Jul 1, 2013
|We had moved base the day before to Rhine Munster just west of Baden –Baden to explore the northern part of the Black Forest.
We woke up to a beautiful day and headed into Baden-Baden. We had visited Baden-Baden (Bath-Bath) twice before once as a stopover going to Austria and once when we had a holiday in the Black Forest region. It is one of our favourite spa towns.
The history of Baden-Baden goes back to Roman times when the thermal springs attracted Roman bathers around 75AD (more of that later). In the 19th century spas were very popular and Baden-Baden developed into an elite resort for the rich and famous and still has that upper crust reputation today.
Our first stop was the Trinkhalle or drinking hall. The actual hall is now the tourist office but the building has a magnificent portico that has fourteen 19th century frescoes depicting local legends one or two were currently being restored.
We then made our way along to the Kurhaus and Casino. The Kurhaus was built in the 1920s in a Neoclassical style with eight Corinthian columns. Looking briefly inside the casino the opulence becomes apparent.
We then strolled along the Lichtentaler Allee a promenade alongside the river Oos. It is a lovely stroll through gardens with trees giving dappled shade and overlooked by elegant hotels particularly the Brenner’s Park Hotel. You can imagine Victorian ladies and gentlemen strolling the promenade. We continued along till we came to the Gonneranlage an almost secret rose garden with statues and fountains. We also did a small detour to the Russian Church which was built in the 1880’s for a then sizeable population of expatriate Russian diplomats, nobles and writers.
Heading back into the town after lunch we explored the old town dating back to the 18th century with its pink and coffee coloured buildings. We were going to walk up to the Neuss Schloss (or New Castle) but currently there was no public access due to building work to convert it into a five star hotel. However we had a quick look at the church and then the Friedrich Bad.
The Friedrich Bad was completed in 1877 and was “the” bathing hall in Baden-Baden and is still a spa today. Underneath there are the amazing ruins of the original Roman baths, which were built around 75 AD. The ruins had almost intact vertical ducting which took the heat up the walls as well as the usual floor heating.
We completed our day in Baden-Baden by walking in the gardens near the Caracalla Therme the modern day equivalent of the Roman baths before heading back to base. We had enjoyed our return visit to Baden-Baden.
Returning to base we enjoyed the sunshine further sitting outside the coach watching we believe storks nesting in a nearby tree with their two chicks. Fascinating.