Archaeological finds place Neolithic camps in the centre of the spring field, long before the Romans in the Imperial Province of “Pannonia” bathed in the sulphur rich waters to soothe their aching joints and muscles. The hot springs at Baden bei Wien were in use in the middle ages, and the town gradually developed by the 13th century to the side of the springs, rather than directly above them. As early as 1276 the Kaisers of the House of Habsburg visited , indeed owned, the springs, beginning a long tradition of royal patronage, which continued well into the 19th century, leading Baden bei Wien to be known as the “Spa of Emperors”.
The sulphur-rich waters of Baden bei Wien are not particularly pleasant to drink, so bathing has always been the most important activity here, and spa treatments also developed, including the whey cure, cold and hot water and air therapies, and mud treatments. There were also “terrain cures” – prescribed walking in the countryside and in the numerous and beautiful parks and landscaped gardens which gradually became an important and attractive feature of Baden bei Wien.
Baden bei Wien has always attracted famous and fashionable visitors, becoming a world-class spa resort by 1870, and remains a very popular tourist destination to this day. Some of Baden bei Wien’s most notable guests are musical legends, often composing celebrated works in the town – Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mozart’s haunting Ave Verum Corpus are two of the most famous examples, while the Joseph Lanner, one of the earliest Viennese composers to perform the waltz, and Johann Strauß the Elder and Younger performed for guests at many different venues throughout the town.
The political, artistic and scientific elite of the Enlightenment met here (particularly during the Congress of Vienna in 1814-15), and the legacy of all these famous visitors can be seen today in the magnificent villas, hotels and spa facilities which were built to accommodate them.
Modern-day visitors to the Kurhaus and four other large privately-owned spas make good use of the 2 million litres of curative thermal water that bubble up under the town in fourteen springs.
Conditions treated here include rheumatism and arthrosis, chronic inflammation, and regeneration of connective tissue and cartilage . Visitors also enjoy the Kurpark and other landscaped gardens, the Congress Casino, two historic theatres, six museums and a racecourse, lido and international festivals such as the 120 year old Festival of Operetta, the biggest photographic festival in Europe the (LaGacilly-Baden-Photo) and the Festival of Roses.