Baden Spa Town

Baden, Austria

Baden bei Wien is a spa town in Austria. In 2021, the town became part of the transnational UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name 'Great Spas of Europe'.

The celebrity of Baden dates back to the days of the Romans, some ruins are still visible. The nearby abbey of Heiligenkreuz's Romanesque church was constructed in the 11th century; it subsequently served as the burial place for members of the Babenberg family. The castle Rauheneck was constructed on the right bank of the river at the entrance to the valley in the 12th century; the castle Rauhenstein was built on the opposite bank at the same time. The town received its legal privileges in 1480. Although repeatedly sacked by Hungarians and Turks, it soon flourished again each time.

The town was largely destroyed by a fire in 1812 but was excellently rebuilt in a Biedermeier style. In the 19th century, it was connected to the railway running between Vienna and Graz, which led to thousands of Viennese visiting each year to take the waters, including members of the imperial family, who constructed extensive villas nearby. The town boasted a theater, military hospital, and casino. The composer Ludwig van Beethoven stayed a number of times in Baden and his residences still form local tourist spots. 

By the time of the First World War, Baden was Vienna's principal resort: 20 000 came each year, double the town's local population. In addition to a modern 'spa house' (Kurhaus), there were 15 separate bathing establishments and several parks. A new casino in 1934 made the town the premier resort throughout Austria. The Château Weilburg was destroyed during World War II. After World War II, Baden served as the headquarters of Soviet forces within occupied Austria until 1955.

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Baden, Austria
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Founded: Roman Age
Category: Historic city squares, old towns and villages in Austria

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