Baden-Baden - Germany

Introduction

The Friedrichsbad in Baden-Baden, with its high central dome, encrusted with elaborate frescoes almost like a temple or palace, perhaps encapsulates the essence of Baden-Baden.  A seventeen-step ritual combining Roman and Irish bathing traditions takes the visitor through changing temperatures and different baths, guaranteeing that like Mark Twain, “you lose track of time within 10 minutes and track of the world in 20….”.  Here, the Roman foundations and the 1877 Neo-Renaissance-style spa building form the perfect blend of style and relaxation, typical of a town that has been world-famous for its cultural traditions since the 19thCentury, a golden age when Baden-Baden was known as the "Capital d'été" or “summer capital of Europe”.

While Baden-Baden had its roots in Roman times, it was not until the redevelopment of the town at the end of the 18thcentury that it shifted its focus to the green countryside.  By the mid 19thcentury, Baden-Baden had become a sophisticated and world-renowned spa resort, where an international crowd gathered for social and cultural events, establishing itself as a place of creativity and inspiration for composers such as Johannes Brahms,Clara Schumann,and many other renowned artists. 

By 1871, the focus on the thermal water had intensified and the town became a health spa with large modern spa palaces such as the Friedrichsbad and thermal hotels being built for more and more fashionable guests – a rising middle class, experimenting with the rules of society,  as well as the nobility and royalty.  Many trace minerals in the salty water promote the curative effect for cardiovascular and  metabolism problems or respiratory complaints, while the warmth of the water (50-68oC) aids blood circulation in the muscles, joints and skin. Today Baden-Baden is a unified green cityscape, where the arts and health flourish side by side, and where traditional spa-town activities such as  internationalfestivals, horse racing, the theatre,the Festival Halland the Casino  are complemented by  a high standard of modern architecture, retaining the city’s flare and style.

Historical background

At the foot of the Florentine Hill below the former Grand Ducal castle, twelve hot thermal springs rise to the surface. These thermal springs prompted the Romans to found a settlement at this location that was named “Aqua”. During the medieval period, Baden-Baden was set on fire by French soldiers in the palatine wars of succession in 1689 and was almost completely destroyed. At the end of the 18th century, the focus of the structural development shifted from the medieval confines of the city out into the “green countryside”. A promenade house was built on the other side of the Oos as a meeting spot for the spa guests.

After 1800, an intensive construction boom took place in Baden-Baden following the plans of the building director of the Grand Duchy of Baden, Friedrich Weinbrenner, who designed the suburb of Oos, the Kurhaus, Badischer Hof and Jesuit College (today's town hall). The Frenchman Jean-Jacques Benazet took charge of the casino in 1838; he expanded casino operations and invested the profits in the development of the spa resort. Within a few years, the city experienced an unprecedented rise to fame as a sophisticated world-renowned spa resort and the “summer capital of Europe”. An international crowd met here for social and cultural events. By 1871, the focus on thermal water had intensified. A successful transition took place from the international fashion and society resort to a health spa. In the last third of the 19th century, large modern spa palaces emerged on the Florentine Hill on the tightly structured medieval ground plan of the town. At the foot of the Florentine Hill below the former Grand Ducal castle, twelve hot thermal springs rise to the surface. These thermal springs prompted the Romans to found a settlement at this location that was named “Aqua”. During the medieval period, Baden-Baden was set on fire by French soldiers in the palatine wars of succession in 1689 and was almost completely destroyed.
At the end of the 18th century, the focus of the structural development shifted from the medieval confines of the city out into the “green countryside”. A promenade house was built on the other side of the Oos as a meeting spot for the spa guests. After 1800, an intensive construction boom took place in Baden-Baden following the plans of the building director of the Grand Duchy of Baden, Friedrich Weinbrenner, who designed the suburb of Oos, the Kurhaus, Badischer Hof and Jesuit College (today's town hall). The Frenchman Jean-Jacques Benazet took charge of the casino in 1838; he expanded casino operations and invested the profits in the development of the spa resort. Within a few years, the city experienced an unprecedented rise to fame as a sophisticated world-renowned spa resort and the “summer capital of Europe”. An international crowd met here for social and cultural events. By 1871, the focus on thermal water had intensified. A successful transition took place from the international fashion and society resort to a health spa. In the last third of the 19th century, large modern spa palaces emerged on the Florentine Hill on the tightly structured medieval ground plan of the town.
In response to constructional interventions in the historical cityscape after World War II, extensive planning and architectural measures were adopted in the 1970s. Nowadays, the centre of Baden-Baden presents itself as a unified green cityscape with the flair of the 19th century and numerous prestigious historical structures (Kurhaus with casino, colonnades, Conversation Hall, theatre, Friedrichsbad, Russian and Romanian Orthodox Churches, Anglican church, grand hotels, villas). Famous contemporary artists (architects, authors, painters, musicians) have perpetuated themselves here with their works. The history of the spa resort is chronicled in museums, at musical or literary events in the Festival Hall (Festspielhaus), theatre or at numerous other places that continue the cultural tradition of Baden-Baden.

