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A visit to the Thermal Baths in Vals

Swiss star architect Peter Zumthor has just turned 80. One of his architectural highlights is the Thermal Baths in Vals. Built from local quartz, the spa brings together the "champagne" of Swiss mineral waters with the mineral stone from which it gushes. Zumthor used about 40,000 stone tiles and piled them on top of one another to form walls around a labyrinth of chambers of varying sizes, much like the inner spaces of a temple devoted to the senses.

The spa was declared a historic landmark only two years after it opened, and people have been flocking to it ever since to marvel at the architecture and relax in its curative waters.

SWI journalists Dale Bechtel and Michele Andina visited Vals in 2004 where they spoke to Annalisa Zumthor-Cuorad, the wife of the architect and Vals resort director at the time, and to Pius Truffer, the owner of the quarry that provided the stone slabs for the iconic building.

--- is the international branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Its role is to report on Switzerland and to provide a Swiss perspective on international events.

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SWI – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.
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