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Baden-Baden
View of Baden-Baden from Mount Merkur.
View of Baden-Baden from Mount Merkur.
Coat of arms of Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden is located in Germany
Baden-Baden
Coordinates 48°45′46″N 8°14′27″E / 48.76278°N 8.24083°E / 48.76278; 8.24083
Administration
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Karlsruhe
District Urban district
Mayor Wolfgang Gerstner (CDU)
Basic statistics
Area 140.18 km2 (54.12 sq mi)
Elevation 181 m  (594 ft)
Population 54,581  (31 December 2005)
 - Density 389 /km2 (1,008 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate BAD
Postal codes 76530–76534
Area codes 07221, 07223
Website baden-baden.de

Baden-Baden is a town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located on the western foothills of the Black Forest, on the banks of the Oos River, in the region of Karlsruhe.

Contents

History

The German word 'Baden' translates as 'to bath/bathe'. The springs of Baden-Baden were known to the Romans, and the foundation of the town is referred to the emperor Hadrian by an inscription of somewhat doubtful authenticity. The bath-conscious Roman emperor Caracalla once came here to ease his arthritic aches.[1] The name of Aurelia Aquensis was given to it in honour of Aurelius Severus, in whose reign it would seem to have been well known. Fragments of its ancient sculptures are still to be seen, and in 1847 remains of Roman vapour baths, well preserved, were discovered just below the New Castle.

The town was named Baden (without the repetition) in the Middle Ages. The town fell into ruins but reappeared in 1112 as the seat (until 1705) of the margravate of Baden.[2] From the 14th century down to the end of the 17th, Baden-Baden was the residence of the margraves of Baden, to whom it gave its name. They first dwelt in the old castle, the ruins of which still occupy the summit of a hill above the town, but in 1479, they moved to the new castle, which is situated on the hillside nearer to the town. During the Thirty Years' War and the Nine Years' War, Baden-Baden suffered severely from the various combatants, especially from the French, who pillaged it in 1643 and left it in ashes in 1689. The margrave Louis William (popularly known as Türkenlouis) moved to Rastatt in 1705.

During the Second Congress of Rastatt, Baden-Baden was rediscovered as a spa town. The popularity of the city as a spa dates from the early 19th century, when the Prussian queen visited the site to improve her health.[2] The 19th century saw the town rise to become a meeting place for celebrities, attracted by the hot springs as well as by the famous Casino, luxury hotels, horse races, and the gardens of the Lichtentaler Allee. Clients included Queen Victoria, Wilhelm I, Napoleon III, Berlioz, Brahms, and Dostoyevsky.[1] Tolstoy set a scene in Anna Karenina here naming the city differently.[1] Baden-Baden was then nicknamed the European summer capital reaching its zenith under Napoleon III during the 1850s and ’60s.[2] The Russian writer Dostoevsky wrote The Gambler while compulsively gambling at the Baden-Baden Casino.[3] Johannes Brahms' local residence, the Brahmshaus, can still be visited today.

In 1931, the town of Baden-Baden was officially given its double name which is the short form for "Baden in Baden" (i.e., Baden in the state of Baden). This was already in common use to distinguish the town from Baden bei Wien and Baden, Switzerland. In both World Wars, the town escaped destruction. After World War II, Baden-Baden became the headquarters of the French forces in Germany.

Under the supervision of the French Air Force, a military airfield was constructed at Baden-Söllingen between the Black Forest and the Rhine River, 15 km west of Baden-Baden; the runway and associated facilities were completed in June 1952. In 1953, units of the Royal Canadian Air Force were accommodated at the base later known as CFB Baden-Soellingen. In the 1990s, the base was converted into a civil airport, the Baden Airpark, which is now the second-largest airport in Baden-Württemberg.

