Chaudes Aigues

750m up in the Massif Central, in the Cantal department, the spa village of Chaudes-Aigues has a mineral-water spring whose waters are so hot (82 degrees) that since 1332 the village houses have been heated by a communal central heating system - the first in the world.


The water has such high mineral concentrations that it is not possible to use radiators, as they would quickly become blocked, so the houses are heated by large pipes running beneath them, which used to be made of hollowed tree trunks!

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