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A Brechelbad is a hut in which the flax was dried and processed, i.e. crushed. Because of the danger of fire, it stood far enough away from the farm. Until the middle of the 20th century, crushing baths were to be found on almost all farms. In Seeham there were 14 of them. As self-suppliers, the farmers grew the flax from which the linen was made.

The Brechelbad served as a sweat bath in addition to flax preparation, i.e. it was the Alpine form of the sauna.

There is clear evidence that people were already taking sweat baths in our latitudes in the 16th century, although it was not always done demurely, so that by the end of the 18th century the stove was out in the Brechelbad - at least as far as nude bathing was concerned.

When cotton and synthetic fibres replaced linen in the 1950s, the crushing baths no longer had any use. Most of them fell into disrepair. 

You can find more information at www.brechelbadseeham.at 


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