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Baden-Baden 10-2015 img05 View from Merkur.jpg
View of Baden-Baden from Mount Merkur.
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Location of Baden-Baden
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Coordinates: 48°45′46″N08°14′27″E / 48.76278°N 8.24083°E / 48.76278; 8.24083
Country Germany
State Baden-Württemberg
Admin. region Karlsruhe
District Urban district
   Lord mayor (202230) Dietmar Späth [1]
  Total140.18 km2 (54.12 sq mi)
181 m (594 ft)
 (2021-12-31) [2]
  Density400/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 07221, 07223
Vehicle registration BAD
Part of The Great Spa Towns of Europe
Criteria Cultural: (ii)(iii)
Reference 1613
Inscription2021 (44th Session)

Baden-Baden (German pronunciation: [ˈbaːdn̩ˈbaːdn̩] ) is a spa town in the state of Baden-Württemberg, south-western Germany, at the north-western border of the Black Forest mountain range on the small river Oos, ten kilometres (six miles) east of the Rhine, the border with France, and forty kilometres (twenty-five miles) north-east of Strasbourg, France.


In 2021, the town became part of the transnational UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name "Great Spa Towns of Europe", because of its famous spas and architecture that exemplifies the popularity of spa towns in Europe in the 18th through 20th centuries. [3]


The springs at Baden-Baden were known to the Romans as Aquae ("The Waters") [4] and Aurelia Aquensis ("Aurelia-of-the-Waters") after M. Aurelius Severus Alexander Augustus. [5]

In modern German, Baden is a noun meaning "bathing" [6] but Baden, the original name of the town, derives from an earlier plural form of Bad ("bath"). [7] (Modern German uses the plural form Bäder .) [8] As with the English placename "Bath", other Badens are at hot springs throughout Central Europe. The current doubled name arose to distinguish it from the others, [7] particularly Baden near Vienna in Austria and Baden near Zürich in Switzerland. The original Margraviate of Baden (1112-1535) split into several territories, including Baden-Baden and Baden-Durlach. The name "Baden-Baden" distinguished the Margraviate of Baden-Baden (1535–1771), from the Margraviate of Baden-Durlach. "Baden-Baden" thus means the town of Baden in the territory of Baden, whereas the name of the Margraviate of Baden-Baden meant "the Margraviate of Baden with its princely seat at Baden". Baden-Baden formally got its current name in 1931. [9]


Baden-Baden lies in a valley [10] of the Northern Black Forest in southwestern Germany. [11] The western districts lie within the Upper Rhine Plain. The highest mountain of Baden-Baden is the Badener Höhe (1,002.5 m above  sea level (NHN) [12] ), which is part of the Black Forest National Park. The old town lies on the side of a hill on the right bank of the Oos. [10] Since the 19th century, the principal resorts have been located on the other side of the river. [10] There are 29 natural springs in the area, varying in temperature from 46 to 67 °C (115 to 153 °F). [10] The water is rich in salt and flows from artesian wells 1,800 m (5,900 ft) under Florentine Hill [13] at a rate of 341 litres (90 gallons) per minute and is conveyed through pipes to the town's baths. [10]


Roman settlement at Baden-Baden has been dated as far back as the emperor Hadrian, but on dubious authority. [5] The known ruins of the Roman bath were rediscovered just below the New Castle in 1847 [5] and date to the reign of Caracalla (AD 210s), [11] who visited the area to relieve his arthritic aches. [14] The facilities were used by the Roman garrison in Strasbourg. [11]

The town fell into ruin but its church was first constructed in the 7th century. [11] By 1112, it was the seat of the Margraviate of Baden. [11] The Lichtenthal Convent (Kloster Lichtenthal) was founded in 1254. [11] The margraves initially used Hohenbaden Castle (the Old Castle, Altes Schloss), whose ruins still occupy the summit above the town, but they completed and moved to the New Castle (Neues Schloss) in 1479. [5] The Margraviate was divided in 1535, with Baden-Baden becoming the capital of the Margraviate of Baden-Baden, while the other portion became the Margraviate of Baden-Durlach. The Baden-Baden witch trials, an investigating encompassing the entire territory and resulting in hundreds of verdicts, took place in 1627-1631. Baden suffered severely during the Thirty Years' War, particularly at the hands of the French, who plundered it in 1643. [5] They returned to occupy the city in 1688 at the onset of the Nine Years' War, burning it to the ground the next year. [11] The margravine Sibylla rebuilt the New Castle in 1697, but the margrave Louis William removed his seat to Rastatt in 1706. [5] The Stiftskirche was rebuilt in 1753 [11] and houses the tombs of several of the margraves. [5]

The town began its recovery in the late 18th century, serving as a refuge for émigrés from the French Revolution. [11] The town was frequented during the Second Congress of Rastatt in 1797–99[ citation needed ] and became popular after the visit of the Prussian queen in the early 19th century. [11] She came for medicinal reasons, as the waters were recommended for gout, rheumatism, paralysis, neuralgia, skin disorders, and stones. [15] The Ducal government subsequently subsidized the resort's development. [5] The town became a meeting place for celebrities, who visited the hot springs and the town's other amenities: luxury hotels, the Spielbank Casino, [16] horse races, and the gardens of the Lichtentaler Allee. Guests included Queen Victoria, Wilhelm I, and Berlioz. [14] The pumproom (Trinkhalle) was completed in 1842. [10] The Grand Duchy's railway's mainline reached Baden in 1845.[ citation needed ] Reaching its zenith under Napoleon III in the 1850s and '60s, Baden became "Europe's summer capital". [11] With a population of around 10000, the town's size could quadruple during the tourist season, with the French, British, Russians, and Americans all well represented. [10] (French tourism fell off following the Franco-Prussian War.) [15]

