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135km (84 miles) SE of Munich, 20km (12 miles) SE of Salzburg

The best German spas can call themselves Staatsbad (where the standards of maintenance and cleanliness, quality of the waters, and breadth of facilities are high enough for the government to recognize them as among the top-rated spas in the country), and Bad Reichenhall bears that title with pride. This town is the most important curative spa in the Bavarian Alps. Its brine springs, with a salt content as high as 24%, are the most powerful saline springs in Europe, and the town has been a source of salt for more than 2,400 years. The combination of the waters and the pure air has made Bad Reichenhall a recognized spa for centuries.

In 1848, King Maximilian of Bavaria stayed here, popularizing Bad Reichenhall as a fashionable resort. Today, visitors come from all over the world to take the waters, which supposedly treat asthma and other respiratory ailments. Treatment sessions take place almost exclusively in the morning at seven resort institutes, the therapy ranging from simply drinking the water to pneumatotherapy -- even electronic lungs for the most serious cases.