Les Laboirs - Atlas Obscura

Les Laboirs

Healing waters from a holy well, previously used by locals for doing laundry. 


Les Laboirs is a throwback to the time before washing machines. Before this technology was created, and before commercial laundries, this was where the residents of Pfaffenthal would bring their dirty laundry. Residents would gather here to do laundry and exchange gossip.

This washing well was supplied by the fountain Théiwesbur, lying to the left of St. Matthew’s Church.  Théiwes is the old Luxembourgish name for Matthew, the patron saint of Pfaffenthal, a quarter in central Luxembourg City.

In 2016, the washing well was restored and repurposed to become a Kneipp bath. Kneipp, or water-treading, the process of stepping up and down in cold water is said to have many health benefits. The act of walking in cold water is said to strengthen the cardiovascular system, reduce migraines, and strengthen the immune system. The cold water does feel surprisingly refreshing and pleasant once you acclimate to it.

Know Before You Go

The kneipp bath is free to use. Instructions for how to use the bath are provided on an info board beside the pool.

You don't need a towel, to do it properly you are supposed to allow your lower legs to dry naturally. Come prepared by wearing shorts!

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December 8, 2023

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