Baden-Baden Spa Town

Baden-Baden, Germany

Baden-Baden is a spa town in the state of Baden-Württemberg. In 2021, the town became part of the transnational UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name 'Great Spa Towns of Europe'.

The springs at Baden-Baden were known to the Romans as Aquae ('The Waters') and Aurelia Aquensis ('Aurelia-of-the-Waters'). The known ruins of the Roman bath were rediscovered just below the New Castle in 1847 and date to the reign of Caracalla (AD 210s).

The town began its recovery in the late 18th century, serving as a refuge for émigrés from the French Revolution. The town was frequented during the Second Congress of Rastatt in 1797–99 and became popular after the visit of the Prussian queen in the early 19th century. She came for medicinal reasons, as the waters were recommended for gout, rheumatism, paralysis, neuralgia, skin disorders, and stones. The Ducal government subsequently subsidized the resort's development. The town became a meeting place for celebrities, who visited the hot springs and the town's other amenities: luxury hotels, the Spielbank Casino, horse races, and the gardens of the Lichtentaler Allee. The pumproom (Trinkhalle) was completed in 1842. Reaching its zenith under Napoleon III in the 1850-1860s, Baden became 'Europe's summer capital'. With a population of around 10 000, the town's size could quadruple during the tourist season, with the French, British, Russians, and Americans all well represented.

Today he city offers many options for sports enthusiasts.

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Stine W (3 months ago)
We had a wonderful time at this bath. It's 32 Euros per person which includes your entrance, a locker, a towel, a warm towel, soaps, lotion, tea, and a reading room. It feels quite reasonable considering the beauty and aesthetic feel of these baths. They are historical and have lovely tile work and beautiful pools, warm and hot air rooms, geothermally heated steam rooms, and several gorgeous thermal pools. If you have any interest in what a roman bath would be like this is relatively close (in layout, purpose, and nudity at least). You can read about thermes to see how similar it is. It is even almost on top of the Roman bath ruin. The decor itself is antique and features themes that would appeal to the bather seeking healing, moral instruction, and rejuvenation (spring flowers, ancient Rome, arabesque, geometrically shaped pools, halls for reclining and exercise). I was particularly impressed with the two naturally heated steam rooms which look like you're in the inside of the earth and feature primordial geologically themed fountains. There were not many people when I went, which made the experience even nicer. The assistant in the baths is helpful and he helped us figuring out where to go. It's a silent nudist bath which is awesome. I thought my hair was going to be straw from my visit to the baths, but the minerals in the water there made my skin and my hair happy.
Matheson Harris (3 months ago)
Awesome experience. Went on a Monday afternoon and had very few other people around us. Very relaxing. Really enjoyed the cold plunge at the end along with the relaxation room (you could nap for an hour in there) and the last room with loungers and hot tea. Left feeling like jello and knowing my dad bod was solidly average. Don’t miss it.
Tomas Urlich (4 months ago)
My girlfriend and I had a great time at Friedrichsbad. We visited on a Wednesday afternoon in late May and only saw about a dozen other patrons during our stay, so the peace and quiet was particularly relaxing. If the mandatory nudity policy is what's stopping you from visiting, don't let it, it actually enhances the relaxation - you'll understand when you go.
Kate Brydone (5 months ago)
Hubby couldn't come along, so took my girlfriend instead. Totally relaxing day. Staff are fantastic, one of them looked out for us very well - Christian I think? So glad you are open again.
Milos Mandic (5 months ago)
Unique experience, different from modern wellness/spa. Being you back to the Roman times! There's a designated route inside you're recommend to follow for the best experience. You can spend a lot of time inside - we stayed for almost 4 hours.
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Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.