Baden Baden has a long tradition as a spa town stretching back as far as the Roman tines. They built some of the first baths here and the evidence is now preserved for all to see. One of the baths lies beneath the Friedrichsbad and is known as the soldiers bath. Both the floor and wall heating systems are in an amazing state of oreservation.
**Please note there is no photography inside**
Audio guides can be provided and there is also a computer video animation if the original baths.
Entance fee in May 2008 was 2.50 Euro
The Friedrichsbad is one of the oldest and biggest spas in Baden-Baden.
Being prudish I never went into this spa as it is entirely nude! If you have any hang ups about your body then be warned!
The baths offer a unique experience of a routine covering all aspects of the spa from the first shower to the to the rest room at the end. The spa is very popular amongst couples.
More modern looking than the Friedichsbad. The bathing area has a large variety of bathing pools and a Roman saunascape with an outdoor area in the picturesque castle gardens. Prices vary according to how long you stay and there are parking facilities too.
The New Palace is high above the old town and near to the Stiftskirche. It is the formare home of the Margraves of Baden Baden. It is a pity because the place is run down and nothing is being done to restore it despite investors buying nearly 15 years ago. A piece of history is to be lost if nothing is done soon.
The world famous casino is in the centre of the town and visitors can walk in and admire the wonderful building. The casino is housed in the Kurhaus which, was built built between 1821 and 1824. If you can afford to spend the evening here I am sure you will spot some famous people and kiss goodbye to many Euros! "The most beautiful casino in the world”, was how Marlene Dietrich described Germany’s oldest casino. Formal dress is required to gamble or eat there but you can take a guided tour wearing what you like and you don't have to part with much money to do that.
The Trinhalle is now home to the tourist information office and is very close to the casino in the Kurpark. Built between 1839 and 1842, it is 300-feet-long and shows 14 frescoes depicting legends about Baden-Baden. There are also Corinthian pillars adornig the building.
Inside the Trinkhalle you can sample the hot spring water for free If you haven't got a bottle or cup you can buy one very cheaply there.
There is also a small cafe and ticket service in here too.
Unfortunately there is no category "water tasting" among the themes...
The Trinkhalle (drinking hall) hosts the tourist information office and one of Baden-Baden's thermal springs, the Friedrichsquelle. Hot spring water is constantly running from the tap and may be taken for free. Bring a bottle or a cup, or get a plastic cup for 20 cents there.
It is recommended not to drink more than 400 ml of this water per day. Well, I assume you won't want more. The taste is strange, rather salty. Give it a try, though - this is one of the things one simply HAS to do when in Baden-Baden...
The 19th century hall was built as a shady refuge where people could walk up and down, talk, watch and be watched while sipping their water.
The paintings on the walls show scenes from old regional legends and fairy tales.
The relief in the gable above the main entrance (photo 5) shows the healing powers of Baden-Baden's springs. From left to right, sick and old people are brought to the spring, which is impersonated by the nymph in the centre who is giving water to a little child and his mother. On the right side, healthy and happy young people are dancing and playing with their children.
The Spitalkirche was part of the medieval hospital, which was established next to the hot springs. The little church is now used by the Old Catholic community. Note the 16th century tombstones along the walls and the Mount of Olives behind the choir.
The Kloster zum Heiligen Grab (Convent of the Holy Sepulchre) was founded by Margrave Leopold Wilhelm in the late 17th century. The baroque church of St Joseph got a new facade in neo-baroque style in 1895.
Some 10 or 15 years ago the convent was closed down, the last nuns moved to an old people's home. The furniture and everything was sold in an auction and is gone for good. The school the nunnery ran is still in operation. The convent buildings are empty.
The Fettquelle ("fat spring") is one of the hot springs on the slope of the Florentinerberg - the only one that's accessible outdoors. Water may be taken for free.
Warning: Do not try to drink straight from the fountain. Bring and use a cup or a bottle. The water has a temperature of about 60°C (Celsius!!).