Caldas da Rainha (Queen's Baths), the hub of a large farming area, is best known for the fantastical, colorful ceramics produced in local factories and—for centuries before that—for its sulfur baths. In 1484 Queen Leonor, en route to Batalha, noticed people bathing in a malodorous pool. Having heard of the healing properties of the sulfurous water, the queen interrupted her journey for a soak and became convinced of the water's beneficial effects. She had a hospital built on the site and was reputedly so enthusiastic that she sold her jewels to help finance the project. There's a bronze statue of Leonor in front of the hospital. Major repairs to the hospital's thermal system are planned, meaning that treatments for rheumatism and respiratory diseases have been suspended.
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