Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Last week's long weekend offered us a good opportunity to visit another part of Germany, not too far from the French border. Baden-Baden lies but a mere 40 kilometers away from the Alsatian city of Strasbourg but in terms of ambiance, they couldn't be more different.

Baden-Baden (or just Baden as it used to be known)  is a quiet and peaceful spa town lying on the western flank of Germany's Black Forest.  In fact the word Baden means baths in German and its origins as a spa town dates back to Roman times, when the Emperor Caracalla used to visit and take his ease in the imperial baths.  Nowhere is this fact more striking than in seeing these antique roman bath jars suspended high above the ground where they were found.
the Caracalla Spa
From the old thermal baths, there is a good view of the town

 while below, they cleverly built a mini-museum to house all the Roman artifacts they've excavated from the site.
The city's main sights are clustered around a small area and I for one, was completely distracted by this utterly charming cafe scene along the banks of the river Oos which flows through town.
 In the nineteenth century, Baden became highly fashionable thanks to the Prussian queen, Elizabeth who took Baden's spa waters to improve her health. Some famous visitors included Queen Victoria, Wilhem I and even Napoleon III.

Oh and one funny fact, Dostoevsky wrote the Gambler in Baden  after he gambled away all his money and some say, his shirt, in the Casino!
the Casino
 Brahms was also enamored of this town, and his house can still be visited today.

Below is a photo of the fantastic looking Trinkhalle (pump room) with its 14 greek columns and impressive murals. It is now used as a tourist information office.  Not bad huh?

 And here is a last photo of one of the many pretty parks in the town


  1. absolutely love your photos of this spa town! i remember watching this film about verlaine and rimbaud and it was set somewhere near the black forest and i can still remember their cottage surrounded by all that greenery. i dream of visiting the towns around that forest someday!

  2. The spa town looks absolutely lovely! How fortunate that you are able to visit all these places! :)

  3. Oh I love this town - could you have a cake at "Cafe König"? The have awesome cake there:-) And die Trinkhalle is really impressive i was a little bit afraid of the paintings in it when I was a child.