Iconic heated fountains of Basel to expand to Canton Zurich

Iconic heated fountains of Basel to expand to Canton Zurich

Heated water fountains have become a popular way to have a mini spa day in Basel during the cold winter months. The association that goes about warming the public fountains, brunnen gehn, has started the search for fountains in Canton Zurich, that could be transformed into heated spa pools. 

Future heated pools in public fountains of Zurich

Who needs to go to a spa when you have water fountains? While swimming in public fountains has always been a regular pastime in Basel during the summer, when the weather turns, some of the fountains are now temporarily converted into heated spa pools. According to Balz Scheidegger from Kollectiv Hotel Regina, the art group behind the project, the plan is now to create a tour of heated pools in the fountains of rural Zurich. 

The association has been looking for suggestions from residents of Zurich for good locations where they think heated fountain spas would be welcome. For a public fountain to be used, it needs to have six to nine square metres of water surface and it should be in either a quiet environment or an enthusiastic neighbourhood. Some suggestions have already been submitted, but there haven’t been any final decisions made on which fountains to use. 

Heated water fountains a success in Basel

The winter spa pools are heated to a cosy 39 degrees celsius by professional “fountain heaters” using a wood stove and bicycle-powered heat pump. Bathers are also served a nice cup of hot tea to further enhance the relaxation. Residents in Basel have made the most of the pop-up heated pools, but as Scheidegger has said, “swimming in public fountains is already very widely accepted in Basel”. 

How the people of Zurich would react to the idea of heated fountains could go either way. “Every unfamiliar idea is met with more scepticism than the familiar,” Scheidegger told 20 Minuten. The art collective looks forward to hearing the thoughts and reactions about the expansion into Zurich. “It doesn’t matter whether they find our project dull or enriching.”

Simone Jacobs


Simone Jacobs

Editor for the Netherlands at IamExpat Media. Simone studied Genetics and Zoology at the Univeristy of Pretoria in South Africa before moving to the Netherlands, where she has been working...

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