From 1967 to 1999 this small historic theater stood unused and fell into a drastic state of disrepair until it was bought by a citizens group who raised the money to have it repaired and restored.Restoration is by no means complete, but they are far enough along that the theater can now be used (since 2005) for some of the smaller (afternoon)...more
The evening performances are held in the more prosaic, but larger, venue of the Kurhaus.Second photo: The first opera I saw there was a farce called La cambiale di matrimonio, which Rossini wrote when he was eighteen. This was not the first opera he ever wrote, but it was the first one that was ever performed. Towards the end I realized I had seen...more
Then as now, the Hotel Bären (Bear Hotel) was an elegant and fashionable establishment directly on the Kurplatz in the center of Wildbad. Here is where Rossini stayed for several weeks in 1856.(Just one of the many differences between Rossini and me.)Rossini was very satisfied with his stay in Wildbad, by the way, and while he was here he even...more
Sommerberg is Wildbad's house mountain, 300 metres higher than the valley. Since 1908 there is the funicular which connects the town centre (Uhlandplatz) with the top of Sommerberg. Right now, however, the funicular is under renovation - another among many construction sites in Wildbad. Tracks and cars and technology are renewed. The funicular...more
In 1742 a fire devastated most of the town - the 6th big fire in Wildbad's history, in fact. Hence there is hardly anything in town which is older than that. One of the first new buildings that was begun after the fire is the protestant parish church in Kurplatz. The architect was Christoph David von Leger, who also designed the new town plan. The...more
After the fire of 1742 that had destroyed most of the town, a new town concept was planned. Its centre was the rectangular square, now named Kurplatz. With the exception of the protestant church (see separate tip), the present buildings around the square were designed and built in the 19th century when the elegant spa flourished. Most of these are...more
These three locations of cultural events form an ensemble on the southern side of the Kurpark. The little theater dates from 1864. The style is a mix of Swiss and Black Forest, which was popular in those times. The theater was in use until the 1970s, then it remained empty and was in danger of being demolished. Luckily it has been saved by a...more
The art nouveau Kurhaus has been inaugurated in 1910. It was built on the slope in a picturesque location, surrounded by large trees and meadows, at the beginning of the Kurpark. The architect was Otto Kuhn.It contains a large hall for events, concerts etc. (Kursaal) and on the upper floor the smaller reading hall and a restaurant. The corridor and...more
The spas in the Black Forest attracted many visitors from Britain in the 19th century. They stayed for weeks or months and brought their whole families and servants. For their Anglican services this church was built on the edge of the Kurpark in the 1860s. It imitates a medieval English village church. Two big sequoias and other impressive old...more
Wildbad has a beautiful large Kurpark that stretches along the Enz valley upstream from the town centre and spa area. It was planned in the 19th century as a landscape garden with many little buildings and monuments among trees, meadows and shrubbery. The park offers a lot to discover. Note the beautiful old trees. Most of them date from the period...more
A little exotic alien has landed among the beautiful old trees of the Kurpark, it seems. The pavillon in "Moorish" style is made from cast iron and dates from 1875. The shiny gilded dome is gleaming in the sunlight. The ornaments in white, blue and gold adopt oriental shapes but must be considered an European architect's fantasy. This pretty thing...more
Gioacchino Rossini has indeed been here. In 1856, when he was not exactly a spring chicken any more, his doctor sent him here for spa treatment in the healing waters of Wildbad. He stayed for several weeks in Hotel zum Bären in Kurplatz. The belle epoque hotel building is still there, only they have renamed their restaurant, well you guessed it,...more
Wildbad has had a railway line since 1869, when the Enz Valley Railway was built to bring the rich and the powerful up from Pfortzheim to the Wildbad spa. In the 1990s the German ex-monopolist railway DB wanted to shut this line down, but then it was leased by the regional transport authority AVG, who electrified and modernized the line and made it...more
Bad Wildbad is on the end of the Enz valley and at the end of an old train line which has long been closed down. The regional transport networks, however, have taken over the old railway track, renovated it and installed new modern stations, and established an S-Bahn route which is operated by AVG (Albtal Verkehrs-Gesellschaft). This area is part...more
From the Uhlandplatz in the center of Bad Wildbad there is a funicular railway that goes up to the top of the nearby Sommerberg or Summer Mountain.
Second photo: At the top of the Sommerberg there are about a dozen hotels, cafés and restaurants, and also some places where you can look down at Bad Wildbad and out over the Enz Valley.
Third photo: This is a big area walking and for mountain biking, so to avoid collisions they have set up two separate sets of trails starting at the top of the Sommerberg. The trail on the left, with the blue sign, is for bicycles only, and the one on the right is off-limits to cyclists.