Sights

  • Kurhaus — The Kurgarten (spa garden) at the Kurhaus annually hosts Baden-Baden Summer Nights, an outdoor event featuring live classical music concerts.[4]
  • The Casino
  • Friedrichsbad
  • Caracalla Spa
  • Lichtentaler Allee
  • Sammlung Frieder Burda — One of Germany's most extensive collections of modern art[5]
  • Old Castle "Hohenbaden", built in 1102, a ruin since the 15th century
  • New Castle (Neues Schloss), 15th century, former residence of the margraves of Baden and later of the grand dukes of Baden and now housing the historical museum[2]
  • The famous Festspielhaus Baden-Baden
  • Ruins of Roman baths, ca. 2000 years old, excavated in 1847
  • Stiftskirche, a church including the tombs of fourteen margraves of Baden
  • "The Paradise" (Paradies), an Italian style Renaissance garden with lots of trick fountains
  • Mount Merkur with Merkurbergbahn funicular railway and observation tower
  • Fremersberg Tower
  • Sturdza Chapel on the Michaelsberg, a Romanian chapel with a gilded dome which was erected over the tomb of prince Michel Sturdza's son[citation needed]

Tourism

Baden-Baden is the most picturesque of all the German bathing towns.[6] The city offers many options for sports enthusiasts.[1] Golf and tennis are both popular in the area.[1] Horse racing fans enjoy the international racing season each August at nearby Iffezheim.[1] The countryside is ideal for hiking and mountain climbing.[1] In the winter Baden-Baden is a skiing destination.[1]

The springs of Baden-Baden have been known for more than 2,000 years, and their composition resembles that of the Roman baths of the 3rd century.[7] The water at the baths of "Caracalla-Therme" spa is rich in sodium chloride, and comes from artesian wells 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) under the Florentiner Mountain.[8]

The Spielbank casino is more than 200 years and the oldest of its type in Germany.[9] Dostoyevsky is said to have written The Gambler after he lost his money and even his shirt here.[9] The rooms were designed in the style of a French château.[9]

There is a picturesque 18-hole golf course in Fremersberg.[10]

In popular culture

  • Former US President Bill Clinton was so taken by this little town that he stated "Baden-Baden is so nice they had to name it twice"[11]
  • From September 23 to September 28, 1981, the XIth Olympic Congress took place in the Kurhaus in Baden-Baden.
  • Rachel Alucard from the fighting game series BlazBlue has a technique named Baden-Baden Lily.

References

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Baden Baden [1] (meaning Bathing Bathing) is a spa town built on thermal springs at the edge of the Black Forest in Baden Württemberg, south west Germany. Don't be put off by its reputation as a hang-out for the rich. This picturesque town is beautifully situated in a wooded valley, and you can enjoy yourself here without spending or gambling a fortune.

Get in

By train

The railway station is a 15 minutes' bus ride from the town center. It is served by Deutsche Bahn running north–south along the Rhine (MannheimBasel) and east–west (MunichStuttgartStrasbourgParis). On arrival, catch the frequent bus 201 to the town center (direction Lichtental/Oberbeuern; get off at Leopoldplatz).

By Plane

The airport Karlsruhe/Baden Baden (Baden-Airpark) is located only 10km from the city. The airport is served by low-cost carrier Ryanair, which offers cheap flights to several European destinations.

Get around

The town centre is small enough to walk around. Bus routes to surrounding towns and villages radiate from the town centre (Leopoldplatz and Augustaplatz). Buy your ticket at the machine at the bus stop before boarding. You can get also tickets from the bus drivers. It's rather to use the express busses. They need only 5 minutes from the main station to the city.

  • Casino (Spielbank), 1 Kaiserallee, +49 72 219000, [2]. James Bond-worthy cocktail club complete with gilt ceilings, 11 roulette tables and an outdoor baccarat terrace.  edit
  • Concert hall (Festspielhaus)
  • Drinking hall (Trinkhalle)
  • Art Museum [3]
  • Frieder Burda Museum, 8b Lichtentaler Allee, +49 72 21398980, [4]. a dazzling collection of German Expressionist and Gerhard Richter masterworks on display are attracting tourists from around the world.  edit
  • Brahms House [5]
  • Lichtental Monastery [6]
  • City Museum of Baden-Baden
  • Ruins of the Roman Baths [7]
  • Castle Hohenbaden [8]
  • Walk along the river Oos or in the hills and forests around the town. The tourist office at the Trinkhalle can sell you a booklet of walks based on bus routes. The walking is generally easy, but for maximum reward for minimum effort, take bus 204/205 to the Merkur Bergbahn funicular railway, ride up to the cafe at the top, and walk back via the old castle (Altes Schloss).

