If you have long been dreaming of heaven on earth, rejoice - dreams sometimes do come true! Baden-Baden is one of the most idyllic locations you could wish for, whether you’re looking to take a vacation or even to relocate and call a part of its picturesque location home. We will be covering this unforgettable German town that will have you eager to book your next flight, writes Oliver Taylor.
Now, there is something particular about Baden-Baden which makes this destination of the former Grand Duchy of Baden feel like a hidden gem, even though it enjoys international renown and has been a favourite spot of the European elite for decades. Located 60 kilometers away from Strasbourg, the village tends to resonate with a certain charismatic familiarity despite its extensive history.
Within the Black Forest, amid sharp conifers poking at the clear vast skies, and lined with the luminous waters of the Rhine, Baden-Baden appears like a jewel hidden in the hollow of a green valley. Yet within the embrace of lively nature, Baden-Baden itself is a town of opulent housing, high-end hotels, plenty of the world’s best vehicles, luxury boutiques and star-studded tables.
The city of Baden-Baden - is a sort of Monte-Carlo of the Black Forest. It is truly the summer capital of Europe, with its splendid resorts and rich history that make it a place marked by wellbeing; however, one can find paradise here at any given time of the year.
LUXURY WITH A LEGENDARY CASINO
The small city of Baden-Baden is situated in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, spread among pine expanses on the western slopes of the Black Forest, and has fascinated poets and writers, aristocrats and members of royal families for centuries. It was already known for its healing thermal springs back in the days of the ancient Romans, and by the 18th century, became a favourite resort destination of the European nobility, especially - the Russian nobles. Today, Baden-Baden still captivates its visitors with the fabulous beauty of landscapes, aristocratic charm and centuries-old traditions preserved against the trials of time.
The town is rich in historical and architectural attractions. The Kurhaus, for instance, is the hallmark of Baden-Baden - a magnificent Belle Èpoque-style masterpiece built by Friedrich Weinbrenner in 1824 and surrounded by a marvellous park. Inside the Kurhaus is its legendary signature casino - one of the oldest and most famous in Germany.
Fans of gambling will surely find themselves drawn to the allure of its legendary historical casino, famously called the world’s most beautiful casino by international style icon Marlene Dietrich, an establishment which presents a world of old-school gaming with roulette, blackjack, poker and slot machines in the ambience of the Belle Epoque. Casino Baden-Baden has been long renowned as the hotspot for European and international social elite, attracting English Lords, Parisian composers, Russian diplomats, celebrities, well-known business executives, politicians and stars from around the globe, with its charming style and elegance.
On a high 400-meter cliff, stands Hohenbaden Old Castle erected in 1102 and active throughout the 11th to the 15th century, during which, it served as the residence of the Margraves of Baden. An aeolian harp is installed in the knight’s hall of the castle, playing when the wind blows, and the terrace offers stunning views of the city, the Black Forest and the Rhine Valley all at once. These panoramic views can also be admired from the terraces of the New Renaissance castle, built in the 14th century on the Florentine mountain.
A RICH HISTORY
At the end of the Lichtentaler Allee, lined with elegant mansions, one can find the Cistercian Abbey, founded in 1245 and still standing to this day.
Near the Kurhaus, there is the Trinkhalle, a pump room with 16 Corinthian columns and amazing frescoes depicting scenes from the Black Forest legends. And next to the Friedrichsbad complex are the ancient ruins of Roman baths - a museum of ancient culture that recreates the more than 200-year history of the term. Baden-Baden is generally famous for its interesting museums, such as the Museum Frieder Burda, in whose halls more than 1000 works of art from the XX-XXI centuries are known to be exhibited, including 8 paintings by Picasso.
Among other notable museums around the destination, we can find: the Johannes Brahms House-Museum, where the composer lived from 1865 to 1874, the Fabergé Museum, which tells a story about the life and work of the great jeweller and presents more than 700 exhibits - from the famous Easter eggs, to the amazing decorations from the time of the First World War, as well as the Historical Baden-Baden Museum and the State Art Gallery in Baden-Baden.
12 thermal springs of the resort stream forth from a depth of almost 2,000m, and 12 of them originate in the area of Florentine hill. The sources are between 12-17 thousand years old and provide over 800,000 litres of thermal water on a daily basis!
The city has two dedicated thermal complexes. At the foot of the Old Town stands the magnificent building of the Roman-Irish thermal bath, named the ”Friedrichsbad”, which was opened in 1877. Inside, in addition to its thermal pools that allow you to go through a hydrotherapy cycle of 17 stages, visitors will find a piece of the town’s rich history within opulent interiors decorated by amazing frescoes, mosaics and antique sculptures. Mark Twain once wrote about this location: “Here, in Friedrichsbad, after 10 minutes you forget about time, and after 20 minutes about everything else.”
Those seeking a more contemporary experience won’t find themselves disappointed either. In the heart of Baden-Baden, visitors can find a modern thermal complex the Caracalla spa, named after the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Caracalla. On its territory there are outdoor and indoor pools with water temperature from 18 ° C to 38 ° C, as well as grottoes, waterfalls and a sauna area.
Among other things, Baden-Baden is also famous for its first-class clinics. Here are some of the most renowned clinics that attract visitors from around the world. The modern clinics provide treatment and rehabilitation for cardiac diseases, the treatment of internal diseases, orthopaedics, psychosomatic medicine and rehabilitation, as well as with internal medicine and psychology.
Baden-Baden is an important medical destination where specialists provide the best treatment. This little piece of paradise on Earth also offers great opportunities for sports and outdoor activities - from hiking, cycling and skiing through the fabulous Black Forest, to golf, tennis, horseback riding and hang gliding.
A REMARKABLE CITY
The cultural life of the city is no less remarkable. Visitors may enjoy performances in the Festival Hall Baden-Baden, Germany’s largest opera and concert house which hosts international opera, ballet and concerts at the highest level. Known for its great acoustics, the concert hall presents world-renowned artists, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Mariinsky Ballet. In the magnificent Baden-Baden Theater modelled after the Paris Opera and in the Kurhaus guests can enjoy a great selection of events year-round.
Baden-Baden will equally impress the gourmets - 36 restaurants are recommended by the Michelin guide, and Le Jardin de France and Röttele’s restaurants located in the Neuweier Castle in the Rebland are marked with one Michelin star. You should definitely try traditional local dishes made with seasonal Black Forest products and delicious wines from the renowned Rebland region.
Shopping here is concentrated mainly on the streets in the Old Town and in the area of the Kurhaus Colonnade.
To get to Baden-Baden, there is the Karlsruhe / Baden-Baden Airport located 22 km from the city centre, and the Frankfurt International Airport that is approximately a 2-hour drive away. EG