Bathing and preserving

An oasis very close to the town centre

It is used daily – all year round – by people from Lysekil, and during summertime also by tourists. Kallbadhuset is an important part of the city ́s and Sweden ́s history, as it belongs to that kind of bathing tradition that arose during the middle of the nineteenth century and to some extent still is going on.

About Kallbadhuset

In the beginning of the 1990s there were discussions about tearing down Kallbadhuset. Locally engaged people then started ”The Friends of Kallbadhuset” (Kallbadhusets vänner) – a society with the purpose of preserving this building to the posterity and keep the bathing tradition alive. This society is engaged in the house ́s maintenance, its reparations, its restoration, and it is also active in letting the public get free access to Kallbadhuset.

Bathing and healing since the year 1847

The Englishmen were pioneers in the art of taking cold baths. Already in the 1700th century they could read about people taking baths in the sea, so very good for their health. During the 1800th century the belief in seawater as something that could cure both mental and physical illnesses became a science.

In Sweden however people were sceptical. Cold baths in open sea could only lead to death. Gradually water therapy came into fashion, but then in the form of ”drinking the waters” and maybe cold baths in a tub.

In the beginning of the 1900th century the Swedish Physicians ́s Society propagated for the good and healing effects of sea-bathing. The higher ranges of society were attracted by the the seaside resorts that were established throughout the century, e.g. Gustafsberg (1804), Marstrand (1822), Varberg (1823), Särö (1839) and Lysekil (1847) to examine the modernities.

The physician among others who was responsible for the sea-bathing was Carl Curman. He was teaching balneology at Karolinska institutet (Stockholm). Together with some of his colleagues he aimed at making it a science. Even the air by the see was curative. Curman examined down to the very last detail the air in Lysekil and its effects on people ́s health. He came here 26 years old in 1859 and was active up to 1887. Thanks to him Lysekil developed into the finest seaside resort in Sweden.

In 1864 they started to construct the big house for warm baths. That was the first bigger building that was built by that sea-bathing company that Carl Curman and some of his colleauges established after Mollén ́s death.