Thermal baths

Römerplatz, the heart of the bath quarter (Badeviertel), is five minutes' walk from Leopoldplatz through the pedestrian zone. In Römerplatz you can see the ruins of the Roman baths and take to the thermal waters yourself at Caracalla Therme and Friedrichsbad. More details:

  • Roman bath ruins (Römische Badruinen), (adjacent to the underground car park below Römerplatz). tel +49 7221 275934. [9] Every day, 11AM-5PM. Small area of excavations with good audioguide in English. €2.
  • Caracalla Therme, tel +49 7221 275940 (fax +49 7221 275980, info@carasana.de). [10] Every day, 8AM-10PM. Follow the steam rising off the outdoor pools to find this modern bathing complex. Your ticket gets you into the pool area (where you'll find a cafe, several indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpools, waterfalls, water jets and so on) and the upstairs Roman Sauna Scape. €14-20 for 2-4 hours. No children under 3.

http://www.carasana.de/home/en/caracalla.html

  • Caracalla Therme spa is unlike its sister Friedrichsbad Spa next door in that swimming costumes are required to be worn at all times in the pools. The upstairs sauna area is nude only however and you be should be warned is mixed sexed for those with a prudish nature. Once you have removed your swimwear however you are free to enjoy a wonderful series of indoor and outdoor saunas, steam rooms, plunge pools, hot tubs and relaxation areas at your leisure. This is a unique and highly invigerating experience to be tried at least once in your life time.
  • Friedrichsbad, tel +49 7221 275920 (fax +49 7221 275980, info@carasana.de). [11]. M-Sa 9AM-10PM, Su 12PM-8PM. Friedrichsbad is a beautiful temple to traditional bathing culture, built in 1877, complete with statues and decorative tiling and culminating in a circular central pool in an ornate domed hall. In these elegant surroundings, the Roman-Irish bath (Römisch-Irisches Bad) is a programme of heat, massage, steam and water that will detoxify and rejuvenate any weary traveller. It's a wonderful, deeply relaxing experience. €21 for 3 hours (optional massage €8 extra). No children under 14.

The procedure at Friedrichsbad is unique, so read these instructions carefully before you go in, especially if you don't speak German. Buy your ticket at the entrance, plus a token for the soap-and-brush massage (Seifenbürstenmassage) if you want. At the top of the stairs, men and women go into separate changing rooms and follow the programme separately for the first hour or so. Take off all your clothes and put them in a locker, inserting your ticket into the slot inside the door before locking it. Naked, follow the sign to the baths, where an attendant will greet you. Follow the numbered sequence of rooms. Each room has a sign in English on the wall telling you how long you should spend there. You'll be given a towel and bath shoes at the first shower. You need these for the hot rooms (you must lie or sit on your towel). After the hot rooms, you reach the massage station, where you must hand back your towel, shoes and token. After the massage, proceed to the steam room(s) and shower again before going through to the pool area, where men and women bathe naked together in pools at three different temperatures. When you've had enough, head back via the cold plunge pool and the sleeping room, to be wrapped in blankets for half an hour.

Eat

There are plenty of cheap places to eat in the pedestrian zone in the town centre. Vegetarians need not despair. Noodle dishes (Spätzle) are ubiquitous, and look out for dishes based on chanterelle mushrooms (Pfifferlinge).

  • Werner-Dietz Jugendherberge, Hardbergstrasse 34, +49 7221 52223 (, fax: +49 7221 60012), [12]. checkin: 17:00. Large, comfortable youth hostel (part of HI), about a mile from the town centre. Up a steep hill! Note late check-in time. €15 - 27.  edit
  • Hotel am Markt, Marktplatz 18 (up the hill behind Friedrichsbad), tel +49 7221 27040 (fax +49 7221 270444, hotel.am.markt.bad@t-online.de). [13] In the heart of the old town, quiet, family-run, excellent value. Loud church bells! Doubles €60-80.
  • Brenner's Park Hotel and Spa, Schillerstrausse 4-6, +49 72 219000 (, fax: +49 72 2138772), [14]. an establishment of over 130 years of history situated within a legendary park, a Grand Hotel of international reputation.  edit

Contact

Free internet access is available at the public library (Stadtbücherei) in Lange Strasse, but you might need to book your session in advance.

  • Baden-Baden is ideally placed for day trips into the Black Forest. Other cities within easy reach include Freiburg, Strasbourg and Stuttgart. Avis and Sixt both have car hire depots in the town.
  • Bertha Benz Memorial Route - Follow the tracks of the world's first automobile journey (Mannheim - Pforzheim/Black Forest - Mannheim) back in 1888
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!







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