This Is the Publicly Funded Sauna All of America Needs

An example of when paying taxes pays off

By Diane Rommel

 
This Is the Publicly Funded Sauna All of America Needs
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19 May 2017

There's nothing on Earth like Sweden at midsummer — we're going to call it the Swedish equivalent of the Fourth of July, though it involves maypoles and herring rather than barbecues and for the most part good-hearted nationalism. One way to celebrate the coming summer solstice: by taking notes on this gorgeous Swedish bathhouse, in Karlshamn — far down the country's coastline, this seaside community is closer to Copenhagen than to Stockholm.

sauna (5 images)

Of note: This is a public building, built by the town with the help of local sponsors and a pro-bathhouse organization, Kallbadhusets Vänner (Friends of the Bath House). Every small American town needs one of these, stat: As the photos show, the bathhouse is actually sited above water, with a slender bridge connecting it to the mainland; just a few steps away is the public pool. (Only the bathhouse is open all year round.) The bridge leads to a terrace for sun-bathing — and from there, men and women go in literally opposite directions, to their gender-specific saunas. (No clothes allowed in most Scandinavian saunas.) 

Surely there's a California beach town that could get this done? Or better yet: Maine, which more closely resembles Sweden, and which could certainly benefit from a 365-days-a-year sauna. 

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