Water sources

The thermal water originates from the springs in the area of the Florentine Hill. Altogether, there are twelve different springs that contain sodium chloride. Artesian pressure lets the water rise to the surface from a depth of 1200 – 1800 m with temperatures between 56°C and 68.8°C. These are therefore the hottest springs with the most minerals in the whole of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Approximately 800,000 litres of thermal water rise to the surface each day.

Temperature 65.5°C
pH value 7.6
Potassium 75 mg/kg
Sodium 850 mg/kg
Lithium 9 mg/kg
Calcium 129 mg/kg
Chloride 1437 mg/kg
Fluoride 5.4 mg/kg

 

Indications:
Cardiac, vascular and circulatory diseases, locomotor and posture disorders, rheumatic ailments, gynaecological disorders, diseases of the nervous system, psychosomatic states of exhaustion, general weak conditions, convalescence.

 

The springs of Baden-Baden are named: Ursprungsquelle, Brühquelle, Judenquelle, Ungemachquelle, Höllenquelle, Murquelle, Fettquelle, Kühler Brunnen, Armenbadquelle, Büttenquelle, Klosterquelle


Main minerals: Sodium Chloride with lithium, cesium, silica, boric acid, manganese, magnesium and traces of cobalt, zinc and copper.

Spa and treatments

Spa treatments

Preventive medicine and check-ups, rehabilitation, therapies (anti-pain, anti-stress, anti-aging, day spas, reflexology, fango / natural fango, fitness / activity)

Spa beauty products

Biocosmetics

Famous visitors

Baden-Baden has a long tradition of hosting internationally renowned visitors from the artists and composers of the 18th century to the politicians of today.

Facts and figures

 

Demography
Baden-Baden has a population of 54,436 (06/2010).

Arrivals (2009)

298.638 arrivals 

Tourist attendance (2009)

Not determined (generalized assumption: up to 8 million day visitors) 

Medium stay length (2009)

2.73 days

Brief report on the tourist flow in the last five years

816,705 overnight stays (2010), the trend for overnight stays has been increasing since 1995

 

Other forms of complementary tourism

Arrivals and attendances of spa tourists

 

Accomodation capacity (number of hotels, total number of beds and hotel classification (stars)

Baden-Baden has a total of 65 hotels, 20 inns and boarding houses, 6 sanatoriums and health farms, 4 youth hostels and school camps, 110 holiday apartments and B&Bs.

More than 30 hotels with 17 to 155 rooms are rated with 3 to 5 stars (three hotels with 5 stars, 13 with 4 stars), providing a total capacity of 1,500 rooms with a total of 5,000 beds.

Two hotels, Badischer Hof (4 star +) and Heliopark Badhotel (4 star +), offer rooms with en-suite spa facilities.

The annual capacity of beds amounts to 1,970,788 at an average occupancy rate of 42.44% (1.97 mil. : 360 = 5,470, see above).

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