The theater was completed in 1861 [10] and a Greek church with a gilt dome was erected on the Michaelsberg in 1863 to serve as the tomb of the teenage son of the prince of Moldavia Mihail Sturdza after he died during a family vacation. [17] A Russian Orthodox church was also subsequently erected. [15] The casino was closed for a time in the 1870s. [10]

Baden-Baden in 1910 Black Forest Autochrome 05 Baden-Baden.jpg
Baden-Baden in 1910

Just before the First World War, the town was receiving 70000 visitors each year. [15]

During the Second World War, 3.1% of the houses in Baden-Baden were completely destroyed by bombs and 125 civilians were killed. [18] 5.8% of the houses were heavily damaged by bombs. [19] Lichtenthal, a residential area in the southwest of the town, was hit by bombs and Saint Bonifatius Church was severely damaged on 11 March 1943. [20] Balg, a residential area in the northeast of Baden-Baden, was hit by bombs on 17 December 1944. On 30 December 1944 one third of the buildings of Oos (i.e. about 300 houses), a residential area in the north of the town, was destroyed or heavily damaged by bombs and Saint Dionysius Church was severely damaged as well. On 2 January 1945 the railway station of Oos and various barracks on Schwarzwald Road were heavily damaged by bombs. [21] After World War II, Baden-Baden became the headquarters of the French occupation forces in Germany as well as of the Südwestfunk, one of Germany's large public broadcasting stations, which is now part of Südwestrundfunk. From 23–28 September 1981, the XIth Olympic Congress took place in Baden-Baden's Kurhaus. The Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Germany's largest opera and concert house, opened in 1998.

CFB Baden-Soellingen, a military airfield built in the 1950s in the Upper Rhine Plain, 10 km (6 mi) west of downtown Baden-Baden, was converted into a civil airport in the 1990s. Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport, or Baden Airpark is now the second-largest airport in Baden-Württemberg by number of passengers. [22]

In 1981 Baden-Baden hosted the Olympic Congress, which later made the town awarded the designation Olympic town.


The climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is precipitation year round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate). [23]

Climate data for Baden-Baden
Mean daily maximum °C (°F)4
Mean daily minimum °C (°F)−2
Average precipitation mm (inches)107.3
Average precipitation days221820192121171615181821226
Mean monthly sunshine hours 52.978.4132.7182.4204.4223.7237.7223.3164.510355.341.21,699.5
Source 1: Deutscher Wetterdienst [24] [25]
Source 2: Weatherbase [26]

Lord Mayors


Baden-Baden is a German spa town. [27] The city offers many options for sports enthusiasts; [14] golf and tennis are both popular in the area. [14] Horse races take place each May, August and October at nearby Iffezheim. [14] The countryside is ideal for hiking and mountain climbing. [14] In the winter Baden-Baden is a skiing destination. [14] There is an 18-hole golf course in Fremersberg. [28]

Sights include:



The main road link is autobahn A5 between Freiburg and Frankfurt, which is 10 km away from the city.

There are two stations providing intercity bus services: one next to the main railway station and one at the airport. [31]


Baden-Baden has three stations, Baden-Baden station being the most important of them.


Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport is an airport located in Baden-Baden that also serves the city of Karlsruhe. It is Baden-Württemberg's second-largest airport after Stuttgart Airport, and the 18th-largest in Germany with 1,110,500 passengers as of 2016 [32] and mostly serves low-cost and leisure flights.

Twin towns – sister cities

Sign of Karlovy Vary's sister cities Karlovy Vary sign of its sister cities.jpg
Sign of Karlovy Vary's sister cities

Baden-Baden is twinned with: [33]

Artistic depiction

Baden featured in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina (under an alias) [14] and Turgenev's Smoke . Dostoyevsky wrote The Gambler while compulsively gambling at the town's casino. [16] [34]

The novel Summer in Baden-Baden by Leonid Tsypkin is inspired in Dostoyevsky's visit to this resort.

The 1975 film The Romantic Englishwoman was filmed on location in Baden-Baden, featuring the Brenner's Park Hotel particularly prominently. The 1997 Bollywood movie Dil To Pagal Hai was also shot in the town.[ citation needed ]

Baden-Baden is the subject of a pop song by Finnish songwriter Chisu of how the economic woes of Finland could be solved by selling bottled tears to Europe (specifically Baden-Baden).

In the second season episode of The Sopranos, "The Happy Wanderer," Tony Soprano mentions that his friend David Scatino moved to New Jersey from Baden Baden. (

Notable people

Emil Kessler Emil Kessler.jpg
Emil Kessler
Francis Pigou Francispigou.jpg
Francis Pigou
Sir William Des Voeux Sir G. William Des Voeux.jpg
Sir William Des Vœux
Anna Zerr Anna Zerr Kriehuber.jpg
Anna Zerr
Antoinette Bower, 1961 Antoinette Bower.JPG
Antoinette Bower, 1961

Public service & commerce

The arts



See also

Related Research Articles

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Further reading