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THE BALNEARY RESOURCE, A GENERATOR OF BUILT HERITAGE. THE STRATIGRAPHIC FEATURES OF HERCULANE BATHS

Keywords: balneal resource , built heritage , conservation , Baile Herculane , spa

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Abstract:

The balneary resource, a generator of built heritage. The stratigraphic features of Herculane Baths. The exploitation of natural resources, regardless of type, usually consists of two phases: firstly, the development of exploitation processes and secondly the development of exploitation structures – elements or built structures intended for the processing of the concerned natural resources. Many such structures have been declared architectural heritage monuments due to their historical, documentary, representative and aesthetical value, examples being numerous and varied. Water is the main resource that dictates the occurrence and development of human settlements and creates various typologies that derive from the accessibility, exploitation methods, and adaptation to the conditions and characteristics of the resource. With a peculiar evolution in terms of the dynamics of the binomial composed of natural resource and architectural heritage resource, mineral resources (especially balneal waters) fall in a distinct category: although mainly utilitarian in function, they have also cultural, aesthetic and even religious purposes. Besides their curative properties, spa mineral waters can be used as is, in many cases directly from the source, this being the explanation why they have generated such great and continuous interest - forming today a highly stratified built heritage background. Keeping in mind the sustainable development for a medium or a long period of time, an analysis of the interrelations between the balneal natural resource and the deriving architectural heritage is necessary. The purpose of such analysis is determining the limitations of exploitation and identifying the optimal means of safeguarding both elements, the natural water resource and the anthropogenic one, for a more rational territory management.

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