Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Kneippism – Traditional Knowledge and Practice According to Sebastian Kneipp

Kneipp naturopathic treatment is a complementary medicine with the goal to preserve and restore human health. It is based upon the principles of regular training and inurement, for example by treading water. The holistic Kneipp therapy aims to achieve harmony between the body, mind and soul. The Bavarian pastor Sebastian Kneipp developed his health teachings between 1841 and 1897. Since this time, the contents and applications of Kneipp therapy are based upon five elements/pillars: on the health-enhancing power of water, balanced nutrition, medicinal plants, exercise and properly balanced lifestyle.

Facts & figures

Crucial date: all seasons (especially in Summer)
Inscription: 2015
Domains: knowledge and practice concerning nature and the universe
Where to find: nationwide (also abroad)


Kneipp-Bund e.V.
Annette Kersting (Bundesgeschäftsführerin)

Verband Deutscher Kneippheilbäder und Kneippkurorte
Hans-Joachim Bädorf (Chairman)

Stadt Bad Wörishofen
Stefan Welzel (Deputy Mayor)

From the founding of the first Kneipp Association in 1890 in Bad Wörishofen by Kneipp himself, a vast network of associations developed, which thanks to the efforts of voluntary members, continue to spread and pass on his teachings.

In Germany, there are now more than 600 Kneipp Associations with around 160,000 members. Besides theses associations, Kneipp therapy is practiced, handed down and further developed by Kneipp health spas and health resorts.

Together, they contribute to a profound anchoring in the society of this knowledge and practice.

The tradition is kept alive by the hosting of health days sponsored by the associations, the construction and maintenance of Kneipp facilities, and the mediation of Kneipp treatments in everyday practice. The Sebastian Kneipp Academy and the state-approved Sebastian Kneipp School in Bad Wörishofen train persons in the field of health enhancement and prevention of diseases, primarily in their unpaid free time. The Kneipp union certifies facilities in the children's, school and senior citizen areas in accordance with jointly developed criteria and criteria deriving from the teachings of Kneipp.

Kneipp's birthday on 17 May is celebrated by the Kneipp movement with festivals, ceremonies, health days and various events.


Bundesweites Verzeichnis Immaterielles Kulturerbe - Jubiläumsausgabe.
Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission, 2023