strengthen the body. Evenings were for social activities, and all patients were prescribed eight hours of sleep.

It sounds idyllic, and it’s a fascinating story that connects with the current state of health tourism in Bled. It’s here we’ll also note the outsize contribution of Slovenia’s spas to its tourist industry as a whole, with spa towns second only to the alps when it came to the number of overnight stays in 2018, at 4.49 million for the Alps and 3.49 million for spa resorts.

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