Building a Simple Web App with Spring MVC
Securing our Spring MVC Web App
Session Management
Finishing Up

What is Thymeleaf?

  • Thymeleaf is a modern server-side Java template engine for web applications.
  • It’s a powerful and flexible tool that integrates seamlessly with the Spring Framework, making it a popular choice for developing web applications in the Java ecosystem.

In this section, we will explore what Thymeleaf is, its origins, how it works with Spring MVC, and where you can find detailed documentation to learn more.

Thymeleaf: The Evolution of JSP

Before we dive into Thymeleaf, let’s take a moment to understand its roots and how it compares to older technologies like JavaServer Pages (JSP), now known as Jakarta Server Pages.

Jakarta Server Pages (JSP): JSP has been a popular technology for building dynamic web pages in Java applications. It allows developers to embed Java code directly into HTML, making it possible to generate dynamic content. However, JSP has its drawbacks:

  • Complex Syntax: JSP pages can become complex and challenging to maintain due to the mixing of Java code with HTML.
  • Limited Separation: JSP does not provide a clear separation between the presentation layer and the business logic.
  • Not User-Friendly: JSP syntax can be intimidating for front-end developers who are more accustomed to HTML and CSS.

Enter Thymeleaf: Thymeleaf was developed as an alternative to JSP, aiming to address these shortcomings. It provides a more natural and user-friendly way to create dynamic web content with Java.

  • Thymeleaf works seamlessly with the Spring Framework, particularly with Spring MVC (Model-View-Controller).
  • It serves as the “V” (View) in the MVC architecture, helping to create dynamic HTML pages that display data provided by the Controller.

Exploring Thymeleaf Beyond this Course

This course covers all the essentials when it comes to Thymeleaf and Spring MVC, but Thymeleaf offers a wide range of features and capabilities for web development. If you’re interested in diving deeper into Thymeleaf, here are some resources and documentation to explore:

  • Official Thymeleaf Documentation: The official Thymeleaf website is an excellent starting point. It provides detailed documentation, examples, and user guides. You can find information on installation, configuration, and advanced features.
  • Thymeleaf GitHub Repository: The Thymeleaf GitHub repository is where you can access the source code, report issues, and stay up to date with the latest releases.
  • Thymeleaf Forum: The Thymeleaf forum is a community hub for discussions, questions, and support. You can interact with other Thymeleaf users and seek solutions to your challenges.
  • Stack Overflow: Stack Overflow is a valuable resource for finding answers to specific Thymeleaf questions. Many developers share their Thymeleaf-related issues and receive assistance from the community.

Common Thymeleaf Attributes and Expressions

  • Thymeleaf provides a set of attributes and expressions that enhance the HTML templates, enabling you to create dynamic content.
  • Though we will be covering most of these in-depth in upcoming topics, here is a clear overview of some of the most frequently used Thymeleaf attributes and expressions:
th:textSets the text content of an element.<p th:text="${message}">Hello</p>
th:ifConditionally includes or excludes elements.<div th:if="${loggedIn}">Welcome!</div>
th:eachIterates over a collection and generates elements.<li th:each="item : ${items}">Item</li>
th:srcSets the src attribute of an image or other elements.<img th:src="@{/images/my-image.png}" />
th:hrefSets the href attribute for links and anchors.<a th:href="@{/products/{id}(id=1)}">Product 1</a>
th:styleDefines inline CSS styles for an element.<div th:style="color:${color}">Styled Text</div>
th:classSets the CSS class for an element.<div th:class="${cssClass}">Styled Element</div>
th:valueSets the value attribute of input elements.<input type="text" th:value="${}" />
th:checkedChecks a checkbox or radio button.<input type="checkbox" th:checked="${user.subscribed}" />
th:disabledDisables form fields based on a condition.<input type="text" th:disabled="${!user.editable}" />
th:blockA container element used to include pure content without encasing tags.<th:block th:text="${}"></th:block>
th:fragmentDefines a named fragment for reuse in other templates.<div th:fragment="footer">Copyright &copy; 2023</div>
For a full detail of all the possibilities, please consult the official Thymeleaf documentation.


  • Thymeleaf is a versatile template engine that simplifies web development in Java applications, especially when integrated with Spring MVC.
  • It offers a clean separation of concerns, user-friendly syntax, and powerful attributes and expressions to create dynamic web content.
  • To learn more, you can explore the official documentation and engage with the Thymeleaf community for support and insights.