Baden-Baden is located in the southwestern part of Germany, near the border with France, in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The city is situated on the western slope of the Black Forest, which was a conditional boundary that the Romans chose not to cross during the expansion of the Roman Empire, writes Oliver Taylor.
The Roman legionnaires, who favoured open spaces for life and battle, were terrified by the ”Black Forest,” which was populated by warlike peoples - the ancestors of the Swabians and Allemans. Nonetheless, Baden has preserved evidence of the Roman influence, including its world-famous spas, which were built on the site of historic Roman baths. Visitors can find those ancient vestiges in several places around the city.
The appearance of Baden-Baden is also defined by the landscape of the Black Forest - it is definitely a very green town, located in a valley surrounded by mountains. Its topography is rich with elevation changes, so be prepared to overcome them while walking along the streets of Baden. However, for a wellness resort, this is just a plus.
Officially, the city was known as Baden, up until 1931. However, since there were a number of cities in the Germanic lands that bore the same name, people sometimes had to give more precision: Baden in Baden (the region of Baden). As a result, it led to the city adopting its new double name, Baden-Baden.
The uniqueness of this location has attracted prominent creative individuals and cultural icons, including poets, musicians, and artists from all over the world since the 18th century. As a place of peaceful relaxation and luxury entertainment for adults and children alike, Baden-Baden offers its visitors high-quality restaurants, hotels, and soothing thermal springs. There is no shortage of interesting facts about this city on travel websites around the internet, but here, we will present you with the attractions that will compel you to visit this little paradise for a weekend, or perhaps even to book your entire holiday here. So, what is Baden-Baden all about and what would it have in store for us? Let’s take a look.
FAVOURED BY ARISTOCRACY
The word ”baden’’ literally translates to the verb ”’to take a bath” in German. Mind you, the city’s name wasn’t assigned to it by accident. Its healing thermal springs were found on the outskirts of the Black Forest about 2 thousand years ago, during the time of Ancient Rome. A vestige of history, the ruins of Roman baths have been preserved throughout the ages and remain open to the public for viewing.
In the Middle Ages, Baden-Baden was known as a major administrative hub. Between the 11th and 14th centuries, the Old Castle (Hohenbaden) served as the seat of local margraves, who were the highest ranking officials in the region. It was also one of Europe’s first medieval structures to feature a sewage system. The New Castle was constructed in the fourteenth century, and the former center lost its importance. In addition, the Old Castle was almost entirely destroyed by a major fire at the end of the 16th century. While the Old Castle is now nothing more than ruins, it continues to draw visitors to its site.
By the 18th century, the city was already known as Europe’s summer capital. The aristocracy used it as their favourite spot for rest and entertainment. Baden-Baden drew in distinguished statesmen, members of aristocratic families, and ministers of art to join the ranks of its admirers.
Speaking of distinguished visitors, it is famed for a horse racing event, known as the ”Big Week,” that has been the most exciting equestrian event not only in the area, but also in the whole world. A large number of nobility and influential statesmen, including Emperor Wilhelm I, made their way to Baden-Baden, lured by its lavish balls, flower parades, grandiose fireworks, and other festive activities.
In this regard, almost nothing has changed today, and Baden-Baden is steadily gaining the title of the equestrian sports capital of the world. The most prominent and famous owners of the best racehorses from Europe and from around the globe come to visit the Iffezheim racetrack twice a year: in early summer and autumn. To visit those races even for a day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for adults and children alike.
The most prominent attraction of Baden-Baden, however, is its renowned spas and a balneotherapy resort known for its medicinal water thermal springs. Since the resort’s key attractions are its historical thermal complexes, you should definitely consider Baden-Baden as a destination for wellness, recovery, or simply soothing procedures.
THERAPEUTIC BATHING AND WINE
The Friedrichsbad, for example, consists of Roman-Irish baths that offer a variety of bathing, steaming, and massage options. There were Roman baths 2000 years ago on the site of the Renaissance palace, in which the thermal complex is located, and their ruins (which are, by the way, among the most ancient and well-preserved in the entire territory of Germany) can still be seen today, whether you wish to visit alone or go with a guide. This way, you can enjoy a steam bath while literally touching ancient history in the Friedrichsbad.
This thermal complex was built in 1877 with the intention of being the most elegant, modern, and fashionable venue of its kind in Europe at the time, and it succeeded. Today, a three-hour bathing session in the Friedrichsbad baths costs about 25 euros and can rise in proportion to the amount and extent of procedures requested. Since their list is so vast, we suggest checking it out yourself to get familiar with the offered services.
In terms of healing, the soothing waters of Baden-Baden benefit not only patients with mobility issues, but also those recovering from accidents or strokes. Thermal waters are also helpful to people who have problems with their heart, blood supply, or metabolism. People constantly come here to recover from chronic respiratory diseases, among other ailments.
Whether it is for entertainment, healing, history or food, everyone makes their way to Baden-Baden to have a good time. There are several explanations for this. For instance, Baden (the area in which the city is located) is the country’s southernmost region, which is warm and sunny. Because of the unique soils and abundant sunlight, the locals can successfully engage in winemaking. Pinot Noir is the most common grape variety in the region due to its proximity to the Mediterranean climate.
Baden-Baden, by the way, is also home to Europe’s biggest winemaking cooperative. Every year, a large number of wine festivals are held in this country’s third most important wine region. They travel from town to town in the summer and early fall, attracting a large number of true wine connoisseurs as well as ordinary visitors looking for a good time. The ”Baden Wine Queen” began being elected during the festivities, which began in the middle of the twentieth century.
In the vast gastronomic culture of Europe, German restaurants are second only to French restaurants in terms of Michelin stars. Since 2015, this internationally renowned culinary guide has awarded two stars to Baden-Baden. Tourists traveling through Europe should definitely consider taking a detour from their main route to visit Baden’s two-star premises to experience its excellent cuisine.
Since 1976, this quaint German town has also been the gathering spot for antique car owners and enthusiasts. The world’s International Oldtimer Meeting takes place there every summer. Just 35 cars were shown in the first year, with about a 1000 people in attendance. Today, the festival’s scope is much more impressive: about 400 rare cars are on display every year, and tens of thousands of awestruck tourists will enjoy the finest examples of vehicles made before 1970 for several days.
A STRESS-FREE LUXURY VACATION
This iconic German resort does not have the plethora of massive entertainment centers and amusement parks usually found in touristic cities. Instead, it’s perfect for those who want a calm and steady holiday absolutely free of stress. Every traveler who has been to the city even at least once, all agree that it is difficult to forget. Each year, the army of Baden-Baden’s admirers steadily grows its ranks, which makes the city extremely happy.
It’s also worth noting that, in addition to being a desirable destination for luxury tourism, the state of Baden-Württemberg is also a hotspot for international investment. According to Baden-Württemberg International, the state’s economic growth agency, the region continues to attract a substantial number of foreign investment projects, and is currently home to over 5000 international businesses on its soil.
The mechanical engineering industry is the most appealing to international buyers, followed by the information and telecommunications technology industry and the consumer goods industry. The state’s continued growth in foreign acquisitions, as well as the strong presence of multinational firms in the region, demonstrate that Baden-Württemberg is a highly regarded business opportunity with foreign investors around the world. EG