A device from hell… or from heaven?

When wondering around in hotels, you’ll sometimes find the weirdest things. Like this! What is this torture device doing on the basement floor?

hotelwellness

Fine, it’s not a torture device, it’s a wellness appliance with an eerie resemblance of a so-called ‘wheel of pain’, a structure slaves were chained to and forced to push around and around to power some machinery. This thing is part of a hotel spa facility in South-Tirol (Italy) and is called a Kneippbecken. It’s originally from Germany (of all countries) and mostly oval or round. Walking around in circles on the stones is supposed to give you a nice and relaxing foot and ankle massage. The foot bath is often divided in different compartments with alternately hot and very cold water to stimulate blood circulation. For some it’s heaven, for others it’s, well, torture. Sometimes perfume, soaps, salt or herbs are added for extra pleasure. Personally I stayed away from it – way too macabre for a basement spa!

A few other versions of a Kneippbecken I found on the web, some more flattering than others:

The sexy version:

Kneipp2

The outdoor version:

kneipp3

The kitsch version:

Kneippkitsch

The awkward version:

Kneipp8

The eco version:

Kneippeco

The True Blood version:

KNeippblood

The oversized version:

Kneipp15

The overcrowded version:

KNeipp7

The fantasy chocolate version:

Kneippchocolat

The wrongly used version:

kneippdifferent

The superfancy version:

Kneipp4