The history of salt

The history of salt dates back to 6,000 years before our era. However, it only gained importance in Rheinfelden in the middle of the 19th century, when salt deposits were found and the first brine bath hotels were opened.

Salt as an offering, preservation & pharmacy.

6050 BC: The history of salt goes back a long way. In Egypt, salt was used as part of religious offerings and to preserve mummies.

2700 BC: The earliest known study of pharmacology from China mentions more than 40 types of salt and describes two methods of salt extraction similar to those used today.

500-1500: Records from the European Middle Ages document concessions for salt extraction. The production and transportation of salt led to the founding of new towns and the construction of roads.

1844: Discovery of salt deposits in Rheinfelden.


Rhein-Route Bohrturm Saline Riburg Rheinfelden

1846: The first Soolbadhotel Schützen opens.

The Hotel Schützen starts its operation as the first Soolbadhotel. Today, the hotel no longer has its own brine bath, but the beautiful art nouveau hall and the lovely garden terrace have been preserved.

Hotel Schützen Rheinfelden

Postkarte mit Bild des Soolbad-Anstalt Schützen Rheinfelden

1847: The spa pioneer Heinrich Dressler lays the foundation for the later world-famous Grand Hôtel des Salines au Parc.

Today's Parkresort Rheinfelden houses the Park-Hotel am Rhein with beautiful hotel rooms and various restaurants with views of the Rhine and the park, as well as the wellness world "sole uno" and the Salina Rehaklinik.

Hotel des Salines

1864: First season of the "Armensolebad" for cures at favorable conditions.

Not only well-to-do people should be able to go to the spa - that is why the first "Armensolebad" opens in the old town of Rheinfelden.


1896: Opening of the sanatorium.

As there is soon too little space, a large sanatorium is built outside the old town. It is the forerunner of today's Reha Rheinfelden.

Reha Rheinfelden Klinikbild aussen

1925: Construction of a direct brine pipeline to the Rheinfelden bathing hotels.

So that the brine no longer has to be laboriously transported, the Swiss Rhine Salt Works and the Bodehotels build direct pipelines in which the brine reaches its destination. These still exist today.

EDEN Solebad Aussenbecken

1933: Opening of a drinking hall for drinking cures by Dr. Hermann Keller.

The balneologist Hermann Keller specialized in drinking cures. Even if the buildings look completely different today than they did in those days, the name «Kurbrunnen» (spa fountain) remains. It is still a meeting place for residents and guests - as a concert or exhibition hall.

Spa fountain


1939: Decline of the classical spa tourism.

Due to the beginning of the 2nd World War, spa and bathing tourism comes to an almost complete standstill.

Kurbrunnenanlage von aussen

2005: Rheinfelden becomes an official wellness destination.

The Swiss Tourism Association names Rheinfelden as one of the new destinations with this label. This illustrious circle also includes Leukerbad, Bad Zurzach, Scuol and Bad Ragaz.

More information Wellness Destination

Wellness Destination Logo quer

2018: SwissShrimp starts operations.

Switzerland's first shrimp farm opens its rearing facility in Riburg near Rheinfelden. It uses waste heat and brine from the Swiss saltworks in Riburg.

SwissShrimp farm visit

Besichtigung Shrimpsfarm SwissShrimp Rheinfelden

Experience the different facets of salt