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Breathe the sea air at Salinental, Germany

The graduation towers in Salinental release a salty spray akin to a trip to the ocean.
Samantha Smith

Just an hour southwest of Frankfurt lies the tiny town of Salinental, which sits on a salt water spring 500 meters below the surface.

Salt has been extracted from this site in the "saline valley" for over 400 years. In the 18th century, Baron von Beust invented the graduation towers that are still used today. Salt water was repeatedly pumped through the frames covered with blackthorn branches and as the water evaporated on the way down, the salt content increased. Even today, the imposing towers still drip water and release a salty spray that is second only to the real thing.

“Taking the sea air” has real meaning here along the Nahe river at what the city boasts as “Europe’s largest open-air inhalatorium.” Stroll along the wooden platforms that line these 32-foot tall graduation towers, or relax on one of the benches and breathe in the healing power of salt.

Salt inhalation and bathing therapy have a long history of use and are still seen as an important natural remedy for rheumatic diseases that cause painful swelling in the joints and muscles as well as asthma and skin conditions. Several baths in the area boast salt and mineral pools, such as the BÄDERHAUS and Crucenia Thermen, both in nearby Bad Kreuznach.

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