19th century Spa Towns as Places for Musical Inspiration

February 4, 2018

“I always yearn for Baden-Baden anyway”, Johannes Brahms wrote to Clara Schumann in the 19th century, when thw town was Europe's capital d'eté; source of inspiration for great composers and musicians. This sound heritage is stilll a major feature in European spa towns today, all rich in music festivals and reputed institutions .

What were the reasons that musicians and composers such as Franz Liszt, Clara Schumann or Johannes Brahms, as well as many other artists, chose Baden-Baden as their residence again and again?

Organized by the city of Baden-Baden together with Baden-Baden Kur & Tourismus and the Festpielhaus, this Café explored what has been and is the cultural self-image of the thermal town since its golden age from 1838–1870. With a special focus put on Baden-Baden's passion for culture, specially music, the meeting celebrated institutions as its Philharmonic Orchestra, the Museum Frieder Burda or the the Kulturhaus LA 8.


The Festspiel Baden-Baden is a series of festivals presented by the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden, Germany. The programme is structured around five annual festival periods dispersed throughout the year. 2014 Easter Festival featured Puccini’s opera “Manon Lescaut” with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.and a concert version of Bach’s “St. John Passion”.



Giuseppe Bellandi

EHTTA President

Wolfang Gerstner

Lord Mayor of Baden-Baden - EHTTA Vicepresident

Gabriella Battaini - Dragoni

Deputy Secretary General European Council

Luisella Pavan-Woolfe

Ambassador - Head of Delegation of the European Union at the European Council



Reinhard Hübsch

Arts editor at the culture radio station SWR2.

Reading & Theater Intermezzo

The Kulturhaus of Baden-Baden turned into a stage for the characters of the interactive novel "At the sources of Europe", developed troughout the Source Project.

On this ocassion, they will meet famous musicians Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms. The both used frequented Baden-Baden during their lifetime, and share the beaty and social life of the town, starting a close friendship that would evolve in a romantic relationship, astestify to their letters and diary records


Travel Diaries - Photographs - Video


Urban Sketcher

Lapin is a French illustrator and aartist working for fashion, advertising and editorial who lives between Barcelona and Paris.

Lapin can be defined as a mobile illustrator who carries his sketchbook to the street, to a bar, to a metro, to Istanbul or Tokyo. Sketching is a way for him to record every second of his life and feel alive. He may sketch sitting on a floor for hours or just having a beer in his hand or just during one metro stop. He already filled around 150 sketchbooks for the last 10 years and he particularly appreciates sketching on vintage accounting books that he finds in flea markets.

Lapin was selected as young illustrator award by illustrative in 2007. He also teaches art of "sketching" during workshops in universities and in art schools. He participates in exhibitions around Europe and he shares his day to day sketches on his blog.

Loiez Deniel

Video & Photo Artist

Loiez Déniel lives and works in Auvergne (and sometimes Istanbul). Video maker photographer artist, independent researcher in multimedia integration solutions and operational poetry, he is also president of the International Video Art Festival VIDEOFORMES.